Storytelling Day: The True Story of Hickory Dickory Dock


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!

Tick tock!

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?

About Robin

Robin has two daughters, a son, a lovely husband who works many more than full-time hours and a full-time career of her own in government in the suburbs of Washington, DC. You can always read more about Robin’s parenting philosophies and her family’s antics and adventures at her personal blog The Not-Ever-Still Life, or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

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  1. Becky Greenhow says:

    One of my favourite children’s books is Phoebe Gilman’s “Something From Nothing.” It is a story about a young boy who starts out with a baby blanket, but ends up with a button made of the same fabric over the years. What is especially cute about this story is the sub-plot of the mouse family that lives beneath the floorboards, and how THEY make use of the blanket scraps over the same timeline. :)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing fun stories! This one is adorable, I can hardly wait to share it with my kids!

  3. My 8year old wanted to leave a comment. J says, “I liked all their furniture. If there were mice in our house they would have a lot of blankets out of all our socks. This story is so funny we read it twice. Now don’t be late for dinner!” :-)

    Wonderful story, thank you Robin!
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..Today on Simple Homeschool: At the Heart of Homeschooling =-.

  4. What a sweet story! Now we’ll have find little things to leave for the mice like we do for the fairies. ;)

  5. I just wrote a post a few days ago about a real house mouse that scurried through our home and was caught by our cat. There is a happy ending! Thanks for the story. So glad to come across another mouse story…I think they are so adorable in storybooks (and not in my house),

  6. I cannot wait to share this with the girls tomorrow. They LOVE little stories about little creatures. They’ll be captivated by this one, Robin.
    .-= Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last blog ..40 Days of joy {day 5} – Joy Most Essential =-.

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