After a welcome break yesterday with the paddle I get another awful implement today. Now this is one that I have virtually no experience of, nor do I wish to! Fortunately the staff at Bared Affair did know something about the birch.
It is believed that this originated in England, but it found a devoted home on the steppes of Russia where mothers have their daughters take hot steam baths before a good session with the birch bundle on the tenderised bottom.
Pros: Easily obtainable if you have a birch tree growing nearby, therefore cheap. Stings and burns considerably so not something anybody goes out of their way to feel. Demands respect.
Cons: Generally only one use in each bundle. Can result in breaking of the skin if carelessly applied. Not easy to transport or to even make unless you have a ready supply of birch branches.
A traditional birch bundle. Just looking at it gives me the heebie jeebies!
A South African teacher, the housemistress of a girl's finishing school, offered to try this in place of the cane for the purposes of our test. Spanker: Miss Boer, Cape Town, South Africa. I like the cane, I will say that now. It stings and it makes a young madam sit up straight and mind her p's and q's. To me the birch looked like a bundle of canes, so if one cane had a good effect I reasoned many of them should be even more effective. The first girl that reported to me for punishment nearly fainted when I showed her my birch whip. I had her take a hot bath and then bent her over the tub for a good lacing. I soon had her hopping about and yelling, her tears were flowing too. I like the cane, but I have to admit this Russian birch is a mighty fine thing too.
One of Miss Boer's unfortunate pupils testing out the birch.
Spankee: Beatrice, age 16. Ouch! The birch! I don't ever want to see another one of those. I thought the cane hurt and it does, but that's all in the one place with each stroke. The birch spreads it out and it's like lines of fire all over your backside. I'll take the cane any time. I'm just glad there aren't many birch trees here in South Africa.
A close up of a birching.
Kimberley Susan's assessment: I can't really say much here. I've never received the birch and even Aunty doesn't like the look of them, so doesn't use them. They are really for extreme punishment I believe. They, like the paddle and the strap, were used as punishment in prisons right up to the early 20th century. The closes thing I have experience of is the switch, they sting like fire and Mummy is an expert at giving it. I haven't administered a full switching, but I have given the occasional swat to test one out after I've had the naughty boy or girl cut a fresh one.