Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one
The mouse ran down
Hickory dickory dock
Mouse families aren’t so different from people families. Mouse families live together and love each other and play together and support each other. And just like you do, every mouse in the family has a job or two. Yours might be to set the dinner table or put away your clean socks. Most mice don’t wear socks, but they do still have responsibilities.
Field mice divide their responsibilities between managing the burrow and collecting food. Field mice are interesting, of course. But this is a story about house mice.
House mice, as you know, live in homes they make behind the baseboards of people houses. They make cozy little living rooms with cotton balls for couches and postage stamps for carpets. They make snug little bedrooms with juice boxes for beds and your lost socks for blankets. They make inviting dining rooms out of wooden spools for chairs and paperback books for tables. But there are no kitchens in mouse homes. Do you know why? Because mice can’t cook!
House mice do, however, need large pantries. Mice love to gather lots and lots of food and store it for future use. But they do not like to store their food too close to their homes. Then they might need to share it with the ants and the spiders and other little creatures that like to live in people homes. House mice love a high, safe place to stash their snacks. This is why they love tall clocks.
In every mouse family, the mama and the grandma maintain the home. The daddy works with the grandpa, and the grandpa is in charge of the food supply. They work in the top of the clock. (That’s why it’s called a grandfather clock, of course.) The kids run back and forth between home and clock, delivering messages and shuttling food.
As mealtime approaches, the kids are sent to bring enough food back for the entire family to eat. They are urged to stop playing and pay attention to their tasks: to run all the way up, collect some morsels, and return straight home. (Mouse kids aren’t really so different from people kids.) They know that meals happen on a schedule; their mamas especially like to keep their families to their schedules. (See? Mouse families really aren’t that different at all from people families.)
Those kids know that they are supposed to be sitting down to their meals by the time the clock strikes the hour. When they hear the chime begin to ring and they haven’t returned home yet, they immediately rush back. (Neither people kids nor mouse kids like to be late when their mamas expect them.)
They know that if they’re not back on time, their mamas will start calling for them:
Hickory! Dickory! Dock!
Kara here, saying thank you to Robin for sharing another charming story with us this weekend. Who knew that mice and people were so similar? What stories have YOU been telling your family lately?