Tyler was visiting his granddad along with his father. Gramps had retired from working his farm and now lived in the nearby town. The boy wanted to see where his dad had grown up in addition to the farm and school he attended so they went on a hike.© YLeeCoyote
The area near the near the farm was still extremely rural so Dad took his son to hike where he had back when he was a boy and had some time to play and explore the forest. The trail passed by the back forty of the farm and there was a fence to mark the public/private line and to keep the livestock from wandering.
When they got to the gate, Dad started to reminisce about how he used it and more as they rested on rock. Most of the talk was about the fun times he used it to get into the woods but then he slipped. He started to mention something else but quickly stopped.
“Dad, come on please tell me. Pleeaassee.” the boy paused, “Was it one of those times when Gramps was mad because of something naughty you did? Or perhaps there was some chore that you didn’t do?”
“You’re right, son. I was late getting back because I had slipped out for a dip in the swimming hole on a very hot day when I was your age. Gramps had come looking for me and caught me at the gate. He was mad because the cows were getting antsy. He made me cut a switch. My butt was sore for a week.”
“How did you bend over? Did you lean on this rock?”
“No. I was over the gate so I couldn’t move my butt any way. Give it a test.”
The boy tried it.
“Yeah, my butt can’t really move unless I get up. Glad we don’t have a fence at home, Dad.”
They continued their hike and dad felt great going back in time and the boy was amazed with the experience especially the vast views from the top of the mountain.
It was on the trip back that the problem occurred. Tyler was high on the experience and got reckless by running down and getting to close to precipices on the trail. Of course, Dad reacted with instructions to behave properly, i.e., carefully. Unfortunately, Tyler did not heed the simple directions for safety.
By the time that the trail got level, Dad was quite angry. “There is more to the story that I told you earlier. Gramps was very angry and made me cut a switch.” Tyler’s puzzled expression told him he needed to explain more so he decided show the boy. They spent some time examining many candidates with explanations why it was unacceptable until the right one was found. Then Tyler was required to cut it and then trim it. He was amazed by how whippy it was.
When they came to the gate, they stopped. “It is time that you fully understand what I told you earlier. Your behavior today was quite unacceptable just like mine was decades ago. You are going to feel what I did then for basically the same reason – willful disobedience and unreasonable reckless. Drop your shorts and undies and get into position over the gate.”
“But Father ….”
Dad cut him off. “Immediately or you will get extras.” Dad’s tone so reinforced the words that Tyler knew that he had best obey. As slowly as he dared, he walked to the gate and slowly lowered his shorts and undies. Then he bent over. He instinctively knew to grab hold of the lower rail. He did not have to wait long for his lesson.
SWISH. And then the thuddy sound when it landed on his bare butt making a deep red line in the flesh. Tyler howled in pain. It was most memorable to say the least. The pain flooded the boy’s entire body. He wished that he could run away but fortunately thought that «Since Dad survived this so can I.» and avoided disgracing himself.
This was repeated several times, seemingly dozens of times to the inexperienced boy, until he heard from far away “You may get up now.”
This instruction he most anxiously obeyed.
He righted himself. Then immediately clasped his hands to his fiery butt in a vain effort to extinguish the fires before pulling up his shorts. His father thought that the boy moved faster than a frog snaring a fly.
“That hurt, Father.” whined the boy.
“It was supposed to and it hurt far less than a fall on the mountain would have. I hope that you will remember that and be more carefully in the future.”