Susan took a deep breath as she peered toward her red and white cork floating upon the still water. Slowly she started to release her breath as she peered up at the morning sun, that was just starting to climb above the pointed tops of the pines and furs trees. A little frown crossed her lips as peered toward the sun, slowly climbing into the sky.
"Man." She said huffing. "I'm barely going to have time to fish." She said as she peered toward her cork bobbling up and down on the small waves that crashed into the sandy shore. A stones throw away, there stood a old, weather worn wooden sign that had been driven into the sandy soil. Painted upon the surface of the sign were the words "No Fishing" with the word "No" have a big bold underline under it.
Susan having hiked a good dozen or so miles with a full load on her back had not seen the sign when she set up camp late yesterday afternoon. Sore, tired and hungry. All she could do was start a small cooking fire, boil some tea and prepare a meager meal. And in the end, she barely had enough energy to craw under her blankets. She out like a like the minute her head touched her pillow.
It had been the first faint rays of the summer sun peeking through the crack in the cloth door of her tint that had caused her to stir awake after spending a reckless night turning and tossing in her bedroll. After trying to fall back asleep for a few minutes she stood up and sighed. The train to sleepy town had left the station. Leaving her standing on the platform it seemed.
All of these thoughts filtered through her head as she peered toward that little red and white cork floating on the calm waves of the lake. She was just about to reel in her line when through the bush came the thumping of booths and the snapping of twigs and the cranking of dead leaves. Susan quickly dropped her fishing pole and quickly turned her head toward the source of the noise.
And through the undergrowth came a young park ranger. He was dressed in his ranger shirt A gray uniform shirt with a golden badge and a golden name tag where both pinned to the breast pockets. The tails of which was tucked into the waistline of his forest green pants. A black leather belt tied the outfit together.
"I was told." He said taking a deep breath. "That a young girl was camping in a no camping zone and she was also fishing in a no fishing zone. I was hoping that that was just a rumor. Cause I'll hate to drag her down to the ranger station for a little talking too."
Susan blinked and blinked again as she peered toward the ranger that just appeared. Like a ghost or something. Susan blinked and again as she titled her head. "I.. I thought this was a fishing zone?" She inquired.
"And who are you?" She shot off before she could catch herself. She was a tad bit cranky from last night.
"I'm Park Ranger Cotton, and you must the young women." He said giving Sue a level gaze as she peered toward her.
"That for me to know and you to find out." She said huffing as she dropped her fishing rod down upon the ground and drew her full height. Which was not very impressive as she stood little over four foot and one and a half inches.
The park ranger took a deep breath and reached down into his pocket and pulled out a small little pocket knife. Giving Susan a hard look, he placed the tool into her hand and raising his hand, he pointed with his finger toward a grove of willow trees that grew close to the sand shore of the lake.
"Go ahead and cut me a switch." He said in a stern tone of voice. One that left no room for debate or maneuver. He was being quite direct with her.
Susan blushed as she looked down in her hand that held the small pocket knife. She peered toward the tool for a good minute before looking back up. She then gave a rueful shake of the head.
"I'm sorry," She said as she made to hand the knife back to the park Ranger. "But really I think your kind of over the barrel. I mean, a switching? For just fishing, talk about being rule crazy man." She said dug her heels into the sandy shore and cocked her head to the side.
Cotton took a deep breath and sighed. He was afraid it might come to this.
"Listen." He said kneeling down to her level. "We can do this one of two ways. One I can take you down to the ranger station with me. Once there we can call you scoutmaster, and let her deal with you. Now, since I've already given you a verbal warning.. Me taking you down to the station would mean.." He paused and took another breath. "Would mean you getting banned from the park. And since all state parks are Federal land, breaking a rule here means you've committed a Federal offense. Now, considering your just a teen.. I doubt you'll go to jail.. But they will slap a fine on you, on top of that banned." His voice was soft and tender and he even reached over and placed a supportive hand on her shoulder.
"I see.." Susan said starting to weight her choices now.
"But if you take the switching." He said smiling softy. "Then what goes down in my book is this. That I did find a girl camping and fishing in a no fishing zone. After explaining the rules to her, she agreed to take down her tent and apologies for breaking the rules. She then went on her merry way."
Sighing. Susan took a deep breath and dragged her feet toward the grove of willows. She knew all to well if she got into trouble on this little camping trip, then not only would her Scoutmaster spank her, but her mom and dad would too! And maybe Josephine for good measure! Grumbling to herself she cut a long switch and pruned it of the shoots and once it was good and smooth she returned to where Cotton was, he was now sitting on a large boulder that was half buried.
"Good." He said taking a deep breath as he reached over and plucked the switch from Susan's hand and reached over and pulled her across his lap. Once she was seated upon his lap, he raised the switch high into the air, and struck her thighs!
Susan howled like a woof as she felt the switch kiss her skin. Her voice echoed across the calm waters of the lake, and caused a near by flock of birds nesting in a tree to take flight into the early spring air.
Cotton struck again, hitting her thigh with another well placed kiss of the switch. For a second time a red, angry welt appeared a breath below the first. Then another, and another and another. Ever half minute the switch would kiss her sun tanned skin and then bounce back up from the force and fall back down again.
Soon tears where running down Susan's cheeks as she felt the sting and tension building. Her high pitched voice echoed across the rolling fields and even reached a near by collection of cabins. Couples enjoying a romantic cup of early morning coffee where forced to pause and look out there window as the shrill cries vanished any tenderness or any attempts to flirt.
Cotton kept the tempo, striking her bottom again and again and again. Each passing minute another set of two red welts where added below the others. Till they reached from the top of her bottom to the bend in her thighs and a crossing pattern was starting to form.
And finally Susan could cry no more and merely held onto the lap for comfort. Eventually the switching slowed down and finally stopped altogether leaving Sue's bottom glowing bright red with angry looking welt marks.
"Now." Cotton said taking a deep breath as she pulled Susan up and placed her in front of her. They where seeing eye to eye now and Susan looked quite pitiful with her teary eyes and her runny nose. Her eyes puffy from the salty tears that burned her eyes.
"Now, I want you to take down your tent and take a deep breath. There a pretty little lake just a mile east of here." He said smiling. "There we allow fishing and camping."
Susan nodded her head. She was still too shy to speak and her stinging bottom kept her tongue at bay. At the mention of camping and fishing being allowed she allowed herself a small smile.
"So, no more rule breaking." Cotton said with a nod of the head.