It was time for Bark Brigade training again at the Dearly Farm. quite a few of the 99 Puppies were cadets in the Bark Brigade.
One pup, Lucky, was a promising cadet but he was at times arrogant, selfish and egotistical and that would hurt his performance and his fellow cadets.
Lucky had developed a rivalry with the ranking cadet, Tripod, named so because he was missing his left front leg. but he was a great athlete despite that and that made Lucky jealous.
"he's a fine cadet," thought Lucky to himself, "but how can he be better than I am! I'm healthy and full of life, and I'm whole! Tripod should not be as good an athlete as I am! I should be better than him!"
Cadets were urged with the belief that their competition should be with themselves, not each other. But Lucky didn't see it that way. He set up a fierce rivalry between himself and Tripod.
Lucky barged in on Tripod wile he was working on on his weight machine made from rope and hay bails.[/quote]
"Hey, Tripod!" said Lucky in his know-it-all young boy voice, "I challenge you to any competition you name!"
Tripod laughed. "You're out of your league, kid! Go back to your pals in the dorm and plan a party for Friday. I have to train."
This angered Lucky. "You think all I care about is parties? I train just as much as you do! Just name a competition!"
"Arm wrestling." Tripod finally said.[/quote]
"You've got it, Tripod!" Luck did not realize that, with one of his limbs missing, the strength that Tripod would ordinarily have lost with the missing limb was compernsated for in his training by his three remaining limbs, and much of his power lay in his arm.
"Let's go!" said Tripod; "--but wait! He added, "We should make this a real contest! The loser has to give something of value to the winner. You game?"
"I'll give you my sgined picture of Thunderbolt." Lucky said.[/quote]
"OK," said Tripod. "I'll give you a personally signed and framed commendation from the general that I received from the general congratulating me for outstanding performance in the acamedy. It's worth money; the general's autograph is hard to come by, and it's my most valued possession."
"Deal," said Lucky, and the two prepared a table with two chairs for the contest.
The contest didn't last long as Tripod pinned Lucky's hand so hard, Lucky was flung out of his seat.
But Lucky got angry at this and tackled Tripod, biting and even hitting Tripod's stump. Tripod's wound had basically healed, but there were times in which pain raced through his stump, and he was incapacitated, though only for a couple of hours, and this did not happen very often. Doctors had assured him and his parents, as well as the officers in command rank in the academy, that this pain would fade, and it would not hamper his performance as a cadet and later as an officer, and this proved to be true. But Lucky's cruel attack on Tripod's stump caused the pain to sear through him. For the first few seconds he was silent, but the look he gave Lucky was one not of physical but emotional hurt, one that suggested that his spirit was broken, though this was only a temporary feeling; Tripod's spirit was by no means broken, and he wanted to fight Lucky. But this proved impossible. After a few minutes of these conflicting emotions Tripod's pain was too great, and he moaned loudly and whined. Lucky knew he had made a serious, stupid mistake.
Soon enough, Sgt Tibbs brought Lucky to the Colonel, the leader of the Bark Brigade on the farm.[/quote]
Sarge told the colonel what Lucky had done, and the commanding officer was shocked. He was silent for a moment, as one is when he hears something of unbelief. Then he said:
"H-how COULD you, Lucky--cadet! How could you do such a wicked thing! If you saw a human in a wheel chair would you try to push him over?" The colonel did not wait for a reply, and that was fine because none was forthcoming. Lucky looked at the ground. "Stand at attention when I am speaking to you, cadet, and look me in the eye! What you have done is deserving of great punishment! But I myself will not select that punishment--Tripod will!"
"Yes, sir!" replied Lucky somewhat weakly. He gulped hard. He had hurt Tripod badly, not only physically but emotionally, reminding Tripod of the injury that cost him his leg and drove him to prove himself the best in the academy, in spite of the loss of one of his limbs. Lucky dreaded Tripod's choice of punishment. He gulped again.
When Tripod was told he would decide Lucky's punishment, he at first was hesitent as Lucky was still his little brother. by adoption if not by blood, but what he did was still wrong and he had to decide. He spoke to Sarge, who brought him the news, privately.
"What Lucky did to me hurt me, both physically and emotionally. I'm confined to the infirmary for the next two or three days. But he is my brother, and I love him." Tripod paused.
"What do you want us to do with him?" asked Sarge.
Tripod thought for a moment, then said "I don't want Lucky severely punished. Since you ask for my preference I will tell you. Lucky is an immature kid and needs to be treated like one. I think you should tan his hide."
"All right," said Sarge, not surprised, "I'll tell the Colonel. You get some rest."
"Thanks, Sarge," aid Tripod, and he returned to bed.
Lucky was in his room, waiting.[/quote/]
Meanwhile, Sarge returned to the Colonel's office. "Colonel, Tripod believes we should whip Lucky on the butt. It's not a very severe punishment, but they're related and Tripod believes Lucky is immature and should be treated like a kid. Well, he is one, anyway."
"OK," said the Colonel , "that's what we'll do then. By the way, how is Tripod faring?"
"I didn't ask, Colonel," said Sarge, "but judging from what I've seen of him--the infirmary is just the place for him."
Then the Colonel said, "Please escort Lucky to my office, Sarge."
"Yes, sir," came the answer. Sarge left the colonel's office and went to Lucky's roon, whom he found sitting silently on the edge of his bed, his head lowered. Sarge entered Lucky's room without knocking and said to him, "We're going to the Colonel's office. Come with me."
"What's gonna happen to me, Sarge?" asked Lucky, full of concern.
"You'll find out when we get to the Colonel's office. Now step up your pace!"
"Yes, Sarge," said Lucky, and soon they arrived at the Colonel's office. Sarge knocked and showed Lucky inside. The Colonel dismissed Sarge and began addressing Lucky.
"Tripod wanted me to spank you." Colonel said.
"What ever he thinks best," said Lucky, "I know I deserve it."
The Colonel said, "You should get into the proper position now, cadet."
Lucky lowered his front so that his butt was sticking up. He braced himself.
Colonel got a switch and whacked it against Lucky's backside.
Lucky winced, he knew what to say next. "Thank you sir, may I have another?"
Colonel switched him again.
"Yeow-Thank you, sir, may I have another?"[/quote]
Once again the colonel switched him on the butt.
And the prescribed sentence, "Thank you sir, may I have another?' escaped Lucky's lips with a little more difficulty; his young-boy voice trembled.
SWAT!. . . . "Th-thank you, sir, may I have another? CRACK!. . . . "OWWW! Thank you, sir, may I have another?" SMACK!. . . . "AHHHH! Th-thank y-y-you, s-sir, m-may I-I h-have a-another?"
And so it went: SWAT!. . . . SMACK!. . . . WHAP!. . . . WHOP!. . . . BAM!. . . . WHAM!. . . . POW!. . . .
"OWWWWWW! Thank you sir, may I have another?"
"You certainly may!" the colonel said, "you have it coming!"
SWAT!. . . . SWITCH!
"OWWWWW! Thank you sir, may I have another?
SWAT. . . . SWITCH!. . . . SWISH!. . . . CRACK!. . .. .SWISH!. . . . WHACK!
"Thank you, sir, may I have another?" Lucky was in tears now, and his butt was on fire; after each CRACK! of the switch the boy made the necessary request, but these requests were often preceded by a scream: "AHHHH!"
Since the rooms were close by, being make shift buildings the animals made when the humans were not looking, Tripod was able to hear Lucky's thrashing from his hospital bed.[/quote
Tripod began to feel sorry for his brother. He was still in pain from his brother's kick, and the emotional hurt from the incident did not lessen; but he felt his brother's pain was equaling his, and the emotional pain, coupled with humiliation, was, Tripod believed, greater than his own. Since the Colonel said he could choose the punishment, Tripod decided that he could decide when it should end. Therefore, Tripod limped painfully to the Colonel's office to ask him to conclude Lucky's whipping.
In the meantime Lucky did his best to alleviate at least some of the pain he was deeling. He wiggled his bottom but the Colonel took hold of his lower quarters and prevented this. . . . . WHAP!. . . . "OWWWWW! Thank you sir, may I have another?. . . . CRACK! Thank you , sir, may I have another? The words came out much more difficultly than the screams, but Lucky's switching continued, along with the screams, along with the formulaic requests. But these were barely understood by the Colonel, and he insisted that the boy speak louder and more firmly. "You are going to be an officer, a leader of soldiers! You must bear pain without yelling too loudly, or so that your yells do not impede you speaking of orders!"
Lucky sniffed, choking back tears, and said "Yes, sir!"
WHAP!. . . . "Thank you, sir, may I have another?. . . .WHACK! . . . .."Thank you, sir, may I have another?". . . . WHAM!--Then there was a loud knock on the Colonel's door. "Retain your position!" the colonel commanded Lucky, and he stopped long enough to open, saw Tripod leaning on an orthopaedic cane, and invited him in. Lucky was humiliated that whoever came saw him with his butt in the air and the Colonel holding a switch.
"Since I requested the form of punishment, may I also request it stop now?" Tripod asked
"And why do you want that?" The Colonel asked.[/quote]
"Sir," responded Tripod, "if it please you, I would prefer Lucky's physical and emotional pain not be greater than mine."
"I see," the Colonel said. "Lucky, do I have your word, as a young gentleman, a cadet, and as a future officer, that you will NEVER again strike your brother in his afflicted area?"
Lucky burst into uncontrollable tears, truly repentant of hurting his brother as he said. "I swear!" he avowed through tears.
The colonel said, "Now apologize to your brother. You may rise."
"Tripod," said Lucky, "I'm so very sorry that I hurt you and caused you so much pain on the inside! I promise, I will NEVER hurt you like that again, and will fight fairly against you from now on, and then only in war games."
Tripod embraced his step brother and said, "I freely forgive you Lucky."
Then the Colonel told Tripod, "Return to your bed, cadet."
"Yes, sir," said Tripod, who saluted the colonel and left.
Then the colonel turned to Lucky. "All right, cadet. You seem to have learned your lesson. But you must understand that I'm going to notify your father of this incident, and if it is repeated you will be expelled from the academy. Now you are suspended for two and a half days. I will write a note explaining to your father why, how I have dealt with you, and what will happen if the incident is repeated. You must have your father sign the note, and you must return it to me. Is that clear?"
"Yes, sir," responded Lucky. Then the colonel wrote the note, put it in an envelope which he sealed, and dismissed Lucky, who saluted and left. Lucky dreaded his upcoming interview with his father; he slowly walked home.
But Lucky then went back to the infirmary to apologize to Tripod again.
"It's okay, Luck, really." Tripod said. "And I'll give you back your Thunderbolt autograph but since you're being punished, don't expect it back any time soon." the three legged dog chuckled.[/quote]
"I understand," said Lucky, forcing smile.
"Hey! Don't be glum, you little mutt!" said Tripod. "Everything is gonna be OK. You said you're sorry, and I know you are. You've been punished enough, and I'm not gonna add to your miser. C'mere and give your brother a hug!'
Lucky went to Tripod and embraced him, sobbing.
"No more tears now, laddie! You've paid your debt. I know you've been suspended, an' you're gonna have a few words with daddy--and I know what that means; but I didn't request it. Now run along, I need sto sleep for a while--they've given me a shot. I'll bet that by the time you get back I'll be "up an' st 'em!" Good bye now, brother.
"Sleep well, Tripod," said Lucky, and he left the room. Tripod almost immediately went to sleep.
On his way home he thought of positive things to block out his father's future, no doubt negative, reaction to the Colonel's note and his own suspension from the academy: his brother had forgiven him, knowing that he was sincerely contrite, he had not been reduced in rank or expelled, and the colonel had already switched him. He thought of all this, and it made him feel a little better, but not happy. he could easily, and dreadfully, expect his father's reaction.
When he got home his father asked him what he was doing home on a Wednesday afternoon--cadets came home only on weekends and holidays, with a one month summer break. Lucky showed him the note, which he read with incredulity- and then anger. "What's this? said his daddy, "hitting Tripod's stump which is still tender? Switched by the colonel at Tripod's request, fighting your brother? suspended for two and a half days? What do you have to say for yourself?
Lucky looked at the floor. He mumbled "I'm sorry. I lost my temper."
His father said "Well, that temper of yours needs to be doused! I'm going to fight fire with fire! The fiery temper of a boy needs to be doused with a fiery bottom. But your hitting of Tripod's stump! That needs to be met with a most severe punishment!"
"I asked for Tripod's forgiveness, and he freely gave it to me! And I have been already switched sternly by the colonel, and that will go on my permanent record. Can't you forgive me too?"
"Yes, Luck, I can, but not until I have beaten your butt with the cane until it glows! Come into my study!"
Lucky followed his father. He said to himself, "Man up, boy! You're gonna be a soldier! there'll be times when you have to face death! Surely this will not be as bad!" but when Lucky saw his father take down the thick but flexible cane, made for whipping very naughty schoolboy's, his heart gave out, and he was alarmed.
His father said, "Assume the position!"
"Yes, sir!" said Lucky, and he fell on his front legs, leaving his back legs in their present state, so that his butt was in the air and exposed.
"Brace yourself, Lucky," and his father let fly with the first stroke.
Lucky yelped loudly, his bottom still very sore. WHACK! SMACK! CRACK! Lucky's bottom was on fire when his bottom was switched by the colonel; now that fire was being re-ignited; Lucky's bottom was already bright red, but his father Pongo was determined not to forget his brother's disability, his kicking of Tripod's stump which was very wicked, the punishments he was getting for his action, and the day on which this happened. He also meant to make Lucky's sitting down difficult.
WHACK! CRACK! SMACK! WHOP! WHAP! BAM! WHAM!
"AHHHHHHH!" Lucky yelled at each srike of the cane. SMACK! WHACK! CRACK! Lucky began to sniffle and sob.
His father told him, "You're going to spend the next four and a half days in your room, and the only diversions you will have are meals, study, and sleep!--though how well you sleep depends on how seriously you take your attack on your less fortunate brother!"
Lucky was, indeed, very sorry for what he had done, but he believed that his father's statement that Tripod was disabled were at least somewhat exaggerated. He knew first hand how strong--and able--Tripod really was. But Lucky did not dispute his father's assessment, especially since to do so might result in not only Lucky's ability to sit down but also his ability to stand, which would confine him in bed for a couple of days, undergoing twice the punishment he was getting presently.
WHACK! SMACK! CRACK! WHAP! WHOP! BOOM! POW! BAM! WHAM!
"OWWWWWWWWWWWW! Please, daddy!" yelled Lucky, "Please! Have a heart! The colonel switched me good, and my rear end is SOOOOOO sore! It's burning hot! It's on fire!"
But his father said "Be a man! You caused your brother pain, so now I' m returning it! Besides, your present difficulties will pass, but your brother's physical challenge is permanent! The lickings the colonel and I are giving you are in part designed to help you remember that."
Lucky said nothing, but he began to cry bitterly.
SMACK! THRASH! WHACK! CRACK! SWOOSH! CRACK! SWISH! WHACK! SWOOSH! SMACK!
"AHHHHH!" Lucky screamed. "P-p-please, daddy! [sob, hic] I d-don't know how m-much m-m-more I c-can stand! If you're not c-careful you'll disable m-m-me!" Those were rather bold words, but instead of angering his father they made him proud; they showed that even now, while being caned by his fater, Lucky had spirit. He would make a fine officer one day, if he watched his temper. Pongo slowed down the caning of his son noticeably.
But is wasn't quite over yet.[/quote]
For the next five minutes Pongo caned his son at a slower pace, but still hard:
WHACK!. . . . SMACK!. . . . CRACK!. . . . BAM!. . . . WHOP!. . . . WHAM!. . . . POW!
"Dad, PLEASE!" yelled Lucky, "How many stripes can a guy get in one day for the same offense?"
His father answered, "First of all, I am your daddy, and I will decide how many stripes you get for the heinous offense that you committed today! And secondly, the offense requires that you be thrashed at least twice! And thirdly, you have been suspended from the academy for three and a half days, and that in itself is worth a second thrashing!"
SMACK!. . . . WHACK!. . . . CRACK!. . . . WHAP!. . . . WHOP!
The caning seemed to continue relentlessly, and the pup howled and whined in despair; he also continued to verbally plead with Pongo.
"Please, daddy! Stop! My rear is ON FIRE!"
But his father said, "Lucky, that is EXACTLY the feeling I want to create in you! You will NEVER fight with your brother again, unless it is in supervised training exercises! And you will NEVER fight unfairly with your brother, or any other cadet, for that matter, again! And you will NEVER be suspended from school again unless there are extenuating circumstances, like a fair fight between you and another cadet who started the fight and with whom you have tried to reason with him! Have I made myself clear?" Pongo punctuated each sentence with a loud, hard WHACK! of the cane.
Lucky answered, sobbing, "Yes, sir! [hic!] I understand.
By the time Pongo finished, Lucky's rear end was scorching red and blistered.[/quote]
Lucky was relieved that the caning was over. Pongo said, "I don't enjoy punishing you, son, or seeing you suffer. I want you to realize, however, that there are consequences for your actions, and the more naughty or bad the action, the more severe the consequences--the punishment or unpleasant the outcome--will be; and hitting your brother in his stump is the most naughty action you have performed, and the punishment the colonel and I have given you suits your bad action. Lucky," his father continued, "you need to learn--now--that you're going to be an officer, and you will have many adult dogs who haven't had the training you are getting, under your command, and there will come times when their lives will be in your hands. That is the MOST important responsibility you will have, and since that is the case, you're going to have to learn to make wise choices. Hitting your brother in his stump was a very unwise choice. The colonel has told me you hospitalized him. You lost your temper in a fight, yes, and that blinded you to the serious consequences of your action. You MUST learn how to control your temper, so that you can make well-thought-out, wise choices. This is true not only in your fight with your brother, which is in the past for you--though not for him,--but it's also going to be true when all those lives are at your command. I want you to learn how to control your temper--Tibbs, I think, can make some exercises to help you control your temper, even in combat situations--so that you can make wise choices, in control of yourself at all times, so that you will be a good officer and succeed in most--probably not all--you endeavors; mistakes are made and there's simply no way to get around that. You may make them, or someone above you or below you may make them, and that may contribute to the failure of a particular operation. Mistakes are one thing, but temper-tantrums are quite another, and these lead inexorably to failure. Do you understand what I am saying, son?"
"Yes, sir," said Lucky.
"All right then, Lucky," said Pongo, "You may go to your room right now and rest and lie down. Remember that you're confined to your room until you return to the academy, except for mealtimes. The only things you are allowed to do are study and sleep, at night. Under the circumstances you are excused from your lessons for the rest of the day--I know you've had a rough day. I'll tell you when dinner's ready. Run along now." His father petted his head.
Lucky smiled. "OK, daddy!" And he went to his room, where he almost immediately went to sleep.
Lucky had indeed learned his lesson. It would be untrue to say that he and Tripod would never argue again. It is the way of brothers to voice--often loudly--their disagreements. But these two never fought each other again, even in military exercises. Lucky learned very soon how to control his explosive temper, so that he would be--and indeed turned out to be--a fine officer with a cool head who could be trusted even on diplomatic missions. Lucky was punished severely for his action against Tripod that day, but the punishment made him into a better dog, cadet, and eventually officer out of him. [The End]