Amazing Kids! Magazine

Hickory Dock and the Grandfather Clock

By Aiden Talbot, age 14, Washington


Hickory Dock the mouse stood on the end table, staring at the colossal grandfather clock that towered above him. He was an educated mouse and could tell that the time was currently 6:00 PM. He new it was 6:00 from the numbers and hands on the clock, and he knew it was PM because the sky was starting to darken outside the window.

30 minutes earlier, when it was 5:30 PM, Hickory’s mother had told him that he had one hour to play before bedtime. Which meant that he would have to be in his pajamas and ready to sleep by 6:30 PM. In that one hour, Hickory was allowed to play with any of his toys, read one of his books, or even taunt the cat a little if his mom watched him. He could choose so many things to spend his time doing, but instead all he wanted to do was make his play time longer.

Hickory had began playing with some of his toys at 5:35 PM he had played for 10 minutes then looked at the clock to see that it was then 5:45 PM. ‘Time is going too quickly!’ Hickory had thought, ‘There must be a way to stop it!’. And so he sat on the end table, thinking of how to stop time moving so fast.

Hickory’s first thought was to sit still and wait. That way, time would go by really slow and he’d have time to play. But he wouldn’t. Sitting still was very boring and wouldn’t stop the hour from passing. His next approach was to get in the grandfather clock and barter with the tiny goblins who controlled time. But of course he realized that this was ridiculous; time goblins don’t speak english.

Hickory thought and thought of how to do it, until it came to him. He could stop time himself! All he had to was climb the clock and stop the hands from turning! That way, the clock would never chime and time wouldn’t pass. He could play forever! Hickory got right to work. He grabbed a very large pencil and some glue and put them in his backpack, then scurried to the foot of the clock.

Climbing into the clock was easy; all Hickory had to do was open the case and hop in. The hard part was up the clock. There were pendulums and gears everywhere! But Hickory was determined to have extra playtime. He hopped from gear to gear like a madmouse, balancing carefully with his pencil jutting precariously out of his backpack.

After a long and tiring climb, Hickory had finally reached his destination. Even though he was very close up to the clock, he could still tell that it was now 5:55 PM. He needed to get to work! Hickory started by dripping some glue onto the hour hand so it would stick to the clock face. He then did the same with the minute hand. He was about to scribble out the 6 and replace it with a five, when the glue for the hour hand came undone. Hickory went to replace the glue, but then the minute hand came undone. Hickory tried and tried to fix this problem, but the hands just would not stick.

Hickory gave up and went back to the base of the clock and looked up. It was now 6:00 PM, he now had half of the time that he had started with, and he had run out of ideas for how to stop the clock. Hickory decided that he would just have to use what little play time he had left. He played with his small toy trains and read some of his new book about dinosaurs.

When 6:30 PM finally came, Hickory’s mother came to tuck him into bed. She noticed that he seemed grumpier than usual, so she asked him why and he explained his problem with the grandfather clock.

“Hickory,” his mother said, “You shouldn’t try to focus too much on what you can’t control. Especially when it comes to the future.

Hickory understood. He should enjoy the time he has to play instead of trying to make it last longer! Hickory nodded and cuddled up in his blanket. His mom leaned over and kissed him on the head. “I love you, Hickory Dickery Dock, just please don’t climb up the clock.”