Down by the ocean, down by the sea
Jenny broke a bottle and blamed it on me
I told Ma, Ma told Pa
Jenny got a spanking so ha ha ha!
How many spankings did she get?
1, 2, 3, 4…
It was a simple affair, really, but it’s been burned into my mind since it happened over fifty years ago. I was just a kid at the time, seven years old. Most of the other boys in my neighborhood were older than me and didn’t want a little kid hanging around and, for the most part, I didn’t like their rough games anyway. It was tough, being a sensitive, artistic type in that kind of neighborhood, so mostly I spent my leisure time sitting on the stoop watching the girls play nearby. This, I would say, was the start of my fascination with the female form.
So I sat on the stoop, a writing pad on my knees and a stubby pencil in my fingers, watching the girls play at hopscotch and jacks on the sidewalk and jumping rope in the street as traffic permitted. I liked watching jump rope best because, even at that tender age, I thought girls’ legs were pretty and every time they jumped, their skirts would flap showing a satisfying flash of knee and thigh. Plus their chants and giggles were just so cute.
Tabitha and Jennifer were the girls next door. Their mom was friends with my mom and we were often put together so one or the other could run errands while the other watched over us. We were all friends, but with other girls to play with, Tabby and Jenny were happy to ignore me.
Tabby was the older of the sisters. She was tall for an eleven year old and wore her hair in a single braid. On this day, I remember, she was wearing a pale blue dress (without sleeves since it was the summer), and white socks that had fallen down around her ankles, and black scuffed shoes. I liked the way her dress showed off her shoulders. I thought she was very mature looking.
Jenny was the little sister; she was my age, and we were generally closer friends than Tabby and I were. She was clad in a little pink dress that day with a white shirt underneath embroidered with little purple flowers at the neck. Her socks were pink too.
Jenny had brought down a glass of lemonade, which she wasn’t allowed to do. She was sitting at the base of the stoop, only a few steps down from me, and was impatiently awaiting her turn at the doubledutch jump rope where her sister Tabby was busily counting her jumps while her friends chanted one of the hundreds of jump rope chants that baffled me.
Engine, engine number 9.
Running down Chicago line.
If the train should jump the track,
Do you want your money back?
When suddenly Jenny kicked over her glass of lemonade and the glass broke on the sidewalk. The incident was noticed by myself, a few other kids, and Tabby. Tabby immediately stepped out of the quickly swinging ropes without messing up the others still jumping and chanting, and stalked towards us.
“Jenny, you bad girl!”
Jenny looked from the broken glass and spilt lemonade to her older sister, a look of horror on her face.
And that’s when it happened. Tabby sat on the step next to Jenny. She grabbed Jenny’s hand despite the younger girl’s protests, pulled her over her gorgeous knees, and flipped Jenny’s skirts up to reveal the panties beneath stripped in pastel yellows, blues, greens, and pinks. I’d never seen a girl’s panties before, and I was entranced. Jenny’s little legs began to kick. Then Tabby spanked her little sister’s bottom with quick, crisp smacks that were lost among the giggles, shouts, and chants of the kids playing in the street. I think I’m the only one who really took any note.
Other than Tabby and Jenny that is.
It was quick, only about five swats or so. Then Jenny stood up, pouting and rubbing at her butt.
“Now go upstairs and tell mama what you did,” Tabby demanded, sending Jenny along with another swat.
I turned around to watch Jenny enter our building, still rubbing her butt under her dress, showing her cute stripped panties. I turned back to look at Tabby who was watching her little sister with a sense of satisfaction. Then she noticed me. My heart stuttered, and for a moment I was certain I was next, but Tabby just gave me a wink and went back to her game.
Later, after the mess had been cleaned up by a heavily crying Jenny (I think her mom gave her another spanking in the apartment), Jenny sat next to me, sniffling, and I provided a sympathetic ear to complain to.
“It was an accident,” Jenny said for the umpteenth time, and I nodded my sympathy. “She didn’t hafta spank me for it. I’ll bet my butt’s still red.”
I couldn’t help myself. I said, “Can I see it?”
Jenny gave me a disgusted look and joined her sister and friends.
I returned my attention to my notepad and began to draw, looking up fondly and often at my inspiration.
Down in the valley where the green grass grows
There sat Tabby, pretty as a rose
Up came Johnny and kissed her on the cheek
How may kisses did she get this week?
1, 2, 3, 4…