Punishment

Back in the early 1940s, when my sister was 12 and I was 14, we lived on a farm near Kellogg, Minnesota. We had to walk 1½ miles to school every day; no school buses in our area. This particular day, my sister and I were fooling around in the kitchen and had not changed into our chore clothes. I did something to make my sister mad, and she picked up a hammer and hit me in the back. So I got mad and picked up the nearest thing, which was a wooden yardstick. I took after her, aiming at her butt, but I hit her hand. She started screaming bloody murder, and I saw one of her fingers swelling, and I thought I had broken it.

About this time my dad came in from town (a little on the tipsy side), and of course she showed Dad her finger. Dad grabbed me by the collar, and I rode his foot all the way to the barn. My punishment was to do my chores and my sister’s. It was dark when I got back to the house. Before opening the door, I looked down at my school clothes all messed up, and I thought I would get some more punishment, but I didn’t. My sister’s finger was just swollen, not broken.

Duane McDougall, Mt. Pleasant, Union Power Cooperative

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