Hickory, Dickory, Dock by Penn Shirley

Weezy was so eager to help that she made it hard for herself and for the family. She burned her fingers in stirring hot apple-sauce for Bridget. She woke the baby in trying to curl the few hairs on his little bald head. She meddled with mamma's knitting-work till she had lost every needle. Papa Haynes laughed at these things; but when Weezy learned to open his writing-desk he looked grave.

"This'll never do," said he to mamma. "The child will be tearing my papers next."

So he locked the desk, and hung the key above the tall clock beside it.

"There, my young squirrel, you won't reach that in a hurry," he said to himself, kissing his little daughter good-by.

After he was gone mamma stepped into the kitchen to tell Bridget about dinner. Weezy stayed in the sitting-room to sing Sambo to sleep. Every time she rocked back in her small chair she could see the key shining over the clock. It looked very much out of place. She wondered why her papa had put it there. She wanted to whistle with it. Oh hum! if she was a little speck of a bird she would fly against it and brush it down with her wings. Or if Sambo was only an angel! She danced across the floor, and threw him up as high as she could. Instead of knocking down the key she knocked poor Sambo's stocking-yarn head against the wall, and he fell flat upon the top of the desk.

"Lie still, Sambo," cried Weezy, mounting a chair. From the chair she easily climbed to the broad shelf of the desk. There she rested a moment, leaning her chin on the top of the desk and patting Sambo. But she did not take him in her arms, for not far above him hung the key. She had set her little heart on getting it.

What do you think the little sprite did next? All by herself she scrambled to the very top of that big desk. Standing on tiptoe, she tried to reach over the clock! Even then she was not quite tall enough to grasp the key with her chubby little fingers; but by perching upon Sambo she got it at last.

By the time mamma came back Weezy had opened the desk, and cut one of papa's deeds into paper dolls.

Papa was vexed enough, at noon, when he saw them.

"The loss of that deed will give me a great deal of trouble," said he to mamma. "How did Weezy come by the key of my desk?"

"'Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock!'"
answered mamma, laughing.

"Why, why, is it possible!" said papa, turning pale. "I'm thankful she didn't break her neck,—our little mouse of a Weezy."