Subject: New Story by Gigi: Prudence 1831
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (RIharpist)
Date: 12 Mar 1998 12:26:41 -0800
This is another of my ancestor stories and involves the spanking of a child. If this offends you, please do now read it. Prudence is real, but the incident is not. Please do not use this story without my permission.
Prudence 1831 by Gigi
Prudence lived in the area of the what would become the Bradley airport in Connecticut. She was an active, happy, creative child, but truly prone to mischief. She was the eldest of three children. At the time of this story, she was eight years old, and her mother was expecting a fourth child.
One Saturday afternoon, everyone was busy. Prudence wanted to be a part of all their busy-ness, but she was told that she could not for various reasons. She became frustrated and tired of hearing all of the excuses. Her family seemed to evaporate around her as they went off to do what they needed to do, and she was left to play under the supervision of her very tired mother. Being a "good girl" on a normal basis, her mother trusted her to play quietly while she lay down for a little while.
Prudence wandered around the house looking for something to do and came across her mother's needlework -- a fine tablecloth which had taken a great deal of time. Prudence knew a great many of the stitches, for she had been learning, and she loved this work of art that her mother was creating. She plopped down in the chair, took needle, thread, and the cloth and began to work to continue the cloth.
As she worked, she noted that she was having trouble. It didn't look right, so she pulled it out to start again. Unfortunately, she pulled more and more, destroying her mother's work as well. Prudence became frantic, and was caught in that state when her father came in the door to find her there. She looked up in panic.
"What in the world are you doing, Pru???" he asked in a gentle, but firm tone. "Father, I can't fix it", came the pathetic response. "This is not yours to fix, Pru", he said, taking it from her and pulling her to her feet. "Does your mother know about this?" "No, Father, she is napping." "Well, we shall deal with your work without permission, and then you will confess this to her and pray that she has the ability to fix it. She will be very, very unhappy."
Father took Prudence out to the wood shed, where he found a barrel upon which to sit. Prudence was already crying softly. She begged for forgiveness, but he explained that forgiveness must follow the punishment.
Lifting her over his knees, he raised her skirt and pulled back her petticoat. Prudence was wriggling, trying to get free. A slap to her behind stopped her cold. Father then undid her bloomers and slid them down to her knees. Prudence was begging now, but Father's grip around her waist prevented her from getting away.
"Do you understand why you are getting this tanning. Pru?" "yes-s-s. Father". "Then, we shall begin"
With her bottom high up, Father began to spank each part of it with his strong hand. With each spank came more struggling and kicking, but Prudence was not going to get away. She burst into tears and cried loudly. It was to no avail, for Father was determined that she should learn her lesson.
After a time, Father raised her bloomers and fastened them again. He pulled down her clothing and lifted he to his lap.
"You are my eldest, Pru", he said. "I am so proud of you and the wonderful things you do. I love the person you are, and I want you to be the very best you are able. What you did here was your worst. Do you understand that"? Prudence nodded, sobbing.
Father lifted her up in his arms and carried her back into the house. Mother was there and had seen the needlework. She was upset, but Father explained that Prudence was trying to help and had made a mistake, for which she had paid. Mother spoke of more practice, and then Prudence could make her own linens. She felt that she could rip out more of it and start that part again. Mother and daughter hugged, and Prudence felt her great shame lifting.