Katherine Mansfield’s short story “Sixpence” starts with a small boy named Dicky who seems to be acting up.

Dicky began misbehaving around tea-time, when he put a bread plate on his head, which then fell and broke. Dicky started running around the house and his mother, Mrs. Bendall, had to leave her guest, Mrs. Spears, to deal with the boy.

Realizing she cannot chase after the boy, Mrs. Bendall says she will think of a way to punish Dicky and returns to her guest. Upon hearing about what Dicky did, Mrs. Spears suggests the little boy needs a whipping from his father and advises Mrs. Bendall to take immediate action. She explains to Mrs. Bendall that she used to soap her children’s tongues, which did not work because the best way, in her opinion, is to have the boys whipped by their f...

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