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'Tis education forms the youthful mind,
And with a stick we beat it in behind.
  — Variant of the saying:
"'Tis education forms the youthful mind,
Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclin'd"

A stick is a piece of wood, used as a spanking implement. For many, the term suggests a rough, untreated, raw branch from a tree — like a switch but more rigid. The word stick may, in fact, be a synonym for a switch, or rod — but can also refer to a rod in the sense of a smoothly turned length of wood. "The stick" is also an alternate term for a cane, particularly in british school spanking stories.

In any case, a stick will be relatively long and thin, unlike a paddle, and rigid compared to a strap. It will deliver mostly sting and little thud to the buttocks. The "stick" category of implements is severe compared to an OTK hand-spanking. A spankee may be told to go cut a stick (switch) for the spanker, which means the spankee must fetch the tool of his discipline.

It is fair to call a spanking with a stick/switch/cane a "beating" for three reasons: (a) the stick will most likely leave welts/red stripes on the buttocks, (b) a spanker may strike the spankee until the subject is sobbing and screaming, and (c) an adult male often tells another male to go to the barn or woodshed for a "beating." The act of using real, cut-from-nature sticks in spanking is generally reserved for teenage or young adult males who need correction, but canings are given to both male and female spankees equally.

Warning: Cut-from-nature sticks, switches and canes are harsh implements that may cause bleeding and long-lasting discomfort. Apply carefully!