Friday, November 28, 2014

Snowball Fight

I was in the 5th grade which means I was 10 years old. I lived in one of the many small towns my family moved to. As a matter of fact this small town is probably the closest to being my home as any.

My grandmother lived there. My uncle and his family came to town on Saturdays to shop and party. I liked living there.

The public school was on the opposite corner of town from where I lived. We usually walked to school but sometimes we were lucky enough to have my mother give us a ride.

In Nebraska we got a lot of snow during the winter. It was not a hardship because we expected it. It was just the way the weather worked.

The school was for Kindergarten through 12th grade like most of the schools I went to. And this school had a large number of students. More than I was used to up to that time.

This particular school did not open the doors to students until time for school to begin. If we got there early we played outside. Tag and other group games kept us busy until we could go inside.

However throwing activities were against the rules. Balls and that sort of thing might break a window. The prohibition against throwing included snowballs. No snowball fights... ever!

There had been a good snow overnight. It was nice and wet... perfect for snowballs. We decided to go across the street to the yard of one of my classmates. We just could not leave that great wet snow untouched.

It was a magnificent snowball fight. We did not even take the time to choose teams. It was every man for himself.

We made and threw snowballs until the bell rang. With all the running and throwing and laughing we were all nicely exercised and ready to settle down for a warm classroom and our lessons.

Once attendance was taken the principal visited our room. He was a short round man with a very deep baritone of a voice. And he was not happy. Someone had broken the no throwing rule.

One of the teachers had arrived at the school to see us having our glorious snowball fight across the street from the school. She took down all our names and marched straight in to see the principal in a self-righteous rage. He would be calling us out of class later when he had decided on our punishments.

We were indignant of course. We had not been on school grounds. We had broken no rules. And we certainly did not deserve to be punished.

The boys were called to the office first. The girls waited in the secretary's outer chamber. One by one the boys came out rubbing their bottoms with wet eyes that were slightly red.

When all the girls were assembled in the principal's office he boomed out in that deep voice of his that we would have to be punished. He explained that we may not have been on the school grounds for the snowball fight but we had been there earlier so technically he was responsible for us and we had broken the rules. WHAT?!?!

He went on to say that he had paddled each boy five whacks with his paddle. He had never had to paddle a girl before. Therefore each of us would get three whacks.

I got to go first. Lucky me. The whacks did not hurt because he did not hit us as hard as the boys. We were girls after all. The secretary had been called in to be a witness. There was to be no suggestion of impropriety you know.

Now one of the girls had on a skirt with lots and lots of can-cans as we called them. Can-cans were starched petticoats that were stiff and made the skirt stand out prettily. When she would lean over the chair to place her bottom in position for a spanking the can-cans popped into the air exposing (gasp) panties.

Finally the secretary came over to hold the skirt down so no panties would be seen. The principal gave her the three whacks and we all went back to class giggling because of his embarrassment. His little round fat face was so red.

Of course we knew which teacher had demanded punishment for our misdeeds. She was such a prune. We set about plotting ways to get her back. Sadly we never did anything but I still sort of wish we had. I also still feel that we did nothing wrong.


  1. I would have felt the same. It wasn't fair, in the first place it wasn't in the school premises, second nobody got hurt, now windows got broken and third, it was fun. Perhaps, it was their authority which you have broken not the rule itself, and for that, they thought you deserved a punishment. Aww three whacks.

    1. I think it was that bitter old woman who had no business being around children let alone teaching them who is the first at fault. She could not stand to see us having fun. The principal should have had better sense too. The whacks did not hurt the girls. The boys were hit hard and most had tears in their eyes. We walked out giggling. Thank goodness most schools no longer allow corporal punishment.

  2. Dear Emma,
    I also think that you did nothing wrong - the rules said: School-ground, and you weren't on school-ground. He might have left it with that - explaining that next time he meant the other side of the street too - but not now.
    Today adults would be glad if children would be allured away from their computers to run out into the snow and do a hearty snow-fight!

    1. When I read through your answer to Mari's comment: are there still schools that allow corporal punishment? Here it is absolutely forbidden by law.
      And that teacher: she must have been jealous about your joy - and tried to spoil it.

    2. I am not sure what laws are in place to control corporate punishment. I do know that some schools both public and private still practice it. At the beginning of each school year I made a point of going to the principal of any school my children attended. That was when I would let them know that if my children needed to be disciplined I would support them as long as they did not hit my child. I did it every year often to the same principals. Parents have to be involved in every aspect of their children's lives in order to protect them.

    3. That is true, and it is very thoughtful to remind the principal if no law exists. Of course teachers need ways to discipline children - but not with a paddle...