by Raymond Boyd Dunn
Copyright 2011 Raymond Dunn
Remember the words of the old song?
♫ Schooldays, schooldays.♫ Dear old golden rule days.♫
♫Reading and 'riting and 'rithmetic,♫ taught to the tune of a hickory stick...♫
Well, maybe it wasn't a hickory stick. I really don't know what the stick was made of, but from personal experience I can assure you that it stung. Tucking your hands under your armpits after three of the best on each set of fingers didn't seem to make the pain go away any faster, but it was the only thing you could think of on the spur of the moment. Rubbing your hands with leaves of the pepperina tree, which grew at every school I ever attended, before the actual caning was supposed to help deaden the pain, but punishment was usually swift and decisive. Only when you had to report to the headmaster's office for the caning to be administered was there time for you go into the school yard to try this remedy, but who would dare to run down into the school yard devoid of other people, where you would stand out like a sore thumb. There was one boy who swore by its effectiveness. Whenever he thought he was due for another dose of the cane, which happened with monotonous regularity, he would rub his hands with the pepperina leaves before going in to class.