Demon in the House

Demon in the House
A Parable of Domestic Disharmony

One day, the woman came unto her husband, who was working in the fields saying,

"My lord, there is a demon dwelling within our house." The husband ran into the house, and gazed about, but he saw no demon.

After a time he said to his wife,

"Good lady, I have examined our house, and I must admit that I have not found that of which you spoke, although I looked in every corner, under each bed, in all the closets, and behind each chair." To this his wife replied,

"Alas, he is invisible." At this the husband became puzzled,

"How then, dost thou know there is a demon within?"

"I perceive him with my very being, and I can smell him." Again, the husband was bemused,

"I perceive him not, although mayhap thy sense of smell is superior to myne own. Art thou sure?"

"I am sure. A demon dwells within, and thou must drive him forth."

"How am I to drive forth a demon that I can not see, nor hear, nor feel, nor perceive with my very being, nor taste, nor even smell?"

"I will show thee how to drive him forth."

Thus did the two enter the dwelling and did the lady demonstrate how her husband might drive forth the demon by means of a complex ritual that involved the drawing of pentacles, the waving of arms, many divers incantations and no small amount of jumping up and down. Thus did the husband learn how to drive forth the demon, and he did this, and the lady smiled upon him and they were happy.
The task accomplished, the husband went back to his work in the fields and the driving forth of the demon slipped from his memory.

One month later, the man was again working in the fields when the wife came unto him saying,

"The demon hath returned, and must once more be driven forth." The husband, who was particularly involved in his work, said,

"Art thou sure, for I am exceeding busy?" The wife grew angry and sullen, saying,

"Dost thou take me for a fool? The demon has returned and must be driven forth." At this the man entered into the house, and said unto his wife,

"Still, I cannot see the demon." The wife said,

"He is here, and more yet more unpleasant, and must be driven forth." Again the husband looked about,

"Alas, I cannot remember the ritual that you required of me upon this day last month."

"I will tell it thee again"

Thus the wife told unto her husband the manner of driving forth the demon and, he undertook the ritual and drove forth the demon and went back to the fields to resume his work.
Upon the same day in the following month, the wife came unto the man and said,

"He hath returned, the demon., and must be driven forth." To which the husband replied,

"I am exceeding busy and would not wish to put aside this work."

"But you must come at once"

"Canst thou not drive forth this demon thyself?

"That I cannot do, for I must continue with my own work."

The husband sighed and went into the house and performed again the ritual ha had been shown.
Upon the same day of the following month, the wife came again and said,

"Alas, again the demon hath come and must be driven forth."

Now the husband was even more busy than he had been the previous times, and answered saying,

"I cannot come now, for I must finish this work" To which his lady replied,

"Thou must come now, my husband, for the demon is here now."

"Let us drive forth the demon upon the morrow, for I am exceeding busy." To which the woman replied,

"It is vital that we not delay."

"But," replied the husband, "I cannot see, nor hear, nor smell, nor taste, nor feel, nor yet sense with my very being, this demon. What harm can he do us if we let him be a day longer afore we drive him forth?" To which the lady grew angry, saying,

"I tell thee that the demon smells with a terrible stench and makes me sicken unto my very being."

"How can this be when I sense him not at all?" he asked.

"If thou carest for me, thou would drive forth the demon because I asked it of thee, and only because I asked it." To which the husband had no answer. Thus he went into the dwelling and drove forth the demon in the manner she had taught him. And they were content.

One month later, to the very day, the woman came again to her husband and said,

"Again he hath returned. I had hoped that thou wouldst have foreseen the need to drive forth the demon, and undertaken the ritual without my asking it of thee."

"How can I do such a thing when I cannot see, nor hear, nor feel, nor taste, nor smell, nor sense with my very being, that whichof thou speakest?"

"If thou carest for me, thou wouldst not require of me that I remind thee each time of thy duty." At which the man went into the house and performed the ritual she had taught unto him.

Upon the same day in the next month, the woman came again and said,

"Again hath he come, and thou must drive him forth." But this time, the man was so busy that he could not leave his work and said,

"Sorry I am, but this time if thou requirest this task undertaken now, thou must do it thyself, for I simply cannot leave this work." At which the lady grew angry, and the two argued, but the man could not abandon his work. And the wife went into the dwelling and performed the ritual herself. Later that day, she complained unto her husband that he cared not for her. And their relations were cool for several days. She would not grant him her favours, nor even speak kindly unto him, saying that performing the ritual without his aid had made her so tired that she had not the energy to undertake these things.

A month later, upon the same day of the month, she came again unto him saying,

"Again the demon hath returned. Wilt thou once more prove thy distain for thy wife and oblige her to undertake the ritual of purification without thy aid?"

"I cannot see, nor hear, nor smell, nor taste, nor feel, nor in any way detect this demon. How am I to drive it forth, how am I to believe that it even exists?"

"If thou honourest thy wife, thou wouldst take her word in this matter, and perform thy duty."
Thus he went into the house, saw no demon and wondered.

Month upon month, again she came unto him asking that he drive forth the demon. Often she would say,
"If thou carest for thy wife, thou would not wait upon her word to perform thy duty."

But he never laid eyes, nor any other sense upon the demon. Yet even so, eventually he came to realise that a demon did indeed dwell, each month, within his house.

N. Robin Crossby

Sigurd's picture

Happens all the time

I'm amazed at the perception of wives. Things of vital importance that I just don't see. For my wife's sake I wish I was less like the husband of this tale but alas....

For the 'zen' of my lady - for I can't quantify it in my mind - all manner of things must be done. It all seems to me like putting newspaper under the Cuckoo Clock. I do it because otherwise she is not happy. But, like the husband in this story, I can't see it to dedicate myself to it.

Good story.


TheAncientOne's picture

For the peace of the household...

Just DO IT!

It does not matter if it has anything to do with reality.
After all, she is putting up with your FRP habit...
...Where is the reality there?

(Letting your imagination live: in truth. Writing that can be prose: maybe. Beauty of a world in stories: a belief. Reality: no)

Council of The Ancient One
"The man who WOULD NOT be king."

Robin's picture

What great pleasure

I am *so* pleased there is evidence that someone has finally read this story :) I wrote it such a long time ago, and it has elicited narry a comment... 'til now.

Unfortunately, I am placing an increasing burden on my own lady as I have been unable to do some of my own chores (those that involve bending over). However, it is possible that I will get an 'Indian Summer'... who knows? :)

Sigurd's picture

Just DO IT! - Not a question of Will

Its not a question of will. Thats why I like the story so much - I've been blindsided by requests that seem obvious to her but have never occurred to me. Like the farmer I do them for her but sometimes its a complete surprise. Its important because she is and thats enough. Doesn't mean its easy.

It is fundamentally easier to do things that aren't real, that I see, over things that are real, that I don't. Do not mistake my honesty and will to change for something dishonourable or combative. A weakness unconfessed is never addressed.


Sigurd's picture

I sent this to my lady.

I really like the heart of it. To me it has a fundamentally male point of view that is really touching.

My lady and I had a really long and thoughtful talk. She appreciated that I was making an effort to understand her. I've never gotten that from a game site!



wordserpent's picture

[Edited for stupidity.] Good

[Edited for stupidity.]

Good story. Hits close to home.

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