The New Neighbors

Jessie Duke walked to the barn, strap in his hand. He was angry that once again he was going to have whup some behinds, but more than that he was disappointed that his young'uns simply didn't seem to be able to stop their flagrant disregard for his rules. And that was something that he was going to make crystal clear today. If he had to blister their behinds until his arm ached those dang boys of his was gonna learn their lesson this time. It seemed as if all he got done lately was smacking behinds, and he realized that that meant he wasn't doing a very good job. And that was something that he was about to amend. And no amount of hollerin and beggin was gonna change that.

He went over in his mind all that these two had done recently to earn what they was about to git and still could hardly believe it. But the plain truth was that they both had a heavy hand in what had happened. And what was just amazing to him was that even Daisy had managed to get her behind spanked twice during the whole thing. He just shook his head. Luke, who was usually the cool head and deep thinker for whatever reason, seemed to have taken leave of his senses. And Bo well that boy was in about as much trouble as you could get into.

He was halfway to the barn, and while he was dreading the chore to be done, he never doubted that he needed to do it. And when it was done he was going into town to have a talk with the boys' friend Cooter too. He realized that Cooter was older than Luke and Bo but he had been a loyal and true friend. And Jessie knew that often he looked out for both of the boys, but lately his influence wasn't exactly sterling. But Jessie knew that he had been involved in this and had no intention of lettin him off Scott free either. He wasn't sure yet what he was gonna do but there would be a price to pay, and Cooter along with Bo and Luke was gonna pay it.

Jessie stopped in front of the door to the barn and though once more about all that had happened in the last two weeks. It had all started when the Jenkins farm had been put up for sale. Old Ollie and his wife Joanna had just gotten to the point where they were unable to handle the farm anymore and had gone to live with their daughter in Atlanta. The farm had been sold to a family with three boys and one daughter by the name of Peterson. Tom and his wife seemed like nice enough people and Jessie had been glad that his young'uns would finally have someone round their ages to socialize with. That prediction couldn't have been more wrong.

There had been a church social to welcome the family and of course he and the kids had attended. The adults had enjoyed themselves Jessie included but he knew that his three had not. Not a one of those children of his liked the Petersons and made no bones about it. Even Daisy, who was always willing to see his side, told him that those girls were stuck up and hateful and she wanted no part of them. And there seemed to be nothing he could say that would change her mind.

Bo and Luke both disliked the son Aaron greatly. They said he was arrogant and full of himself and they wanted nothing more to do with him. Jessie was mystified about all of this and again lectured his brood about not passing judgment and giving people a chance but he knew just from listening that his kids had already made up their mind. And truth be told after spending an hour listening to Tom Peterson tonight he had some questions about the father as well, even though he didn't relay this to his young'uns.

But he knew that as long as his children followed the rules in the good book and the rules he had given them, he had no problem with them choosing their own friends and never had. So to him, he thought that the issue was closed. But it wasn't even near to closed. The next weekend Daisy's friend Susie Daniels was having a party and Jessie was glad to see that it was something all of his three could do together. He had used the alone time to attend a Hazzard County town meeting with most of the rest of the adult population.

When he got home he had been surprised to see Luke's car in the driveway already cause it wasn't even ten o'clock. And when he went in he found Daisy to be loading what looked like Luke's clothes into their old wringer washer. She told him hello but suspiciously avoided looking him in the eyes. Walking into the kitchen he found both boys sitting at the kitchen table and they too avoided looking at him and Luke was holding an ice pack to his jaw.

He asked the boy what had happened and was told by Bo that Luke had tripped and fallen. Jessie pulled the pack away to look at Luke's jaw and it looked to him as if the boy had been on the receiving end of a punch but he kept quiet about it pretty sure that all three of his children wouldn't lie to him. As if to re-enforce this Daisy came in and put a hand on Luke's shoulder and agreed with what Bo had just said. Still curious Jessie had asked her why she was doin laundry this late at night.

After a few seconds of staring at Bo as if he had the answer she had looked at him and replied that Luke's clothes had gotten dirty when he fell. All of his senses were on full alert now and turning to Luke he asked him point blank if that was what had happened and his nephew had said that it was, although he too was avoiding looking his uncle in the eyes. Jessie might have left it there if at that exact moment the phone hadn't rung.

The call had been from Mr. Daniels checking to see how Luke's jaw was. It was then and only then that Jessie had gotten the whole story. It seems that his daughter had told him that the boys were outside and she overheard Aaron Peterson say something about Daisy and apparently Luke and Bo had torn into him. But Luke had reached Aaron first and punched him in the nose and there had been blood everywhere. Aaron had gotten in a few punches including one to Luke's jaw before they could be pulled apart.

Jessie apologized on behalf of his boys and before he got too far Mr. Daniels stopped him and repeated what the boy had said about Daisy. It was no wonder that both Bo and Luke had torn into him, Jessie himself would like to smack the kid. The farmer finished the conversation and sat down in his chair to think. He knew that Luke had lost his temper again plain and simple and jumped in to defend Daisy and even though he didn't condone fighting he could understand what had motivated the boys. But then for all three to come home and lie to him about it was the thing that upset him the most.

He had gone back into the kitchen and told his three that he knew what had happened and that they better stop lying to him and tell the truth. The truth was that Daisy was doing the wash because Luke's clothes had been covered in blood from Aaron. And that together they had decided to keep the whole story from their Uncle, because they knew what he would have to say about the situation. So they were at least in it together.

He had lectured them about lying and covering things up and letting people goad you into anger. He had given the boys a particularly harsh talking too about solving things with your fists. Even though he agreed with Luke and Bo that the boy deserved a punch in the mouth for what he had said about his niece. He gave Luke a lecture which reduced him to tears about losing his temper again and then he lit into Bo about not trying to stop Luke and instead jumping in with him against this boy.

He had then sent both boys to their room and they knew without any doubt what was coming. Not believing what he was about to do he had taken Daisy into the living room and sat down on the couch pulling her across his lap in the process. He had given her hardly ten swats but she had cried like her heart was broken and promised to never lie to him again. He was positive that it had hurt him worse than her, but he hugged her and sent her to her room telling her that she was grounded for two weeks also.

The next thing he did was go into the boy's room and spanked both of them. While he did it over their jeans he still knew that he had whupped them both pretty well. And if crying and promising to be good were any measure then he certainly had done a good job. He also told them that they were grounded for two weeks. And as always when he needed to punish them he had hugged them both and told them he loved and forgave them. He also had made Luke come back out to the kitchen and put more ice on his jaw and given him two aspirins for the discomfort. Luke had joked with him that at least the pain in his behind took his mind off of the pain in his jaw.

And Jessie had thought that the whole unpleasant thing was done. He figured that the kids would stay away from the Peterson boy and learn from their punishments and Luke would go back to keeping his temper in check and all would be done. He couldn't have been more wrong. And now standing in front of the barn strap in hand he just couldn't believe everything that had happened since then. But one thing was for dang sure, this time these young'uns of his was gonna figure out right quick that he meant business. He sent a prayer heavenward to Martha that she be beside him and he walked into the barn.

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Luke paced the barn waiting for his Uncle to come in and light into the two of them. And as much as he knew for sure that it was going to happen, he also knew that he deserved it. He looked over to his equally guilty and worried cousin who voiced what they apparently were both thinking. "Dang it, I wish he would just come in here and git it over with, and I don't all at the same time."

Bo knew that he was almost in as much trouble as Luke was. "You don't suppose that he punished Daisy again do you?"

Luke grimaced because he hadn't even thought of that. "Damn it what was I thinking?"

Luke knew the answer he hadn't been thinking he had made the mistake of letting his temper take over. And that was a mistake that he figured he had been making since he was small and still he hadn't learned. The worst whippens that he had ever gotten had been for that very reason. And still to this day just thinking about it made him feel sick to his stomach.

He and Bo had gone through a phase when they were much younger where they fought- a lot. Bo always wanted to be a part of everything Luke did then and often wouldn't take no for an answer. And in typical little brother fashion he would often follow Luke and his friends and spy on them. Uncle Jessie had spanked Bo several times for that kind of bad behavior but even as young as he had been when Bo set his mind to something there was no stopping him. And this had been that kind of day.

Uncle Jessie had told Luke that he and his friend Jim could go down to the crick and go fishing and Luke had looked forward to it all day. Aunt Martha had packed them a lunch and Luke knew that Bo was mad about not being included. He tried to explain to the little boy that he and his friend needed some time together and that when he came home he would spend some time with Bo then but he knew that his cousin was mad and hurt. What he hadn't known was that Bo had followed them.

He and Jim had a wonderful afternoon and had talked about everything under the sun. Luke had even confided in Jim that he had a crush on Jim's older sister and would like to kiss her. Jim had gently teased Luke about it but he knew all the girls that Jim liked and he knew that his secret was safe with him. He hadn't seen Bo follow them or leave to go back home before Uncle Jessie or Aunt Martha had discovered that he was missing.

Luke had finished up fishing and then he and Jim had gone back to the Duke farm. As they walked into the barn they noticed that Luke's baseball and bat were still out and they had picked them up and played for a while taking turns pitching and batting. Bo had asked to play but Luke had told him that he was too small and made him go back into the house. He knew that he had hurt his cousin's feelings but he had been having so much fun with Jim that he only felt bad for a minute or two.

After a while Jim's dad had come and picked him up and Aunt Martha had called for Luke and told him to put his things away. He had walked into the house carrying the baseball bat and ball with the intention of putting them away. He had gotten as far as the kitchen when Bo had gotten off of the chair where he had been eating cookies and drinking milk. He had begun taunting Luke about wanting to kiss girls and the more he teased the more irate Luke had become.

Luke had asked him how he knew that and Bo had admitted that he had followed Luke and his "lousy and stupid friend" and spied on them. Bo had continued to tease Luke making a song about how "Luke wants to kiss a girl" and he kept singing it again and again. Luke advanced on Bo intending to shut him up and Luke heard Aunt Martha raise her voice and shout "enough boys". That should have been Luke's warning to stop because his Aunt never raised her voice but for some reason it made him all the madder.

He chased Bo into the living room and was unaware of Aunt Martha calling for Uncle Jessie. Bo ducked behind the end table on the side of the couch and continued to tease Luke. Luke hadn't realized that he was still holding the bat but before he even thought about it he had swung it at Bo. Luckily it had missed his cousin but hit the wall and broke into three pieces. And in Bo's fear to escape Luke he had cracked the wall with his head and actually left a dent in the plaster.

To say that Uncle Jessie had been upset would have been a great understatement. And if the sight of his Uncle standing there all red in the face and trying to control his own temper wasn't enough the fact that Aunt Martha was crying was all it took. Bo was already crying 'cause he had smacked his head pretty good and Luke began to cry too. Probably because he didn't trust himself to deal with Luke, Uncle Jessie had gone to Bo and was checking his head for a bump or a cut. And Aunt Martha held her arms out for Luke and he had run into them knowing that it wouldn't change what his Uncle would do but he went needing the comfort anyway.

He had been profoundly ashamed and had known that he could have killed Bo just because he had given in to being angry. After they determined that Bo was all right and Luke wasn't hurt either he had been sent to his room. And he had known that Uncle Jessie was gonna whip him and he remembered thinking even then that he had deserved it. But his Uncle had come into his room and had a long talk with him about his temper and what it had almost cost their family. Luke had been crying long before they even discussed punishment.

Uncle Jessie told him that later that day that Bo was gonna get spanked too as he knew better than to do the things that he had done. And he then told Luke that his punishment was going to be a whippen today and then another one every night for a whole week. Luke had looked to his Uncle hoping and praying that he was joking but unfortunately he had been serious. And so every night for a whole week Uncle Jessie had put Luke over his knee and smacked into his very sore behind the concept that he would learn to get his temper under control or suffer the consequences.

Luke had been sure that the first spanking was certainly to be the worst but then the second one and the third one hurt just as much. As the week progressed it only took a few swats to re-ignite the fire in his behind, and his Uncle gave him the full dose each and every day. And so it became then every day he spend the morning worrying about it, the afternoon getting ready for it and then actually getting it and then the evening standing. He ate all of his meals that week off of the mantle. By the end of the week even Bo was begging Uncle Jessie not to spank him anymore. But Luke knew even then as he knew now that he deserved every scorching swat as he could have killed Bo. But knowing it and facing it were two different things.

Finally a week had passed and Uncle Jessie was getting ready to administer the last spanking. Luke had hoped that he would go easy as this was the seventh time in as many days that he had been in the same position. But Uncle Jessie actually took his jeans down and told Luke that he wanted him to remember this spanking for the rest of his days. And Luke could honestly say that he did. It had hurt so badly that Luke had given in with the first swat and just wailed until it felt like he couldn't cry anymore.

And after it was done Uncle Jessie had pulled up his clothes, picked him up, and put him on his lap rocking him as he used to do when Luke was small. And Aunt Martha had come into the room and put her arms around them both and cried as well. He had given them his solemn promise that he would try to get control of his temper and that had been a promise that with few exceptions he had kept all these years. All he had to do was remember what that week had been like and suddenly his anger was manageable.

And while Bo had often done things to anger him in the years that followed Luke had never given that anger full rein since his seven days of paying dearly for his mistakes. And he was thankful to his Uncle because he knew that without something that drastic he would have little doubt that his life would have been in a completely different place today. He saw that Bo was looking at him closely.

"What's going on cousin you look kind of pale all of a sudden?"

Luke sighed, "I was just remembering the time I took after you with the Louisville slugger, and Uncle Jessie beat my behind for a solid week."

Bo smiled at him and sang in a very quiet voice, "Luke wants to kiss a girl."

Luke actually laughed, "Yea cousin cept now you do too."

Bo gave him his dazzling grin, "Every chance I get. Hey maybe it won't be so bad, maybe Uncle will give us a break today."

Even as he said it both Bo and Luke knew it wasn't true and once again Luke smiled at Bo's ability to hope for the best when the worst was what was gonna happen. And his next sentence just re-enforced that optimistic attitude. "Well at least he ain't gonna whip our behinds every night for the next week."

Neither cousin had heard Uncle Jessie enter the barn as they had been consumed with their own conversation. "Yea well the jury is still out on that one Bo. Maybe that's just what I'll be a doin. Lord knows they weren't never two more deserving souls than the two of you."

Luke could feel his heart pound in his chest at that pronouncement as even at his advanced age he never wanted to be punished seven nights in a row again as long as he lived. And the worst part was that he and Bo both deserved just that.
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Jessie Duke was too smart to miss the look on Luke's face when he said what he had just said about maybe whuppin their behinds for seven days straight. The boy looked absolutely sick and afraid. And it made no matter how serious what these two had done was he wasn't about to have either one of them be afraid of him. His response to what Luke had done when he was smaller was something that he still felt bad about.

Oh he knew now just as he knew then that Luke had needed to be made to understand that Bo could have been seriously hurt or even killed with that dang bat. But whippen Luke every night for seven days had liked to kill Jessie. Thank God he had Martha by his side during the whole thing. Tellin him that he was a good man and a good father and that it needed to be done. Otherwise he knew he never could have gotten through it. And he had no desire to ever repeat it again.

But looking at his two boys he knew that their needed to be some sort of punishment for what they had done and he knew just what it needed to be. But suddenly he wasn't angry anymore and only wanted to get to the bottom of all of this and then be done with using the strap. Both Bo and Luke were looking at him as if they wanted to cry and Jessie walked over to a bale of hay and lay the strap down on it.

He first looked at Luke. "Come over here son."

Damned if Luke didn't have tears rolling down his face already and Jessie hadn't even started punishing him yet. But to his credit the boy didn't hesitate and walked to where Jessie stood. "Go and bring a hay bale over here first."

Luke did as he was told taking a moment to swipe at the tears on his face. Jessie told him where to put it and he did and then bent across it. Jessie put a hand on the boy's arm and pulled him to standing again. Luke looked at him with a puzzled expression and Jessie pulled him into a hug. The farmer was not surprised to hear the boy sob and he just held him for a long moment, pulling back to look into his face. "I want ya to sit down son we need to have us a talk about all that has happened fore we even think about punishment."

Looking surprised Luke did as he had been asked and Jessie instructed Bo to do the same and then treated him to the same hug that he had given to Luke. When both boys were seated and facing Jessie he began to talk to them. "I know everything that has happened."

He wasn't surprised to see Bo's face pale. "So I ain't gonna tolerate no tellin of anything but the truth. I could pretend I didn't and try to let you both hang yourselves by lying ta me but I ain't gonna do that. Cause I want to hear the whole story from the two of ya. Understand me?"

Luke as always spoke up first. "Yes sir, we got it….only the truth."

But Jessie noticed that while they seemed to understand neither one was talking yet. "Now if'n you need me to start swatting yer behinds to git the words started I can do that."

And still even this pronouncement was met with silence. Jessie knew that part of the problem was that they were ashamed to tell him the truth and well they should be. He went to stand ready to pull Bo to standing and give him a swat or two to start him talking and before he could Luke intervened. "Well I ain't exactly sure how we got ourselves into this but…."

Jessie watched as the boy paused and struggled with what he was saying. "Okay that ain't even the truth I know exactly how we got here."

Jessie watched as the boys exchanged a look. "It all started the night we met Aaron Peterson and he said what he did bout Daisy and then I punched him."

Jessie shook his head "And it all ended that night too remember? I whupped all three of ya for fighting and then lying ta me."

This time it was Bo who spoke up. "Yeah but it didn't really end there Uncle Jessie Aaron wouldn't let it. He kept after me and Luke every chance he got. Trying to humiliate us in front of our friends and anything he could think of. And he said things bout Daisy too until Luke….."

Jessie could feel his blood boil at hearing that this boy was still saying things about Daisy and he could see an angry look on Luke's face as well. "Until Luke what son?"

Luke apparently felt that he could speak for himself. "Until I smacked him in the mouth again. Since then he ain't had much to say about her."

Jessie tried to contain his surprise. "Well then I guess I didn't know everything after all. When did all this start?"

Bo shrugged his shoulders. "Bout three or four days after the night you whupped all of us."

The farmer looked to his dark haired nephew. "Doesn't seem like what you got that night had much effect on your wanting to fight with this boy now does it?"

He could see Luke's chin trembling from where he sat. "I ain't sorry that I did it again and I would again tomorrow if he was talking trash bout Daisy and if that means I gotta take a whippen every night for a month I don't care."

Jessie stood up and walked to where Luke sat and pulled him to standing. "I talked to Mr. Peterson the day after all this happened the last time and I told him what the boy had said bout Daisy word for word. He didn't really care and had some rude things to say to me too. The apple don't fall far from the tree here son. I ain't mad at you for defending your cousin this time, in fact it makes me proud that you're the kind of man who won't let someone talk bout a woman like that. The last time you got your behind whupped mostly cause you lied to me and lost your temper. I ain't happy that you hit him again, and I wish that there was some other way to settle it, both times but I know why you did it son. And as long as I draw breath nobody's gonna whip you every night for a month…. ever."

Jessie pulled the boy into another hard hug and wasn't surprised to feel him sobbing again. Looking to Bo he saw tears on his face as well as motioned for him to come to where Jessie stood. And not for the first time he gathered both of his boys up in his arms and just held on tight. And as it always was Bo started to squirm after just a few minutes and Jessie release his hold on him first and then Luke.

"Now the both of you need to sit back down cause we still got us some talkin to do bout things. Which one of you two decided that the way to show this boy who was the boss was to race him? That's the most dang fooled idea I ever did hear of."

The farmer watched as his two boys exchanged another look and then Bo spoke up. "That thing you said before bout as long as you draw breath weren't nobody gonna whip Luke every night for a month- did that also go for me too?"

Jessie just shook his head wondering why he had even bothered to ask the question, as the answer clearly was a blue eyed blonde rascal by the name of Bo. Jessie sighed, "Just tell me how it happened."

Bo looked nervous and was actually squirming in his seat. "Well he kept bragging all round the place how he was faster than Luke and Luke couldn't drive and we was in town one day at Cooter's garage and Cooter and his dad was working on the Peterson's car and Aaron just kept on and on and on."

Jessie thanked the dear Lord that he was a patient man. "And…."

"And then he started talkin again bout how Luke couldn't drive and I just sorta challenged him to a race."

The farmer shook his finger at Bo. "You best mean you challenged him to a race with Luke driving cause you ain't even got no license yet boy."

Bo seemed to shrink at his Uncle's booming voice reminding him of what he knew very well. "Yes sir I meant with Luke driving cause I knew that he could beat him and he did."

Looking to Luke the farmer could see that he didn't look all that proud of his accomplishment. "And Cooter helped you make Luke's car as fast as it could be?"

Without realizing it Bo was getting his friend in deeper. "Yes sir and he helped me lay out the course and he was one of the judges too."

No doubt about it Jessie was going to have to talk to Cooter and maybe even his pa bout this. Even though the boy weren't no little tyke he shoulda made some better decisions here. "And was there stakes in this race other than who was the fastest?"

Luke looked uncomfortable cause he knew they were just getting in deeper. "If he won we was gonna admit that he was the best driver in Hazzard County in front of everyone and if we won he was gonna leave Daisy alone and never talk to us or about us again."

Jessie shook his head "And let me guess this boy didn't keep up his end of the bargain now did he?"

Both boys looked defeated "No sir he sure didn't. The first time after the race that he seen Daisy in town with Enos he said something nasty to her."

Jessie knew about that already in fact this very thing was what had earned Daisy some more swats in the house before he had come out here. "I know that she socked him in the jaw already so don't go all quiet on me now I already swatted her behind again."

Luke put his head in his hands at this news and it was Bo who spoke again. "Then did you know that he shoved her after that and Enos jumped in then and slugged him too?"

Jessie stood up and began pacing "Damnation I swear I a gonna havta whup everybody in Hazzard County fore this is through."

Luke lifted his head up to look at his Uncle. "Don't worry according to Enos, Mr. Strait already took care of that and pretty well too."

Luke looked like he wanted to say something else but he didn't. "Well young'un go on and say what's on yer mind."

"I don't think you shoulda swatted Daisy for socking him cause even that didn't stop him, he didn't stop till when I punched him again."

Lord Jessie was gonna need a scorecard to keep all this straight when he was done. "I didn't swat Daisy cause she was defending herself I swatted her cause of how she tried to defend herself. Now I know that with the two of you she has smacked on one or both of ya from time to time but this ain't like that. Then she knew dang good and well that neither of ya would have dare lay a hand on her. Who knows what this boy mighta done to her? It just wasn't smart and she knows just like the two of you that losing your temper don't get you no where. And that ain't how we Dukes handle things anyways"

Luke looked like he wanted to push the issue but knew better. "Yes sir."

"And then how did you end up taking another swing at him then Luke?"

Silence hung heavy in the barn for a long moment and Luke's eyes connected with his Uncle's. "We was walking into the post office to get the mail and he was standing outside and he asked me and Bo a question bout Daisy that I won't repeat ever and I just couldn't let him talk that way and so I hit him again."

"And he didn't fight you back?"

Luke looked ashamed "No sir I hit him pretty good."

Luke looked down worried at his hands and paused as if he were unable to continue.

"Roscoe was standing there and heard and saw the whole thing Uncle Jessie he pulled Luke offa Aaron and then he took him home in the police car so he could talk to Mr. Peterson. And he didn't say nothin to Luke cept to ask him if he was all right."

Suddenly things made sense to Jessie. He had known most of this except for Luke hitting the boy again cause Roscoe had paid him a visit this morning to tell him what had happened and that he had taken Aaron home to his pa and told him that if'n he didn't start getting control of his boy that the law would. But not once had Roscoe mentioned Luke hitting this boy again. So either Roscoe figured Aaron deserved it or he didn't want to git Luke into trouble any deeper. Or maybe a combination of both.

Suddenly Jessie felt tired and weary. "Well now just so I got it all straight I want each of you ta tell me what ya done wrong here."

Luke looked like that was the last thing he wanted to do now. "Look Uncle Jessie can't you just punish us do we gotta talk bout it again?"

Jessie went to stand to walk over to his nephew and answer his question with a hand on his backside when Luke held his hands up as if in surrender. "Okay, okay I'm sorry I spose you want me to go first?"

Jessie just nodded as his reply. "I got into a race which coulda killed me and Bo and Lord knows who else causa this jerk and my own stupid pride. Then I lied to you more than once about the race and what me and Cooter and Bo was doin to the car and I let Bo lie to you too. And I was fool enough to believe him when he gave me his word. Then finally I lost my temper and hit him again, but like I told you before I ain't sorry that I did that."

Jessie had some thoughts about what Luke had said but he stayed quiet. "And how bout you Bo?"

"I shoulda never challenged Aaron into a race and I shoulda never planned things out with Cooter like I done. And I know I shouldn't have lied to you bout things. And then I'm sorry for the thing that I didn't do too."

Jessie looked puzzled "Which was son?"

"I wish I had hit him in the mouth stead of Luke."

Jessie leaned over and shook his head finally standing up. "Well we still got some things to talk bout but I'm going in the house and check on Daisy first so you two just stay right there until I git back and then we'll talk bout what's gonna happen next."

Jessie walked into the house still shaking his head and wondering what in tarnation he was gonna do with his two boys. How was he gonna make them understand that the world is filled with Aaron Petersons and sometimes they weren't worth the effort. But then again he knew that Luke was right when he said that a punch in the mouth was the only thing that would have stopped him. One thing for darn sure he couldn't let these boys go drag racing or one of them would end up dead. And neither one was gonna lie to him and that was a point he would make very clear.

He walked into the house and found Daisy in the kitchen baking cookies and crying. He held his arms out to her and she ran to him. "I'm so sorry Uncle Jessie sometimes my temper just gets the best of me. Please don't be mad at me."

He lifted her chin up and looked into her eyes "I ain't mad Darlin we set things right a little while ago. You promised to make better decisions and I believe you at your word."

"Did you punish Bo and Luke?" As she asked this question two fat tears rolled down her face.

"Now none of this is your fault Daisy Mae Duke and if'n that's what you're thinking you need to think again."

She struggled with tears again. "You didn't answer my question Uncle Jessie."

"No honey I didn't yet but I will." She looked as downhearted as he felt. He went into his room and pulled out Martha's bible and sat with it on his lap for a few minutes drawing strength from both the object and his late wife's devotion. Speaking mainly to himself he stood and set the bible back down on the dresser.

"Ain't no use in puttin it off, it needs to be done." And the farmer headed for the barn.

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Luke squirmed feeling the hard hand land once more on his behind. He yelped as it came down again and it seemed as if his Uncle's palm was made of iron. And as he always did the farmer systematically placed hard swats all over Luke's behind and then legs. Luke fought tears with all he had. It was embarrassing enough to have been put over the farmer's knee and to be crying like a little kid just would make it worse.

But the truth was that there was something about this position and what happened in this position that always made him feel like a little boy. And as much as he hated it there was something re-assuring about knowing that the farmer would always be there to help him figure things out and then stand by his side. Even if he didn't care much for the form that help took today.

The sting in his backside began to increase in intensity as Uncle Jessie wasn't even giving him a second between swats- they just kept coming. Luke felt the tight knot of emotion in his chest and refused to acknowledge it but the farmer just kept swatting. Luke struggled against the iron arm around his waist holding him into place but found no purchase. He was rewarded for his trouble by his Uncle placing some even harder swats on the back of his legs.

Everything hurt so badly and while he had promised himself he would just accept whatever punishment his Uncle dished out he couldn't fight it any longer he just dropped his head and wept. He cried for the absolute fire that Uncle Jessie had set on his behind but also for all the mistakes he had made in the last few days. He felt his Uncle pause and he knew that it wasn't yet finished. He felt this breath catch in his throat as the farmer reached across him for the strap.

"Now that son was for lying to me. This that you are about to git is for puttin your life at risk and racing against this boy."

Luke knew that he was done for and being so distressed he didn't even put up a fight as his Uncle brought the strap down ten times. He was crying so hard that it felt like he couldn't quite catch his breath and his chest hurt almost as much as his behind. He felt his Uncle pull him to standing by the waistband of his jeans and then pull him back down on his lap. He just put his head onto the farmer's shoulder and cried for a little while.

Uncle Jessie did all the things he usually did at this point…rubbing his back and neck and telling him how much he was loved. And then much to Luke's surprise he told him that he was proud of him. "Why I got myself and Bo in a heap of trouble again?"

"Yes son you did that for sure but you also protected Daisy even though you knew what I was likely to do about it. Now I thank you for taking such good care of her for me. But next time I want you to think about the fact that you can't go round punching every Aaron Peterson that ya meet in your life. They's other ways of dealing with this sides the one you picked."

"I can't help it Uncle anyone who talks bout Daisy like that is gonna git a smack in the mouth no questions asked."

Luke could see the hard set of his Uncles mouth and knew that maybe that had been the wrong thing to say. "Stand up Luke."

Luke's heart felt as if it was going to beat out of his chest and he shook his head. "Clearly son you ain't got the message here and I know just how to fix that. Now are you sure you meant what you just said?"

Luke was truly between a rock and a hard place because he knew that if he answered yes he was gonna get spanked more but he also refused to say it just cause it was what his Uncle expected to hear. He would punch Aaron Peterson again and so he stood up once more wishing with all his heart that he could just say what Uncle Jessie wanted to hear. Uncle Jessie pulled him back over his lap and gave him ten more blistering swats. Luke was wailing long before he was finished.

Within seconds he found himself sitting back on his Uncle's lap and felt two arms surrounding him and holding him tightly. "Still feel that way son?"

This time Luke shook his head no and honestly meant it. He would think long and hard before striking anyone again if for no other reason than to avoid this again. "Now people like this boy are out there everywhere in life and sometimes son you have to learn to just deal with them differently. Are ya all right sweetheart?"

Luke's crying had slowed down but at the tender way his Uncle had asked the question he began to cry hard again. And his Uncle just let him cry. Luke looked over to Bo who was still waiting and he looked absolutely sick. Luke hoped that he had gotten the worse of it, but he knew that their Uncle was very fair and he figured Bo was in for about the same as what he had just gotten. Within a few minutes he felt himself beginning to calm down and the fire in his behind was cooling off just a bit.

He lifted his head off of the farmer's shoulder and wiped his face. "I'm sorry Uncle Jessie."

Luke felt Jessie rubbing his shoulders. "I know ya are son. Now go on over and stand in that corner and think about all this whilst I deal with Bo."

Luke looked at him as if he had lost his mind. "In the corner Uncle Jessie I ain't no little kid and I ain't gonna stand in the corner either."

His Uncle rubbed his chin for a minute in thought. "Either you are going back over my knee and then you're gonna stand in the corner or your just gonna go and do as I told ya….. choice is up to you."

Luke stood up with as much dignity as he could muster and walked over to the corner. He looked to Bo to see if he was being laughed at but all he could see in Bo's blue eyes were tears. He was actually glad that he didn't have to witness Bo being punished cause listening to it was bad enough. Almost as soon as Uncle Jessie had him across him knee Bo was crying and begging him to stop. It sounded to Luke like Uncle Jessie was smacking hard and he felt so bad for Bo, and if anything what he was hearing was just making the ache in his own backside worse. After what seemed far too long a time his Uncle stopped.

And like he had told Luke he told Bo that he was getting the strap for participating in the race and for putting his life in danger. Luke silently counted each time the strap came down and felt tears rolling down his own face at the sound of Bo crying out with each swat. It felt as if it had taken forever for the farmer to get to ten but finally the only sound in the barn was that of Bo's sobbing.

Luke almost always was punished first and hated the times when he had to listen to Bo receiving his. The sound of Uncle Jessie whipping Bo hurt him almost as much as his own whippen had. He could hear the sound of Uncle settling Bo on his lap and trying to comfort him. After a few minutes he heard Uncle Jessie ask Bo something and Bo laughed. Luke shook his head in amazement at his young cousin. Only Bo could be getting his behind lit on fire one minute and laughing the next.

Luke was startled out of his thoughts by the sound of Uncle Jessie calling his name. He turned to look at the farmer who was motioning him over the where he and Bo stood. He walked over rubbing his behind which was still throbbing pretty good. Looking at Bo's tear stained face he had another stab of conscious that he had let this happen.

He figured that must be the curse of being the oldest always feeling responsible for everything that happened. But the truth was that he should have handled it differently and letting Bo talk him into a race with this jerk had just been stupid. And while he still wasn't sorry that he had hit Aaron twice for what he had said he had to admit that Uncle Jessie was right about a lot of things. He knew that even if his Uncle hadn't been around to punish him afterward he still couldn't just smack someone every time they made him mad for the rest of his life.

But this had been about more than losing his temper this had been about Daisy. The things that Aaron had said about her where not forgivable heck even Enos had punched him in the mouth and you weren't likely to find a more peace loving, easy going guy than he was. And apparently much like Luke and Bo, Enos had spent some time in the barn for his decision. Luke looked to his Uncle and knew somehow that this wasn't quite finished.

"Now there's the hard part done. You're both grounded for two weeks and Luke won't be drivin during that time. I ain't gotta tell neither one of you what's gonna happen if'n I find out you been racing ever again. And believe you me young'uns if'n you do it I will find out. And the next time you come across a bully and a liar like this Peterson boy I want you to remember that if'n you stoop to his level you ain't no better than him and he wins. You both promise me to do better next time."

Both boys made the promise that was asked of them. "All right then go on with the rest of your day. Bo I don't want to ever hear you say again that you wished you had punched someone in the mouth either understood?"

Bo looked at his feet and nodded his head. "Yes sir."

Jessie looked satisfied. "One more thing I need for both of you to know. I plan on talking to Mr. Peterson bout all of this and then I'll be heading to Cooter's garage."

Luke and Bo exchanged a look of disbelief. "Cooter- Uncle Jessie why he's almost a grown man he's gotta be twenty two years old."

"Yes Luke he is but he also outta know better than to help the two of you do something as dangerous as drag racing. I don't figure his Pa will have any problem helping him to understand what he done was wrong."

Now Bo spoke up. "But Uncle Jessie you can't……"

Luke watched in amazement as Jessie shook his head unbendable in his plans for the afternoon. He sincerely hoped that Cooter's Pa didn't still think Cooter was young enough for a whoopin cause Luke knew that was just what his Uncle was gonna suggest. The Dukes had known Cooter and his Pa for the longest time and Luke didn't recall Cooter ever even talking bout bein in trouble. But then Luke knew that Cooter's Pa was older and his health wasn't so good and he let Cooter do pretty much whatever he wanted. So Luke wondered just how all of this was gonna end up.

And as far as Peterson went Luke not only hoped that he got the strap he hoped that Uncle Jessie did the honors. Although he knew that wasn't likely to happen but if anyone ever deserved it that guy did. But from what Uncle Jessie had already said it didn't sound like Mr. Peterson cared too much one way or another what his son did. And it didn't matter what Luke thought about it anyway cause if this afternoon had shown him nothing else it had reminded him that Uncle Jessie not only cared what they all did but was willing to take steps to correct choices if necessary.

"Now both of you come over here and give me a hug and tell me that ya still love me."

Bo went to their Uncle first and was enveloped in a bear hug. "I love you son and I forgive ya too."

Bo expressed again that he was sorry and that he also loved his Uncle and went back into the house again. His Uncle looked at him and held open his arms and Luke stepped into the warm embrace. "I'm so sorry Uncle, I didn't mean for this to all get so out of hand. I shoulda said no way when Bo wanted me to race him."

Jessie nodded his head "Yes son that exactly what you shoulda done. But mistakes is how we learn bout things in this here world. I'm sorry that I had to be so hard on ya today too."

Luke found himself crying again and just held on and wept. After the tears had passed his Uncle asked him a question. "Ya mad at me son? I know ya think you're too old to stand in the corner, but sometimes I know what's best for you, Bo and Daisy even if'n it's somethin as unpleasant as today."

Luke found himself on the verge of tears again. "No sir I ain't mad, I know I deserved today and I'm just glad that was all I'm getting."

Uncle Jessie chuckled at that. "Well don't be playing it down boy that was a plenty. C'mon lets get back to this beautiful day that the good Lord gave us."

They walked out of the barn and into the sunshine and Luke stood and watched as Uncle Jessie climbed into his pick-up truck headed for the garage in Hazzard to talk to Cooter.
**************************************

Jessie Duke pulled his pick- up truck into the vacant spot in front of the Hazzard Garage. He noticed Jonas Davenport sitting on a lawn chair in a nice sunny spot by the door. He and Jonas went way back as they had grown up together in Hazzard, married and raised a family here. His old friend had been stricken with crippling arthritis some years ago though. He was also Jessie's senior by ten years at least and hadn't married until he was close to fifty years old and Cooter wasn't born for years after that.

But he had been the only mechanic in Hazzard for as long as Jessie could remember and had passed his skills along to his only child. And even now at his age he did all the bookkeeping and paper work and Cooter did everything else and it was a good situation for both father and son. Jonas's wife had died so many years ago and Jessie wondered if Cooter even remembered his mama. But Cooter had become a real friend to Jessie's boys over the years and they all valued his friendship like the friendship of his father. And that made this all the more difficult.

Jessie got out of his truck and walked to where Jonas sat. "Why Jessie old friend what brings you out to Hazzard today? Is something wrong with your vehicle?"

Jessie smiled and placed a hand on Jonas's arm and squeezed knowing that shaking hands was painful for his old friend. "You got another of these here chairs somewheres? I need to have a talk with ya."

Jonas pointed to the side of the building where several of the chairs were and Jessie got one and brought it to where he sat. Opening it up and sitting on it Jessie looked to Jonas Davenport. "Well Jonas I got quite a story to tell ya bout my boys and Cooter. And unless I miss my guess ya ain't gonna be too happy bout it neither."

Jonas leaned forward and asked Jessie to go ahead and tell him and Jessie did. When he had told him everything Jonas shook his head. "So Cooter did all this work on Luke's car knowing that the boy was gonna drag race, laid out the course with Bo and was even a judge?"

Jessie nodded. "Sometimes I swear that boy ain't got a brain in his head. Jessie answer a question for me… I know that you are a good father what happened to Bo and Luke cause of this?"

Jessie didn't want to talk about private family things but this was his friend and he deserved an answer. "They both got taken out to the barn for a dose that's what."

Jonas smiled "I swear you remind me of my daddy that's what he always said 'a dose of the strap'. If things had been different with Cooter he surely would have gotten more of the strap than he did because he certainly earned it."

"Well Jonas, Cooter is turning into a fine man he just made some mistakes is all."

He was surprised to see his friend become angry. "Mistakes that coulda cost someone their life. Jessie would you do a favor for me please?"

Jessie was confused but answered that he would if he could. "I want you to go into that garage with me and be my hands."

Now Jessie was just confused. "How's that Jonas?"

The old man was already standing up. "I want you to give Cooter the whoopin he so richly deserves in my place."

Jessie Duke also stood up and couldn't have been more amazed if Jonas had asked him to fly. "Well Jonas the boy is almost a man he ain't gonna accept no punishment from me and I ain't gonna be able to force him to hold still neither."

The look on his friend's face was pure determination. "Oh he'll hold still all right. I may not be as fit as a fiddle anymore but if I tell that boy he's gonna git his behind whooped he will stand still and take it. Just give me a minute with him."

Jessie watched Jonas make his way into the garage and he heard a fair amount of scolding and shouting going on. Sounded like Jonas was taking the hide offa Cooter with his words. Then he heard Cooter holler "No damn way" and the farmer winced at how harsh Jonas got with the boy and then Jessie could hear Cooter begging. Kinda reminded him of Bo fore a whippen but it didn't sound like Cooter was getting anywhere. He heard Jonas call to him and he went into the garage.

Cooter was standing by the work bench and Jonas was seated and Jessie noticed that Cooters face was as red as an apple. "Please Pop I ain't no little kid."

Jonas remained firm. "No you are just acting like it and you are just gonna git punished like it but you're right you ain't no little kid. Now go put the closed sign in the window and close the drape unless you want half of Hazzard to see ya git your behind blistered."

Cooter looked wild eyed with disbelief but did as he was told. Jonas turned to Jessie "What did you do to Luke and Bo?"

Jessie sighed "Well I spanked em and then they both got some with the strap."

"That will be fine then Jessie if'n you wouldn't mind?"

Jessie was unsure exactly what to say at this point. "Well Jonas I didn't exactly bring the strap with me I wasn't planning on using it again and I don't carry the darn thing with me."

Cooter smiled "See there pop, it ain't gonna work like that anyway."

Jonas stood up unbuckled and pulled off his belt. "Here Jessie this is thick enough to use to teach the boy a lesson"

Jessie certainly didn't want to have to punish Cooter but Jonas was his friend and Jessie Duke's friends always knew that they could count on him. And he had a point Cooter could stand to be taught a lesson and if Cooter had been his kin that lesson would have been exactly like the lesson Luke and Bo received. He took the belt from Jonas's hand and walked over and sat on the work bench.

"Go on over there son and bend over the back of that car."

Cooter went to object, but before he could Jessie spoke. "Well actually Jonas when I whupped the boys I did it over my knee this time."

Jessie thought Cooter eyes couldn't possibly get much bigger than when he heard this. "Fine Jessie that sounds even better. Over his knee son."

Cooter couldn't seem to speak "But Pop…"

Jonas shook his head at his son. "Over his knee and do it now unless you want to take those britches down too."

Jessie all but groaned when Cooter leaned over him and put his weight on the farmer's lap. "Give him the same that you gave Luke please Jessie. And son you know why this is happening, so we don't have to go over that again."

Jessie was surprised to hear a soft "yes sir" from the young man over his knees.

At Jonas's nod Jessie brought his hand up and let it land in a stinging swat. "Owww Uncle Jessie not so hard."

Jessie almost smiled cause this didn't feel so different from Luke and Bo now that he thought about it and soon he found himself in a familiar rhythm with his hand to Cooter's behind.

"Oww Uncle Jessie that hurts."

This time Jessie did chuckle. "That's the whole point here son and fore we're through it's gonna hurt a lot worse."

He continued to swat some sense into the behind and legs of the boy over his lap. Before too long he could feel the heat through Cooter's jeans and the boy increased his struggle to escape the hard hand that was punishing him. He looked to Jonas hoping to get the nod that he might stop.

Jonas shook his head no "He ain't even cried yet Jessie keep going."

Within a few more minutes he could feel the change in Cooter and he knew tears weren't far off. He brought his hand down four times as hard as he could and Cooter finally gave in and sobbed. Jonas didn't look to happy at this turn of events but he gave Jessie the nod and Jessie stopped and stood the boy up and stood up himself gathering the boy to him in a hug.

As he had with Luke earlier in the day he just let Cooter cry and soon the crying settled down. "You ain't really gonna use that belt too are ya Uncle Jessie?"

Again Jessie was reminded of Bo due to the sad look on Cooters face. "Yes he is and you deserve it son."

They both turned to look at Jonas and Cooter had tears rolling down his face. "Then let's just git it over with Uncle Jessie."

Having said that Cooter leaned against the car like his father had instructed him to do earlier. Jessie was surprised to hear Jonas giving him more instruction. "Git them britches down boy."

The farmer turned to his friend "But Jonas I just took the strap to the boys with their jeans still up."

"Don't matter Cooter is older than them boys and he should sure as the devil know better and after this next time he will. Take em down son."

Cooter looked for a moment like he couldn't believe what his father had just said and he slowly lowered his jeans and turned to look at his father with a question on his face. Jonas nodded "That'll do son. Jessie go ahead and give him what Luke and Bo got."

Cooter got back into position and as easily as he could Jessie gave the boy ten swats same as his two got. The boy was out and out sobbing when he was finished. He placed his hand on Cooters back and rubbed for a moment and then told him he could pull his jeans back up which he did with no small amount of discomfort. Jessie would have held the boy for a moment but as he should he went straight to Jonas. His old friend stood up and just held onto his son while he cried. Jessie knew that his work was done and that Jonas was perfectly able and willing to take things from here.

He patted Cooter on the back as he walked out and he felt Jonas grab his hand. "Thank you Jessie, for your help. I thank you from both of us."

Jessie smiled and gently squeezed the hand of his friend. "You're welcome Jonas don't bother to see me out you just see to your boy here."

Jonas nodded and continued to rub Cooter's back and hold onto him. Jessie walked back out into the sunlight and felt glad that he had been able to help Jonas show Cooter how bad his decisions had been. And much like with Luke and Bo while he hadn't enjoyed punishing Cooter he knew that it was in the best interest of the boy and so he had done it. He got back into his truck and headed in the direction of the Peterson farm. He had no illusions that this was going to go as well but he owed it to all involved to try.

******************************************************************

Jessie pulled onto Peterson land and saw Tom Peterson stop what he was doing and come his way. Jessie reminded himself that however hard this was likely to be it needed doing. He just hoped that he could take his own advice and keep a hold of his own temper. He walked towards Tom with his hand extended in friendship, which Tom didn't shake. "Jessie Duke what exactly are you doing here in the middle of a work day?"

Not exactly the friendliest greeting that Jessie had ever heard. "Well truth is Tom I need to have a talk with you bout your boy Aaron. And I'll tell ya right now it ain't gonna be pleasant."

He could see Tom thinking about what he had just said. "Look Jessie I already know that the boy has been giving your niece some…..well lets say attention. And I know that he has been into it several times with your nephew over it. It really ain't no big deal. Like I told you before."

Jessie silently counted to ten in his head. "Now that's where we disagree Tom, it is a big deal. I am sorry that Luke hit him but he's got no call to be saying them kind of things about my Daisy."

Tom rolled his eyes "Well Jessie I didn't want to go here but it she don't want all the young bucks following her around she ought to dress a little differently."

Jessie had the terrible thought that he was just gonna punch this man and then have to go home and confess to his kids that he had done just what he punished them for. "I ain't even gonna reply to that Tom you got three daughters how do they dress?"

Tom laughed snidely. "Well my wife don't take no nonsense from our girls, she's right strict with em and it shows."

Jessie again struggled not to say what was on his mind. "What about the boy drag racing, are ya pleased bout that. Or how bout him coming home in a police car didn't that bother you none?"

Tom started to reply but was interrupted by his wife who neither man had seen walk up. "What is he talking about Tom?"

Jessie was pleased to see that Tom suddenly didn't look so sure of himself. "Now Beth ain't nothin to git upset about. Aaron has just been a little too friendly with Daisy Duke here and Jessie wanted to make sure I knew about it is all."

Beth Peterson crossed her arms over her chest and snorted. "And those shiners the boy has had wasn't really from football practice at all then were they? That was just a lie he told me and you supported then. Did Luke and Bo do that Jessie?"

"Well Ma'am Luke did hit your boy two times and he was punished both times. But the things that the boy said to Daisy was what got it all started. My boys don't cotton to no one saying them kind of things to their cousin."

"What did he say?"

Jessie felt a blush coming up his neck and stared at his own shoes like he had seen Luke and Bo do many a time when they didn't want to answer a question. "You wait right here Jessie."

Jessie and Tom stared at each other like two gunfighters at high noon and were still staring when Beth returned with a pencil and paper, which she handed to Jessie. "Write it all down please."

Jessie looked at the paper like he had never seen paper before and she nudged his arm. "Write..it...down…please?"

She said it very sweetly but Jessie could see the steel beneath and did as she told him and handed the paper to her. "Oh my Lord in heaven he said these things to Daisy?"

Jessie nodded. "Yes Ma'am he surely did and got punched in the mouth for his trouble too."

Jessie saw her turn to her husband and fix him with an icy stare. "And he was drag racing and got brought home by the police Tom?"

Tom tried to defend his son. "Now Bethie you know that's all just boy stuff, all boys' do them kinds of things. It's normal and natural for him to be making a ruckus like this. Shoot it ain't even no big deal. And if'n Miss Duke don't want all that male attention she should buy some different clothes."

Jessie could not believe the fire that he saw in Beth Peterson's eyes. "So it's her fault then that your son acts like an animal at mating time?"

Beth closed the space between herself and Tom. "Well guess what Tom, I have had enough. I have had enough of you coddling this boy and telling me every horrible thing he does is just because he's a boy. His sister's have been made to walk the chalk their whole life but because he is your son he does as he pleases. Well no damn more!"

Jessie fought a grin at the look on Tom Peterson's face. "Now honey I…."

She poked him in the chest with her finger. "You will take that boy out to the barn and whip his behind right good and proper. And you will keep laying the leather on his behind every day if necessary until he straightens up. And in case you think I'm kiddin, you can sleep on the couch until I think ya got the job done right. Understand me?"

Now Jessie was just plain old uncomfortable but hurricane Beth wasn't finished. "Aaron git your butt over here now!"

Jessie saw Aaron come over from the porch where he must have been trying to ease drop. "Yea Ma whaddya want?"

She shoved the paper in front of him. "Did you say these things to Daisy Duke?"

Aaron at least had the decency to look embarrassed. "Well yeah but Pa said if she didn't wear those shorts…"

She cut him off before he could finish. "Don't even think that's gonna git you out of this. I don't care if the girl ran round nekkid that gives you no right to say these things. And your Pa has had a change of heart bout the whole situation. You are going to the barn and you are gonna git your behind blistered six ways from Sunday. And then you are gonna apologize to Daisy. And then Aaron your father is gonna continue to whup your butt every day if necessary until I have decided that your behavior had improved."

Aaron looked to his dad never doubting that he would have the last word. "Pa…"

Tom Peterson shook his head and pointed to the barn. Aaron's eyes widened "But Pa….?"

Tom turned him toward the barn and planted a swat on his behind. "Go on."

Aaron walked towards the barn rubbing his behind and looking with disbelief at his father and mother. "Well I guess I had better git on back home now, thank ya for listening to what I had to say."

As if in response Tom nodded and turned walking toward the barn stripping off his belt as he went. "I'm sorry that you had to see all that Jessie. That was a storm that's been a coming for some time. I think both Aaron and Tom knew it."

Beth walked him to his truck and shook his hand. "After a few days of trips to the barn I'm sure Aaron will be over to apologize to Daisy. He might be a handful but he's a smart boy and I'm sure he's gonna figure this all out right quick, just like his Daddy."

Jessie bid her goodbye and drove off thinking just how much today had surprised him all the way around. And he knew that Daisy deserved an apology and he was dang glad that she was gonna git one. And he was glad that no other girls in Hazzard would have to put up with that kind of behavior. But most of all he was glad that he had gotten out of there without landing a punch of his own. And he thanked the dear Lord for that.

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