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The Family Drudge

by Ronald R Johnson (

Quotable Quotes from Lloyd C. Douglas

From Invitation to Live, chapter 4.

Dean Harcourt of Trinity Cathedral is commiserating with young Katharine Drake on the misfortune of becoming ‘the family drudge.’

‘In many a home,’ the Dean was saying, ‘some one member of the family carries the whole load; serves as the official clock-watcher, tells them when it is time to get up, when it is time to start if we are to catch the 8:19 car; serves as the official calendar, telling them that next Tuesday is Emma’s birthday, and we mustn’t forget that the Chester wedding is on the nineteenth; serves as the official errand-boy, whose duty it is to turn the night-latch on the door, put out the porch-light, check the furnace, call the cat, and drape a towel over the birdcage. Nobody knows or cares how you happened to be appointed to these thankless positions; but, once you’re recognized as the incumbent, there’ll be no other nominations as long as you live…

‘Sometimes people come to talk with me about the flatness and staleness of their lives, and how difficult it is for them to achieve happiness; and mostly it turns out that they have been harried by just such trifling cares. It wasn’t the costly renunciations that wore them down. It wasn’t the big sacrifices that made them unhappy. It was the aggregate of all the small things they were expected to do. It may not be much of a care to cover the canary every night; but you’ll find that the same person who covers the canary rebaits the mousetrap, tightens the tap that someone left running in the kitchen, puts the half-filled milk bottle back into the refrigerator, and closes the window in the pantry. The official bird-cover-up-er is the same person who tells Grandma it is time for her pill, and Father that he has a loose button on his overcoat. I maintain that whenever one member of the household discovers that he has been appointed – for life – as the family drudge, he should resign without delay, for the sake of the whole tribe.’

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