The Boarding School

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The Boarding School

(****, M/fff, Severe, schoolgirl, nc)

A headmaster remembers disciplining his charges. (Approximately 7,520 words. Originally published 1999-11.)

My name is Francois Lemain. In the 1930s my wife and I operated a small school and boarding house in what was then the Belgian Congo. Our school was for the daughters of English-speaking foreigners. There were a few similar schools in the country, but they were only for boys. My wife, an American, was outraged by this "discrimination" and urged me to use my teaching talents in the upbringing of young ladies. While I had severe doubts as to the economic viability of such an undertaking, when Sarah put her father's money on the table, I wasn't going to argue.

We bought a rather large house about two hours from Mbandaka, the nearest city of notable size. I spent the summer as foreman to a crew of workers who converted the building into a school and rooming house, while Sarah took charge of recruitment. She notified the British and American embassies of our intentions, and soon we had a number of inquiries. There was indeed a demand for my services, though it wasn't as high as Sarah had anticipated.

In the fall of 1932 we opened the Bengassou English Boarding School for Girls. We restricted entry to students 12 to 19 years old. We wanted girls old enough to live on their own, away from their families, and though that didn't apply to the non-residents, I had decided I didn't want a large range of students. With a narrow group of ages more academic material could apply to the whole group rather than one or two students. It was a formula that worked. That first year we had three permanent residents and two day students. It wasn't much, but it was a start. We gave those girls all we had.

For the next couple years the school struggled, but gradually our reputation spread. Parents admired our passion for strict discipline and high moral behavior, and felt secure sending their daughters to live with us. Due to the small number of students I was able to devote a great deal of time to personal tutoring, and our girls excelled academically. By the fourth year we had nine girls living with us and seven others attending in the daytime. That proved to be typical -- in the history of the school we never had more than 23 in one year, and 15 students was average.

Many of these girls who attended our school weren't American or British. At various times we housed French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, South African, and Australian girls. All of them spoke excellent English -- it was a requirement we could not waive, as I did not have time to teach language and lessons simultaneously.

We had expected most of the girls to come from the families of wealthy businessmen and embassy personnel, but to our surprise, quite a few of our girls were the daughters of foreign missionaries. These parents encouraged and supported our discipline methods, and were glad that we offered religious teaching as part of our curriculum.

As time progressed, it was to the missionary parents we catered. They wanted stricter rules and harsher punishments, and we obliged. A few parents did not appreciate our methods, but the increased enrollment gained from the conservative, tightly-knit missionary community more than made up losing a few spoiled rich girls.

With more and more of our girls coming from strict households, disciplinary instances dropped dramatically. These girls were hard-working angels who rarely needed the encouragement of the slipper and rod. Parents, however, were displeased. They demanded precise accounting of all discipline procedures reported to them quarterly, and if their daughters hadn't been sufficiently punished, they blamed the school, not the good behavior of their daughters. So gradually my wife and I were forced to increase the already high standards of our school to inhuman levels -- meaning that every girl would fail occasionally, suffer the rod, and thus satisfy their parents' desires for stern discipline.

For instance, we instigated a plan by which poor marks on exams and papers earned painful corporal punishment. The rule eventually became one stroke of the cane for every inaccurate answer. That meant that even the best and brightest suffered under the rod just as their sisters.

The effects of this rigid environment was astonishing. Rather than rebel or become morose and uncooperative, the girls seemed to flourish. Spankings, strappings, and canings were a near daily occurrence, yet once they'd adapted, it rarely bothered them. The girls found escaping the rod a wonderful challenge. It was a game that brought out the best of all of them. They feared punishment (of course), but it didn't rule them, mostly because it was such a common event. It constantly amazed me what severity of punishment the girls would risk for the scantiest pleasures, like the quick puff of a forbidden cigarette, or the kiss of a love-sick boy.

Of course behavior, in general, was quite excellent. If our standards hadn't have been abnormally high I wouldn't have had to cane more than a half dozen girls a year. As it was, I usually met that quota in a week.

In a typical day, a girl at our school would rarely escape without at least a spanking. For the resident girls, it was nearly a guarantee. Here was how it worked. Since I was the teacher and headmaster, punishments from me were always formal, official punishments. I used the ruler, slipper, strap, or cane, with the girl over my lap or bent across a desk. She would raise her skirt and except in severe cases, the whacking was done over her panties. Not so for my wife. Her spankings were reserved for the residents only, who were required to obey her as though she was their mother. Her punishments were on the bare bottom, usually consisting of long bouts with the hairbrush. It should be as no surprise that the best behaved girls were always the resident girls.

We treated the girls like our own children. We were strict, but fair. The girls knew and respected that. I couldn't begin to count the number of times I got knocks on my office door late in the evening to find a teary-eyed young lady sobbing out a broken-hearted confession of some misdeed. The girl knew I would punish her -- yet she came to me anyway. It always melted my heart to witness that, though of course I never let it interfere with administering the proper dose of discipline. After her punishment, she always hugged and thanked me and went away content, her spirit free again.

Since we were always fair, our students loved us. They feared and respected us, but they knew we'd never truly hurt them, and that we'd be there no matter what. For instance, I remember one girl's parents dying in a plane crash. It was nearly two months before she could travel back to the States to live with relatives there. She cried when she left, saying she wished she could live with us forever. It was the most difficult good-bye I ever endured.

Being such a rigorous school, I spent a good deal of my days enforcing discipline. During the early years this bothered me. One of the resident girls in our first year was an eighteen-year-old from North Carolina. Upon enrolling her, her mother told me, "Darla's too big for her britches, so you feel free to tan her bottom whenever she needs it."

The woman's assessment of her daughter proved dismally accurate, and that first semester it seemed I was constantly applying the strap or cane to Darla's mature backside. Though I hesitated for a long time, I finally upped the ante and really thrashed the girl on several memorable occasions. (On one of them, I remember I had to call Sarah in to hold the girl down.)

At first it made no visible difference, but gradually Darla's behavior fell in line and soon she was a different girl. Her mother was delighted, but I was still troubled. Some of those punishments had bordered on abuse. But the next year I received a wonderful letter from Darla, studying at an American university. She thanked me for all I'd done and told me how she'd been rebelling against her parents and heading for disaster when I'd caught her and turned her life 180 degrees.

"It wasn't pleasant," she wrote, "but I'm ever so grateful for those countless lessons in your office. (I swear you must have worn out a strap or two on my behind!) I know you had doubts about such discipline -- I could see it in your eyes, and I often tried to capitalize on your emotions to escape or minimize my punishment. I must apologize. It was wrong of me to use you like that. But your resilience changed my life. It got through to me when nothing else could. I am eternally thankful. If I had a daughter of my own I'd have no doubts about putting her in your care."

I saw that Darla was right: consistent discipline never hurt anyone. It was inconsistency that did life-long damage. Unkept promises, whether for pleasure or punishment, promoted rebellion and provoked disobedience. After that, I never regretted the time it took to discipline my girls -- I saw it as a vital part of my teaching duties, perhaps, in the long run, far more important than any math or geography lesson.

Indeed, when the school was at the height of its popularity and the rules had been raised to angel level, I calculated that nearly half my day was spent enforcing discipline. I nearly always spanked a girl before breakfast, and perhaps one or two after, before class started. Before lunch I'd have been forced to spank several more, and by afternoon my arm would be sore.

After school there were always one or two girls kept late for a punishment session. These were for more severe offenses and were extensive. Rather than a dozen swats with the slipper, a girl might be over my lap for ten minutes of solid whacking. Then she might have the strap or cane as a bonus.

My evenings, fortunately, were usually free for research and preparation as Sarah handled any routine household spanking needs. Occasionally I was forced to administer a severe thrashing for extremely vile behavior (like stealing or cheating). These were serious punishments planned days in advance. For non-resident girls, permission was obtained from the parents (I never had any decline) who could attend it they wished. For resident girls, explanations after-the-fact were sent home. Typically these sessions involved long bare bottomed spankings and slipperings followed by an extensive strapping or caning. Fortunately, these were rare, no more than one or two per month.

The first few weeks of school were always the most strenuous, discipline-wise. The returning students knew the house rules and consequences, but the lack of discipline over the summer usually meant a number of fresh lessons to be relearned. The new girls, however, arrived naive and had to be inducted into the system with a number of painful bouts with the rod and strap.

I always felt the sorriest for these girls, for they tried very hard to behave, and the corporal discipline frightened them far more than the veterans, used to such treatment. But I also knew that I couldn't slack in their education -- it would be like giving a child simpler math problems simply because she found the more complicated ones difficult. She would learn nothing, and later in life would suffer far more in regret and lost opportunities.

I remember one girl named Sarie. She was a pretty thing, very small and delicate, aged fourteen when she arrived to stay with us. Corporal punishment terrified her, but she gave me no end of excuses to thrash her. She was so fearful, however, that even the mildest of punishment caused her to panic. On her first day, she earned a slippering in front of class for whispering. I ordered her to the front of the room.

"Oh, but sir!" she gasped, her face going crimson. "I was just asking Megan if I could borrow her pencil."

"That is irrelevant," I said. "Now if you are not up here in five seconds I shall exchange the slipper for the wooden paddle." The girl's face was ashen at my threat, but her feet seemed to have lost the ability to move her. I took up the paddle and that only made her begin to cry -- she still did not move.

Eventually, I was forced to retrieve her from her desk by force. I was quite upset by her attitude, and vowed to see that she was so thoroughly punished she'd never dare disobey me again.

I bent her across my desk and lifted her skirts. Normally, as I have mentioned, I allow my girls to maintain their modesty -- but Sarie had crossed the line with her insolence, so I dragged her undergarments to her knees. She howled in protest, but I was ruthless.

I began with the slipper -- a crisp crack to her left cheek. To my astonishment, the girl rose off the desk and ran away, screaming as though I'd stuck her with a knife.

I must interject here that this was extremely unusual. Though my punishments were often severe, in only the rarest cases did the delinquent fail to cooperate. There was a strong sense of honor among the girls -- none wanted to seem weak before the others. Sarie, however, was the exception. She seemed to have no shame in hiding or avoiding punishment -- her greatest fear, by far, was the pain itself.

That first slippering proved to be symbolic of her future. I was forced to recruit two older girls to hold Sarie down while I proceeded to slipper and paddle the poor girl. I blistered her buttocks so badly that I sent her to my wife for medical treatment afterward.

That evening, in my office for a caning (for I felt that she had yet to learn her lesson), the poor girl begged me not to beat her. I almost gave in, but ordered her to stand for just three strokes -- symbolic ones, really -- but she couldn't even do that. At every stroke she rose and ran around the room bawling, refusing to get back in position. The three became six, then nine, then twelve. Still she wouldn't cooperate. Finally I had Sarah hold her while I administered a dozen of the best, on top of the six or so I'd attempted.

For a couple weeks, this was how things worked with poor Sarie. She escalated even the slightest punishment into the most severe. I explained this to her carefully, hoping to appeal to her logic. She said she understood, but later, when faced with the slipper, she could not stay still. Soon I simply resorted to having her restrained for her punishments, but I made them far more severe than for anyone else. When another girl might have merited a dozen with the slipper over her panties, I gave Sarie two dozen with the paddle on her bare bottom. The poor girl's buttocks were always black and blue and covered with blisters. It made me sad, but I felt it was her own choice.

It was Sarah that finally broke Sarie. She did it one night with her hairbrush, during what began as a routine bedtime spanking. She had administered a salve to Sarie's tender behind, then proceeded to give the girl a few strokes of the hairbrush as a bedtime punishment. The girl went wild, kicking and screaming as though Sarah was attempting to murder her. Sarah, who'd been incredibly patient with the girl up to then, was exhausted. Her frustration became determination. She took up the hairbrush and proceeded to give the longest, hardest, most painful spanking she'd ever given. It lasted for nearly an hour. That's right, an hour of constant paddling. The poor girl was bedridden for three days afterward, and her buttocks and thighs had to be constantly cleaned and doused with ointment to prevent infection.

But the interesting thing was that during that spanking something inside Sarie was broken. She lost her fear. She relaxed and accepted the spanking, instead of trying to constantly fight it. Truly, I think it was her fears and imagination that scared more than the actual spankings. Once she'd enduring the worst possible -- at the hand of a caring woman -- she became a different girl. After that I rarely had to be strict with her. A half-dozen slipperings a month, a spanking or two a week from Sarah, and the occasional caning were all it took to keep her in line. She never took her punishments with quite the nonchalance of the other girls, but she didn't fight and run as she had previously.

A few times over the years we encountered some tough rebels. These were girls who were destined to become juvenile delinquents if not taken in hand early. Strangely, though I hated the frequency and severity with which I was forced to punish these girls, I couldn't help but admire their spirit and determination. To this day I feel a little guilty that some of my fondest memories are of these naughty, disobedient rebel girls, while a number of the good, sweet young ladies I can scarcely name.

There was one girl by the name of Esther. She'd been sent to us specifically for discipline, as her father explained to me she'd already been expelled from three schools (two in America and one in Capetown). An American, she was seventeen years old when she arrived, very tall and elegant, and physically mature. She was extremely attractive -- stunning in fact. Unfortunately she knew this too well and had not only adopted a superior, arrogant attitude, but had perfected her charms to such an extent that she could master any boy or man she met.

She had minimal morals and was quite loose with men. One of the first severe punishments I had to give her was after I caught her behind the outhouse with a young man who brought us deliveries. She was half-naked, her blouse open, and the boy had her breast in his mouth when I arrived on the scene. Worse, the brat seemed annoyed at _me_ for discovering them! She had no shame and saw no wrong in what she was doing.

A long spanking and slippering did little to change her attitude except make her more angry. I ordered her to strip bare for a thrashing and she complied with a smugness that infuriated me. She wasn't the least bit embarrassed at being naked before me -- she was brazen, in fact, leaving nothing uncovered and even touching herself while she watched my expression.

The thrashing that followed was memorable to me, at least. I cannot say if it made much of an impression on dear stubborn Esther. It hurt her, I know that, for she made various exclamations and swore at me several times during the beating. The actual pain didn't seem to bother her as much as the fact that she was being punished, something she found annoying and uncomfortable. I quickly saw this and drew out the punishment as long as possible, and indeed, she abhorred long punishments.

Esther was a big girl, already full grown and mature, with full hips and a round, womanly bottom. Despite her voluptuous figure she was surprisingly fit and strong, and quite tough. If I had thought a mere caning could intimidate her, I quickly found out otherwise.

With such a full bottom to work with, I was able to lay down a dozen strokes in parallel without any crossing. For most of my girls, even the jaded ones, a dozen on the bare was a serious affair. After a dozen they'd be subdued, quiet, respectful, and apologetic. Not Esther.

When I paused for breath and to study her attitude, she stood up without permission and calmly rubbed her bottom. "That damn hurts, you bastard!" she spat. "I shan't be able to sit tomorrow!"

I was too stunned by her words to do anything -- I only stared in disbelief.

She arched her head and peered down over her shoulder toward her scarlet buttocks. "My God! Look what you've done to my bottom!"

She said this in a reproving tone that indicated offense; I took offense indeed. "We aren't finished yet, young lady," I said coldly. "Turn around and get back in position unless you want a dose of the strap."

"Harrumpphhh," muttered the girl grumpily, bending back over the desk. Her body looked magnificent in this position. Her forearms rested on the table allowing her breasts, the size of oranges, to dangle loosely. Her back was level. Her legs were spread wide and behind her, giving a delightful arch to her buttocks. The round cheeks of her buttocks were a blend of pink and crimson, and a series of finger-thick lines traversed the surface from left to right.

I saw immediately that the lines were much weaker on the left cheek, as I'm right-handed and cane from a girl's left, and of course a cane has the majority of its power in the tip. So I switched sides and proceeded to give Esther another dozen from the right side. I did my best to cane precisely on top of the previous strokes, extending the weals well out across her left hip.

I caned her slowly, extending the punishment, taking my time with each stroke and making sure it struck exactly where I intended. Esther was generally silent, though a few breaths of air escaped her lips, and once she swore at me and rose up until I ordered her to get back in position.

She'd now taken two dozen, by far the most severe first caning I'd ever administered, but Esther seemed familiar with the rod's kiss. Reminding her to remain in position, I studied her face from the front. A strand of hair had fallen forward, covering her right eye. She glared me with the left, a single pretty blue-green eye glittering from that elegant, olive-shaped face with the petite ruby mouth. I was amazed by her beauty and composure: it was a tragic waste that such a beautiful woman could be so willful and stubborn. Not a glimmer of a tear glistened in her eye.

"Are we done?" she asked sullenly, still glaring.

"After a mere two dozen? Of course not!"

I had expected her to be terrified by my nonchalance and the threat of continued punishment, but I was disappointed, for she showed no fear, only resentment and annoyance.

The cane was too severe for extended punishment, so I exchanged it for a leather tawse split into six thin tails. Esther's expression did not change. I walked behind her and began to thrash the backs of her legs. She did not move out of position, though after a dozen or so strokes, she fidgeted. I continued, ordering her legs wider apart and striking so that the tawse wrapped around her legs to catch the inner thigh.

She had magnificent legs, long and lean, with the same flawless skin that covered the rest of her body. I strapped her long and hard, painting her thighs with thick red welts. She never complained, though she did wiggle on occasion and make hissing noises with her mouth. I went back to her buttocks then, strapping her from both sides, and the strap welts on top of the cane weals must have been hideous, but other than rock her body from side to side, moan a few times, and thrash her head about, she said nothing.

I walked to her front to be confronted my that glaring eye again. Her skin was luminous with a light sheen of sweat. There was no question she was in a great deal of pain.

"Have you been punished enough?" I asked.

Her voice was dry and harsh, barely more than a whisper. "For doing nothing more than kissing a boy, I should think so."

"The boy was kissing you, and not on your lips."

Esther shrugged.

"Contact with members of opposite sex is strictly regulated here. You were informed of the rules when you arrived. You were also in a state of undress with a member of the opposite sex--"

"You're a member of the opposite sex and I seem to be in a state of undress right now," taunted the girl sourly.

"Be silent when I am speaking to you!" I snapped. "You were also out-of-doors after lights out, which is to be severely punished."

"I had to use the facilities."

"At night that's not permitted without permission."

"How I am supposed to know that? I'm a new girl." Esther's pretty face frowned in a blatant attempt at sympathy, and I was astonished at how moved I was. She seemed so sweet, looking at her like this. One could almost forget the devil within.

"You will be caned again tomorrow," I said, and when the girl didn't blink I added, "and the next day. Hopefully that will teach you to respect the rules here. You will also spend Saturday indoors, writing lines. And I'm putting you down for kitchen duty for the balance of this month."

Esther didn't blink, but looked sour.

"If I have any trouble with you regarding these punishments, I won't hesitate to have you publicly birched!"

That got her attention. I saw her pupils contract slightly and her body stiffen.

"You haven't witnessed a public birching," I continued. "It's quite a sight. We do it outside, behind the school. You are stripped naked and bathed and cleaned. Dripping wet you are led to the whipping tree and hung by your wrists so your toes barely touch the ground. I usually start with three dozen and go from there. Don't think I'll be content with whipping just your backside -- I'll whip your front, too. Have you ever had your breasts flogged? I'm told it's excruciating."

I glared Esther right in the eye and saw a faint glimmer of fear.

"You won't be alone, either. The entire school gathers to watch. Not just the students, but staff and servants as well. Hundreds of native children from the area usually show up too, and many of the townspeople. It's quite an event. Lasts for hours."

I saw this last had made an impression on young Esther, so I relaxed. "You may go now. I suggest you stop at my wife's bedroom and ask her for some salve for your wounds."

Without a word the girl rose, gathered her clothes, and left. She did not bother to dress but walked out proudly nude. She did stop for the ointment, as Sarah later told me, and even allowed my wife to administer it. She was quite battered, but not permanently so. She would be stiff for a few days, but she would heal.

After she left I sat and thought about the public birching I'd mentioned. It was a new concept -- I'd of course never done anything like that before, but the absurd threat had worked: she feared it. I would have to be careful not to push her so far I'd be forced to use such a drastic measure, but at least it might make her respect my lessor punishments more.

When Esther came into my office the next evening for the caning I'd promised, I did the unexpected. I caned her hands. Apparently she'd never been caned on the hands before, because it astonished her. The pain was exquisite. After six on each hand I order her to put out her right hand again. I'd planned for another six on each, but relented when I saw actual tears in her eyes: I gave her three more on each hand and let her go.

The next night she was back again, this time looking sullenly nervous. She held her hands gingerly to herself and I knew she suspected another hand caning. I made her strip nude, something I knew wouldn't embarrass her especially, but it would put her in the right mindset for punishment. Then I showed her the stock.

This was a simple wooden board mounted vertically to a frame. The board had been sawed in half and holes cut, and a hinge attached at the end. At the opposite end was a latch. When a girl's hands were locked inside the stock she was virtually helpless, pinned and completely under my control. I used the stock rarely, for most girls cooperated during punishment, and if a girl struggles too much, the wooden stock can injure her wrists or hands.

I didn't intend to hurt Esther's wrists, however. I ordered her to lie on the floor and place her ankles in the open stock. I fastened it shut and proceeded to lecture her. The delay served my purpose, for she had no idea what to expect, and her nervousness increased the longer I waited.

Finally I informed her of my intentions to flog her feet. This stunned her even more than the caning of her hands: she actually protested.

"You can't do that!"

"I can and I will, naughty Esther."

"But... but that's barbaric!"

"No more so than caning your bottom or hands. In many countries foot-whipping is considered far more severe than any other punishment. You shall have to give me your opinion of it as I have never experienced it for myself."

The foot-whipping of Esther was so successful I used the technique on several other trouble-makers over the years, and it became renown as a terrible punishment. On that first occasion I'm not certain the punishment was so severe as unprecedented -- I only gave her a dozen on each sole -- but either way the key is that though she did her best to hide the fact, Esther didn't like it and I was able to use the threat of it against her. She actually wept during the whipping, and begged me to stop! She told me to cane her bottom or hands or even her breasts, anything but her feet! I suspect that the soles of her feet were overly sensitive, but I didn't really care as to the reason, as long as her behavior improved.

For nearly a month Esther became a normal, if not model, child. She was in trouble a bit more than other girls, but she took her spankings and slipperings well. I found that a bare bottomed rulering in front of the classroom took her pride down several notches, and I made certain she received at least one of those a week. On two occasions I had opportunity to cane her, but I only gave her six strokes and she took them meekly and thanked me afterward.

While she had modified her behavior, she certainly wasn't a changed girl. Some rebels mutter bitterly at their punishments, while others become overly polite and smarmy in their platitudes. Esther did neither. She basically ignored me and the punishment. But I saw that the spark of outright defiance was gone from her eyes, replaced by a subtle nervousness and respect which she desperately tried to cover with bravado. The threat of two punishments which actually frightened her had done the trick: she wasn't reformed, but she was subdued.

I don't mind if girl _pretends_ to be rebel; there's a significant difference between true rebellion and mock rebellion. In her heart the girl knows the truth, though she'll work hard to convince herself that she's being tough, being unjustly punished, that she's standing up for her rights. There's no harm in letting her believe those things; as I said, eventually she'll realize the truth and her dishonesty will hurt her worse than any whipping. I've had a number of my girls realize this during a discipline session and break down into sobs of pure terror and self-hatred. At those times I'm usually gentle and understanding, helping the girl understand that there's no shame in conforming, that being a rebel against the establishment isn't practical, and is often painful.

"Stand up for what you believe in," I say. "But be certain it's a value worth the price."

It is then that the girl finally comprehends that a soldier in the American Revolution, dying for the cause of freedom, is a valid rebel, but that a teenage student protesting curfew by returning late is not. This is a simple and obvious truth to an adult, but amazingly obtuse for teenagers, who tend to magnify minor actions into grand ones.

Esther's breakdown took nearly a year to engineer. She went through cycles of rebellion. Rebellion is a scary process. As I mentioned, I respect these tough girls very much. They are courageous and valiant; it is only that their hearts are in the wrong place.

For a month I might only see Esther for a few routine punishments; then suddenly she'd be in my office for thrashings three times a week. Her attitude would go sour and she'd be cheeky in class or violate rules in an obvious and blatant manner. She was generally a good student, but at these times she'd neglect her lessons, allowing her bottom to pay the price. Even fierce bare bottomed canings in front of the class had little effect; I suppose in her mind it just reaffirmed her toughness and rebelliousness to the others.

We developed a routine, Esther and I. We didn't speak much in words, for she found it difficult to talk without her mouth getting her in trouble. Instead, I spoke with the rod and leather strap and she spoke in disobedience and repentance. It was almost like a game. Once, in class, I asked her for her assignment. She stood up boldly and said, "I did not complete it, sir," knowing full well she'd be up at my desk for another thrashing, but I swear I caught a wink in her eye as she spoke. I could scarcely believe even she'd be so brazen, but in retrospect, it was just like her.

Esther's most significant behavioral problem was sex. She was a highly sexual girl; perhaps not in comparison to today's youth, but at that time her behavior was nearly scandalous. Any male in the vicinity she knew, and he knew her. I was forced to constantly be on watch for illicit rendezvous. Several times I caught her outright with a boy, usually in a state of semi-undress, just beginning their sexual encounter. (Oddly, I never found her actually engaged in sexual intercourse; at the time I suspected that she wouldn't go that far, that she was only a tease.) We went through seven delivery boys that year. On other occasions I only suspected she had been with a boy, for I would find her outside after lights out, her clothes disheveled, or discover her bed empty and wait for her to return.

Her thrashings on these occasions were always severe, including several foot-whippings, but Esther seemed particularly defiant if reprimanded for sexual misdeeds. Her arrogance knew no bounds, and she often demonstrated outright anger to me. She escalated her punishments because of this attitude, but I suppose that only encouraged her, for she thought she was the one being wronged.

Unlike most girls, who were most terrified of a thrashing _before_ it occurred, dreadfully subdued _during_ the punishment, and full of bravado _afterward_, Esther was vocal and arrogant before, furious and bitter during, and subdued and almost pleasant after. Once I realized this it made my job easier: I would simply thrash her until her rebellious spirit was quiet.

The day after a particularly severe punishment most girls were afraid to look me in the eye; they'd blush and bow their heads and turn away. Esther seemed to seek me out, watching me for long stretches with those large almond-shaped eyes of hers, rarely blinking, completely unafraid. She would be respectful and polite in her manner and words, but there was something undefinable in her attitude that said she was pleased. The anger and rage would be gone, replaced by satisfaction and contentment.

At the time I failed to understand this attitude. In fact, it took me years to realize that Esther had sexualized her punishments. This hadn't happened when she came to our school, but much earlier, and it explained both her attitude toward severe punishment and her obvious experience at receiving it.

Thus Esther was not the rebel I'd assumed. Her rebellion was only an excuse. Realizing this explained many puzzling things about her. The odd behavior cycle, for instance, which was regular and consistent, completely unlike any of my other girls. It explained her open sexuality, her seeming obliviousness to nudity and self-modesty, her quietness after a thrashing. Looking back I saw with sudden clarity that Esther's most severe punishments had always come when she was sexually frustrated, and the intense pain helped mask and overcome those passionate desires. No wonder she was always so... so _content_ after a thrashing!

In retrospect -- ah, for such clarity at the time! -- I realized that she was never interested in those silly boys she fawned over. Indeed, she had been a tease, but of a different kind. She'd used the boys both as an excuse to earn a severe whipping, and as a means to arouse herself. What she delighted in was being punished for her sexual arousal; that punishment naturally had to be severe, for punishment itself tended to arouse her further.

At the time I had concluded my training of Esther a failure. By extreme punishment I had moderated her behavior only slightly, given her a bit of restraint. But it was only a token gesture. At heart she was still a puzzle: not a true rebel, but not a reformed girl either.

She graduated and departed at the end of the year. She was very sad to go, giving me a long and solemn hug, with sweet tears in those beautiful eyes. She kissed me on the cheek for longer than necessary, then gave me a quick peck on the lips and ran away with gales of giggles as though terrified (or maybe hopeful) I might thrash her for her impertinence.

Her warmth and affection had puzzled me terribly, for just two days earlier I'd given her a most severe thrashing: I'd spanked and paddled her bottom; used the strap on her legs and breasts; and caned her hands, feet, _and_ buttocks. I'd wanted to give her something memorable to take home with her, and she'd given me the perfect opportunity, being caught completely nude out-of-doors at midnight.

Yet she not only didn't hold a grudge, she appeared _grateful_ to me! I'd known grateful girls before, but they were the good ones, who only needed the occasional dose of discipline and were genuinely appreciative. Esther thrived on punishment; she had little regret for her actions. She almost seemed like a mindless girl, who did the same action over and over regardless of the severe consequences. But Esther was not stupid: she was quite intelligent, and intuitive about people, too. She could look at a person and know what they were feeling, thinking. She loved to tease and be mysterious; I finally put her behavior down to an elaborate prank, though I couldn't see why anyone would bother suffering so much pain for a mere joke!

It took five years of pondering before I understood Esther. I spanked and caned many girls in the meantime, always comparing them to Esther and wondering why I could never get through to her. I suppose she became an obsession to me; I thought about her frequently, certainly during every whipping, but often late at night or during boring periods of study or paperwork.

The revelation came so slowly to me it wasn't a surprise when I realized the truth. I couldn't even argue with myself that it wasn't true, for I knew without evidence that it was the truth.

During the years after Esther had gone I would think of her, wonder what she was doing, remember the many punishment sessions in my office, and I would become aroused. She was such a beautiful girl, her body so womanly, so feminine, yet she was tough and strong and incredibly brave. I would relieve the strokes of a caning and become aroused. Over time, just thinking of Esther would excite me. Soon the discipline of other girls, some reminiscent of dear Esther, would arouse me also.

This happened so subtly and naturally I failed to notice until it was too late. By then I could no longer control it. When I finally realized what was happening I was horrified. I considered myself a professional, a teacher, a leader. This was not possible, this was inappropriate behavior of the worst kind. I tried, I really tried, but Esther was always on my mind. I could not escape her.

Finally I relented, accepting my strange passion. I was uncomfortable at first, then reveled in it, hating myself for doing so. After caning a girl I would gratify myself in my private office. I was terrified my wife might suspect, or that a girl would notice my passion. I thus became even more strict, more grim, and made discipline even more formal. I often made my girls strip for their punishments, for I discovered I enjoyed looking at their naked bodies, and I especially enjoyed their embarrassment and discomfort at being naked before a man. My punishments became more severe, and I began to care less about the disciplinary effect on the girl than its affect on me.

But still I didn't connect my passion with Esther's behavior. Until one evening I was to cane Maura, one of the senior girls, originally from Australia. She was an excellent student and rare problem. I'd only had opportunity to cane her once before, several years earlier. She was the type of student you don't even notice because she was so conformist she blended right in. I was surprised when Sarah told me she'd discovered a package of cigarettes under Maura's mattress. Such an offense merited a caning, and Maura knew it. She confessed all to me and agreed to come to my office after lights out.

I made her strip, of course. She was exactly the type to be most humiliated by such an action. Indeed, to took several threats of extra strokes of the cane to persuade her, she was so terrified. When she finally bent over in position I was stunned. Maura wasn't a beauty nor was she plain: she was decidedly average in features. But her body, which I'd never noticed under the conservative dresses and gowns she wore, was supple and lithe and amazingly like Esther's. Her bottom was full and sleek, the skin flawless. Looking at it I experienced a veritable flashback to Esther, and immediately my arousal took hold.

The girl glanced back at me nervously, wondering what was taking me so long. The look of terror on her face was so different from the calm of Esther's that something exploded in my head. It was then I knew.

Esther had _enjoyed_ being punished. She found sexual pleasure in the rod just as I now did. Only her pleasure didn't come from giving pain, it came from receiving it. It was nearly an absurd notion. I saw immediately that I had known this all along but I hadn't wanted to know it, just as I hadn't wanted to perceive my own sexual stimulation from the punishment. I was in denial on both counts.

At first it was strange to me that I didn't find Esther's pleasure at receiving pain odd or perverse. Shouldn't I be sickened or outraged? Yet it made so much sense, it explained so much, that I knew it was true, and even more, I knew it was natural, that it wasn't something to be feared or despised. It was a safety mechanism. Whereas some girls became trollops when obsessed by physical desires, Esther had turned hers against herself in the form of corporal punishment. She didn't hurt society, only herself. And it was relatively mild pain that caused no permanent damage. Wasn't that infinitely healthier than the alternatives of suppression or excess?

The revelation of Esther changed me. I realized my passions interfered with my work, and approximately a year later, persuaded my wife to close the school and return to America. I accepted a position at a small college, and I was never again given the opportunity to discipline children. (Sarah and I never had any children of our own, I am sad to report.)

I often think of Esther, of her beauty, her passion, those bold, mysterious eyes. I never told dear Sarah about her, but I suspect, in that intuitive way of wives, she knew. Wisely, she never spoke to me about it, and that's why I've remained faithful to her for these forty-eight years.

The End