Sunday, 24 October 2010

Housework on Offer - Any Takers?

It’s no go good, no good at all,

The time has come to admit
that housework is a fact of life
I have to face,
squarely; bravely.

It can no longer be put off.

Dust bunnies have grown up
To become tumbleweeds,
The larder is empty,
There is more ice in the freezer than food.

I caught the dog at the back
Of his sleeping hole
Under the scullery work surface
studying his adoption papers;

He’s threatened to leave home.

So that is what I’ve been doing
Instead of visiting and writing blog posts,
Taking photos,
Going for pleasant walks.


It’s a crying shame.

Gardening and cooking
I’ll do with pleasure,
But scrubbing floors, polishing furniture,
Ironing clothes,

Are all jobs I hate.

How wonderful, in olden days,
In the town of Cologne,
On the banks of the river Rhine,
When Heinzelmannchen,
Bustling, busy, benevolent little spirits came out
When all the world and his wife
Were fast asleep.
They took care of
Home and hearth,
Built houses, made tables and chairs,
Tilled the fields and picked plums and apples,
Milked the cow and fed the dog,
Made sausages and bacon and ham,
Baked bread, brewed beer and watered the wine.
The kicked the cat, wove the cloth
And stitched the tailor’s stuff.

It was the tailor’s wife
Who did for the good burghers of Cologne,
Who had become used to lying a-bed
And all their work done for them.

She grew ever more curious,
Until she could bear it no longer
And strewed peas about
All over the house one evening.

Alas, the foolish woman.

Softly, softly, out came the Heinzelmannchen
When all in the house were in their bed.
They slipped on the peas,
Clattered and clanged, cried and cursed,
tripped and tumbled, all in a heap.

And were gone in a flash, never to return.

all cartoons borrowed here.


  1. That curious housewife ruined it for us all, didn't she? I'm puttering away setting things to right around my home today. I don't mind straightening, dusting and vacuuming - bathrooms and ironing are the jobs I detest.
    But oh, how wonderful when it's all done - for a few hours!

  2. Then are the Heinzelmannchen available for travel to the U.S.? I'd meet them at the airport.

  3. "I caught the dog at the back
    Of his sleeping hole
    Under the scullery work surface
    studying his adoption papers;

    He’s threatened to leave home." Wonderful Friko-ism! You are a woman after my own heart. Here we have Menehune little people who can build a long stone wall in a night.

    Wish they could market and dust :)

    Aloha from Hawaii

    Comfort Spiral


  4. ha. a nice personal opening...spinning into a fairy tale...i could use a few of those little guys for i hate housework as well...but i do it more and more with T working...

  5. Housework - ugh! I'd rather do just about anything than dust and tidy.

  6. Very much fun.
    Having moved to the house of my dreams, I washed floors today. Much fun had by all.

    Cheers from Cottage Country !

  7. No takers in my camp. We are spending our time these days trying to find the Heinzelmannchen.

  8. Friko, I have treated myself to three of your posts. And treats they were.

    How I enjoyed reading about how you are bidding nite, nite to various parts of your beautiful garden. How glad I am that the smoke in that photo did not turn to flames of danger. That snail will have to takes its chances over the wintertime to come.

    Lady of Shalott, with shalotts around her...well, that was a hoot.

    And. The most recent post really struck home. I keep wishing that elves, or fairies, or even diligent mice might aid me in my attempts at keeping this tiny apartment of mine reasonably clear and clean.

    Those longed for helpers do not show me their efforts. It is all left to me. On my busiest days I can ignore the tumbleweeds, etc. When I actually have a day off and am at home during the hours when daylight flows through the windows, I am shocked at what is revealed. And want to have the dust, etc. cleaned up. And yet. Would so rather try to get a sketch into my sketchbook.

    Stalemate. Dust in place. Sketchbook page still empty. I take a nap. xo

  9. Too cute. I tend to put those chores off myself. Our fridge is looking bare as well. I guess it's time to go to the grocery - not my favorite task, but bathrooms are the worst. :-(

  10. Oh if only the tailors wife hadn't done that!

  11. Oh but this age of technology has taught us how to put an end to this treacherous deed of housework.... There is a short process involved, however, you will need to spend a lot less energy and time to rid yourself of all those dreaded deeds we call housework. Oh, but it also involves the help of a small critter... You being an animal lover and all, I'm sure you will find one nearby...

    1. Go to your electronic writing system and open a new page (this is the organizational part of the process).
    2. Type a list of all the household chores that you feel need to be gotten rid of, be sure to include those you dread the most.
    3. When your list is complete, save it, but be sure to name your list (your file) 'Household Chores' then you can close out of your writing program.
    4. Next open your 'Documents' folder or whatever your files are listed under, then locate the nearby critter, it should be located most likely to your right... here in the states we refer to the critter as a 'mouse'.
    5. Find your file called 'Household Chores', right click with the critter and scroll down to delete and left click on it.
    6. A pop-up window should ask if you want to permenantly delete 'Household Chores', click yes...

    And voila... your household chores should then be gone forever. :)

  12. I woould promise to give any stray Heinzelmannchen a happy home here you know I hate housework.

  13. When I lived in Germany there was a cartoon we kids used to watch about these little chaps. I only have a small flat - it wont take them long to do my stuff, I'd happily leave food etc out for them!

  14. No takers here. I don't mind cooking and gardening, but cleaning..... The only positive aspect of the latter activity is that your mind can roam free while you are engaged in it.

    Charming cartoons.

  15. If only you could coax the Heinzelmannchen out of retirement...and become their agent!

  16. Why can't we all have a benevolent little spirit? I would pay, honest.

  17. Just like the elves and the shoemaker story - always a favourite. I love those little illustrations too. No little house elves here just now!!

  18. Waiting for this to be published so that I can read it to my grandchildren!

  19. So that's who ruined it for us all---a curious wife in Cologne! Drat the woman! Housework is a constant nag. No sooner do you get the last chore done than the first needs doing again!!

  20. Oh I know. Every night when I go to bed I resolve to do the housework the next day. Obviously since I have to make that resolution every night, I'm not getting it done. Too many others things I would rather do. And where can I get me some of those elves? I promise not to put peas on the floor.

  21. I hate housework too. I think people who like it have something a little off, mentally.
    Perhaps the little guys have come to the US already, gone evil, and now create mess overnight? That would explain some things around here...

  22. A clean house is the sign of a wasted life.

    That is my motto and I offer it to you. Free.

    And I love the line about your dog, I've caught mine doing exactly the same thing.


  23. you and your benevolent little spirits are welcome to help clean my home any time. however despite our best intentions, i know not much would get done ... we would go and sit by the brook with a glass of wine or a cup of tea and discuss rilke ...

  24. I dislike vacuuming but enjoy ironing and other tasks that allow me to listen to audio books. Nonetheless, I'd be delighted to welcome some of those little elves!

  25. Hey, Wisewebwoman, you haven't got that label for nothing. A home needs to be clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy. Let's get our priorities right.
    ...Tramp and Lady

  26. Until those little fellows show up in the Northwoods, I will have to do those chores myself...right after I quilt, read a good book, listen to lovely music, putter in the garden and every single day - read your wonderful blog!
    Thanks for a delightful post, Friko!

  27. Sweet. I guess some of us don't know when we have a good thing, do we? And the dog was looking for his adoption papers???? Love your imagination, Friko.

  28. Heinzelmannchen :)
    I'd like some of these!

  29. Die Geschichte mit den Heinzelmännchen hat mir immer gut gefallen - naja, bis zu ihrem Ende! Aber hier in unserer Gegend gibt es so viele Gartenzwerge, vielleicht könnte man die überreden, sich die Geschichte mal anzuhören? Du schreibst wirklich toll, Friko! Ich musste schon über Rapunzel lachen! Übrigens hat Val aus Südafrika mich hergeschickt. Unser Blogland kennt keine Grenzen mehr! Liebe Grüße von Usedom

  30. Makes the thought of tidying up easier. Actually it is dusting and vacuuming that need done before visitors on Thursday. Thanks to your post I shall have little friends helping. Does pretending to be in a Disney movie count?

  31. House cleaning is not on my radar. I could use little helpers – from any country.


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