Truancy Trouble

“You are very quiet Sweetheart,” Grandma observed. “What’s on your mind?”

Louise shuffled uncomfortably on the sofa, not wanting to be the focus of her Grandma’s attention.

“I’m fine, Grandma,” she responded unconvincingly.

“Tell your Grandma,” ordered Louise’s mother, Helen James.

“Mum!” exclaimed an exasperated Louise, really wishing her mother (and headmistress) would get off her case.

“What is it?” demanded Grandma with authority, her tone now rather more assertive.

Both Helen and her daughter knew better than to get on the wrong side of Grandma, and it was mother who offered the explanation.

“She’s been a silly girl. Her and her friend Amelia foolishly decided to skip lessons yesterday afternoon. They were caught and now face a caning on Monday morning.”

Grandma addressed Louise, her kindly demeanour replaced by stern disapproval.

“Young lady, this is very disappointing. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

“But Grandma, it was only General Studies that we missed. Ever so boring and pointless,” reasoned Louise, but if she thought that explanation was going to win over her grandma, who was an ex-schoolteacher, she was very much mistaken.

Both her mother and grandmother simultaneously exploded. They were furious with Louise’s attitude and the next five minutes were spent with them taking it in turns berating her. When tempers had cooled Grandma asked Helen what was to become of her errant granddaughter.

“We’ll start with a caning on Monday morning after school assembly and she can reflect for the rest of the day with a sore bottom,” responded Helen.

Grandma nodded her approval and Louise shuddered. Her mother had delivered a few home spankings in the past, but this would be her first taste of a school caning.

Tea and finger sandwiches were followed by cake. Mum and Grandma chatted about this and that and largely ignored Louise, for which she was grateful. The time came to go home.

Grandma gave Louise her usual departing warm hug with some reassuring words.

“We love you, Sweetheart, but you have behaved badly and must pay the price. You do understand don’t you?”

Louise tearfully nodded. The rest of the evening and tomorrow, waiting for Monday’s punishment, would be purgatory. The trip home was in strained silence until Helen manoeuvred the car onto the drive. She laid a hand on her daughter’s arm.

“I know this is an ordeal for you, Louise. It must be difficult to have a mum who is also your headmistress. But always remember this, I’m your mum first and you are much loved, but when we are in school I’m your headmistress and you will be treated just like any other pupil.”

“Do you think I don’t know that,” snapped the dejected Louise. “I’ve had plenty of occasions finding that out.”

Helen decided to diplomatically ignore the petulance.

Sunday dragged. Helen went to church but Louise opted out and instead phoned her friend and truant accomplice, Amelia.

“Surely your mum will go easy on us? You’re her daughter after all,” asked Amelia, more in hope than expectation.

“Not a chance. She’s made it clear I have disappointed her,” answered Louise. “Eighteen and my first caning,” she moaned.

“As you know, she blistered my derrière for smoking last year,” recalled the nervous Amelia. “I’m not looking forward to this one bit.”

“See you tomorrow at morning assembly,” concluded Louise.


Monday morning and in the car on the way to school, Louise’s mum tried to chat as normal but understandably Louise was very quiet. The forthcoming punishment was not mentioned but weighed heavily on her mind. Much to her annoyance, she was trembling and this didn’t go unnoticed by Helen.

“Hold yourself together, Louise. It will be over very quickly and you will survive,” Helen said half sympathetic, half commanding. With that, they went their separate ways.

The embarrassment of having her name called out in front of the school assembly was only slightly tempered by her co-conspirator standing alongside. Unceremoniously the two of them threaded their way through the rows of assembled students, all eyes on them as they walked towards the headmistress’s study. They approached the school secretary’s desk and did not need to announce the reason for being there. Mrs Watson, the school secretary, ordered them to face the wall, hands on heads, and wait for the headmistress.

“But we’re 18!,” Amelia pleaded, to no avail.

Helen James arrived, chatting to another member of staff.

“We’ll catch up at break time, Eleanor. But now I’ve got two rebellious girls to deal with. Follow me, you two. Mrs Watson, join us please.”

All four assembled in front of the headmistress’s desk, Helen perching on the edge of her desk.

“I’m not about to lecture you. I did that on Friday evening and we’ve all got things to do, so let’s get on with it.”

“Amelia, if I remember correctly, you were here a few weeks ago to have your bottom warmed. I don’t expect to be caning sixth formers, but here you are for a second helping. We’ll start with you and you can show Louise how it’s done. Mrs Watson. Can you do the necessary please?”

Mrs Watson guided Amelia to the edge of the desk and told Louise to stand by the wall.

“Remove your blazer, lean forward and place your elbows on the desk top, feet apart and look straight ahead. I will lift your skirt and tuck it in.”

Amelia obliged whilst the headmistress collected the cane and punishment register from her cupboard and tried a practice swish, intending, and succeeding, to further alarm the two offenders. Amelia, in position with skirt raised and presenting her shapely bottom, clad in the briefest satin blue knickers, took a deep breath and prepared herself for the inevitable mountain of pain.

A warning three gentle taps was followed by the swish of the cane as it sliced through the air to connect crisply, dead centre, across Amelia’s vulnerable posterior. She yelped, but it was Louise’s response to the loud smack that took centre stage.

Standing by and watching with trepidation, she howled and pleaded.

“No Mum! This is awful. I can’t stand this.” She slumped into a chair and buried her face in her hands, sobbing, her weekend torment coming to a head.

“Pull yourself together, you silly girl!” snapped her mother. “Stand up and if you interrupt again you will get double. And let me remind you. When in school you address me as Miss.”

Mrs Watson comforted Louise, gently assisting her to stand. Amelia remained in position during the outburst, bracing herself for some more punishment.

“Sorry for that interruption, Amelia,” apologised the headmistress. “You might want to remonstrate with your friend for prolonging your ordeal when this is over.”

Amelia’s punishment continued without further interruption. Five more firm strokes delivered with some ferocity, demonstrating the headmistress’s annoyance of a sixth former absenting herself from school without permission. She stood back and surveyed the damage she had inflicted on the poor girl’s backside.

“Thank you, Amelia. You may stand, and I trust you have learned a valuable lesson.”

After the first crack of the cane across her bottom and the subsequent yelp, Amelia had remained almost silent for the next five strokes. Nevertheless, the pained expression and tears dribbling down her face indicated she was hurting. She lifted herself from the desk and ruefully caressed her on-fire bottom before collecting her blazer from Mrs Watson.

Now it was the turn of Louise. At first, she refused Mrs Watson’s invitation to remove her blazer and approach the desk. She stood her ground, not impressing the two adults with her justification for being let off by profusely apologising and promising not to skip classes ever again. How many students have tried and failed with this strategy?

Helen James was furious that her daughter was making such a fuss, but Mrs Watson rescued the situation with a soothing and encouraging approach that convinced Louise there was no way out and she could see for herself that her friend Amelia, if not joyous, was at least coping.

Gripped with fear, Louise allowed Mrs Watson to prepare her for the forthcoming onslaught. Helen James was an experienced and hardened dispenser of corporal punishment. She didn’t enjoy caning her students but certainly took her responsibilities seriously and had learnt over the years how to deliver a very meaningful punishment, but at the same time avoid serious damage.

Caning her daughter would be no different, or so she told herself, but when it came to it she hesitated. She momentarily held back, but her professionalism kicked in and she unleashed a good strength stroke that had her daughter writhing and howling. Were it not for Mrs Watson’s hand firmly pressing down on Louise’s shoulders, Louise surely would have leapt to her feet. Recipient held securely in place, the caning was successfully completed with much pleading, yelping and wriggling.

Despite her own discomfort, Amelia winced with the delivery of each cane stroke on her friend’s bottom. But then it was over.

Louise’s histrionics did not endear her to her mother and headmistress. Entries in the punishment ledger completed, the girls were told the matter was now concluded and they should take time to wash their faces, compose themselves and then get to lessons.

“That was a pretty stiff whacking,” commented Amelia. “You okay?”

“Not really,” lamented Louise, hurting, not just because of her bottom ablaze, but also her mother’s cold, matter-of-fact attitude toward her. “I won’t forgive her,” she smouldered.

“Oh, come on, Louise! We were in the wrong and we got caught. We’ve paid the price and your mum did say the matter is now concluded.”

But Louise, unjustifiably upset with her mother, was determined to make her feel guilty for delivering such a harsh punishment.

During the rest of the day, Louise, in sulking mode, deliberately avoided contact with her mother, but at going home time it was necessary to meet up with her to get a lift home. She stood by the car in the staff car park and waited, still bristling with indignation, although the soreness had diminished.

“Hi, Love. Sorry to keep you waiting. Got held up by Mrs Watson. I ought really to give you the spare key so you could wait in the car if you don’t want to come up to the office.”

Helen James, punishment completed, was determined to return everything to normal but her daughter was equally determined to show her disapproval, exaggerating her wincing and sighing as she fidgeted in the passenger seat, trying to find a comfortable position. But if Helen noticed the rather petulant display, she let it pass without comment.

The ride home was a case of Helen chattering about nothing in particular and Louise steadfastly refusing to engage. On arrival at home, Louise stormed off to her bedroom still perpetuating her sulk. Removing her school uniform skirt, she carefully eased off her knickers so she could explore her sore bottom. She was quite shocked as she looked in the mirror. Six vivid reddish stripes and a discolouration of her normally flawless bottom. Angrily, she threw herself face down onto her bed and allowed the cool air to soothe the soreness.

“How could she do this to me?” she moaned, and rehearsed the tirade she intended to let loose on her mother.

There she lay for a few minutes before she heard the footsteps of her mother coming up the stairs. As always, her mother knocked on the door before entering.

“Wow! That does look sore,” Helen observed with some genuine sympathy.

“If you don’t love me, I’ll go and live with Dad,” snapped Louise.

Helen sat on the edge of the bed, smiling at her daughter’s attempt to be controversial. With her hand placed lovingly on Louise’s shoulder she responded.

“Darling, you’re visiting your father tomorrow evening to have dinner with him and his girlfriend. Ask him if you can go and stay with him because of your horrible mother.”

Louise was wrong footed. Not expecting this answer, her prepared diatribe fizzled out. The last thing she wanted was to go and live with her father. Her aim was to upset her mother. She looked at her mother with tears in her eyes.

“Get dressed, darling,” Helen said. “Come and help me lay the table. Dinner in twenty minutes.”

As she went through the doorway she turned.

“Rather than feel sorry for yourself, think of Amelia. I spoke to her mother this afternoon and she told me Amelia would be getting a spanking when she gets home tonight. In fact, she’s probably getting it right now,” said Helen looking at her watch. “I don’t agree with double punishments for the same offence, but some parents do, so thank your lucky stars.”

Louise cringed. Poor Amelia. How could she cope with a spanking on top of this morning’s caning. Perhaps her mum was not so unreasonable after all.

The End

© Robert Roberts 2024