“You can just march yourself outside and bring me a switch young man.” Switching their kids legs was the favored punishment of Mom’s in the deep south neighborhood where I grew up. You were usually sent to cut your own switch and it had to be a suitable one, nothing flimsy. Peach tree switches were considered the best, fortunately there were no peach trees within miles of us. However, there were plenty of bushes that had entirely suitable branches. Switches need not be of large diameter. The business end should be as small or smaller than the lead in a pencil. [You do remember pencils don’t you?]
Once a switch was deemed of adequate size, any branches or buds were removed. The next thing removed were my pants. The thing about a switch on the legs is that it does not matter where it lands. Front, back, sides, it’s all fair territory. If the licks were on the back of your legs and you spun around to escape, the next licks would be on the front on your legs.
Sometimes more than one switch would be used at a time. Instead of a single red line on your legs for each lick, you would have two or three lines. I used that technique when I switched some adult young ladies.
I was switched twice with girl playmates. Once when about 8 we failed to hear being called while playing in the woods. That made us late for something. We had to get switches and our Mom’s switched our bare legs on the patio. I thought she took her switching much better than I did and I was embarrassed about that. She stoically held her dress up while her Mother made stripes on her legs. Her eyes were wet, while I had lost it. Perhaps my first lesson in how the more tender gender handles pain so much better than hardtails do.
In sixth grade a girl chum and I got sassy with our Mom’s while at her home. They talked about what to do in front of us and a switching was determined to be appropriate. I was switched in the kitchen while she got hers in the next room. We did not see each other, but we could hear quite well. [In high school, we cut classes together and both got paddled by the vice principal.]
Becall’s Mom switching technique was much like my experiences. After cutting her switch, she had to bend over her bed and take the switch on the back of her legs.
Switches are not something we play with. We are still scared of them. We do use our wooden batten on each others legs. And like a switching on the legs, when finished, the bottom is white and ready for a paddling. We see it as two sessions in one.