The following story is fiction about a public strapping. The story contains a scene of a strapping. If this subject is offensive, uninteresting or if you are a minor (i.e., child) please leave now.
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My kid brother, Dax, and I had been planing to go to the medieval festival for weeks. We knew that there would be lots of fun things to do and to see and to eat and even to buy (if we had saved enough). There were enough buses scheduled that we could go on our own with public transport and without parental supervision as in past years. Even though I have got a limited driver licence I would not have gotten the car to use.
That is not what happened. Our stepfather, Roger, had the day off unexpectedly and decided that he would be kind and generous and take us. We could not possibly refuse the generous offer according to our mother. Beside, it would be good to spend some quality time together she insisted. The day did not start well. If we had taken the bus, we would have been there for the opening at nine. Roger started late, took a wrong turn so it was after eleven when we got there.
Roger took great pains to point out the sign near the entrance as he warned us that we had best behave or he would roast our tails. That would prove most interesting a short time later.
Beest did warn
* * *
Disturb the Duke's
peace at thy p'ril
Roger was not interested in the raptor demo that we most wanted to see so we separated. Neither Dax nor I had any idea what we would tell Mom about quality time. That would soon become a minor item as the day's events unfolded.© YLeeCoyote
After the demo we were quite surprised that as we approached the agreed meeting place we saw Roger running. He practically ran past us but we stopped him. Strangely he did not appreciate that. We were confused but only for a minute.
Hot on his heals was an irate vendor accompanied by the Sheriff who accused him of larceny which in modern terms is shoplifting. While we watched, the Sheriff patted him down and found a ring still with the vendor's price tag. Of course, he could not produce a receipt. The vendor demanded justice for the criminal was caught red-handed.
Although the Sheriff was in medieval dress he was an actual peace officer with the power of arrest. He was about to call for backup to take Roger to the country lockup when someone in the crowd yelled: "Put the dastardly villain in the PILLORY!" and the crowd approved.
The vendor also agreed since he got his stuff back and would not have to waste his time with legal proceedings but he added: "… must include old time traditions." The Sheriff smiled and agreed. We did not understand what that would mean for a while.
Everyone headed to the fair's Town Square. There were many helping hands that forced Roger into the pillory. He was soon secured in the pillory with his head and hands locked into place and bent over.
Several things happened very quickly. A placard proclaiming "THIEF" was hung on his neck. A couple of little imps dashed under him and opened his belt and pants. The crowd roared approval. That was all the encouragement they needed to also pull his pants down. Not surprisingly the crowd really cheered. Some things were thrown at him – dirt and food scraps. He was called many vile names.
Dax was asking me what we should and can do but I did not know either. Of course, I was mindful that Roger had often told us to stay out of adult affairs. All I could think of was to ask the Sheriff but he had disappeared. Then we heard a trumpet. The Sheriff was returning heralded by the trumpeter and followed by a guy in black leather britches and boots with a black hood over his head and lots of upper body muscles. The procession stopped in front of the pillory where our errant stepfather was locked in securely.
Accompanied by a trumpet fanfare, the Sheriff unrolled a scroll and began reading it in a very loud voice. It explained that the Duke had decreed that cutpurses and other thieves should spend four hours in the pillory and receive a half dozen, well laid on strokes on the bare rump from the Hangman.
The punishment strap the Hangman was holding looked terribly fearsome. It was just like some that I saw for sale which were made of heavy black leather. They were three spans long and a hand wide and most effective according to the craftsman's sign. We could only watch with awe as the Hangman carried out the sentence. He found his position, raised the strap and brought it crashing down on our very naughty stepfather's bare rump.
Roger howled in pain. A wide stripe started to form immediately on his bare rump. The crowd approved. The second stroke got the same results as did the third. Our stepfather's tail was turning bright red. Someone in the crowd yelled: "Give it to the @$#% thief!"
After the third stoke, our stepfather yelled for mercy and promised never to steal again.
"Hitteth the scoundrel hard'r, Hangman." yelled someone and others seconded the cry.
The Hangman answered with the fourth painful stroke. That was not what Roger wanted but so richly deserved. He really yelled to wake the dead for the fifth and sixth strokes. His howls surely could be heard through the entire fair.
The Sheriff spoke again and said: "Thee has't been strapp'd f'r thieving and shalt remaineth in the pill'ry until the horologe strikes five."
Both my brother and I agreed that he had brought this upon himself by his naughty [as he always said to us] behavior. Actually, it was worse than that which we got punished for since this was a real crime. We agreed that he truly deserved that hard strapping and it was not hard to watch.
There was nothing else for us to do but to enjoy the fair as best as we could. I liked the horseback jousting (with paper lances) best while Dax gave first place to the sword fights after the birds.
When we went back to the town square we saw that our stepfather had a bad day. He had been pelted with a lot of stuff and his tail was still bright red. When the Sheriff released him he quickly pulled up his pants, which were wet. He insisted on leaving immediately and as we walked to the car, it was obvious that he had wet his own pants while they were bunched about his ankles for they stank. We knew better than to say anything.
As we approached the car, he gave me the keys. I opened the truck first and handed him the picnic blanket without a word. After unlocking the car I opened the rear door for him and he got in. Dax rode shotgun and we did not speak on the way home for Roger was obviously in a mood most foul.
We wondered what stories he would tell Mother. We had both taken pictures with our phones so that he could not blame us for his own disaster. He should have heeded that warning sign at the entrance on the way in.
© Copyright A.I.L. July 16, 2017
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Last updated: September 15, 2023