Cubs camping out.
Fun times around the campfire.
And canoeing. It's all fun until someone falls in!
Donald Simpson smiled as he watched his grandson Gordon parade proudly around the living room in his brand new cubs outfit for the entertainment and amusement of his parents, grandparents, assorted aunts and uncles and cousins.
“He looks so cute,” one of the boy’s aunts said to his mother, and the woman smiled and nodded.
‘How long do you give him before gets the uniform dirty?” one of the uncles asked with a broad wink.
“First time he sees a tree that just needs to be climbed,” Donald gave his opinion, and as Gordon went past him, lifted off his cap and ruffled the boy’s hair fondly.
“Grampa!” Gordon protested, his cheeks colouring at the affectionate movement and searching for his cap.
“Dad!” the child’s mother scolded, snatching the cap from her father-in-law and placing it back on her son’s head.
“Just a bit of fun, eh, Gordy?” Donald said to the boy, who laughed at his grandfather.
“Have to get used to the other kids doing it,” Gordon’s father said. “Taking and hiding other cubs caps was a game with us.”
Donald chuckled as he thought back to his own days as a cub. Some things never changed through the generations it seemed. “I bet you weren’t spanked the way your father was, Derek,” Donald’s wife, Martha, said to her son.
“No, but we also didn’t have a female Akela,” Derek pointed out.
“A female Akela?” Sarah, Donald’s daughter-in-law asked. “Is there such a thing?”
Derek nodded. “Dad had one, didn’t you, Dad?”
Donald nodded. “She didn’t call herself Akela either, she preferred Bagheera. No one ever argued with her, though. She wasn’t a woman to cross.”
“Not if you didn’t want to get spanked!” Martha laughed, sipping her coffee.
Donald shrugged. “Just how it was back then. She never gave one that wasn’t deserved, and I’m sure of few us missed some we should have had.”
Donald Simpson let his mother push his woggle up the scarf adorned with the stripes that denoted his cub pack. “Now you’ll be good for Mrs Galea, won’t you, Donny?” the boy’s mother asked him.
“Mrs Galea?” Donald asked, his nose wrinkling in confusion.
“Oh yes!” his mother exclaimed. “You call Betty something else there, don’t you?”
“Bagheera,” the boy supplied the name that his pack leader went by. “The panther in The Jungle Book.”
“Such a strange name,” the woman said, shaking her head and smiling.
“No, it’s not, Mum,” Donald argued. “The Leaders all have Jungle Book names.”
“And what is your jungle name?” the lady teased her son.
Donald blushed and confessed. “I don’t get one yet.”
“What about if you become a fiver?” she asked.
The boy rolled his eyes and sighed. “Sixer, Mum. It’s a sixer. Only grown ups get Jungle Book names.”
“In my day the only sixer we had was what the head gave the naughty boys and girls with his strap.”
Daniel Simpson shook his head as he watched the banter between his son and wife. Helen knew most of the terms, when Donny had first joined the Cubs, she’d gone through the terms with him, as he had also been a Cub and later a Scout. She was doing this just to tease the boy, Donald knew it too, but he liked to play games like this with his mother and he was precocious enough to enjoy showing off his knowledge of something that he thought his parents didn’t totally understand.
“Come on Donny,” Daniel said. “We better get you in the car, sport otherwise we’ll be late.”
“Don’t forget this!” Helen called after her son, tossing his cap at him as he ran down the hall to jump in the car.
It was hard not to like the boy’s Leader Bagheera or Betty Galea, as the other mothers in the neighbourhood knew her. She was a good natured, maternal woman of Maltese descent. She was very community minded. She had first come in contact with the local Cub pack when her oldest son joined. He was now a member of the Rovers, the 18 and over branch of the Scouts. Her middle son had just entered the Venturers and her youngest boy was also looking at following in his two older brother’s footsteps and entering the Venturers and the Rovers.
Initially Betty just helped out and provided snacks for the boys, bit by bit she became more involved and started to help organize activities and assist the boys in getting their merit badges, then accompanying them on field trips and camping excursions. When the Akela had to step down to take a job interstate, none of the other adult assistants, mostly the fathers of boys, could take on the mantle due to work and/or social other sporting commitments. As Betty’s boys were all in the Scouts by then, and she didn’t work full time (she worked two days a week on the check out of a local supermarket) Betty offered to become the Akela, her only stipulation was that she kept her original name of Bagheera.
Back then there weren’t many women involved in the Scout movement at any level. Girls were Brownies and later Guides, and their mothers helped out as assistants, but Betty didn’t have any daughters, only three sons, so there was no place for her in the Brownies of the Guides. She tended to get on better with boys in any case and she’d been quite the tomboy when she was a young girl. The Cubs were constantly surprised at how well she could do ‘boy things’ like tie knots. Bagheera was a bit of an oddity, it did rather annoy her that she had had to adopt a male character name, too.
Until he read The Jungle Book after his time in the Cubs, Donald Simpson had been unaware that Bagheera the panther was a male. He’d never been able to reconcile it and watching the Disney animated version of The Jungle Book with British actor Sebastian Cabot voicing the panther always seemed odd to him. As far as he was concerned Bagheera was a warm, motherly character.
For as long as she’d been one of the pack’s assistants Bagheera had taken on a maternal role with the boys, firstly her own boys and then most of the young men in the pack. She regarded them all as ‘her boys’ and she treated them accordingly.
Baking was one of the things she liked to do, and she often brought cookies, cakes and muffins to the meetings for the boys and the assistants to share at the end of the meeting. Many of the male assistants tended to have a ‘boys will be boys’ approach to discipline and allowed the cubs to get away with more than Bagheera suspected they were allowed to at home, certainly at her home.
With her own boys she wasn’t afraid to scold or even administer a swift, sharp smack or two to the seat of their pants or their bare legs when she thought things had gone too far, often with the threat of more to come when they got home. The Akela when the woman first joined the pack let things go too far in her opinion, only stepping in if it looked like something was becoming dangerous.
As Bagheera grew in her role she gained more confidence, and the boys respected her words more. Mostly it only took a scolding, but some cubs were tougher nuts than others to crack and she had to get more creative with those ones. It was not unknown for misbehaving cubs to have to stand facing the wall at the end of the evening for some misbehavior or other and be denied the cookies, cakes or muffins that their ‘den mother’ had made and brought to share.
In extreme cases, those involving dangerous foolishness, corporal punishment was called for. Donald had never personally experienced that, but boys talked to each other. If Bagheera knew the parents spanked she spoke to them when they came to collect their offspring and received an assurance that the cub would be put to bed with a hot sore bottom that evening. It hadn’t happened with Donald and his parents didn’t really spank as such. His mother had given him the occasional swat with a wooden spoon, and his Dad a smack sometimes, he’d been threatened with the belt once, but his father had not had to follow through as the threat was enough to make the boy alter his behaviour.
When parents weren’t really spankers like Donald’s, but didn’t actually have a problem with corporal punishment Bagheera had another tack she took. Back in those days not everyone had mobile phones, but the scout hall had a payphone for when it was needed. Bagheera would contact the boy’s parents, explain the situation, ask if she could deal with it in her own way and once she received permission did just that.
In deference to the ages of the cubs – they tended to range from between 8 – 12 – the meetings broke up at around 8 in the evening. Bagheera would put a rather apprehensive young man into her car and take him to her home. Once there she would escort him upstairs into her bedroom, sit on the bed, scold him at length about what he’d done, remove his shorts and underpants, drape him over her lap and administer a long and thorough spanking until the naughty young bottom glowed red, was hot to the touch and the recipient was crying tears of genuine contrition. Mostly she only used her hand, but stories were also told about a small paddle and the back of a hairbrush. She allowed the boy to cool down in the corner, replaced his underpants and shorts then cuddled him and soothed him on her lap before delivering him home. The matter was forgiven and forgotten after that. It happened to maybe 5 or 6 of the 20 or so boys who comprised the pack over the course of a year and she rarely had repeat customers.
That was with their normal weekly meetings at least, Donald reminisced. The annual camp was a different thing. The cubs regularly went on field trips. These took place on the weekends and were all day affairs. Supervising 20 excited young boys on events like taking a vintage steam train, a day at the beach or visiting a retired naval warship was not an easy task. Bagheera generally recruited from the parents, mostly Dads, to help her out, and whatever of her regular assistants could spare the time to come. On a couple of occasions, Paula, her oldest son’s girlfriend, had also come along. The girl wanted to work in teaching and found this useful for her future aspirations. Amusingly enough she also called her boyfriend’s mother Bagheera, rather than Mrs Galea.
The camp was different again. It was a big deal and every kid in the pack desperately wanted to go. They camped out in tents at a designated campsite and everyone who went said it was not to be missed. For many of the boys it would be the first time they ever spent more than a night away from home and their first proper camping experience, outside of a sleepover in a tent pitched in someone’s backyard. Some lucky boys had families who went camping over their holidays, but this experience of being with your friends in a cub pack just smacked of adventure, and was very desirable.
Because the camp lasted for four days not everyone could afford the time, and Bagheera was generally the only one who could go. She had been assisted by her oldest boy in the past, although as he had recently started full time work, he couldn’t attend Donald’s first camp. However Paula went in his stead. His mother needed the help, she got along well with the boys and it was a good experience for her.
“You’re sure you want to do this, Donny?” Donald’s mother asked as she looked over the permission slip for the camp.
“Mum! Of course!” the boy said. “Dad’s signed.”
“Daniel?” Helen asked her husband.
“It’ll be good for him,” Daniel Simpson said. “I did it when I was his age, it’s great fun.”
“It says here that they’ll be doing their own cooking,” Helen said, her top teeth worrying her bottom lip.
Daniel laughed. “They’ll help with the cooking. Can you imagine Betty Galea letting twenty kids cook for themselves? She’ll make sure they’re fed, actually overfed, if I know here. The kids will mostly watch and learn.”
“She also says that if they need to be punished she’ll handle it.” Helen pointed out.
“So?’ Daniel shrugged.
“You know she’s a spanker?”
“Well, if Donny doesn’t want a smacked bum he’ll just have to do what he’s told, won’t he?” was Daniel’s response to that.
“Mum, please! I’ll behave!” Donald begged.
“Very well, young man,” Helen said, signing her name and handing the form back to her son. “I better hear only good things when you get home, though.”
“You will, Mum,” Donald assured his mother.
Twenty, fresh faced, excited cubs assembled at the bus in front of the scout hall on a crisp, clear morning. They said goodbye to their parents, Betty exchanged words with the parents, and took charge of any medicine that any of the cubs required and promised to administer it as needed and directed. She also assured those who were more nervous about the offspring than others that everything would be fine and she took every precaution. Both she had Paula had first aid certificates and qualifications.
“Settle down boys! Settle down!” Betty called at her charges as they chattered excitedly.
The roar of conversation did die down a little, but not enough for the woman to be properly heard.
Paula grinned, stuck two fingers in her mouth and gave a piercing whistle.
All the boys stopped talking at once and stared at the tall, pretty blonde girl.
“Thank you, Paula,” Betty said to her son’s girlfriend, and took up position at one side of the bus where she could see all the boys. She did a quick headcount and satisfied herself that she had her whole pack together.
“Are you all excited?” she asked.
“Yes, Bagheera!” the boys chorused dutifully.
“Not all of you know Paula, some of you have met her before. She’s helping me on this trip and her word is law, okay?”
“When she tells you to do something, it’s just like if I do, and unless you want trouble with me you will do what she tells you.”
Some of the more mischievous boys exchanged looks with each other and sized up the girl. They had heard their Akela’s words, but they weren’t entirely sure that the blonde could live up to it.
Paula saw the looks and said, “Have any of you guys heard of the Rovers?”
A few heads nodded at her.
“I’m a Rover,” the girl said. This was news to the boys, they hadn’t known that girls did anything scoutlike after the Guides. The Rovers had recently decided to admit girls, so it was a new development. “And believe me there is nothing you lot can think of that my friends in the Rovers haven’t already tried.”
“Thank you Paula,” Bagheera said, taking charge of the introduction again. “I do hope no one has to be spanked, but I have twenty signed permission slips from your parents that says I will if I have to. Steve, Noel, you know what that’s like, don’t you?”
She had been talking to two veteran cubs, who had been on last year’s trip. Their face’s reddened and they nodded silently.
“We’re going to have a lot of fun. I promise you, but just do what you’re told and follow the rules and we’ll all enjoy things a lot more, now before we set off does anyone need to visit the bathroom?”
Some hands rose.
Betty smiled, shook her head and muttered, “Boys! Off you go then. Anyone else who feels the need should also go as well. We will stop for lunch, but I don’t want to have to make any other unscheduled toilet stops.”
The fact that Bagheera had a licence to drive a bus was a great bonus to the pack. It was something she’d gone out and gotten when she found out how much extra it cost to hire a driver and how it impacted what the club could do. Hiring a bus was much easier and cost effective than hiring the vehicle and a driver, and it was also simpler than trying to pack the kids into a variety of cars and having to reply on parents to drive them where they wanted to go.
As Bagheera concentrated on the road and handling the big vehicle, Paula kept the cubs entertained and interested with songs and games. There was one small issue when they were getting sing-alongs going and one boy called Damien suggested ‘Ten Sticks of Dynamite’. The sniggers from some of the other boys told Paula that there was probably a swear word involved, so she asked Damien to start it off.
In a lusty voice the boy roared out the song.
‘Ten sticks of dynamite hangin’ on the wall.
If one stick of dynamite should accidentally fall,
There’d be no sticks of dynamite and no bl…’
“We get the picture Damo,” Paula said, using the boy’s nickname. “I don’t think that’s appropriate, though. If you finish it Bagheera will feed you a soap sandwich for lunch instead of what your Mum packed, okay?”
The boy pouted, but laughed and joined in happily when one of his pack mates suggested ‘Ten in the Bed’ complete with the extra line about tying a knot in your pajamas so as not to fall out of bed when everyone rolls over.
The campsite was agreed on by all the boys as ‘ace’ and ‘grouse’. There was a lake, and canoes, which the boys would be allowed to try out and use so long as they were supervised by both Bagheera and Paula. There were woods to explore and go orienteering in. Plenty of trees to climb. Barbecue facilities that would supplement the campfire and the portable stove that had been brought along.
Bagheera knew what boys this age liked to eat and she had packed hot dogs and buns, as well as sausages and other easy to make and eat foods. She also had a cooler full of cold sodas, but she’d ration them out and preferred the boys to drink water and juices where possible.
The first order of business was setting up tents. This was a skill that most of the boys had practiced at their meetings, so it was accomplished without too much drama. Bagheera shared with Paula and the twenty cubs were divided into five tents of four boys per tent.
That first night Bagheera chose boys that she knew had their fire starter badges and had them demonstrate the learned skill by lighting the first campfire.
Dinner was a barbecue, sausages in bread with onions and tomato sauce, all washed down with ice-cold soda. They then sat around the campfire and told ghost stories before settling down for their first night in the ‘wild’. Tomorrow they would start to find out what the great outdoors had to offer.
When she felt that the time was right, and saw a few of the boys letting out jaw cracking yawns Bagheera knew that it was bed time. She stood and told the boys that she wanted them to brush their teeth, put on their pj’s and get into their sleeping bags. Once this was done, she and Paula checked all the tents, and satisfied themselves that the boys were settling down for the night.
Donald was in a tent with two other first year cubs, but they also had one of the pack’s sixers just to make sure that the younger boys learned the ropes when on a camp out.
“Tim.” the sixer, a dark boy by the name of Graeme said to the most talkative of the quartet. “It’s lights out. You better settle down now.”
“Why?” the other boy asked.
“You know Bagheera brought her paddle with her?” Graeme asked in return.
Tim gulped and immediately fell silent.
From the light of the campfire the boys could see the silhouettes of Paula and Bagheera seated by the fire enjoying a hot drink together now that the boys were all in their sleeping bags.
While Donald’s tent had wisely taken Graeme’s advice, not all were quite so smart. One tent in particular kept emitting tell tale flashes from handheld flashlights and boyish giggles.
Bagheera looked at Paula, the teenager grinned at the older lady. The motherly woman disappeared briefly into the tent she shared with the younger girl, and emerged holding a flashlight in one hand and a sturdy little rectangular wooden paddle in the other. She stalked over to the offending tent and unzipped the flap. It immediately fell silent. Bagheera clicked on her flashlight and held it so that the tent’s inhabitants could clearly see her face and the item she held in her other hand.
“Okay, boys,” the woman said in a firm voice and loud enough so that any other cub who hadn’t already fallen asleep could also hear her. “This is your one and only warning. If I hear so much as a peep from this tent again tonight then I will return.” She held up the paddle. “At least one of you has met my friend Mr Paddle before. I don’t care who the ringleader was, all four of you will spend the remainder of the night sleeping on your tummies. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes Bagheera,” came four nervous young male voices.
“I’m glad we have an understanding. Sleep tight, darlings.”
After breakfast Bagheera and Paula showed their charges how to make damper and billy tea, then they went canoeing to build up an appetite for lunch, and that was where the trouble started.
Looking back on it through the years Donald was glad he didn’t wind up in the same canoe as Colin. Colin was a first year cub, but he had joined when he was older then most other kids in the pack, he was also a bit of a show off and rarely listened to what other people told him. Bagheera hadn’t taken him to her house for a spanking, but it had been a near run thing on more than one occasion.
They had three per canoe. All the boys were told specifically not to try and stand up in the canoes once they were on the water away from the pier, because it could upset the small boat and land all three occupants in the water. They were all wearing life jackets in case a canoe did come to grief, though.
Colin being the show off that he was decided to try and stand up in his canoe. He was in the middle. Both Bagheera and Paula shouted at him to sit down again or he’d upset the canoe. The boy either didn’t hear the ladies or deliberately chose to ignore them.
Predictably the canoe tipped and all three boys got a drenching. To make matters worse Colin had actually unclipped his life jacket because he said it was too tight. The other two boys made it to the dock, wet, but otherwise unharmed. Colin was a novice when it came to swimming, his life jacket came off and Paula had to dive in to haul him out before he drowned.
The rest of the boys were called in and the canoes were stored. Everyone followed Bagheera, Paula and their three dripping wet pack mates the short distance back to the campsite.
Once there Bagheera ordered Paula to make sure the other two boys were dried off and dressed in dry clothes. She built up the fire, so that it was a nice little blaze and asked Paula to bring the wet clothes back, they would dry them on a frame by the fire.
“What about me?’ Colin asked petulantly, water from his soaking hair dripping into his eyes.
“Oh I have plans for you, young man,” Bagheera told the boy, her eyes steely. “Paula!” she called to the girl, who was standing by the tent the other two boys were in while they dried off and changed clothes. “Can you please get my little helper from my bag and bring me a towel, too.”
“Delighted, ma’am,” the girl said with a broad smile and went to get the requested items.
Bagheera sat down on a convenient log and dragged Colin over to her. “What did Paula and I say not to do in the canoes?”
Colin looked worried and dragged a forearm across his nose, which had water up it and had started to drip. “I dunno.”
Bagheera sighed. “Can anyone else enlighten Colin?”
Donald’s hand went up in the air.
“You said we weren’t to stand up in the canoes.”
“Very good, dear. Yes, we did. Does anyone know why we said that?”
Graeme raised his hand.
“Graeme,” Bagheera invited the veteran cub.
“The canoes tip, Bagheera. We saw it last year, although David did a demonstration for us.”
Bagheera’s lips twitched upward in a small smile. David was her oldest son, he generally did a demonstration for the cubs, but it was only because he wanted to get wet and this was how he could do it without getting into trouble, it also amused the cubs, as the teenager exaggerated the whole thing deliberately.
“We also put life jackets on you all, why did yours come off, Colin?”
“I undid it,” the boy said.
“What on earth for?” the den mother seemed genuinely perplexed by that. It was not the first time a young boy’s reasoning had escaped her, though.
“It was too tight,” Colin protested.
‘Then you should have asked either Paula or I to adjust it for you,” Bagheera told the boy.
Paula emerged from the tent she shared with the den mother. She had changed into dry clothes and was toweling her wet hair down. The other two cubs were also now in fresh clothes, and Paula arranged all the wet clothes on a portable clothes horse which she set up near a fire, knowing the hot little blaze would dry the wet garments in no time.
Colin was too concerned with Bagheera’s cross expression and her furious scolding of him for his foolishness, which could very well have had tragic consequences for both he and his two pack mates, to notice the item that Paula had in one hand. It was the little paddle that Bagheera had christened Mr Paddle. Her ‘little helper’.
“Don’t I get to change my clothes?” Colin whined.
“Of course you will darling,” Bagheera reassured him. “May I have that towel, please, Paula?”
With a grin Paula handed the clean towel to the den mother, she arranged it over her lap.
“However,” the maternal woman said to the worried boy still standing next to her, “we need to get you dry and toasty warm first.”
Nimble fingers calmly and competently undid the buttons on the waist of the boy’s soaked shorts, they undid the zip and lowered them to his ankles, his underpants soon joined them and with a startled yelp Colin found himself tipped over Bagheera’s lap, his white wet bottom pointing at the sky.
The woman didn’t waste any time with further preliminaries, she held him securely in position with one hand, and used the other to smartly slap the backside over her lap, speaking in a calm, but loud enough to voice to be heard over Colin’s yells of pain and shock.
‘There are two things that both dry and warm up wet bottoms, one is a fire, the other is a good spanking. Both can burn.”
The campsite filled with the sound of Bagheera’s broad hard palm slapping firmly across the boy’s wriggling buttocks, the only other noises the cubs heard were Colin’s howls as his rear end went swiftly from milk white to the same red as the berries that grew on some of the nearby trees.
“What you did, Colin,” Bagheera said, as she continued to stoke the fires she had expertly lit on the boy’s bare bottom, “was silly and dangerous. It was made worse because your life jacket wasn’t on properly. You could have drowned if Miss Paula hadn’t been on hand to drag you out. May I have the paddle please, Paula?”
The girl brought the small, but sturdy paddle out from behind her back and held it out to the older woman. Bagheera accepted it by the handle, measured the distance to Colin’s now glowing globes and let it fly. It cracked loudly across the tender flesh and the sound of that impact made some of the boys jump in fright. Colin roared and kicked.
“You need to thank Miss Paula for fishing you out of the lake Colin,” Bagheera said sternly, unleashing a sizzling volley with the paddle right across the boy’s sit spots.
Colin was crying steadily now and he managed to sob out, “Ththankyou Muhmiss Pawpaula.”
“My pleasure, honey,” the girl said warmly. “Just don’t fall in again, okay?”
Satisfied that Colin had apologized Bagheera unloaded with the paddle on the howling crying cub. She gave his upper thighs and fire hot hemispheres a good going over so that he was a uniform red from there right across his sit spots and the fullness of his buttocks and she could feel the heat rising up off them.
The woman set the paddle down on the log, lifted the blubbering Colin to his feet, enfolded him in a motherly hug, letting him cry into her bosom for a few moments, while she rubbed his steaming rear end, then she took him to a quiet spot of the camp, facing a tree, which she had decided to use as a ‘naughty corner’, she folded his hands over his hand and told him to stand there like a good boy and not rub, until she or Miss Paula came to collect him.
The rest of the boys had a lunch of hot dogs and soda while they were lectured on water safety and had the example of the crying Colin’s red bottom as to the consequences of not doing as they were told.
Colin’s spanking had the effect of quitening all the boys down that night and no threats implied or otherwise were required that night to make the boys settle after they were zipped into their sleeping bags and lights were extinguished.
The event made Donald and the other first year cubs determined not to meet a similar fate, although the older more experienced boys said that they averaged three spankings per camping trip and they were running a covert pool about how many more would be handed out and who to as well as what for, before they piled into the bus to return home.
Donald’s best friend in cubs was a tall, brown haired boy by the name of Stuart, more commonly known as Stu to his friends. Donald was determined to get through the rest of the trip with his bottom the same pristine white it had been the day he boarded the bus. His mother didn’t really spank, certainly not the way Bagheera did, but her words when she signed the permission slip still rang in his ears and if he got spanked on camp, did that mean another one awaited him at home when his mother was informed of his behaviour at camp?
However trouble and young boys are never all that far away from each other and even more so when one of those boys is on the adventurous side in the way that Stuart was.
The previous day Paula had taken the boys on a bushwalk and even taught them some orienteering. Stuart and Donald had taken to orienteering quickly. Stuart’s older brother was a scout and he’d taught his younger sibling how to read a compass, the boy had been one of the youngest in the pack’s history to gain his orienteering merit badge. As a result of this when Paula had offered a family size block of chocolate for the first team of two who could pass her fairly easy in deference to their youth and level of experience orienteering course, Stuart and Colin had been first past the post to claim the treat, which they had shared with their tent mates in a before lights out feast.
Both Paula and Bagheera had run a quick wild life course, hoping to encourage the boys to spot bird life and maybe some aquatic or animal life as well, but also to recognize and avoid what was dangerous. The area was regularly patrolled by rangers, but feral cats and dogs as well as foxes could still be found and were to be avoided at all costs. The feral cats and dogs were very shy of people and just knowing a campsite was inhabited regularly seemed to be enough to make them give the place a wide berth, but the foxes were strangely enough more socialized and less scared. It didn’t help that rabbits were also known to have made their homes near to the camp.
Stuart and Donald had gone on a private exploration of the nearby bush in the hopes of spotting a rare bird or maybe even a snake, or something more exotic than rabbits and pigeons. It was a hot day and the two boys soon became both tired and bored. They dropped their packs down in a clearing and stretched out on their backs, using the lumpy packs as pillows.
After a few moments their conversation degenerated into the sort of boastful banter that small boys enjoy. “Betcha I could climb that tree,” Stuart said, pointing at a tall tree with smooth bark that stretched up into the sky.
“Betcha can’t,” Donald retorted. The branches were a long way up, and Donald didn’t think Stuart could shinny up it.
‘Watch,” Stuart said, leaping to his feet and then stopping as if frozen to the spot.
“What?” Donald asked, sitting up.
Stuart pointed to his eyes, put a finger over his lips and then at a flash of red in the undergrowth. “Fox,” both boys whispered.
The small, red furred canine crept out into the open cautiously and its eyes regarded the boys aggressively.
“Looks just like a little dog,” Stuart said.
“Yeah,” Donald agreed. He’d been at his parents for some time to get him a dog, but so far they had resisted his requests.
“Reckon we could catch it?” Stuart asked as the fox kept them in its sight, it crouched on its back legs, the lips peeling back from the needle sharp white teeth.
“It’s not very big,” Donald said, fishing a sweater out of his pack and shaking it out. “We could trap it in this.”
“Okay,” Stuart agreed. “I’ll scare it to you, you drop the sweater over it and then we both dive on it.”
The boys were about to put their foolhardy plan into action when the fox hissed, turned tail and darted back into the undergrowth.
The boy’s eyes opened wide in surprise and they wondered what had spooked the animal when they heard the clearing of a throat behind them and turned to look into the angry eyes of Miss Paula.
“What exactly did I tell you about animals like foxes yesterday?” Paula asked as she hauled the two protesting boys back to camp.
“To leave them alone,” Donald recalled miserably.
“And what did I just catch the two of you doing?”
“Trying to catch one,” Stuart sighed.
‘Trying to get yourselves a dose of rabies!” Paula snorted.
“What’s happened, Paula?” Bagheera asked from where she was showing a group of boys how to tie knots for their merit badges.
“I caught these two,” the girl shook the arms of her two captives. “Trying to trap a fox.”
“They were what?” Bagheera asked, her eyes flashing.
Some of the cubs exclaimed, “Cool!”
“One thing that won’t be cool are two little bottoms,” Bagheera vowed, as she set up a stool in between the opening to her tent and the campfire.
Paula gave the boys into the older lady’s charge and disappeared into the tent. When she came out she had Bagheera’s ‘little helper’ paddle in one hand and a heavy looking rectangular wooden hairbrush in the other.
“I thought that would come in handy when I packed it,” Bagheera said with a smile as she directed the girl onto a stool opposite her.
A crowd of cubs were gathering to watch the show and Donald felt himself start to cry as his bottom tingled. Even though Stuart had felt his father’s strap at least once he too started to cry, because he had heard stories about their den mother’s spankings and he knew with certainty he would soon be face down over that wide lap having his tender behind soundly spanked to a scorching lobster red.
Before commencing the spanking Bagheera and Paula lectured the boys in tandem. Paula had Donald in front of her and Stuart was with the den mother. It appeared as if this was going to be a dual spanking and each boy would be spanked at the same time.
“Foxes are dangerous, they’re vermin!” Bagheera told Stuart.
“They bite and give you diseases!” Paula said to Donald.
Both boys were crying hard in a mixture of fear and embarrassment. They didn’t really hear anything that they were being told, they just knew that soon their bottoms were going to be very sore and about as red as the long gone fox’s fur.
After the scolding shorts and underpants were lowered and two adventurous young cubs were tipped over two determined laps. The boys were positioned and the palms of Betty Galea and Paula rose and fell.
Pink handprints bloomed on tender young white buttocks and youthful lungs opened up in shouts of protest at the rude treatment.
Once Paula and Bagheera had administered their opening salvoes they settled into steady rhythm and by some unspoken agreement they kept pace with each other. Bagheera would smack Stuart’s reddening hills with a ringing slap and then Paula would repeat the action with Donald.
As their behinds grew ruddy the temperatures in them rose and the boys no longer cared that anyone was watching, they simply threw their heads back and howled, tears rolling down their cheeks. Donald kicked so vigorously that his shorts came right off and flew across the campsite. One of the other boys helpfully grabbed them before they could go too far and held onto them for after the spanking.
‘That seems to have lit quite a nice little campfire,” Bagheera said, her tone approving as she first looked at the bottom nestled in her lap and then at Donald’s jiggling globes. “I think these two could get their firelighter badge with this,” she joked.
Paula smiled at the older lady and gave Donald’s hot cheeks a fond rub, at which he sobbed a little louder, but actually enjoyed the gentle attention.
“Shall we swap?” Paula asked.
“Yes,” Bagheera decided definitely. “We do after all want our two fearless little hunters to get the complete experience, don’t we?”
The boys were lifted to their feet and the women swapped. Donald was flipped over Bagheera’s firm lap and sturdy thighs while Stuart found himself draped unceremoniously over Paula’s knees.
Donald flinched as he felt the flat hard surface of the small, but thick paddle dragged across his still steaming hindquarters. On the rare occasions his mother smacked him she used her hand, once or twice it had been the wooden spoon, but it was always over pants and never more than a few smacks with the spoon. The worst he could remember was throwing a tantrum about bedtime and getting it over his pajama bottoms. The hand spanking that Paula had just given him had been the soundest he had ever taken and now the den mother was going to follow it up with a paddle!
Stuart was a bit less concerned than Donald. His parents were a little quicker to use corporal punishment, and his mother generally spanked over underpants, she usually stopped when she saw the redness spread down from the underpants to his upper thighs. Bagheera had done worse than that already, the backs of the boy’s legs were the same shade of red as the rest of his rear end. His mother had never used a hairbrush like Paula had in her hand, but his brother had gotten it with the brush and while he said it was bad, it was bearable. Stuart fancied that his mother also had more experience smacking bottoms than the teenaged girl. Clearly Paula had never babysat the spirited young cub or he’d have known differently.
The paddle made a nice loud crack as Bagheera brought it crisply over Donald’s glowing backside. Just as the sting registered and the boy yelled, the heavier thudding sound of the hairbrush in Paula’s hand echoed around the campsite. Bagheera wound up for her second blow with the paddle and Stuart’s howl hit the air.
On it went. The paddle smacked down and Donald roared and kicked violently. Then the hairbrush fell and Stuart bellowed and squirmed as the temperature of his backside rose rapidly. To the boys over the laps and maybe even the awed onlookers it may have seemed endless. While it was a sound spanking, and certainly beyond anything either boy had felt before, it really didn’t take that long and from start to finish was a matter of minutes.
The boys bottoms looked and felt like they were about to catch fire, and their temperatures probably rivaled the campfire, which was regularly used to boil water during the trip. They had stopped yelling and kicking and lay over the laps of Betty and Paula, simply sobbing. Taking her cue from the older woman Paula administered a few more hearty licks with her brush once Stuart had got to that point, Donald received similar treatment from the little helper paddle.
Paula and Bagheera rubbed the bottoms vigorously to soothe them a little. They lifted the boys into sitting positions in their laps and held them, while whispering gently into their ears, stroking their hair and rubbing their backs. When the boys were cried out they were escorted to the ‘naughty tree’ and stood there with their blazing rumps displayed to the rest of the pack as a lesson.
Everyone took a swim following afternoon tea and Donald and Stuart were able to cool down their battered bottoms which still felt fiery hot to the duo.
That was the second last spanking of the trip. One tent full of spirited cubs went through a torrid encounter with the paddle. Paula spanked the boys by hand, and then gave them to Bagheera for a paddling. They had attempted to prank another tent and been caught in the process. The bus’ suspension was adequate, but the seats could be more comfortable. The other cubs didn’t envy those four having to nurse freshly spanked bottoms on the bumpy journey home.
Helen Simpson’s lips pursed as the den mother related the incident involving the fox to her when the boys returned.
“Bet his bum was the same shade as the foxes tail by the time you were done with him, Betty,” Daniel Simpson joked.
Betty Galea agreed with a small smile that it was.
“I may have to take my wooden spoon to him when we get him home,” Helen mused as her son’s eyes grew wide.
“By all means inspect him, he should still have a few marks and may be sleeping on him tummy for another night or two, if you think it’s warranted going to bed with a hot bottom never hurt anyone, but I wouldn’t do it just because,” Betty gave her advice.
“Uh no,” Helen said, somewhat mollified. “It sounds like you did a good job.”
“Donny’s a good boy,” was the den mother’s assessment, “but all boys need a good spanking from time to time, and no one better to do that then their Mum.”
Donald did experience at least one spanking at his den mother’s house in his years at the cubs and Helen became a more hands on spanking mother. Donald wasn’t entirely convinced, but he felt his mother got lessons from the maternal Betty Galea, because not only were his spankings more frequent, the back of a hairbrush was added into the mix and they were also always bare bottom from that point on, although he wasn’t spanked for punishment after the age of fourteen.
“So that camping trip convinced Grandma Helen to spank?” Derek Simpson asked his father, while young Gordon’s eyes grew wide.
Donald nodded with a faint grin.
“She never laid a finger on us,” Derek said.
“No, that’s what grandmas are for,” Martha said, scooping her grandson into her arms for a tight hug and a kiss on his cheek, “spoiling, not spanking.”
“Back in my day spanking is what den mothers did,” Donald concluded and silently added, “And I’m a better adult for the experience.”