Subject: new story by Gigi: Church Picnic 1871
From: (RIharpist)
Date: 6 Jun 1997 10:47:45 -0700

Church Picnic 1871

By Gigi of 1997

This story is another in my ancestor collection. The characters are real, and this time, the incident is real as well. Please do not use this story for any purpose without my permission. If you object to the spanking of young children, please do not read this. It was the customary method of discipline at the time that this incident takes place.

Everyone was excited. The planning had gone on for weeks, and my Grandmother, who was then nine had been actively assisting her parents in these preparations. There were decorations to he hand sewn, the choir had been practicing, the band rehearsing, skits were written and casts selected, and of course games and special events planned. The ladies of the community signed up on a list at the church as to the food each was bringing, and Ida Cummings coordinated those arrangements.

I was named for my grandmother, so from this point on, she will be referred to by her name. Please know that this is not me (although, knowing me, it certainly could have been!).

The day arrived, and Gigi and her family set out for the festivities. When they arrived in their carriage, things were well under way, and her mother and father set to work getting their contributions in place. Her mother had done much cooking, and she also sang in the choir. Her father was in some of the skits and was coordinating many of the games. The children were advised to behave and have a good time. Off everyone went in different directions.

Gigi met up with three of her closest friends, and they decided that this was a bit of a bore at the moment, so they left the area and went exploring. The fully intended to return to the picnic as soon as things were going on that they really wanted to see. The way they thought they might keep track of this was to climb a nearby hill and watch from up there. This hill was completely "out of bounds for these girls, but they went anyway, climbing easily and chatting all the way up. At the top, they looked down on the picnic grounds and thought how funny everyone looked from so far away.

As she watched all of this, Gigi did not see the dirt slope on the other side and how unstable it was. Below lay a stream that was very muddy along its banks. The summer had been a dry one, so the water was not deep, but the mud was thick and heavy. She lost her footing, as did Claire and Betty, the three sliding all over the place right down into the heavy mud. There they lay, a mess! Laura lay down on her stomach up at the top, in order to avoid sliding, and called down in panic to see if everyone was all right. The three girls could not get back up the hill. They knew they would need some help. Laura knew she would have to go back and tell someone.

Help arrived very quickly, and the three were hauled out and returned to the picnic grounds, where mothers fussed over their muddy daughters. The fathers had another response! The four fathers cut willow branches from the trees nearby and dragged their wayward daughters into the woods nearby. One put his daughter over a fallen log, another sat on a tree stump and placed his daughter over his knees, another had his bend over and touch her toes, and Gigi,s father also had her over his knees as he sat on a fallen log. Skirts were raised and pantaloons lowered, as bared behinds experienced the fresh air. The willow sticks whirred through the air and found their targets on the naughty bottoms that were so well presented there! Again and again the little whips descended, and the cries of the little girls could be heard echoing throughout the picnic area.

The younger children looked very worried, and the older ones shook their heads in understanding of just what was happening... Mothers fretted, but tried to rationalize that this was justified.

The four fathers finally spanked their last spank and raised the pantaloons of their naughty daughters. They held them close and told them how much they were loved and how frightened all had been when the girls were missing. They explained that wandering off usually led to danger, and that because they were loved, they were spanked for being so foolish. They wiped away the tears and smoothed the muddy clothing as best they could. Together, they all returned to the picnic and the waiting mothers. The four mothers worked hard to clean up the mud and salvage the rest of the day. My grandmother never forgot this incident and shared it with me. I am the rascal that my grandmother was..... That is likely why I was spanked as often as I was as a child..... hmmm