From: (RIharpist)
Subject: Story by Gigi:  Colonial Mary
Date: 2 Apr 1997 23:49:59 GMT

This is the second in a series of four Colonial Children stories. Neither the stories nor the children are real. If the spanking of children offfends you, please do not read this fictional account.

Also, please do not use this story without permission from me


by Gigi

In 1705, nine-year-old Mary was the eldest of four children. Her father was the mayor of the town, and her mother well-liked by all. On Saturdays, Mary would sit with her mother and practice her handiwork. It was also the day of review for the recitation of Bible verses that were to be heard the next morning in Sabbath services. There were new verses each week. Mary’s mother was concerned, for her daughter did not seem to be strong in recent weeks. Her recitations were getting weaker, and the need for coaching stronger. Her mother even noticed that Mary was daydreaming more and becoming sloppy with her needlework.

It was another Saturday, and Mary was there near the window holding her linen cloth and thread. Her Bible was open before her on the little table next to the chair where she sat, and as she embroidered, she glanced at the words on the page and tried to commit them to memory. Neither job was going well. It was a lovely day, and Mary found herself gazing out the window at the birds and butterflies This is what she really loved. Her mother was passing in and out of the room doing her chores, and she noted that Mary was not paying much attention to the task at hand.

“Mary, if you fail tomorrow at Sabbath Meeting, you will get the strap. Do you understand that?” her mother asked her. Mary nodded seriously and returned to her work. But, it wasn’t long before the nine-year-old mind wandered again. This time, when her mother came in, Mary’s chin was on her hand, and her elbow on the arm of the chair. She was just fixed upon the sights and sounds outside on this glorious day.

“There is a time for dreaming, Mary. This is not it. I fear for you, my daughter. The Pastor is going to be displeased, and I will be forced to whip you. Why are you drifting away like this?” Mary picked up her things again and tried her best to concentrate.

The day passed and soon it was evening. The family gathered at dinner, and all of the children were asked to recite their Bible verses. Each one did it, except for Mary, who needed much coaching. She said that she would work on it this evening before bedtime. Her father looked at her severely.

The next morning, everyone dressed for church. The family walked together, and the children sat in the front rows with the other village children. At the appointed time, he called upon each child to do his or her recitation. Some were better than others, but most made it through alright. Mary completely fell apart. She knew very little of it. The Pastor looked at her parents and said before the congregation that the Devil would be able to take a child who was not armed with the Word of God. At that point, Mary knew that surely she would be whipped “for her own good”.

Once home, their father took the younger children out for a walk while Mary and her mother went to the shed. “I told you that I must do this”, Mary’s mother said. She bent Mary over a wide sawbuck and flipped her dress and petticoats over her head. She unbuttoned the lacy bloomers and pulled them down with the black stockings that came up high on Mary’s short legs. There she was now, with the roundness of her young bottom exposed here in the shed.

Mary’s mother took the strap from the wall and gave her twelve very sharp smacks with the strap. Mary leapt with each stroke and cried out for her mother to stop. She begged for mercy, promising to concentrate on the verses and to learn all that she had neglected in the past. At last it was over, and the nine-year-old lay sobbing on the wooden structure. Her mother put her clothing back together and pulled her up to her feet., leading her into the house. Mary was placed in the corner of the kitchen until the rest of the family returned. It was over now, and a new start could begin with the new week. This would never happen again.