None of us said much about what had happened, but both of the girls made a few cracks about it being my fault for having told.
“We heard you crying upstairs when your mom paddled you, you big baby!
I hope we get to watch later!”
Mary said with a snotty tone in her voice.
I replied that I had heard them crying louder than me, and I hoped I got to watch them later also, using the same snotty tone in my voice.
No one said much at dinner, then mom sent us all to get cleaned up.
Then she called for the three of us to take a little walk with her.
As we walked down through the neighborhood, I remember thinking how weird it was that we could have been going for an ice cream,
However, there wouldn’t be any cold treats waiting for us when we got there.
The store was just a little place, the kind with the owner’s apartment upstairs.
We went inside and my mom went into the back office and talked to the owner.
Then they came out and the old lady locked the door and turned the “open” sign around to “closed”.
Then we all went into the office storage room in the back.
The woman who owned the store was an old widow.
My mom told the woman about our confessions:
Lauren was the instigator and chief thief;
Mary was an accomplice and copycat thief; and I was just an accomplice.
Mom listed the items the girls had taken and asked the woman how much they owed her.
She paid the woman for the candy.
Mom then went on to say that the girls would each pay her back for whatever was missing out of their allowances.
Mom then described in humiliating detail how the three of us had all gotten our bare backsides warmed for what we had done.
She then said she had brought the three of us down to apologize personally,
As well as this we also received the rest of our punishment while the store owner watched.
The lady responded by saying that a good spanking was the best treatment for stealing.
She said she and her late husband had frequently tanned their own kids when they were growing up.
She also said that she’d be happy to watch because a spanking was even more effective if other people watched while you got it.
She told a quick story about spanking her son in front of the sheriff and his wife when he got in trouble one time.
She said having his bottom spanked in front of them had taught him a lesson he still hadn’t forgotten.
All three of us were hanging our heads in shame and fear while all this was going on.
As the only male in the room, I felt more embarrassed then I ever had in my life.
I’d never been spanked in front of anyone before, and I knew mom well enough to know she only spanked bottoms.
I wished and prayed that Mom would spank one of the girls first.
I always kicked and cried frantically when mom spanked me, and I knew I’d be doing so again really soon.
I didn’t want to be the first one to act like a baby getting spanked.
I remember trying to suck up all the courage in my body,
However, then mom reached into her purse and pulled out her hairbrush.
I knew that meant I didn’t have the courage to preserve my dignity, and nothing was going to save me!
Mom went to sit on what looked like an old piano bench right across from where the store owner sat on a desk chair.
The widow was so close to mom that she could reach out and touch her knees.
Whatever happened, she would have almost as good a view as mom.
The three of us stood waiting.
I sneaky-peaked looks from the girls shuffling feet to their faces.
Both of them were chewing their lips.
Mary was already sniffling.
I remember hoping mom would spank their stupid girl bottoms right off for getting me in this fix.
“I think I’ll do the boy first, and then these two bad little girls.
Come here, Donald.” I heard mom say, and my knees went weak.
I walked over
A split second later, I was over her knee.
I hung my head in shame while mom lectured for a few minutes.
Then she held the flat wooden brush against my bottom, lifted it, and started spanking with great force.
I was able to maintain my composure for about the first five swats, but was soon kicking and crying.
I looked up at the girls.
Both were watching intently, and I could see they were looking pretty scared.
I must have gotten about thirty swats before mom let me up and marched me to a corner.
Tears were running down my cheeks, and my nose was running too.
The store owner remarked that it looked like that brush did quite a job.
Mom said it did, but she wasn’t done showing her how good a job it could do.
I lowered my head and shuffled sideways in time to see mom grab Mary and haul her the short distance to the bench.
Mom sat down,and lifted her small body up and over her lap.
Mary was already crying during her lecture, then mom started smacking her little seat with the brush.
Mary sobbed and cried harder than me.
I think I counted about thirty for her also before mom set her on her feet and marched her to another corner.
“My niece Lauren was the cause of all this.
She thinks she’s smart since she’s the oldest.
She’s going to get extra, and if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like you to give her some too.”
My mom said to the store owner.
The old lady laughed and said that would be fine since mom’s arm must be getting tired.
She ordered Lauren to come and stand next to her,
“You should have thought of this before you decided to steal.” Mom said in a firm tone.
“What did you think would happen when you got caught?”
Then mom started spanking and lecturing at the same time.
The swats sounded even harder than those Mary and I had gotten.
Lauren was crying and begging mom to stop in no time at all.
She stopped and told her that if she didn’t lay still and take her medicine like a big girl, she would have the widow hold her, and then tell her dad.
“No!” Lauren cried, then stammered out between tears and gasps for breath,
“Don’t tell him. I’ll try to be brave.
Go ahead and spank me, Aunt Jean.”
Mom did. She continued for what must have been about fifty more swats before she stopped.
Lauren howled and sobbed and kicked some, but she managed to stay as still as she could before mom let her up.
Lauren just stood there, crying hard .
“Here you go.” Mom said, turning the brush over to the store owner.
Lauren was crying too hard to notice what mom had done, but when the lady pulled Lauren over her lap, she must have known right away what it meant.
“Please! No more!” she whimpered, but the widow only tucked her into perfect position and lifted the brush.
“Honey,” the owner replied, “I feel sorry for you because your bottom looks real sore, but this is a lesson you need to never forget.”
She then delivered about 20 rapid, hard strokes to Lauren’s bare bottom.
Mom marched Lauren to the wall between where Mary and I stood when the old lady let her go.
Along the way, she reached down and added about ten smacks with her hand while she admonished Lauren to face the wall until she was told to come out.
Lauren was bawling like a baby, and continued to cry for a good while.
The owner and my mom then sat talking about other neighborhood things for about half an hour.
It was almost like they forgot we were there, although they had to hear the sniffling that went on the whole time.
Finally, we were permitted to come out of our corners.
Mom made each of us apologize again, and say good night as we left the store.
The girls didn’t want to talk about what happened.
I didn’t either.
My bottom was sore for a few days.
I’m sure the same was true for both girls.
We were all on our best behavior for the rest of their stay with us, so no one saw anyone get spanked again.
But we did have to go into the store once or twice more before they left, and all of us blushed like crazy when the widow commented about our improved behavior and the reason for it.
I never took anything in the first place, but that spanking prevented me from ever thinking about stealing.
To this day, I can proudly say I’ve never stolen anything, and have no intention of doing so.
I never heard of my cousins getting in trouble for stealing after that either, so I really feel that although the spankings we got were pretty severe, the punishment cured us of a bad habit, and probably prevented worse situations for us later in life.