Respect for A Housewife
Once upon a time, not too long ago,
there lived an old man and his wife.
The old couple lived in a medium-sized
home in a medium-sized town.
The old woman worked as most women
of her time did. She would take care of the
house. She would go to the market, cook
food, mend clothes, make butter, clean, and
do many jobs around the house.
The man did work that was thought
to be manlier. He was a logger. He
would hike deep into the forest every day
to cut down trees. Then he and his fellow
loggers would carry the trees to the mill.
Once at the mill, they would use big
dangerous saws to cut the logs into
boards. This is the kind of work that this
manly man did.
Sometimes in these kinds of
stations, arguments would be started
about who worked the hardest. The
husband would often say things like, ‘You
have no idea how hard I work every day!”
“I wake up before the sun comes
up, hike into the forest, and cut down
trees with my own two hands. While I
do all of these things, you are at home
making soup and chatting with the
neighbors. Your life is too easy!”
“Do not complain about such
things. I am a woman and you are a
man. You are stronger than I am, so it’s
quite right for you to do work that needs
to be done by a strong person. Believe
me, the work I do at home is important.
If I didn’t cook your dinner, then you
would have nothing to eat.”
If I didn’t mend your clothes, then
you would have nothing to wear. If I
didn’t clean the house, then you
wouldn’t have a peaceful home to come
back to. My job is just as important as
yours.” said the old woman.
The woman and the man argued
like this often but the husband wouldn’t
listen to her. A wife can only take so
many rude words. After a while, these
words can make her angry.
One day when they were having this
argument, she shouted, “Fine! I’ve had
enough! Tomorrow I am going to do
your job and you are going to do mine!”
“I will hike deep into the forest to
cut down trees and you will stay here
and take care of the house!”
“That’s okay with me! I would love
to have a vacation from all my hard
“I’m not going to have any problems
taking care of the house, but I’m not so
sure how well you will be in the forest,”
said the man.
The old couple woke up at the same
time they usually did, but this day would
As the old woman left the house for
the forest she yelled back to her
husband, “You need to get the soup
started early, dig up and clean some
carrots, mend your jacket, milk the cow,
and cook some greens.”
As she walked down the road to
work, her husband went back to sleep.
A few hours later, the old man woke
up and began his day as a housewife.
The first thing he needed to do was to
make soup, but he couldn’t figure out
what to do.
He knew that soup had vegetables,
but tasted like meat. He tried to remember
if they had any meat in the house. He
remembered that sometimes he ate
chicken soup so he went outside to the
His wife was the one in charge of
killing and cleaning chickens so he
didn’t know what to do. The old man
wasn’t sure if he should kill a chicken,
because if he killed the chicken, then
they wouldn’t have any eggs.
This housework was really
confusing. He punched the chicken in
the head and brought it in the house.
The old man found the largest pot
in the kitchen and filled it with water.
He then put the pot on a burner and
waited for the water to boil.
As the water boiled, he looked around
for some vegetables. The man had no
idea where his wife kept the vegetables.
Then he remembered that his wife
had told him to dig up some carrots.
The old man went out into the garden
to dig up some carrots.
There were a lot of carrots. The ones
that he pulled up were small but he thought
that they might make a good soup. He
took the carrots back to the kitchen.
The old man wasn’t sure when he
should pluck the chicken’s feathers but
he figured now would be a good time.
As he reached for the chicken, it
came back to life and was quite scared.
The chicken flew all over the kitchen
breaking teacups and glasses. It finally
flew out the door.
It had been a very unlucky day for
the man. All he had done so far was
dig up some tiny carrots and break
many of his wife’s favorite things. “A
kitchen is no place for a man!” he
shouted to himself.
“I should have let my wife stay home
today. Look at the damage I’ve done to
the house, I pray that my wife hasn’t
accidentally cut off her own arm trying
to do ‘my’ job!”
There was no time for him to talk to
himself. He still had to cook the greens.
He had no idea what greens were so
he looked around the house for
something green. He knew that greens
were definitely green.
All he could find in the house that
was green was one of his wife’s hats.
He took some scissors and cut the hat
into little pieces and put them in a small
saucepan for later.
Now he had to go mend his jacket.
He found his wife’s sewing kit and got a
needle and thread. He had ripped a
hole in the jacket so he needed to sew it.
He had never sewn before. He stuck
himself so many times with the needle
that his fingers began to bleed. When
he finished mending the jacket, his hands
hurt so badly that he couldn’t use them
He had to go milk the cow. That
wouldn’t have been difficult except for that
now his hands were very sore. When he
went to milk the cow, he squeezed too
hard and the cow kicked him in the head.
What a terrible day!
His hands were all red and sore,
the kitchen was a mess from the
chicken, his wife’s hat was cut up and
in a saucepan and now he had a bump
on his head.
It was right at that moment that the
man’s wife came home. The old woman
came in smiling and carrying some
firewood for the night.
She walked in through the back
door and saw her husband sitting down
at the kitchen table with his head in his
hands almost crying.
“Oh my!” yelled the old woman. ‘This
is no way to take care of a home. Look
at all the chicken feathers everywhere
and all of these broken teacups!”
The man didn’t feel like talking that
evening. He didn’t say anything at all.
The woman didn’t complain about her
hat and she didn’t say anything about
the scared cow or the chicken that was
But most importantly, the old man
never said anything rude to his wife
about housework again. He now had
a lot of respect for her.