It Happened to Me

The Clock--Part 1

In order to understand this story, you have to know the nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock. In this nursery rhyme, the words in the title have no meaning. The rhyme goes like this:

Hickory, Dickory, Dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down!
Hickory, Dickory, Dock.

Here is the story:

One day I took my seven-year-old son with me to shop for an electric wall clock for the kitchen and found a whole counter full of them on sale at a discount store. I had trouble deciding which clock to buy. While I held one clock in my hand and looked at another, I asked my son which one he liked better.

"The one you're holding with the mouse in it, Mom," he said.

Before I understood his words, a real, live mouse jumped out onto the counter and ran away. I screamed so loud everyone turned to see what was wrong. I was so embarrassed. I tried to make my way quietly out of the store. Everyone was looking at me. On the way out the door, my happy son recited Hickory, Dickory, Dock.

Adapted from a first person story by S.K., taken from The Detroit News circa 1980

Comprehension Questions

What happened first?
1. The boy recited Hickory Dickory Dock.
2. The mother asked her son which clock he liked better.
3. The mother picked up a clock.
4. A mouse ran out of the clock.

Why did the mother ask her son which clock he liked?
1. Because the clock was going to be in his bedroom.
2. Because she couldn't decide which clock she wanted to buy.
3. Because she wanted to be sure and get a clock that he liked.

Why did the mother feel embarrassed?
1. Because her son was reciting Hickory Dickory Dock.
2. Because she was afraid of mice.
3. Because she screamed and everyone was looking at her.

Why did the boy recite Hickory Dickory Dock?
1. Because it was his favorite nursery rhyme.
2. Because he thought of the nursery rhyme when he saw the mouse run up the clock.
3. Because he likes to recite in public.

Link to Part Two