Answer & Explanation:Read the Story thats Attached Below “Told In The Drooling Ward” And then Write a problem-solution essay in which you propose a solution to
discrimination against special needs individuals. To show that you know the
story well, use examples from the story as evidence or arguments to support
your ideas. Show what you know about strong ideas, organization, sentence
fluency and conventions.

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Jack London
Told in the Drooling Ward
Me? I’m not a drooler. I’m the assistant. I don’t
know what Miss Jones or Miss Kelsey could do
without me. There are fifty-five low-grade droolers in
this ward, and how could they ever all be fed if I
wasn’t around? I like to feed droolers. They don’t
make trouble. They can’t. Something’s wrong with
most of their legs and arms, and they can’t talk.
They’re very low-grade. I can walk, and talk, and do
things. You must be careful with the droolers and not
feed them too fast. Then they choke. Miss Jones says
I’m an expert. When a new nurse comes I show her
how to do it. It’s funny watching a new nurse try to
feed them. She goes at it so slow and careful that
supper time would be around before she finished
shoving down their breakfast. Then I show her,
because I’m an expert. Dr. Dalrymple says I am, and
he ought to know. A drooler can eat twice as fast if
you know how to make him.
My name’s Tom. I’m twenty-eight years old.
Everybody knows me in the institution. This is an
institution, you know. It belongs to the State of
California and is run by politics. I know. I’ve been
here a long time. Everybody trusts me. I run errands
all over the place, when I’m not busy with the
droolers. I like droolers. It makes me think how
lucky I am that I ain’t a drooler.
I like it here in the Home. I don’t like the outside.
I know. I’ve been around a bit, and run away, and
adopted. Me for the Home, and for the drooling ward
best of all. I don’t look like a drooler, do I? You can
tell the difference soon as you look at me. I’m an
assistant, expert assistant. That’s going some for a
feeb. Feeb? Oh, that’s feeble-minded. I thought you
knew. We’re all feebs in here.
But I’m a high-grade feeb. Dr. Dalrymple says
I’m too smart to be in the Home, but I never let on.
It’s a pretty good place. And don’t throw fits like lots
of the feebs. You see that house up there through
the trees. The high-grade epilecs all live in it by
themselves. They’re stuck up because they ain’t just
ordinary feebs. They call it the club house, and they
say they’re just as good as anybody outside, only
they’re sick. I don’t like them much. They laugh at
me, when they ain’t busy throwing fits. But I don’t
care. I never have to be scared about falling down
and busting my head. Sometimes they run around in
circles trying to find a place to sit down quick, only
they don’t. Low-grade epilecs are disgusting, and
high-grade epilecs put on airs. I’m glad I ain’t an
epilec. There ain’t anything to them. They just talk
big, that’s all.
< 2 >
Miss Kelsey says I talk too much. But I talk sense,
and that’s more than the other feebs do. Dr.
Dalrymple says I have the gift of language. I know it.
You ought to hear me talk when I’m by myself, or
when I’ve got a drooler to listen. Sometimes I think
I’d like to be a politician, only it’s too much trouble.
They’re all great talkers; that’s how they hold their
Nobody’s crazy in this institution. They’re just
feeble in their minds. Let me tell you something
funny. There’s about a dozen high-grade girls that
set the tables in the big dining room. Sometimes
when they’re done ahead of time, they all sit down in
chairs in a circle and talk. I sneak up to the door and
listen, and I nearly die to keep from laughing. Do
you want to know what they talk? It’s like this. They
don’t say a word for a long time. And then one says,
“Thank God I’m not feeble-minded.” And all the rest
nod their heads and look pleased. And then nobody
says anything for a time. After which the next girl in
the circle says, “Thank God I’m not feeble-minded,”
and they nod their heads all over again. And it goes
on around the circle, and they never say anything
else. Now they’re real feebs, ain’t they? I leave it to
you. I’m not that kind of a feeb, thank God.
Sometimes I don’t think I’m a feeb at all. I play
in the band and read music. We’re all supposed to be
feebs in the band except the leader. He’s crazy. We
know it, but we never talk about it except amongst
ourselves. His job is politics, too, and we don’t want
him to lose it. I play the drum. They can’t get along
without me in this institution. I was sick once, so I
know. It’s a wonder the drooling ward didn’t break
down while I was in hospital.
I could get out of here if I wanted to. I’m not so
feeble as some might think. But I don’t let on. I have
too good a time. Besides, everything would run down
if I went away. I’m afraid some time they’ll find out
I’m not a feeb and send me out into the world to
earn my own living. I know the world, and I don’t
like it. The Home is fine enough for me.
< 3 >
You see how I grin sometimes. I can’t help that. But
I can put it on a lot. I’m not bad, though. I look at
myself in the glass. My mouth is funny, I know that,
and it lops down, and my teeth are bad. You can tell
a feeb anywhere by looking at his mouth and teeth.
But that doesn’t prove I’m a feeb. It’s just because
I’m lucky that I look like one.
I know a lot. If I told you all I know, you’d be
surprised. But when I don’t want to know, or when
they want me to do something don’t want to do, I
just let my mouth lop down and laugh and make
foolish noises. I watch the foolish noises made by
the low-grades, and I can fool anybody. And I know
a lot of foolish noises. Miss Kelsey called me a fool
the other day. She was very angry, and that was
where I fooled her.
Miss Kelsey asked me once why I don’t write a
book about feebs. I was telling her what was the
matter with little Albert. He’s a drooler, you know,
and I can always tell the way he twists his left eye
what’s the matter with him. So I was explaining it to
Miss Kelsey, and, because she didn’t know, it made
her mad. But some day, mebbe, I’ll write that book.
Only it’s so much trouble. Besides, I’d sooner talk.
Do you know what a micro is? It’s the kind with
the little heads no bigger than your fist. They’re
usually droolers, and they live a long time. The
hydros don’t drool. They have the big heads, and
they’re smarter. But they never grow up. They
always die. I never look at one without thinking he’s
going to die. Sometimes, when I’m feeling lazy, or
the nurse is mad at me, I wish I was a drooler with
nothing to do and somebody to feed me. But I guess
I’d sooner talk and be what I am.
< 4 >
Only yesterday Doctor Dalrymple said to me,
“Tom,” he said, “just don’t know what I’d do without
you.” And he ought to know, seeing as he’s had the
bossing of a thousand feebs for going on two years.
Dr. Whatcomb was before him. They get appointed,
you know. It’s politics. I’ve seen a whole lot of
doctors here in my time. I was here before any of
them. I’ve been in this institution twenty-five years.
No, I’ve got no complaints. The institution couldn’t
be run better.
It’s a snap to be a high-grade feeb. Just look at
Doctor Dalrymple. He has troubles. He holds his job
by politics. You bet we high-graders talk politics. We
know all about it, and it’s bad. An institution like this
oughtn’t to be run on politics. Look at Doctor
Dalrymple. He’s been here two years and learned a
lot. Then politics will come along and throw him out
and send a new doctor who don’t know anything
about feebs.
I’ve been acquainted with just thousands of
nurses in my time. Some of them are nice. But they
come and go. Most of the women get married.
Sometimes I think I’d like to get married. I spoke to
Dr. Whatcomb about it once, but he told me he was
very sorry, because feebs ain’t allowed to get
married. I’ve been in love. She was a nurse. Won’t
tell you her name. She had blue eyes, and yellow
hair, and a kind voice, and she liked me. She told me
so. And she always told me to be a good boy. And I
was, too, until afterward, and then I ran away. You
see, she went off and got married, and she didn’t tell
me about it.
I guess being married ain’t what it’s cracked up
to be. Dr. Anglin and his wife used to fight. I’ve seen
them. And once I heard her call him a feeb. Now
nobody has a right to call anybody a feeb that ain’t.
Dr. Anglin got awful mad when she called him that.
But he didn’t last long. Politics drove him out, and
Doctor Mandeville came. He didn’t have a wife. I
heard him talking one time with the engineer. The
engineer and his wife fought like cats and dogs, and
that day Doctor Mandeville told him he was damn
glad he wasn’t tied to no petticoats. A petticoat is a
skirt. I knew what he meant, if I was a feeb. But
never let on. You hear lots when you don’t let on.
< 5 >
I’ve seen a lot in my time. Once I was adopted,
and went away on the railroad over forty miles to
live with a man named Peter Bopp and his wife. They
had a ranch. Doctor Anglin said I was strong and
bright, and I said I was, too. That was because I
wanted to be adopted. And Peter Bopp said he’d give
me a good home, and the lawyers fixed up the
But I soon made up my mind that a ranch was no
place for me. Mrs. Bopp was scared to death of me
and wouldn’t let me sleep in the house. They fixed
up the woodshed and made me sleep there. had to
get up at four o’clock and feed the horses, and milk
cows, and carry the milk to the neighbours. They
called it chores, but it kept me going all day. I
chopped wood, and cleaned chicken houses, and
weeded vegetables, and did most everything on the
place. I never had any fun. I hadn’t no time.
Let me tell you one thing. I’d sooner feed mush
and milk to feebs than milk cows with the frost on
the ground. Mrs. Bopp was scared to let me play
with her children. And I was scared, too. They used
to make faces at me when nobody was looking, and
call me “Looney.” Everybody called me Looney Tom.
And the other boys in the neighbourhood threw rocks
at me. You never see anything like that in the Home
here. The feebs are better behaved.
Mrs. Bopp used to pinch me and pull my hair
when she thought was too slow, and I only made
foolish noises and went slower. She said I’d be the
death of her some day. I left the boards off the old
well in the pasture, and the pretty new calf fell in
and got drowned. Then Peter Bopp said he was going
to give me a licking. He did, too. He took a strap
halter and went at me. It was awful. I’d never had a
licking in my life. They don’t do such things in the
Home, which is why I say the Home is the place for
< 6 >
I know the law, and I knew he had no right to lick
me with a strap halter. That was being cruel, and the
guardianship papers said he mustn’t be cruel. I
didn’t say anything. I just waited, which shows you
what kind of a feeb I am. I waited a long time, and
got slower, and made more foolish noises; but he
wouldn’t send me back to the Home, which was what
I wanted. But one day, it was the first of the month,
Mrs. Brown gave me three dollars, which was for her
milk bill with Peter Bopp. That was in the morning.
When I brought the milk in the evening I was to
bring back the receipt. But I didn’t. I just walked
down to the station, bought a ticket like any one,
and rode on the train back to the Home. That’s the
kind of a feeb I am.
Doctor Anglin was gone then, and Doctor
Mandeville had his place. I walked right into his
office. He didn’t know me. “Hello,” he said, “this ain’t
visiting day.” “I ain’t a visitor,” I said. “I’m Tom. I
belong here.” Then he whistled and showed he was
surprised. I told him all about it, and showed him the
marks of the strap halter, and he got madder and
madder all the time and said he’d attend to Mr. Peter
Bopp’s case.
And mebbe you think some of them little droolers
weren’t glad to see me.
I walked right into the ward. There was a new
nurse feeding little Albert. “Hold on,” I said. “That
ain’t the way. Don’t you see how he’s twisting that
left eye? Let me show you.” Mebbe she thought was
a new doctor, for she just gave me the spoon, and I
guess I filled little Albert up with the most
comfortable meal he’d had since I went away.
Droolers ain’t bad when you understand them. I
heard Miss Jones tell Miss Kelsey once that I had an
amazing gift in handling droolers.
< 7 >
Some day, mebbe, I’m going to talk with Doctor
Dalrymple and get him to give me a declaration that
I ain’t a feeb. Then I’ll get him to make me a real
assistant in the drooling ward, with forty dollars a
month and my board. And then I’ll marry Miss Jones
and live right on here. And if she won’t have me, I’ll
marry Miss Kelsey or some other nurse. There’s lots
of them that want to get married. And I won’t care if
my wife gets mad and calls me a feeb. What’s the
good? And I guess when one’s learned to put up with
droolers a wife won’t be much worse.
I didn’t tell you about when I ran away. I hadn’t
no idea of such a thing, and it was Charley and Joe
who put me up to it. They’re high-grade epilecs, you
know. I’d been up to Doctor Wilson’s office with a
message, and was going back to the drooling ward,
when I saw Charley and Joe hiding around the corner
of the gymnasium and making motions to me. I went
over to them.
“Hello,” Joe said. “How’s droolers?”
“Fine,” I said. “Had any fits lately?”
That made them mad, and I was going on, when
Joe said, “We’re running away. Come on.”
“What for?” I said.
“We’re going up over the top of the mountain,”
Joe said.
“And find a gold mine,” said Charley. “We don’t
have fits any more. We’re cured.”
“All right,” I said. And we sneaked around back of
the gymnasium and in among the trees. Mebbe we
walked along about ten minutes, when I stopped.
“What’s the matter?” said Joe.
“Wait,” I said. “I got to go back.”
< 8 >
“What for?” said Joe.
And I said, “To get little Albert.”
And they said I couldn’t, and got mad. But I
didn’t care. knew they’d wait. You see, I’ve been
here twenty-five years, and I know the back trails
that lead up the mountain, and Charley and Joe
didn’t know those trails. That’s why they wanted me
to come.
So I went back and got little Albert. He can’t
walk, or talk, or do anything except drool, and I had
to carry him in my arms. We went on past the last
hayfield, which was as far as I’d ever gone. Then the
woods and brush got so thick, and me not finding
any more trail, we followed the cow-path down to a
big creek and crawled through the fence which
showed where the Home land stopped.
We climbed up the big hill on the other side of
the creek. It was all big trees, and no brush, but it
was so steep and slippery with dead leaves we could
hardly walk. By and by we came to a real bad place.
It was forty feet across, and if you slipped you’d fall
a thousand feet, or mebbe a hundred. Anyway, you
wouldn’t fall — just slide. I went across first, carrying
little Albert. Joe came next. But Charley got scared
right in the middle and sat down.
“I’m going to have a fit,” he said.
“No, you’re not,” said Joe. “Because if you was
you wouldn’t ‘a’ sat down. You take all your fits
“This is a different kind of a fit,” said Charley,
beginning to cry.
He shook and shook, but just because he wanted
to he couldn’t scare up the least kind of a fit.
Joe got mad and used awful language. But that
didn’t help none. So I talked soft and kind to
Charley. That’s the way to handle feebs. If you get
mad, they get worse. I know. I’m that way myself.
That’s why I was almost the death of Mrs. Bopp. She
got mad.
< 9 >
It was getting along in the afternoon, and I knew
we had to be on our way, so I said to Joe:
“Here, stop your cussing and hold Albert. I’ll go
back and get him.”
And I did, too; but he was so scared and dizzy he
crawled along on hands and knees while I helped
him. When I got him across and took Albert back in
my arms, I heard somebody laugh and looked down.
And there was a man and woman on horseback
looking up at us. He had a gun on his saddle, and it
was her who was laughing.
“Who in hell’s that?” said Joe, getting scared.
“Somebody to catch us?”
“Shut up your cussing,” I said to him. “That is the
man who owns this ranch and writes books.”
“How do you do, Mr. Endicott,” I said down to
“Hello,” he said. “What are you doing here?”
“We’re running away,” I said.
And he said, “Good luck. But be sure and get
back before dark.”
“But this is a real running away,” I said.
And then both he and his wife laughed.
“All right,” he said. “Good luck just the same. But
watch out the bears and mountain lions don’t get
you when it gets dark.”
Then they rode away laughing, pleasant like; but
I wished he hadn’t said that about the bears and
mountain lions.
After we got around the hill, I found a trail, and
we went much faster. Charley didn’t have any more
signs of fits, and began laughing and talking about
gold mines. The trouble was with little Albert. He was
almost as big as me. You see, all the time I’d been
calling him little Albert, he’d been growing up. He
was so heavy I couldn’t keep up with Joe and
Charley. I was all out of breath. So I told them
they’d have to take turns in carrying him, which they
said they wouldn’t. Then I said I’d leave them and
they’d get lost, and the mountain lions and bears
would eat them. Charley looked like he was going to
have a fit right there, and Joe said, “Give him to
me.” And after that we carried him in turn.
< 10 >
We kept right on up that mountain. I don’t think
there was any gold mine, but we might ‘a’ got to the
top and found it, if we hadn’t lost the trail, and if it
hadn’t got dark, and if little Albert hadn’t tired us all
out carrying him. Lots of feebs are scared of the
dark, and Joe said he was going to have a fit right
there. Only he didn’t. I never saw such an unlucky
boy. He never could throw a fit when he wanted to.
Some of the feebs can throw fits as quick as a wink.
By and by it got real black, and we were hungry,
and we didn’t have no fire. You see, they don’t let
feebs carry matches, and all we could do was just
shiver. And we’d never thought about being hungry.
You see, feebs always have their food ready for
them, and that’s why it’s better to be a feeb than
earning your living in the world.
And worse than everything was the quiet. There
was only one thing worse, and it was the noises.
There was all kinds of noises every once in a while,
with quiet spells in between. I reckon they were
rabbits, but they made noises in the brush like wild
animals — you know, rustle rustle, thump, bump,
crackle crackle, just like that. First Charley got a fit,
a real one, and Joe threw a terrible one. I don’t mind
fits in the Home with everybody around. But out in
the woods on a dark night is different. You listen to
me, and never go hunting gold mines with epilecs,
even if they are high-grade.
I never had such an awful night. When Joe and
Charley weren’t throwing fits they were making
believe, and in the darkness the shivers from the
cold which I couldn’t see seemed like fits, too. And I
shivered so hard I thought I was getting fits myself.
And little Albert, with nothing to eat, just drooled
and drooled. I never seen him as bad as that before.
Why, he twisted that left eye of his until it ought to
have dropped out. I couldn’t see it, but I could tell
from the movements he made. And Joe just lay and
cussed and cussed, and Charley cried and wished he
was back in the Home.
< 11 >
We didn’t die, and next morning we went right
back the way we’d come. And little Albert got awful
heavy. Doctor Wilson was mad as could be, and said
I was the worst feeb in the institution, along with Joe
and Charley. But Miss Striker, who was a nurse in
the drooling ward then, just put her arms around me
and cried, she was that happy I’d got back. I thought
right there that mebbe I’d marry her. But only a
month afterward she got married to the plumber that
came up from the city to fix the gutter-pipes of the
new hospital. And little Albert never twisted his eye
for two days, it was that tired.
Next time I run away I’m going right over that
mountain. But I ain’t going to take epilecs along.
They ain’t never cured, and when they get scared or
excited they throw fits to beat the band. But I’ll take
little Albert. Somehow I can’t get along without him.
And, anyway, I ain’t going to run away. The droolin …
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