Dad is a missionary, and at the time, we were living in Kenya as he evangelised and planted churches. I was enrolled in the nearby high school. Dad may have civilised Kenya,  but they certainly had a ways to go considering their backward attitude towards disobedience. Any infraction of the smallest degree was punished mercilessly with canes.  It was the Kenyan way.

I was in an 8pm Physics lesson. But what do you do when you are seated at the back and start to feel drowsy? You doze off, of course.

Here is where my deskmate, Henry, messed up. His job as a deskmate was to stay awake so that he could wake me up in emergencies. Do you know how important a job that was? I counted on him. I even promised him a free slice of pizza every week for his work too. But first day on the job, this guy saw me doze off and thought, hey that looks fun let me do it too.

The Physics teacher was not too happy that two of his students preferred sleep to the secrets of the universe. We were sent straight to the disciplinary committee.

When Henry and I got there, we knew there would be no happy ending.

The disciplinary committee had three members. Usually you only found one of them at the office while the others are teaching. By some cruel trick of fate,  ALL THREE of them were present. And these guys never cared what you actually did. Whether you robbed someone or just stepped on the grass, the punishment was the same.

Henry was quickly tackled to the floor. Henry was frightened out of his mind. He yelled and brayed and wriggled like an eel, but the teachers held him fast. I saw it in slow motion. I thought I was dreaming some nightmare. The teacher lined up for the shot the same way a professional golfer or badminton player might, checking his stance and grip and everything.

As Henry laid on his stomach wondering what just happened, a flurry of attacks fell upon his exposed rear.




That guy was good. He brought the cane down in a practiced swing, like he was a professional or something. You could see it. The loose drop, the swing back, pronation–the teacher coiled up like a cobra and let loose on his ass like an EXPLOSION. I mean he whipped Henry’s ass GOOD, scary fast, once on the forward swing, and snapped the cane a second time as he returned to starting position. And you could see how the flesh curled and flinched from the impact, and the rough wood branding angry lashes, breaking the skin and causing trauma to the immediate region. Red, blue bloomed on his butt cheeks and it started to leak clear fluid. The afterimages trailed the cane and dissipated.

As the first teacher brought down fire and brimstone on Henry, the other two were cheering him on.

“Yes! Give him more!”

“Use your hips! Dynamic stance!”

“Bad kids like you deserve to be disciplined. Stop touching your butt it’s not going to help.”

And just like a horror movie, the teacher suddenly froze and turned his head dramatically to where I was. His eyes met mine as he cracked the air with the cane with perfect technique, a fine red mist of particulate Henry emanating from it.

“Your turn.”

No. No. No. I can’t do this. That cane ain’t even sanitary. My hand entered my right pocket and felt something. The eye drops I was given a while back by the nurse. Why would I have eye drops—

Wait. An idea.

“Sir! I can explain,” I blurted out before kneeling down.

He approached me. I could smell the sweat he had accumulated from his exercise a few seconds ago.

“What is it?!” he barked.

“W-well,” I stammered “I was sleeping in class because of the medication I am taking. It makes the user slee—”


My right hand was trembling as I handed the teachers the eye dropper. Honestly, I was 100% sure they would not believe me.

After what seemed like an hour of them scrutinizing the bottle they turned to me at last.

“Go to class.”

Wow. I made it.

I bolted like a hare. Unfortunately, Henry had no excuse. I left him to be pulverized by the entire committee for nearly half an hour. That was the end of our friendship. Ah well. Better him than me.


This is a story adapted from Elvin Jakinda’s Quora post: