"To other woundes, and to broken armes,
Some hadde salve, and some hadde charmes."
Geoffrey Chaucer: Canterbury Tales

and nowadays spanking is a scientific matter...

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Salvation

"And so, by the late nineteenth century, the rise of laboratory based scientific work had largely displaced the accumulated folk-wisdom of earlier centuries."

Sylvia was paralytically bored. Professor Ferula droned on and she tried to avoid falling asleep right under his eye.

She felt she'd been conned anyway. Ejected from two previous courses for total lack of diligence to her studies, she still needed to complete one mandatory science module. She had been pleasantly surprised when that miserable old trout in the Academic Registrar's office had suggested a place on Introduction to Farm Ecology. After all, Daddy had simply hundreds of farm animals on the estate, cows, sheep, peacocks, absolutely everything, so it ought to be a pushover. And she might get some riding. But instead here she was in smelly labs and dusty lecture theatres, all pills, potions and absolutely nothing about farming. It was *so* unfair.

She realised with a start that the room was emptying and the Professor was staring at her. "Ah, you've rejoined us, I see, " he murmured. "Not that it makes a great deal of difference, but if you could continue to confine your slumbers to the back of the theatre for these last couple of weeks that you'll be with us, I would be so grateful."

Three weeks to the half term exam for admission to the second part of the module. Third impending ejection. Termination of studies. Unamused father declining to pay for fun summer.

Sylvia turned the waterworks to moist trickle and adopted her contrite-little-girl tone. "I'm so sorry, Professor, but I've been up so late studying: you cover so much interesting ground. I really am worried though that I might not do well in the core areas of the exam because I may be spending too much time on the supplementary reading. Is there anything you can do to help?...."

Later that afternoon the discussion continued in the Professor's tutorial room. Those not blessed with great academic prowess may nonetheless have great insights into human nature and Sylvia was demonstrating hers by bending over the Professor's desk, gyrating her bottom slowly and saying "I know I've been a naughty girl, but can't we deal with that now, put it all behind us? I really won't mind." Her resolution wavered when the professor produced a nasty looking riding crop, but what the hell, it couldn't be any worse than her convent spanking schooldays at St. Torquemadas.

She stood up slowly, and stiffly, blinking away the tears. "I'll be able to continue the course next half then?

"Oh I should think so," smiled the Professor "provided I get an excellent supplementary project paper from you." He handed her a small glass jar of ointment. "I think a good title would be
'A Study of the Efficacy of Traditional Pharmacological Remedies Utilising Extract of Common Sage, Salvia Officianalis'
I suggest the left buttock as the control zone."

As Sylvia limped dumbfounded out of the room the Professor's voice followed her, "Daily photographs, please...."

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