Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 02 Mar 2018
Mr Ford did not see to it that all boys got their just deserts. That raises the question of whether
justice was done. Certainly it would not have been justice if the deserts any boy got were not just. But
what if it is certain that all boys who got their just deserts got just that, that is their just deserts,
but that others who deserved to get their just deserts did not?
Ah! you may say,
tempered justice with mercy. But what if you knew that
just deserts always involved a sound
bare bottom caning and that Mr Ford only ever caned boys he considered to have thrashable bottoms? I expect
that then you would just utter a quite exclamation mark free,
Ah. Of course if you share Mr Ford’s
opinion that only boys with thrashable bottoms should be thrashed you may declare – possibly
not aloud –
Quite right too! If you had a free moment or two you might go on to consider
whether any arguments, sophistical or otherwise, could be advanced to justify the stance.
You may, for example, say that any boy who deservedly gets his just deserts cannot complain and that it is quite beside the point and none of his business if any boy undeservedly does not get his just deserts. As an aside you may add that no boy is going to complain if he does not get his just deserts.
Or you may argue that it is entirely reasonable some boys are let off as it sends out a message that, as we put it above, justice is tempered with mercy. You would then point out that deciding who should get let off on an ad hoc basis would necessarily involve some subjective assessment which is not entirely reliable. If the idea is to send out the justice-is-tempered message, you may just as well have some method of selecting those to be let off which conveniently avoids the wearisome task of caning unthrashable bottoms.
Whether Mr Ford justified his practice, and if so on what basis, is unknown. So far as the boys were concerned there was no perception among them that any one of them had a more or less thrashable bottom than any other. Accordingly, they were quite oblivious to the fact that Mr Ford only thrashed thrashable bottoms. Even if they had been aware, what amounts to a thrashable bottom is a matter of opinion. That means a boy would have had to share Mr Ford’s opinion before the idea would occur to him that Mr Ford only thrashed thrashable bottoms. There were one or two boys, blissfully unaware they were possessed of unthrashable bottoms, who believed they bore charmed lives.
You may well be wondering if Mr Ford ever let off a boy with a thrashable bottom. No he did not. It does not do to overdo tempering. Letting off boys who had unthrashable bottoms was quite enough.
The next question which is bound to have occurred to you is what did Mr Ford do if two or more boys were guilty of the same offence at the same time and there was amongst them a boy who had an unthrashable bottom. We can see immediately that two principles came into direct conflict. That meant that something had to give. It will not surprise you to learn that the principle that thrashable bottoms must get thrashed won the day. It is not too tiresome to thrash an unthrashable bottom if immediately afterwards you get to thrash a thrashable bottom.
If you are wondering whether Mr Ford thrashed unthrashable bottoms as hard as he thrashed thrashable bottoms, I can assure you he did. To have done otherwise would have been quite unprofessional.
Do you think the Car Man will swish us? asked Sparrow, who had never been swished, of Tilling,
Bound to, said Tilling with nonchalance.
I’ve heard he sometimes lets you off, said Sparrow with more than a hint of optimism.
It has been known, but not often. Best not to get your hopes up.
What’s it like? asked Sparrow, his hopes of getting off significantly reduced, but not entirely
Are you sure you want to know?
Actually, no, but still a very long way off good. I mean having your bare bum whacked with any
sort of stick is bound to involve some discomfort – as my dad would say – he’s a
So is it always bare?
I cannot put my hand on my heart and say it is, but I never heard of a case where it was not.
Best to take it as read that your bum will be feeling fresh air when it gets it.
I’m not sure I like the idea of the Car Man seeing my bum.
It’s not him seeing your bum you should be worried about.
I suppose not. But I can’t help feeling that my bum will be exposed.
It will be.
I mean unprotected.
It will be – not that trousers and pants would be fantastic protection.
I see what you’re getting at. I’ve only ever bent over bare, but I think I can see that there
would be something rather different about bending over and presenting a clothed bum.
I’m sure if it.
If there is we’ll never get to find out.
Anything I should know – I mean about how to go on?
Well. Obviously don’t get cocky.
With the prospect of getting my bare bum whacked I don’t think I’ll be feeling cocky.
Of course you mustn’t give the impression of being timorous either.
I’ll try not to let my knees knock together.
And be sure to obey instructions without hesitation. Nothing annoys him like hesitation.
I’ll jump to it.
And fully. So when he says to get your trousers down you get them right down.
Pants too I suppose.
You suppose correctly. And when he says to bend over what do you do?
I bend over?
Making sure first that...?
Sparrow thought for a few moments.
I give up.
You pull up your shirt and everything.
And even as my trousers and pants go down so do my shirt and everything go up?
You’re catching on. You need to have one very bare bum when you bend over. And once you’re over...
Let me guess, interrupted Sparrow.
I stick that very bare bum well up?
More or less. You don’t want to be lifting it right off the chair or anything. If I go first you
can see what I do.
What about when I’m getting it?
Well you won’t be able to control your bum. It’ll take on a life of its own. At least mine always
does. That is of course only for a second or two after a whack. Once it’s settled down you need to get
it back to its starting position. Important not to stand up. As for making a noise, do the best you can
As I said, although it’s not that bad, it is still bad enough. I mean there’s no point
if you don’t know you’ve had it, is there?
I suppose not, admitted Sparrow reluctantly.
And I think I ought to just mention that if you think it’s bad when it starts it gets worse as
it goes on.
Thanks for the warning.
Ah! said Mr Ford as Sparrow and Tilling came into his presence.
Sparrow and Tilling come
to have their bare bottoms thrashed!
That removed at the very outset any possible doubt about whether the boys would be caned and whether it would be bare.
Just hang your blazers on the back of the door.
With the boys’ backs to him Mr Ford had a quick glance at Tilling and satisfied himself that his bottom was still as thrashable as it was the last time he had thrashed it. A slightly longer assessment of Sparrow confirmed he had a very thrashable bottom.
Mr Ford pulled the visitor’s chair out and turned it side on to the desk. The back of the chair was just right for the average height fourteen year old to bend over to have his bare bottom thrashed properly. Sparrow and Tilling were average height fourteen year olds.
Mr Ford fetched his cane and when Sparrow saw it it occurred to him, although he knew perfectly well what a cane looked like, that he had never actually seen one. It did not look too devilish until Mr Ford bent it double and swished it a few times.
Right! said Mr Ford pointing to the floor immediately behind the chair.
You’re first, Tilling.
Come and take your trousers down.
Without hesitating Tilling went to the back of the chair, unbuttoning his trousers as he went. As soon as he was in position he let his trousers down.
Pants! said Mr Ford.
Tilling took his pants down. Sparrow noticed that Tilling’s hands hovered around the hem of his shirt.
Tilling pulled his shirt and vest up well clear of his bottom and gathered them together at the front. Keeping hold of shirt and vest with one hand and steadying himself with the other, he bent over the back of the chair. He then grabbed the chair seat on each side and shuffled forward raising his bottom.
I can see why they swish you bare, said Sparrow to himself.
That bum says: Whack me
Mr Ford took aim with the cane across the middle of Tilling’s bottom, raised it and swept it down. Sparrow had never heard a cane meet a bare bottom before, but it was exactly the sound he would have imagined if he had ever taken the trouble to imagine it. He observed how the cane curved as it hugged the contours of Tilling’s bottom. As Tilling had mentioned, his bottom did get a bit lively, but was soon back into position.
Almost forgetting he was next, Sparrow watched fascinated as the caning continued. The movement of Tilling’s bottom became increasingly urgent as the cane worked its way down. Sparrow thought that Tilling should be protesting loudly, but only muffled sounds issued from his mouth. Sparrow had often seen Tilling’s bottom in the showers and on a couple of occasions when he had displayed it after being caned, but watching it dance under the cane he saw it in a quite different light. The last stroke was very telling and Tilling’s bottom did a double shudder combined with a half twist first one way and then the other.
When Tilling stood up and pulled up his pants Sparrow’s attention turned to his own bottom which started to tingle. He put his hands back involuntarily.
Right, Sparrow. Come and take your trousers down.
Just as Tilling had, Sparrow approached the chair undoing his trousers as he went. He let them down and awaited the next order.
Sparrow suddenly found that he could not get his pants down as quickly as his trousers and hesitated.
That means pants down, Sparrow, said Mr Ford very firmly.
Sparrow hastened to take his pants down.
Sparrow gathered up his clothes as Tilling had, bent over and grabbed the chair seat. He wondered
if his bottom was saying
Whack me hard!
Into the chair a little more, please.
Obviously his bottom was not saying
Whack me hard! He wriggled forward.
Sparrow felt the cane rest on his bottom and suddenly became acutely conscious that two pairs of eyes were focused on his bare bottom. Mr Ford obviously had to be looking at it and there was surely no possibility that Tilling did not have his gaze fixed on it. He found he did not mind, but it all seemed a bit unreal.
The sting imparted by the cane was though very real. As it spread across his bottom Sparrow marvelled that it could be quite so intense. He was not surprised how the intensity increased with each stroke—Tilling had warned him it would. He felt a strong urge to stand up, but managed to resist it. He found that resisting meant his bottom moved. He wondered if it was doing a jig like Tilling’s had.
Into the chair a little more, please, said Mr Ford after the fourth stroke.
Sparrow was sure that he had been returning to where he started, but it seemed he had not. He moved forwards.
And again, please.
Sparrow shifted again, sure he was further across the chair than when he started. He could not help feeling that his bottom was more exposed and inviting the cane to strike harder. The fifth stroke certainly felt harder. Sparrow countered the urge to stand up by stretching out his legs. He suddenly remembered that Tilling’s last stroke had been a special one and braced himself. The cane swept down hugging his lower bottom imparting incredible sting. Sparrow could not help it, he jumped up and clutched his bottom.
As it was the last stroke and Sparrow’s first time, Mr Ford did not make anything of it. He did though
I see you found your first bare bottom thrashing quite effective.
Just try and remember how effective it was next time you’re contemplating getting into a spot
of bother. Mr Ford’s tone suggested it was improbable that Tilling would remember.
The two boys were not far down the corridor when Tilling said,
It’s wizard fun watching a chap
getting his bare bum roasted even when your own bum’s on fire.
I suppose so, said Sparrow whose throbbing bottom had, at least for the moment, made him forget
just how fascinated he had been watching Tilling get caned.
You should have seen your bum go!
How exactly did it go? asked Sparrow.
I thought it may have moved a bit.
A bit!? It was all over the place!
You didn’t exactly keep still.
I know that. Like I said, your bum takes on a life of its own.
What I don’t understand, said Sparrow quizzically,
is why anyone gets caned more than once.
Because they do something to get it again? suggested Tilling, making it clear he was stating
What I mean, said Sparrow patiently,
is that what with the cane being so wicked you’d think
nobody would do anything to get it again.
But they do. Obviously.
It’s a mystery, said Tilling with a distant look in his eye.
It’s a mystery, said Mr Ford with a distant look in his eye. Why did some boys persist in
returning to get their just deserts?