Mary Messes Up
Mary Ingalls was walking home from school, with her 11 year old sister, Laura; the pretty 14 year old girl still had tears in her eyes, both from the physical pain she was in and the mental humiliation she had undergone at school that day. She also was very much dreading showing the note from Miss Beadle, their teacher, to Ma and Pa, and the resulting consequences of that. As she shook her long, waist length blondish hair and wiped the tears from her pretty blue eyes, she wondered time and time again what on earth had possessed her to do it!
EARLIER THAT DAY
Mary had known all the information on state capitals, for the test this morning. She had studied with Ma for an hour the night before, even making a list, from memory, which she proudly had shown Ma. Nonetheless, she had a moment of ‘stage fright’, or something. Even though she was very intelligent, she did have a habit of freezing, when she had to take a test. She thought sneaking an occasional look at her list wouldn’t harm anything; after all, she had done ALL of it from memory the night before. Sadly, Miss Beadle caught her looking at it once, and thought Mary was cheating.
“Mary, what are you doing?” Miss Beadle asked. “Let me see that piece of paper you’re looking at, please.” Mary glumly handed it to Miss Beadle. “Goodness gracious sakes alive, Mary Ingalls! This is a list of all the state capitals, which your test covers. May I ask what you are doing with it, young lady? You do know what this looks like, don’t you, Mary? I’m very, very disappointed with you!” Miss Beadle scolded her.
“It…it’s a study sheet I had made at home last night, Miss Beadle. Honest, I wasn’t ch…cheating, ma’am,” Mary replied sadly. “I know it looks that way, but really; I did this last night from memory, Miss Beadle. You can ask Laura; she’ll tell you! I…I just needed a little help getting started, that’s ALL.” Mary looked up at Miss Beadle with pleading eyes; she had NEVER been in trouble at school.
“I would like to believe you, Mary; in fact, I do. But…but this still is considered to be cheating. I’m afraid I have no choice, but to give you a zero on the test, Mary,” Miss Beadle replied sadly. If you had looked at this before starting the test, that would have been all right, but now… well, you did not choose wisely, Mary, and you must pay the consequences for your decision. I’m afraid I’ll have to send a note home to your parents as well, Mary.” Quite obviously, Miss Beadle did NOT want to do this, but she felt her hands were tied in this matter; she had NO choice.
Suddenly Nellie Oleson, sitting at the bench across from Mary, jumped up and said, “Miss Beadle, remember a few weeks ago, when Willie (her brother) sort of looked at his spelling words during a test? You spanked him, Miss Beadle, and then sent a note home. Shouldn’t you do the same for Mary? You’re always telling us that we are all the same, and should be treated equally. And Mother agrees with you on that!”
Laura looked at Nellie, wanting to go over there, and pummel her, but wisely refrained from doing that. Miss Beadle gave her a grim look, but she had done that very thing. “Yes, Nellie, I suppose you are right,” she sighed. Although she really hated doing this, she said, “Mary, come up to the front of the room please. I do believe in equal treatment for you children, so you will be punished.” Miss Beadle turned, going up to the front of the room, stopping to get a long, limber switch out of the holder she had for them. Mary followed, the tears now beginning to form in her eyes.
“Please Miss Beadle! Do...don’t spank me! It was all just an accident,” Mary began crying. “I…I really didn’t even realize I was looking at the sheet, and I didn’t put anything down from it. I….I’ve NEVER been sp…spanked before, at school” Mary was trembling, rubbing her bottom, as she walked slowly up to the front of the room. Nellie was grinning widely, from her seat, and Laura was fit to be tied.
Miss Beadle just looked at Mary very sadly. “I’m sorry, Mary. I really do have to do this. Turn around and face the class please, and hold your dress up in back. I am going to have to stripe your legs in back.” Miss Beadle took the switch, and swished it through the air; the loud noise was quite a deterrent for the rest of the class, but a horror to Mary. As she did what Miss Beadle told her, she began crying in earnest, but it was to no avail; and certainly, compared to what was about to take place, very inconsequential.
Miss Beadle took the switch, and placed it against Mary’s bare calves, after she had raised her skirt. “Now, stay still Mary, and keep holding your skirt up, or you get extra ones. And that is NOT something you will enjoy, young lady.” Miss Beadle then pulled the switch back behind her head, and whistled it forward through the air, connecting with Mary’s legs, and right below her knees, leaving an angry, red welt. SWISH SWISH SWISH SWISH SWISH SWISH SWISH SWISH SWISH SWISH SWISH SWISH SWISH SWISH!!! Miss Beadle, even though she hated doing this, really laid that switch into Mary’s poor legs, giving her fourteen strokes in all, one for each year of her life, thus far. Once she was whipping someone, Miss Beadle did NOT know the meaning of the word mercy!
Mary was almost beside herself with the awful, burning pain that switch had inflicted upon her legs. She stomped her feet, cried out, and in general did ANYTHING possible to get rid of her agony. She did, however, manage to keep holding her skirt up in the back, to around her knees, avoiding any extra cuts. Her legs were striped, with welts criss-crossing them all over back there; it was apparent Miss Beadle had really given Mary quite a severe switching!
Mary was told to go stand in the corner, until she got her crying under control, which did take a very long time. Miss Beadle kept her after school for a moment, giving her the note to take home, but then relenting and telling her she could retake the test tomorrow, with ten points deducted because of the retake. Mary was grateful for this, as she could still make an A on it, and keep her average high.
“Gosh Mary, I’m sure glad I’m not in your shoes. Ma and Pa are going to be awfully mad about what you did!” Laura offered her version of consolation as the two sisters walked through the pastures. “You know how they value our behaving well at school, not to mention doing our best grade wise.”
“Oh Laura, what am I going to do?” Mary asked, much too concerned about the impending prospects at home, than with Laura’s cruel way of trying to make her feel better. “I know they’re going to punish me, severely! I…. should I tell Ma right away, or wait for Pa, Laura? You… you’re more used to this than I am.” Mary did know Laura had been in trouble many times at school before, and had had several ‘sessions’ with Ma or Pa at home, because of this. She was smart enough to value good advice.
“Gosh, Mary, I really don’t know,” Laura replied. “If only Miss Beadle hadn’t have given you that note to bring home, you might could have hidden the spanking. I sure wouldn’t have told on you, Mary! But… well with her switching your legs… they really are red and welted; I doubt if you could have hidden them from Ma.” Laura was walking behind Mary, looking sadly at her legs. “You might as well get it over with, and tell Ma; I don’t think you can hold out till Pa gets home.”
As they approached the Ingalls’ house, Mary nodded her head in agreement. “I think you’re right Laura. I might as well get it over with; I’ll tell Ma. Uhhhh, would you mind waiting outside, Laura. I really would like to talk with Ma alone.” Although Laura had witnessed her switching at school, Mary didn’t really relish the thought of what would probably happen here being seen by anyone.
“Sure Mary, I understand. Just have Ma send Carrie outside, and I’ll watch her too.” Laura knew how much privacy meant at a time like this, having experienced the need for it too many time in the past, for her own liking.
Carrie came running outside as soon as she saw her two sisters in the yard. Fortunately, Laura grabbed her into a hug, before she got to Mary, because she would have grabbed her around the legs, NOT a pleasant experience for sure. Mary went on inside the house, as Laura took Carrie, and Jack, their dog, to play. “Hi Ma,” she said as she came in the door. “We’re home from school. I… I need to show you something, Ma.”
“Yes Mary, what is it,” Caroline said as she looked up from her sewing. Seeing the tears in Mary’s eyes, she immediately stood up, and went over to her youngest daughter. “Are you all right, Mary? Did something happen at school today? You did well on your geography test, I’m sure, didn’t you?” Caroline began questioning Mary. Mary just broke down completely, pulling the note from Miss Beadle out of her pocket, showing it to Ma, as she tried to explain what had taken place.
“Mary, I… I really don’t know what to tell you. I thought you knew better than this, young lady. Miss Beadle was certainly within her rights to switch your legs. You should be thankful that she’s allowing you to retake the test, tomorrow.” Caroline’s scolding was not what Mary had expected, certainly not what she wanted right now, and she began crying even harder. “Now you quite down, little girl; you’ll soon have something to cry about, I assure you! Since Miss Beadle did nothing to warm your bottom, I intend to take care of that myself.” Caroline got up, and soon came back, with her old wooden hairbrush, an instrument used to inflict pain on her girls’ bottoms, as her mother had inflicted it on hers, when she was their age.
Mary paled when she saw that brush; she well knew its use, and the results it produced. Caroline sat back down on the chair, and simply patted her bottom; there was no need for words, as both of them knew what was expected. Mary draped herself across her mother’s lap, her hair hanging down towards the floor, her bottom presented upward for Ma’s attention. Caroline lifted up Mary’s skirt in back, this time all the way to her back. Her legs were very severely welted; Miss Beadle certainly knew how to use a switch! Caroline then finished baring Mary’s bottom, and commenced giving it a very thorough, warm workout with that brush.
Time after time the hard wooden back slammed down into Mary’s soft, white girlish bottom. After only a few smacks, the fleshy color began turning a pinkish shade, eventually becoming redder, and much, much hotter! Ma was alternating from one side to the other, making sure each smack was given effectively, as she flattened out those roundish mounds each time. She continued to blister Mary, for sixty hard smashes, making sure Mary felt each and every one. And wow, did she feel each and every one! Ma might not be as strong as Pa, and none of the girls ever wanted a spanking from him, but this experience gave Mary fresh resolve to avoid being in trouble with Ma again.
Mary’s fanny was becoming more and more fiery, and her sobbing soon changed into crying, then simply bawling. Her bottom was by now a bright, bright red, and covered with blisters! She was in awful agony, and was certain she would never sit comfortably again. Finally, Ma was finished, and let her get up, giving her a hug, and rubbing her back, gently, as she tried to soothe her.
“All right, Mary, it’s over and done with now, baby,” Ma whispered in her ear, as she tenderly rubbed the sobbing girl’s back. “No more spanking; we’ll just have this between you and me. I don’t see that there’s any need for your Pa to know of what has happened. Why don’t you go up in the loft, and lie down, till supper. I’m sure Laura will be glad to do your chores for you.” Ma gave her a kiss, as she sent her on the way up to the loft.