Miss Elsa Svenson

Spanking & Caning in London with Miss Elsa Svenson

 

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Star pupil ends up with low marks

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

A sto­ry by Thomas

It was the last week of term and, in the main hall, after morn­ing assem­bly, the mem­bers of Class IVB were wait­ing with more or less appre­hen­sion for their turn in Miss Svenson’s study for an indi­vid­ual pupil review. This was a rou­tine estab­lished by the Head­mistress when she first came to the school some five years before and the I.P.R. had now become a reg­u­lar tra­di­tion. Each child had to have a short inter­view with the Head in the pres­ence of their form teacher to assess their progress dur­ing the pre­vi­ous term in aca­d­e­m­ic and oth­er school activ­i­ties and gen­er­al behav­iour. Some of the four­teen and fif­teen year old young­sters had come to call it “Judg­ment Day” and oth­ers, more irrev­er­ent­ly, “The Con­fes­sion­al”.
In her room the Head­mistress checked her diary for any oth­er urgent busi­ness and, see­ing that there was none list­ed, went to a cor­ner cup­board from which she select­ed a fierce look­ing straight cane. After test­ing its flex­i­bil­i­ty with a flour­ish in the air, she laid it gen­tly on her desk, like an auctioneer’s gav­el, a sym­bol of author­i­ty and con­trol.

At 9.15 pre­cise­ly Miss Pren­der­gast sum­moned Melanie Bark­er, the first in alpha­bet­i­cal order, and instruct­ed the oth­ers to fol­low as their names were called, and in the mean time to sit qui­et­ly. Melanie knocked at the study door and entered to find the Head­mistress sit­ting behind her desk in front of which was a straight backed chair. Miss Pren­der­gast stood to one side.

Sit down Bark­er,’ said Miss Sven­son gen­tly, indi­cat­ing the chair. ‘Now tell me, how have you been get­ting on this term?’
‘Fine I think,’ the lit­tle girl replied a lit­tle ner­vous­ly as she took her place on the chair and glanced at the Class teacher.
‘Melanie is an ide­al pupil,’ Miss Pren­der­gast vol­un­teered imme­di­ate­ly. ‘She works hard and does as well as she can in all her class­es although she is not among the top achiev­ers. But she tries and her behav­iour can­not be fault­ed. Also she plays the flute most beau­ti­ful­ly.’
‘That seems most sat­is­fac­to­ry Bark­er,’ said the Head­mistress with a kind smile. ‘Now is there any­thing more I can do for you?’
‘No, noth­ing thank you Miss,’ the girl replied again shift­ing her eyes towards Miss Pren­der­gast, who gave the slight­est nod of assent.
‘Very well Bark­er, you may go — and have a good hol­i­day won’t you,’ said Miss Sven­son to the depart­ing pupil.

Delight­ful child,’ remarked the Head­mistress as the door closed. ‘Let us hope that the rest of your class live up to her exam­ple.’
‘They’re not a bad lot all in all,’ replied Miss Pren­der­gast enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly, ‘but per­haps not all quite as well-behaved as Melanie.’
The next through the door was a freck­le faced cheer­ful look­ing boy named Joseph Carter who was also invit­ed to sit down.
‘Miss Pren­der­gast?’ The senior teacher looked straight away at the teacher for her com­ments.
‘Joe is a rather live­ly boy, good at his sci­ence sub­jects but rather weak in most of the oth­ers at which he should work hard­er. He is pop­u­lar with the oth­er boys and plays in the foot­ball team.’
‘So Carter, would you agree with your teacher? And do you have any­thing to ask me?’
The boy paused for a moment, then respond­ed.

I think it was very fair Miss. So just the two please.’

Miss Sven­son glanced at her col­league and, observ­ing no dis­sent, stood up and took hold of the cane.
‘Very well. Get your­self ready.’

Joe Carter also stood and moved behind the chair, then bent for­ward over its back plac­ing his hands flat on the seat.
‘By your own admis­sion, you have engaged in a cer­tain amount of minor mis­chief dur­ing the term which has gone unno­ticed or unpun­ished. As a result you have vol­un­teered to receive two strokes of the cane after which the school will con­sid­er the mat­ter over and done with. That is, of course, unless we sub­se­quent­ly dis­cov­er some­thing more seri­ous in which case you know the pun­ish­ment could be rather severe. Do you agree?’
‘Yes Miss. Thank you Miss,’ replied the boy from his sub­mis­sive posi­tion.

Two sharp cracks of the cane swished down across the boy’s shorts caus­ing him to suck in air through his clenched teeth. How­ev­er, Miss Pren­der­gast noticed that the Head­mistress was hold­ing the cane about a quar­ter of the way down, slight­ly reduc­ing the sever­i­ty of the blows.
Jo stood up and rubbed him­self rue­ful­ly. Then the cheer­ful smile returned as he said ‘Thank you Miss. Will that be all?’
‘That’s alright Carter. You may go now. Well done – and enjoy your hol­i­days.’

Miss Sven­son gave the boy a dis­mis­sive but good humoured wave as he let him­self out of the room.
And so they con­tin­ued down the list, about half of the boys and few­er of the girls opt­ing for the “Two” which were deliv­ered by Miss Sven­son in accor­dance with her own judg­ment of each of the pupils. The ratio­nale was to leave with a clean slate at the end of the term with lit­tle fear of lat­er recrim­i­na­tion.

The best behaved were able to avoid any pun­ish­ment pro­vid­ed both teach­ers agreed. Every entrant to the school had received two of the cane at their ini­ti­a­tion to the I.P.R. sys­tem. These were very much token strokes though and deliv­ered with­out any real force. They served to give the child a gen­tle taste of what they might expect if they lat­er mis­be­haved and remind­ed them that cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment was not only avail­able, but would be used in the event of sig­nif­i­cant mis­deeds.
When Mar­tin Kel­ly came in, Miss Pren­der­gast gave the Head­mistress a mean­ing­ful frown. Mar­tin was a big and boy, already taller than Miss Sven­son and looked a lit­tle clum­sy when perched on the class­room chair.
‘So, Miss Pren­der­gast, who do we have here?’

Mar­tin is cap­tain of the foot­ball team but strug­gles with his lessons. I think he could try hard­er aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly. Per­haps sport dom­i­nates his thoughts a lit­tle too much. He is also rather force­ful in the play­ground and I am afraid some of the small­er boys seem a lit­tle afraid of him.’
The Head­mistress turned to the boy. ‘So you are a bul­ly, are you Kel­ly?’

No Miss. I mean.…I just expect the lit­tle kids to do what I tell them, see?’

Well, I can­not agree with that. You should under­stand that pupils have no author­i­ty here. It is the staff who must be obeyed. Any­way boy, after what your teacher has said, tell me what you expect from me.’
‘Maybe twoooo.…errr…’ the boy hes­i­tat­ed and looked across to Miss Pren­der­gast who was shak­ing her head.
‘Bet­ter make it four for me then Miss.’

A very wise choice I think Kel­ly,’ replied Miss Sven­son as she again reached for her cane.
‘You know the form I believe. Trousers down and over the back of the chair please. I sug­gest you grip the seat as well. You will be feel­ing these.’
Gri­mac­ing slight­ly the big boy com­plied. Because of his size, he was one of the few allowed to wear long trousers and con­se­quent­ly looked par­tic­u­lar­ly ridicu­lous draped over the chair with them around his ankles. The teach­ers were, how­ev­er, not unhap­py that he should feel addi­tion­al­ly humil­i­at­ed in this way.

Miss Sven­son took up her posi­tion and set to her task, this time using the full length of the cane. Four remark­ably vig­or­ous strokes fol­lowed, crash­ing across the seat of the boy’s under­pants, each care­ful­ly timed to allow the hurt to sink in thor­ough­ly before the next impact, and caus­ing a grunt of pain after the sec­ond and a sti­fled yell of sur­prise at the sever­i­ty of the last.
‘You may stand up now,’ said the Head­mistress. ‘Do you have any­thing to say?’

Mar­tin was strug­gling to recov­er his trousers.

No Miss, I mean yes Miss, thank you Miss.’

In which case you may go, but remem­ber, I will not accept any bul­ly­ing in this school.’
After Kel­ly had closed the door behind him, Miss Sven­son turned imme­di­ate­ly to Miss Pren­der­gast to ask ‘do you think I was too harsh?’
‘No Head­mistress. You were quite right to pun­ish that boy. I hope now he will have learned his les­son.’
‘So, how many more are there this morn­ing?’

Anoth­er half dozen class mem­bers filed through of whom only one opt­ed for ‘two’ and the oth­ers were allowed to leave unscathed. Then an excep­tion­al­ly pret­ty girl with cropped blond hair entered the study, flashed a smile and greet­ed them enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly with, ‘good morn­ing ladies!’
‘Good morn­ing,’ Miss Sven­son replied, ‘remind me of your name please.’
‘Vicky Roberts, Miss.’

And what do we know about Miss Roberts?’ she asked, turn­ing again to the class teacher.
‘Vicky is a viva­cious girl, per­haps occa­sion­al­ly a lit­tle too much so, but gen­er­al­ly a good pupil. She is above aver­age in most sub­jects and par­tic­u­lar­ly good at Eng­lish. She is also a hock­ey play­er and our best all-round ath­lete on the run­ning track. Recent­ly I have noticed she is also spend­ing a good deal of time work­ing on her gym­nas­tics.’

Well Miss Roberts, that sounds like a pret­ty good report to me,’ said Miss Sven­son. ‘But do you have any­thing to add?’
The girl paused for a moment before reply­ing.

I think I’d bet­ter take two any­way Miss, just to be on the safe side.’ With no fur­ther fuss she moved around to the back of the chair and leaned for­ward to pre­pare her­self for the request­ed pun­ish­ment.
The Head­mistress stood, moved in behind her and, as she approached, she flicked at the hem of the girl’s skirt with the tip of her cane.
‘I sus­pect that this is a few inch­es short­er than school rules allow, so.…..’ the skirt flipped up briefly reveal­ing a glimpse of under­wear.
‘What do we have here?’ asked Miss Sven­son in a sud­den­ly more seri­ous voice. Again using her cane, she fold­ed the girl’s skirt up to the small of her back expos­ing the skimp­i­est pair of red panties.
‘These are cer­tain­ly not reg­u­la­tion school knick­ers. Which means young lady that you will be get­ting extra pun­ish­ment. And you have dou­ble cause to regret not wear­ing appro­pri­ate cloth­ing in that the four strokes you will now be get­ting will be deliv­ered over under­wear only. Had you been cor­rect­ly dressed you would have had just two with extra pro­tec­tion from the more gen­er­ous mate­r­i­al of the school knick­ers and the skirt. Now you will receive four with your skirt up. So let this be a les­son to you.’
Despite her slim waist and prob­a­bly because of her ath­let­ic prowess, Vicky Roberts had stur­dy legs and rather well devel­oped Glu­teus Max­imus mus­cles, thus afford­ing Miss Sven­son an ample dis­play of main­ly unpro­tect­ed flesh, over which she pro­ceed­ed care­ful­ly to space four live­ly strokes of the cane. The tiny briefs she wore offered vir­tu­al­ly no defense against the blows. As they fell, vivid red marks appeared in a neat par­al­lel pat­tern. Miss Pren­der­gast was sur­prised that Vicky dis­played no vis­i­ble reac­tion to the lash­ing, which seemed almost as hard as that Kel­ly had tak­en a lit­tle while ear­li­er.

The pun­ish­ment com­plete, Vicky stood up and gin­ger­ly smoothed the skirt over her bot­tom.
‘I imag­ine you will think twice about school uni­form now my girl,’ Miss Sven­son observed.
‘Maybe Miss, I’ll see how I feel,’ came the response.

Miss Sven­son was momen­tar­i­ly tak­en aback but swift­ly rejoined, ‘I’ll have no cheek from you thank you very much young lady or you will be bend­ing over for four more.’ She flour­ished the cane in the air but a slight smile played about her lips. ‘I think it is high time you were on your way before you get into any more trou­ble.’

Yes Miss and thank you Miss. And have a great hol­i­day ladies.’
Vicky Roberts flounced out of the room with a swing of her hips and appar­ent­ly not a care in the world.
The teach­ers glanced at each oth­er and could not help smil­ing.
‘So Miss Pren­der­gast, who’s next?’

Well Rober­ta Young and Christo­pher Williams are both off sick today so that just leaves James Thomas and I don’t think you will have any trou­ble with him.’
‘Good. Then call him in please and then we can have a cup of cof­fee.’

James Thomas was the small­est boy in the class and glanced ner­vous­ly at the Head­mistress’ desk as he set­tled on the chair.
‘I hear from Miss Pren­der­gast that you are one of her star pupils Thomas,’ began Miss Sven­son. ‘Now let me see. Very good at all aca­d­e­m­ic sub­jects, almost always top in French and sur­prised even your­self by get­ting 100% in the recent Chem­istry test. I under­stand that you are very polite, a promis­ing young crick­eter and the best gym­nast in the school.’

Miss Sven­son stood up absent-mind­ed­ly, col­lect­ed her cane and turned towards the cor­ner cup­board. ‘I can­not there­fore think that I will be need­ing this again today.’
‘Sor­ry Miss but actu­al­ly you will,’ said the boy sheep­ish­ly.
Look­ing sur­prised, the Head­mistress swung round and glanced at Miss Pren­der­gast who also seemed con­fused.
‘So what exact­ly do you mean by that Thomas?’ came the inevitable ques­tion.
‘Six please Miss.’

Both ladies looked bewil­dered.
‘I hope you under­stand what you are ask­ing Thomas but I will explain to be on the safe side. You would have us believe that you have done some­thing very naughty dur­ing the term which has not been found out yet. As a result you have request­ed six with the cane which will, as the rules state, be deliv­ered on your bare bot­tom. Now tell me, have I beat­en you before?’
‘Only the two when I first came to the school Miss.’

Well let me tell you, six of the best is a very seri­ous pun­ish­ment for which you real­ly have no com­pre­hen­sion. Now, are you sure you wish to con­tin­ue?’
‘Yes Miss. That is what I want.’

Very well. Get up and go behind the chair, drop your shorts and pants and bend over. I rec­om­mend you get a good grip on the seat as I don’t want you mov­ing until the pun­ish­ment is fin­ished.’
Miss Pren­der­gast looked very appre­hen­sive as the small boy did as he was told, low­er­ing his shorts and slip­ping his under­pants down. In con­trast to Vicky Roberts, James Thomas offered a very much small­er tar­get for the Head­mistress to aim at. Her face set grim­ly how­ev­er, she set­tled to the task and took a first swing.

The cane slashed across the boys but­tocks caus­ing him to jerk con­vul­sive­ly. He was just able to set­tle again as the sec­ond came down almost on the same spot and this time he could not con­trol him­self, straight­en­ing up and his hands leav­ing the chair and clutch­ing behind him as if to pro­tect him­self.

Thomas! Get back down,’ said Miss Sven­son in her sternest voice.
‘Nor­mal­ly, as you have failed to main­tain the posi­tion, I should start all over again. How­ev­er, as this is your first prop­er can­ing, I will waive that rule and you will receive only anoth­er four strokes. Miss Pren­der­gast, we need some help here. Please come and hold the boy down so I can fin­ish this with­out any more trou­ble.’

The teacher, with a rather hor­ri­fied expres­sion on her face, came and stood in front of the boy. Gen­tly she wiped the trace of a tear off his cheek and took hold of his wrists.
‘Come on now James,’ she said, ‘be brave – we can get through this togeth­er.’

Obe­di­ent­ly the boy bent for­ward again and his class teacher gripped him firm­ly to hold his hands against the sides of the chair seat.
The remain­ing four strokes fell in sequence, a short pause between each as cus­tom­ary. When he was released, the boy took a lit­tle time to stand up straight and felt gin­ger­ly at his bot­tom, winc­ing notice­ably as his fin­gers brushed the area where the cane had grazed the sur­face of his skin, and again where the angry red stripes were already begin­ning to merge into a large dark pur­ple bruise.

Do you have any­thing to say for your­self?’ asked his Head­mistress.
‘Yes Miss. Thank you Miss,’ he replied as he regained his com­po­sure.
‘You now under­stand why I was reluc­tant to allow you to take six of the best?’
‘Yes Miss.’

I hope at least this will mean that this need nev­er be repeat­ed while you are at this school.’
‘Yes Miss. I sup­pose so Miss.’

Now you may go. I can­not imag­ine you will enjoy the first few days of your hol­i­day because you will feel very sore indeed. But at the begin­ning of next term we will start afresh. Now off you go.’
James Thomas eased his under­pants and shorts up over his throb­bing rear end and shuf­fled uncom­fort­ably out of the room.
‘Do you have any idea what that was all about Miss Pren­der­gast?’

No Miss Sven­son, I just can­not under­stand.’

Well I think you need keep an espe­cial­ly close eye on two of your pupils. He is a good gym­nast you say, so is fre­quent­ly in the gym I sup­pose. And did you not just tell me that young Vicky Roberts was sud­den­ly also spend­ing a lot more time there? Just think about it.’
‘Head­mistress, oh no! Sure­ly not that!’

Lost for words

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Lost for words

By Claris­sa

It could only have been about fif­teen min­utes, but she couldn’t check her watch as she had her hands on her head, fac­ing the wall, out­side the head­mistress, Miss Svenson’s, office. Fif­teen min­utes, but it felt like an eter­ni­ty. She had start­ed out fourth in a line of mis­cre­ants, and now it was down to her. Two girls had already come and gone, dis­patched from the office in vary­ing states of dis­tress. Now it was the turn of the third girl, Rober­ta Jami­son, and she had been in there an age. Miran­da was mus­ing on why this might be when, sud­den­ly, the heavy mahogany door of Miss Svenson’s study swung open, and out stepped Rober­ta. ‘Your turn now,’ mum­bled the girl to Miran­da, ‘she wants you in straight­away.’ Miran­da turned round, man­ag­ing to raise a brief half-smile to her tear-stained fel­low, before knock­ing on the dread­ed door her­self.

Miss Sven­son was sit­ting behind her desk, a fine, crook-han­dled cane promi­nent­ly on dis­play before her. This was a weapon Miran­da had become famil­iar with over the past few years – that and, of course, the strap. She did not know which she hat­ed the most, but hav­ing tast­ed the bite of both, she was at least pre­pared for their sting: Miss Sven­son couldn’t real­ly hurt her.

Well Miran­da, I haven’t seen you in my office for a while,’ began Miss Sven­son. Miran­da remained silent.

I assume you have a note?’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son.

Miran­da stepped for­ward and held out the note she had placed in the top pock­et of her blaz­er.

Cat still got you tongue I see,’ went on the Head, as she picked up her glass­es and read through the mis­sive.

Miran­da said noth­ing.

Well, this sounds like a very child­ish offence,’ assert­ed Miss Sven­son at last, sur­vey­ing the tall fifth-for­mer before her.

Go and fetch me that chair,’ she sud­den­ly instruct­ed, indi­cat­ing a low wood­en chair near the win­dow, ‘and put it in front of the desk.’

Miran­da didn’t move.

Do it, right now!’ com­mand­ed the Head.

Miranda’s feet obeyed, despite her mind reel­ing in con­fu­sion: this was not how she took the cane, or the strap for that mat­ter.

Miss Sven­son stood up, wait­ed for the chair to be set­tled, then sat down.

Come here and bend over my lap.’

Again, Miran­da didn’t move.

Come here at once,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son, her voice ris­ing to a crescen­do, ‘or I will spank you hard­er and longer.’

Spank? Miran­da was hor­ri­fied: she had nev­er been spanked before; nev­er had to lie across the lap of the head mis­tress – this was too much.

Come here!’ ordered Miss Sven­son, and this time the girl did move, approach­ing the Head and then low­er­ing her­self care­ful­ly over her lap as indi­cat­ed.

Before she could do any­thing else, Miss Sven­son had pulled back her skirt and slammed her hand down hard on her behind.

Ow…ouch!’ issued from Miranda’s lips in shock, as anoth­er blow, and anoth­er rained down.

Be qui­et!’ ordered Miss Sven­son, Miran­da grit­ting her teeth as the blows increased in inten­si­ty; ‘This is not your place to speak!’

 

HOUSE RULES – part two

Monday, December 31st, 2012

HOUSE RULES – part two

By

Claris­sa

Pen­i­tent or arro­gant won­dered Miss Sven­son as she sur­veyed the tall blonde fig­ure of Miran­da Spears stand­ing before her study desk. Well, maybe not quite the usu­al arro­gance, she not­ed; but cer­tain­ly not pen­i­tent.

I am going to give you one chance to answer this ques­tion, Miran­da,’ began Miss Sven­son, ‘so think about your reply care­ful­ly.’

The girl dropped her eyes to the floor.

Where did you go this after­noon?’

The school girl looked a lit­tle per­plexed by this ques­tion, then replied ‘I went with the hare and hounds.’

Yes,’ rejoined Miss Sven­son, ‘but where did you go? Did you stay on the course? LOOK AT ME IN THE EYE!’

There was a slight pause, then the girl looked up. ‘No,’ she respond­ed.

No, Miss Sven­son!’ retort­ed the head­mistress.

No, Miss Sven­son.’

I’m still wait­ing for an answer to my ques­tion,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son, ‘Where did you go this after­noon?’

The girl shuf­fled slight­ly before her, then fixed her eyes on the head.

I went into the vil­lage, to Cam­ston, then came back to school the long way, rejoin­ing the race just before the fin­ish line.’ She looked down abrupt­ly.

I see,’ said Miss Sven­son. ‘Can you think of one good rea­son why I should not expel you on the spot?’

The girl kept her eyes on the ground, ‘No, Miss,’ then, look­ing up deter­mined­ly, ‘except if I can explain it was some kind of protest.’ She start­ed to trem­ble slight­ly. ‘Ever since you sent me to Dr Rudd for pun­ish­ment I have not felt part of the school. It wasn’t so much the actu­al strap­ping, but the fact it was giv­en by him, in his study, not yours.’

Miss Sven­son flushed slight­ly; ‘Well, I am not going to jus­ti­fy my rea­sons for that pun­ish­ment, but I can assure you that nei­ther you, nor any oth­er girl, will be pun­ished by Dr Rudd again.’

The girl looked up briefly, then returned her eyes to the floor.

But you still haven’t answered why I shouldn’t expel you,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son.

Silence from the girl.

It is because you haven’t lied’ assert­ed Miss Sven­son.

The girl seemed to draw a sigh of relief.

Of course, this doesn’t exempt you from pun­ish­ment for your dis­grace­ful behav­iour on the fox and hounds. Cheat­ing in the race is, I believe, essen­tial­ly a House mat­ter, and I will leave it up to Tara Watts, head of house, to deal with you on that. How­ev­er, going out-of-bounds also requires pun­ish­ment: six strokes on the bare with the senior cane.’

No response from the girl.

It will be a severe pun­ish­ment, Miran­da, but I hope you agree a fair one. And, I can assure you, it will be admin­is­tered by me. Now go and fetch the cane!’

 

 

 

 

 

House Rules – part one

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

House Rules – part one

By

Claris­sa

One of the things of which Miss Sven­son, head­mistress of Cams­ford House, was most proud was not the school’s rep­u­ta­tion for aca­d­e­m­ic excel­lence or high dis­ci­pli­nary stan­dards – both cher­ished as they were – but for some­thing more intan­gi­ble; what she liked to call esprit de corps: a spir­it of team work and fair play amongst the girls, a spir­it which, for Miss Sven­son, was exem­pli­fied by the annu­al com­pe­ti­tion for the House Cup.

Held over a week­end dur­ing the Win­ter Term, the four hous­es at Cams­ford – Drake, Hawkins, Raleigh and Grenville – would chal­lenge each oth­er for the hon­our of the Cup across six events, cul­mi­nat­ing in a cross-coun­try ‘hare and hounds’, held on the Sun­day. For this, the two lead­ing heads of house (or, more fre­quent­ly, their nom­i­nees) would act as hares, set­ting off in good time ahead of their pur­suers. This year, Miss Sven­son had not been sur­prised to learn that Miran­da Spears, the long-legged fifth-for­mer, had been select­ed as the hare for Drake.

So, here she was, see­ing off the hares into the dull light of a Novem­ber after­noon. Set over the exten­sive grounds of Cams­ford, the win­ner should come home with­in an hour and a half. All should be well and tru­ly home with­in two.

As the hares ran off to the cheers of sup­port­ers, Miss Sven­son chat­ted warm­ly to staff and pre­fects, and await­ed the return of the vic­tors. At ten to three, Sara Hodge, wear­ing the dis­tinc­tive green sash of Grenville, came into view and tore back over the line, fol­lowed by the first of the red-sashed Hawkins hounds. A cou­ple more hounds fol­lowed then, at about three o’clock, Miran­da Spears, the Drake hare, came into view. Although not the win­ner, she had seem­ing­ly evad­ed the hounds, and was greet­ed by whoops of delight from the Drake con­tin­gent. By half past three, every­one had been account­ed for and every­one had retired to the din­ing hall for tea.

Miss Sven­son went round the room con­grat­u­lat­ing Greville’s head of house, and her hound, on win­ning the Cup, before seek­ing out Drake. Strange­ly, she couldn’t seem to find Miran­da Spears, but she would catch up with her lat­er no doubt.

By five o’clock, Miss Sven­son had returned to her study to pick up mes­sages. She read through the list left by her sec­re­tary, not­ing only one unex­pect­ed num­ber: that of Mrs Sweet­ing at the vil­lage shop in Cam­ston. She picked up the tele­phone and dialled.

Her call was answered imme­di­ate­ly.

Is that Miss Sven­son?’ came the voice. ‘I’m so glad you’ve rung. I don’t want to be a busy-body or any­thing, or tell tales after school, but I thought I should let you know I think I saw one of your girls in the cof­fee shop here in the vil­lage; I wouldn’t have noticed her – she looked so grown up – except she was wear­ing some kind of a sash, and I know it’s the House Cup today.’

Could you tell me the colour of the sash?’ asked Miss Sven­son. Now, no doubt, she would hear it was the red or blue of one of the pur­su­ing hounds – gone dis­as­trous­ly off track.

Yes, it was orange.’

Are you sure,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son, ‘not red?’

No, orange, I’m sure. Does it make a dif­fer­ence?’

Yes it does,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son, ‘thank you very much for let­ting me know.’

She replaced the receiv­er and let her head rest momen­tar­i­ly in her hands: there was only one pupil enti­tled to wear orange that day, and that was the rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Drake house – it’s hound, Miran­da Spears.

Regrets

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Regrets

By

Claris­sa

It was only a short dri­ve back from the boys’ school, Till­wood, to the main school at Cams­ford House, but for Miss Sven­son it had seemed like an eter­ni­ty; indeed, the cul­mi­na­tion of a thor­ough­ly dis­agree­able after­noon.

Not only had she had to wit­ness the pun­ish­ment of one of her pupil’s, Miran­da Spears, at the hands of anoth­er – a resound­ing six of the best with the strap from Tillwood’s head­mas­ter, Don­ald Rudd – but she had also had to endure Rudd’s excru­ci­at­ing com­bi­na­tion of  syco­phancy and self-regard. Yes, she had assured him on the phone that morn­ing, she was ful­ly aware of his prowess with the cane (enough to bring the hardi­est sixth for­mer to tears in three strokes); of his dis­dain for the strap (less painful); and of his unerr­ing trust in her abil­i­ties and judge­ment. Yes, yes, yes.

And, of course, the pun­ish­ment itself had not been pleas­ant. Miran­da Spears had not com­plained undu­ly, but it felt wrong for one of her charge to be pun­ished by anoth­er, par­tic­u­lar­ly a man, and par­tic­u­lar­ly a man such as Rudd.

Now, to cap it all, she was hav­ing to dri­ve the silent, tear-stained school girl back to school.

Miss Sven­son had thought about under­lin­ing to the girl the deserved­ness of her pun­ish­ment dur­ing the brief jour­ney back, but as the car pulled onto the grav­el dri­ve, she realised she had said noth­ing. Com­ing to a halt, the school girl’s hand poised impa­tient­ly on the inte­ri­or door han­dle, Miss Sven­son sim­ply heard her­self say­ing ‘You are of course excused prep, Miran­da. Feel free to go back to the dorm and recov­er your­self; I’ll send along matron short­ly.’

As expect­ed, the girl did not reply, but mere­ly pulled back the han­dle and head­ed out of the door. Miss Sven­son watched as the tall fifth-for­mer made her way slow­ly across the grav­el, stop­ping only once to flick back her long blond hair; a ges­ture of seem­ing defi­ance for which Miss Sven­son sud­den­ly felt unac­count­ably glad.

A painful memory

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

A painful mem­o­ry

By Claris­sa

The fan on her desk shud­dered to its sec­ond unsched­uled halt of the morn­ing, and Miss Sven­son was assailed by the heat of the day. It had been a record May, with tem­per­a­tures reg­u­lar­ly reach­ing into the eight­ies: even her nor­mal­ly cool office was start­ing to stul­ti­fy. She took the fan in her hands and shook it gen­tly, but this time it remained unmoved. She stood up with a sigh, not­ing with dis­plea­sure that the leather strap that hung by her office door had some­how loosed from its moor­ings. She picked up the strap and start­ed tap­ping it uncon­scious­ly against the palm of her hand.

Sud­den­ly, she was back 30 years, back at Blue Mead­ows, a school for the daugh­ters of ex-pat colo­nials and diplo­mats, some 20 miles out­side Nairo­bi. There she was, stand­ing at the front of the class, as the geog­ra­phy teacher, Miss Hen­der­son, bran­dished a tawse before her. ‘Hold out your hand, Elsa,’ then whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. She curled back her fin­gers in sym­pa­thy.

Now she was in the office of the head­mistress, a grey-head­ed Scotswoman called Miss Firth. ‘Bend over, girl’; ‘Bend over; Bend over; Bend over.’ Three times she had been in Miss Firth’s office that term, and on the fourth, she was sus­pend­ed.

So, what have you been binned for this time?’ asked her step­fa­ther cool­ly, tak­ing a swig from his large tum­bler of whisky.

For swear­ing – in Swahili.’

Well, we can’t have you talk­ing like a local can we?’ he con­tin­ued, slam­ming his glass down on the table.

Wham, wham, wham. She couldn’t remem­ber how many times he rained down the cane, nor the colour of the dress she was wear­ing, nor the weave of the fab­ric into which she clenched her fists, all she could remem­ber, she thought with a pang, was the sound of his cold, venge­ful anger.

Miranda — part three

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Miran­da part three

by Claris­sa

Miss Sven­son regret­ted her words almost as soon as she had uttered them. Yes, Miran­da Spears was a par­tic­u­lar­ly obsti­nate pupil, and might well respond to the dou­ble humil­i­a­tion of being dis­ci­plined by a man, but it was a prac­tice of which Miss Sven­son did not gen­er­al­ly approve. But Spears’ inso­lence had got to her; so there it was, she couldn’t change it.

She sent the girl out of the room while she pre­pared to make the phone call. As she con­tem­plat­ed her options, an image of Don­ald Rudd, head­mas­ter of Till­wood, came to mind. Although now in his late-fifties, and in need of con­stant glass­es, he was well known for still being able to lay down a par­tic­u­lar­ly pow­er­ful can­ing, some­thing of which he was inor­di­nate­ly proud. She picked up the phone.

Hel­lo again Elsa,’ came Rudd’s voice, ‘have you had any luck with my lit­tle prob­lem?’ ‘Yes indeed,’ replied Miss Sven­son, ‘I have iden­ti­fied the offend­ing fifth for­mer.’ ‘That’s excel­lent news,’ came the reply, ‘may I ask what you pro­pose doing with her?’ Miss Sven­son cleared her throat then went on, ‘Actu­al­ly, Don­ald, I was won­der­ing whether a dose of med­i­cine from you might be more effec­tive in this instance, with the offend­ing boy a wit­ness to her trou­ble.’ Before she had time to catch her breath, Rudd came back with an enthu­si­as­tic ‘That’s a splen­did idea – six of the best with the senior?’ Miss Sven­son hes­i­tat­ed; no doubt this is what he had giv­en the cap­tain of the rug­by XI, indeed, twice that num­ber, but it was not what she want­ed for Spears. ‘No, Don­ald, I think six with the strap from your strong arm should work won­ders.’ ‘You’re too kind,’ replied Rudd immod­est­ly, ‘of course, I agree.’

Miss Sven­son put down the tele­phone and called in the girl. She had no doubt Miran­da Spears would resent her more than ever, but it was a nec­es­sary pun­ish­ment and, she knew in her heart, a just one.

Miranda — part two

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Miran­da part two

by Claris­sa

Do you enjoy Shake­speare, Miran­da?’ asked Miss Sven­son of the tall school girl who stood before her. The girl didn’t reply, but flicked back a strand of fair hair, betray­ing a slight ner­vous­ness. ‘Well, do you?’ con­tin­ued the head, fix­ing the girl with her light blue eyes. ‘Yes, Miss,’ came the mut­ed response.

Miss Sven­son stood up and walked towards her study win­dows. The win­dows revealed a scene of some dev­as­ta­tion: branch­es felled by wind and rose bush­es beat­en down by rain; she would have to tell Mr Jef­freys, the head gar­den­er, to take an urgent look at this, Miss Sven­son thought to her­self.

Is The Tem­pest a par­tic­u­lar favourite?’ Miss Sven­son asked at last. ‘Well, I was named after one of the lead char­ac­ters,’ flashed back the girl.

Don’t be so inso­lent,’ boomed Miss Sven­son turn­ing around, ‘you know exact­ly what I am talk­ing about!’ The girl flushed just slight­ly, and looked down at the floor.

I’ve had Dr Rudd on the phone, who has been telling me all about your the­atri­cal prowess,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son. No reply from the girl.

Yes,’ went on Miss Sven­son, ‘most impres­sive.’ Still noth­ing from the girl.

You are not going to deny it was you with that boy from Till­wood, or that you were unaware such unchap­er­oned encoun­ters were entire­ly against the rules?’ Still no response from the girl: this was typ­i­cal, thought Miss Sven­son.

Look me in the eye,’ she com­mand­ed; the girl com­plied. ‘Are you going to deny it?’ A moment’s hes­i­ta­tion, then ‘No, Miss.’ Miss Sven­son breathed an inward sigh of relief: Miran­da Spears real­ly was the most obsti­nate pupil.

Are you going to cane me?’ asked the girl sud­den­ly, rais­ing her gaze from the floor.

Don’t be so inso­lent,’ thun­dered Miss Sven­son, ‘it is for me to tell you such things, not for you to ask!’ The girl looked down again.

But no, I am not going to cane you; or strap you; or slip­per you; or put you over my knee and spank you.’ Still no response, though Miss Sven­son detect­ed a def­i­nite red­den­ing of the girl’s com­plex­ion.

What I am going to do is ring up Dr Rudd and tell him about our lit­tle con­ver­sa­tion. And, on this occa­sion, as I find you so exceed­ing­ly dif­fi­cult, I am going to ask him to decide what to do with you.’

Now the girl looked def­i­nite­ly per­plexed.

But..?’

No Miran­da,’ assert­ed Miss Sven­son, ‘that’s enough ques­tion­ing for now. I am sure you will Dr Rudd will have all the answers you need.’

 


Miranda — part one

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Miran­da part one 

by Claris­sa

It real­ly was the most filthy day thought Miss Sven­son as she lift­ed her eyes from the gov­er­nors’ report and lis­tened to the rain lash­ing at the mul­lion win­dows and the wind scur­ry­ing around the rooftops: the most filthy day, and prac­ti­cal­ly dark out­side, even though it was only 11 o’clock in the morn­ing.  She turned back to the report, only to be inter­rupt­ed by the ring of the tele­phone. ‘Yes?’ she enquired some­what testi­ly. It was her sec­re­tary, Edith: ‘Sor­ry to trou­ble you Miss Sven­son, but I have Dr Rudd on the phone.’

Don­ald Rudd, head of Mill­ward, the boys’ school prac­ti­cal­ly adjoin­ing Cams­ford House.  If Camsford’s grounds yearned for the sea, Tillwood’s pulled in the oppo­site direc­tion, its out­er reach­es skirt­ing the coun­ty town of Shrew­ton.

Put him through,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son. ‘Hel­lo Elsa,’ came a loud voice, ‘it’s Don­ald.’ Miss Sven­son winced slight­ly at Rudd’s infor­mal­i­ty, but fol­lowed suit: ‘Hel­lo Don­ald, how may I help you?’ ‘Well,’ con­tin­ued the head­mas­ter, ‘I do have a slight prob­lem I am hop­ing you can assist me with. Yes­ter­day after­noon, before prep, one of my pre­fects caught one of my fifth form boys with one of your girls – just talk­ing you under­stand.’ ‘Car­ry on,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son. ‘I saw the lad first thing this morn­ing, hav­ing giv­en him a night to con­tem­plate the prospect of our meet­ing. This nor­mal­ly opens them up but this time, despite six of the best for being out-of-bounds, and anoth­er six for meet­ing up with this girl, the boy refused to dis­close her name.’ ‘I see,’ said Miss Sven­son. ‘I have giv­en him a week’s deten­tion for his trou­ble, but I don’t real­ly want to pun­ish him fur­ther; you see, he is cap­tain of the rug­by XI.’ Anoth­er slight wince from Miss Sven­son, then ‘Did your pre­fect have a descrip­tion of the girl?’ ’Most cer­tain­ly,’ con­tin­ued the head­mas­ter with gus­to, ‘excep­tion­al­ly tall with long fair hair.’ ‘Any­thing else?’ ‘As a mat­ter of fact there was some­thing else: when the pre­fect asked the girl what she was think­ing of, she replied “O won­der! How many good­ly crea­tures are there here. O brave new world. That has such peo­ple in’t!” which, if I’m not mis­tak­en, is a slight­ly trun­cat­ed line from Shakespeare’s’ ‘The Tem­pest,’ inter­rupt­ed Miss Sven­son abrupt­ly. ‘Yes, that’s right, The Tem­pest. Now you see my prob­lem: I do need to find out this girl’s name and, I imag­ine, so do you: any ideas?’ Miss Sven­son wrin­kled her nose slight­ly and lis­tened again to the lash of the rain. ‘I believe I do: I’ll get back to you, if that’s OK?’ ‘I would be most grate­ful,’ con­tin­ued Rudd, ‘you will let me know the out­come?’ ‘I will,’ assert­ed Miss Sven­son; ‘Good morn­ing, Don­ald.’ ‘Good morn­ing, Elsa.’

Miss Sven­son returned the receiv­er to its cra­dle, rest­ing her hand there a moment. She picked it up again: ‘Edith, could you ask a pre­fect to fetch me one of the Upper Fifth?’ ‘Of course, Miss Sven­son,’ came the slight­ly crack­ly reply, ‘who?’ ‘Miran­da,’ con­tin­ued Miss Sven­son; ‘ask them to fetch me Miran­da Spears.’

Uniform

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Uni­form

By Claris­sa

From time to time, head­mistress Miss Sven­son had to deal with mis­be­hav­ing girls dur­ing the school day, but, most­ly, girls were sent to her after the end of lessons, lin­ing up, nose to the wall, out­side her office. This was by no means a dai­ly occur­rence, but it cer­tain­ly hap­pened often enough to keep her spank­ing arm in good fet­tle.

Today, she only had one girl wait­ing out­side her office: a fourth for­mer, and first-time offend­er. At pre­cise­ly 4 o’clock, the girl knocked on her door. ‘Come in,’ com­mand­ed Miss Sven­son, the door swing­ing back to reveal a slight girl with fair hair tied up in a pony tail. ‘Come here,’ said Miss Sven­son, point­ing to a spot direct­ly in front of the desk. The girl moved for­ward as Miss Sven­son glanced again at the note from Miss Simms detail­ing a num­ber of uni­form vio­la­tions.

Miss Sven­son looked up at the fourth for­mer and stud­ied her a moment. ‘Well,’ she said at last, ‘I am glad to see that you have tak­en the trou­ble to look smart for me, Jemi­ma.’ The girl said noth­ing. ‘Still,’ Miss Sven­son con­tin­ued, ‘it doesn’t excuse the dis­grace­ful list of uni­form vio­la­tions I have before me, does it?’ ‘No, Miss,’ came the awk­ward reply. Miss Sven­son shook her head then stood up. ‘Go and fetch me that chair,’ she said, indi­cat­ing a straight-backed wood­en chair, ‘and put it in the mid­dle of the room.’ The girl didn’t move. ‘Go on,’ assert­ed Miss Sven­son, com­ing out now from behind her desk. Chair in place, Miss Sven­son sat down and smoothed her skirt. ‘Come here,’ she said to the girl, ‘and bend over my knee.’ The girl looked strick­en with pan­ic but did as instruct­ed. ‘I am going to spank you for five min­utes with my hand; do you under­stand, Jemi­ma?’ ‘Yes,’ came the reply, and with that Miss Sven­son flung down her hand onto the seat of the girl’s skirt. ‘Do we wear our ties knot­ted and tidy or loose and unruly?’ she demand­ed. ‘Knot­ted and tidy,’ came the reply. Anoth­er spank from Miss Sven­son; ‘Do we wear our shirts hang­ing out from our jumpers or neat­ly tucked in?’ ‘Tucked in,’ came the reply as Miss Sven­son start­ed to deliv­er a vol­ley of spanks, the girl slight­ly wrig­gling in response.

After about two min­utes, Miss Sven­son stopped the spank­ing and lift­ed back the girl’s skirt. Silence, then a thun­der­ous ‘What colour are school knick­ers, pink with pur­ple stripes?’ ‘No, Miss,’ came the mut­ed reply, the girl’s body vis­i­bly sink­ing into Miss Svenson’s lap. ‘Stand up,’ said Miss Sven­son; the girl com­plied. ‘Go and fetch me the slip­per from the cor­ner cup­board.’ The fourth for­mer was close to tears now, but did as instruct­ed. To her hor­ror, on open­ing the cup­board door, she dis­cov­ered two canes – and noth­ing like a slip­per. She turned to Miss Sven­son. ‘It’s the black gym shoe,’ Miss Sven­son assert­ed with some annoy­ance, ‘a reg­u­la­tion item which, you are about to find out to your cost, is a most par­tic­u­lar part of school uni­form.’