Share This Post

Domestic Discipline

The Cane for Estelle

This story is about an incident that happened to my cousin Estelle – to this day, we are very close and she cringes every time I mention this to her.

My parents never spanked me because of experiences my mother had in her own childhood. I was spanked in school, however, and my parents felt there was little they could do about it because corporal punishment was part of the school’s rules.

My mother’s sister Lesley was quite the opposite. She was very strict with her two daughters, Estelle and Cheryl, and spanked them frequently. She would use either her hand or a variety of implements, including a garden stick which served as a cane.

The girls were both younger than me. I adored both of them but was closer to Estelle, I suppose because she was older. I would take Estelle to play quite frequently and we always had a good time, but I would also take care to get her home at the time prescribed by Aunt Lesley

Besides just being strict with her daughters, Aunt Lesley would say things in front of other people just to humiliate them. At one time when we went to visit them, she said: “Estelle had a sound spanking just before you got here, so she should be on best behavior – right, Estelle?” Estelle blushed terribly, with  tears welling in her eyes, but she knew better than to protest and meekly nodded. On other occasions, if the girls were (in her opinion) misbehaving, Aunt Lesley would ask them: “Now, which one of you would like to be spanked first later?”

She would openly discuss their corporal punishment with others, sometimes in graphic detail, and even threaten to show us the resultant marks on their bottoms, although she never did.

If either girl protested at the topic of the conversation, it would evoke a retort describing precisely what they might expect at bedtime. One time, Cheryl protested so much that she was told to be kneeling on her bed at bedtime with her bottom pointing up at the ceiling. It seemed like Aunt Lesley would do anything to increase the girls’ humiliation. She had even taken them to the local garden shop for them to choose their own sticks – and let the man behind the counter know exactly what they were for.

On a couple of occasions when we were there, I heard Cheryl being spanked in another room, her mother all the while telling her to keep still and stop struggling. Afterward, while she was still sobbing, Cheryl was made to come into the room where we were all sitting.

However, despite all the humiliation, she heaped upon her daughters, Aunt Lesley never had spanked them in front of anyone – until one particular day which I remember very clearly.

It was hot and sunny, and Estelle and I went to the local market and then later we sat in the park, just chatting. Estelle was only 12 at the time but she looked so pretty – she was wearing a tight pair of red hotpants that were the fashion of the day and a white T-shirt. Her long hair was set in a bun and Aunt Lesley had allowed her a hint of makeup – she looked so mature for her years, in both her dress and her physique.

For some reason, I lost track of time and suddenly realized we should have been home 15 minutes earlier. I could see the sheer panic in Estelle’s face when I told her and I felt so guilty and apologized.

We began to run back, but we were a good 15 minutes from home and so there was no chance we wouldn’t be at least half an hour late back. No words were exchanged between us on the way home – me because I just didn’t know what to say and Estelle because she was already fighting back tears.

As we came up the path to her front door, Estelle took out her keys and nervously fumbled to get them into the lock. Cheryl must have seen us and opened the door – the expression on her face was a giveaway that Estelle was in big trouble. They seemed to mouth something to each other which I did not understand but it caused Estelle to cry out ‘please, no!’

We followed Estelle into the lounge and I saw Aunt Lesley sitting in her armchair. Then I noticed Estelle look over to the dining room table and she let out a cry: “Please, Mummy, no! I’m sorry! I didn’t see the time – really!”

I looked over and saw the reason for my cousin’s distress – a dining room chair was backed up to the table, and a menacing stick lay next to it. Her mother ignored her pleas and just pointed to the table, with a strict expression on her face.

I interceded and explained to my aunt that it was my fault for not telling Estelle the time. She replied shortly that she was not interested in what I had to say, and that it had been up to Estelle to have asked me what the time was. Cheryl was vigorously shaking her head at me and I understood she wanted me to be quiet for fear of making the situation even worse – if that was even possible.

By now, Estelle had obeyed her mother and was standing by the dining chair with her hands on her head, trying to hold back her tears. I felt really choked up – Estelle was such a sweet girl and I couldn’t bear to see what was about to happen to her. I made as if to leave the room but Aunt Lesley told me in no uncertain terms to stay where I was. She told me: “You have caused this, so I think it’s only right you see the results of your thoughtlessness.”

I froze on the spot – my aunt was so authoritative and again I was concerned about the effect on Estelle’s punishment if I was defiant. I watched as Aunt Lesley walked over to her daughter and put her hands on the waistband of her hotpants.

At that point I looked away, not wanting to cause Estelle any more embarrassment than she was about to suffer. When I looked up again, Estelle had clambered onto the chair and was leaning across the table with her head down and arms stretched across.  Although she had her face away from me, she was facing a mirror and I could see the tears running down her face.

There was a momentary wait and then the sound of the stick swishing through the air. I saw Estelle crease up her facial expression and then whack! The cane landed square across the top of her buttocks.

The implement of chastisement seemed to sink into my cousin’s skin, making a slight an indentation before springing back. Estelle let out an initial slight cry (which I suspect was mainly from shock – this was followed instantaneously by a much shriller scream as the stinging sensation crept across her . Her body jerked up and she struggled to prevent herself from standing up.

I should say that this was not the first time I had seen a girl caned, although they had been much younger than Estelle. And to be honest, I had also witnessed much harsher strokes than that. I think Estelle was just more sensitive back there than many other children.

There was a momentary pause, then her Mother barked: “Well, Estelle?” Estelle choked back the tears and, barely audibly, said: “One – thank you, Mummy.” I had never witnessed this ritual before – the nearest I experienced was from one of my teachers who would count out the smacks herself (‘one and two and three…’) while she spanked my bottom over her knee. Occasionally, some of the little girls at the front of the class would giggle and join in.

Estelle pushed her bottom out again but Aunt Lesley seemed to deliberately delay her next stroke in order to increase her daughter’s stress. This caused Estelle to clench her cheeks in anticipation of what was to come. Then there was another swishing sound. The stick made its second indentation into my cousin’s bottom, slightly below the previous stroke, causing her to cry out once more. Her face screwed up in agony and once again she was struggling not to get up.

Estelle gingerly pushed her bottom out but before she could finish the third stroke crossed her bottom cheeks. In the mirror, I saw her eyes opened wide in shock – it was as if she was trying to cry out but couldn’t. Eventually, a loud scream emanated from her throat. She wriggled her bottom from side to side, in the vain hope, it would ease the sting of this third stroke. She gasped for air and then whispered: “Three – thank you, Mummy.”

Aunt Lesley pressed her hand into the small of Estelle’s back, forcing her bottom out and leaving nothing to the imagination. It was clear that it was her mother’s intention to cause the girl maximum humiliation.

Finally, Aunt Lesley addressed her errant daughter: “Well, Estelle,  What do you have to say for yourself?”

There was a pause whilst Estelle composed herself. Fighting back the tears, she took a and said: “I am sorry for being a naughty girl and thoroughly deserved to have my bottom caned.”

Skip to toolbar