The Spanking Branch

Contextual Information

Time of Interview: April 20th, 6:22 p.m.

Location of Interview: Interior of Informant’s Room, Arts and Humanities

Informant’s First Encounter w/ Folklore: Early childhood w/ Dad

When Folklore is Performed: At family gatherings.



“So when my dad was like 10 his mom used to keep a willow branch on top of their fridge that she used to spank him and his siblings. One morning when they came home from school, she was upset because it had been snapped in half. She asked each of the kids one at a time and no one admitted to it, so she grabbed another branch and spanked them all. Then when my grandpa got home from work, he noticed that the kids were all upset at the dinner table. He asked what the problem was. My grandma explained that one of them was lying about breaking her stick, and my grandpa laughed. “Oh, I broke that this morning when I decided to grab a bite of ice cream for breakfast”


The informant claims that this story is often brought out at family gatherings, and is embellished a little bit more with the various siblings’ own spins on the tale. Despite the individual flourishings, the moral remains the same: while people get older, such as the informant’s grandfather, it does not mean that the youth ever has to go away. It’s fitting, then, that the informant’s dad’s siblings all relay this story while enjoying themselves and having a good time with their family, remembering some of the “older days” while still maintaining their own youth.