Harvey

Harvey

A Story by Lea Sheryn
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Harvey the mouse lives in a Grandfather Clock

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Harvey

By Lea Sheryn

 

In the hallway of the old Victorian house on Oak Street, a stately grandfather clock stood in the sheltered nook beneath the staircase.  Whenever I visited the ancient aunts who kept the house as though it were a shrine to olden times, I would stand in the dimly lit hall and stare for hours at that old timepiece.  Faithfully, Aunt Minerva would wind the clock with the rusty key she kept on a chain around her neck while Aunt Evangeline made sure the pendulum continued to swing back and forth.  If they noticed me standing there, they never acknowledged my presence.  After all, I was only four years old and they were in their eighties. 

 

It was a ritual in my small family to stop off in the small town of Magnolia Hollow, Georgia, on our way to Florida for our annual autumn vacation.  My mother’s elderly relatives expected it and, even though daddy grumbled about the time it took to pay the visit, he always succumbed in the end.  As long as we only stayed overnight, he could take it; any longer and he would have driven off, with or without us.  The aunts, as he said, could try the patience of Job with their fuddy-duddy ways. 

 

My mother, Ava, believed I was a child prodigy by the way I stared at that old clock.  In her opinion, my fascination was with the antiquity of the piece; she claimed I understood it in ways that were beyond the intelligence of other children my age.  Father, on the other hand, thought my ogling was caused by pure boredom.  What else was a child to do in the home of two old women who had forgotten about childhood decades ago?

 

My reasons for staring at the stately grandfather clock were much simpler than either my mother or my father’s explanations.  I stood in the hallway staring at the old timepiece because of Harvey.  If I looked hard enough perhaps I would be able to see him inside the mechanism that made it work.  You see, Harvey was a mouse and Harvey lived inside the clock.

 

If a four-year-old child could have an obsession, Harvey was mine.  One had to look very hard to find him.  His grey fur and little pink ears could blend in easily in the dark corners of the clock.  Sometimes it was his pink nose that gave him away.  If I looked hard enough, I could just see it make the slightest twitch while the gossamer whiskers, fanning out to the right and the left, were barely discernable.  When I pointed him out to daddy, he would stare for a moment, raise his eyebrows then shake his head to indicate that he hadn’t seen a thing. 

 

“Come away, darling, and say hello to Aunt Minerva and Aunt Evangeline.  We’ve come all this way and they want to see you,” Mommy would say as she placed her hands on my shoulders to gently draw me away.  I never believed the elderly aunts had any desire to see me�"I was only a child and below their notice, but I had to be polite and say hello.  After all, as mother pointed out, we were staying in their house, if only overnight.    

 

With my legs dangling off the horsehair couch, I did my best to keep from slipping off onto the floor.  It simply wouldn’t do if I did anything to cause a commotion, but it was dreadfully hard to sit between my parents for a quarter of an hour or a half hour or even longer.  Without a television or a radio in the room, there was nothing to entertain a small child, so I allowed my eyes to wander over the stodgy wallpaper with it’s vines of faded dainty rosebuds and the furnishing that held the musty scent of age.  The time-worn portrait of the grandfather that hung above the marble fireplace filled me with fright; I thought the old gentleman would step down out of the frame to scold me for swinging my legs and whacking the center support with my small white sandals.  How I dreaded that room and the aunts with faces as faded as the rest of that old Victorian homestead. 

 

While the old ladies were fussing over the tea tray and the parents were munching cucumber sandwiches, I took my opportunity to return to the hallway.  Standing with one foot on a white tile and the other on a black one, I searched the grandfather’s clock for a sighting of Harvey.  Was that him hiding behind the scrollwork on the top or was he crouching at the bottom just beneath the slowly swinging pendulum.  I couldn’t be sure.  Maybe there were two mice in the clock.  I looked and looked and finally decided there was a whole family of Harveys living in the timepiece.

 

Sitting on the black tile, I began to count.  One Harvey, Two Harveys, Three Harveys, Four Harveys, Five Harveys.  A daddy Harvey, a mommy Harvey and three little baby Harveys.  Five was as high as I could count.  Grinning to myself, I stared inside the clock again and, yes, I was sure I saw a family of mice living in the clock.  Clapping my hands, I bounced my little bottom up and down on the floor; I was so pleased with myself at finding so many Harveys.  Before I knew it, I was giggling out loud. 

 

Abruptly, my laughter stopped.  A shadow appeared across the hallway darkening the space.  Someone was watching from a distance.  Quickly standing to my feet, I brushed the dust from the seat of my overalls and slowly turned in the direction of the figure looming behind me.  How much trouble was I in? I wondered.  Would mommy take me to my room and talk to me sternly for being rude the old ladies?  I only wanted to see the little mousey. 

 

“Did you see Harvey?” a lilting voice asked as Aunt Evangeline approached.  Placing her hands on my shoulder, she turned me in the direction of the clock as she joined me in my search for the mouse who lived there.  With her arms surrounding my upper body, I leaned comfortably against her floral patterned dark calico dress and pointed out the figure of Harvey in the oak scrollwork near the top. 

 

Overcoming the shyness, I had about the old woman, I asked, “Can you really see him?  Can you see Harvey?”                

 

“Oh yes, little one,” Aunt Evangeline answered with a rusty giggle that she probably hadn’t used in years.  “There was a Harvey in that clock long and long ago when I was a wee little girl, just like you, Angel-Lee; just like there has always been an Evangeline in the family.”  Although mommy was called Eva and I was Angel-Lee, our long names were really Evangeline. 

 

Smiling up at the ancient aunt, I realized I liked her.  Suddenly she didn’t seem as old or as staid as Aunt Minerva.  She had a soft friendly smile and a certain twinkle in her eye that told me there was more to her than just being an old woman.  The fact that she could see Harvey too told me there was a bond between us that brought us even closer together.  A little mouse was all it took to make us lifelong friends.         

 

Age finally took the old Aunts.  Aunt Minerva first then Aunt Evangeline a few months later.  I was just turning twelve when we traveled down to Magnolia Hollow, Georgia, for the funerals.  There was sadness in my heart at having to say good-bye to the both of them but particularly Aunt Evangeline.  How mother and father fought over that old house that was left to them in the final will.  Daddy wanted to sell it or bulldoze it; mother wanted to keep it for old time sake.  I was relieved when they decided to keep it to fix it up and live in.  The day we moved in the first thing I did was run to check the stately grandfather’s clock that stood sheltered in the nook beneath the staircase.  And, sure enough there was Harvey peeking out from behind the oak scrollwork.  One sight of his little pink nose twitching at me and I knew I was home.    

© 2019 Lea Sheryn


My Review

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Featured Review

This seems so full of endearing realism from a young girls eyes, I can relate to thathe clock as my grandmother had one that would coocoo and chime, Your introduction of Harvey was neat and Harvey a cute name and also your introduction of Harvey and your aunt very endearing sentimentally and so full of realism, Its just how these bonds of friendship and love can be made. I thorougly enjoyed this trip you made of memory lane one that should be passed on.
Nice write lea it is very nostalgic and endearing to be held close

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

Thank you for the sweet review of a sweet story. Harvey was a name that called out to me. It sound.. read more
Kent Rawski

1 Month Ago

Well done lea
Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

Thank you! (Blush)



Reviews

Such a heartwarming story. The imagery is exceptional. I could almost hear Aunt Evangeline giggling when I read this line, " Aunt Evangeline answered with a rusty giggle that she probably hadn’t used in years." Such a sweet tale of Harvey and the fact you eventually moved into that home in Magnolia Hollow makes the story perfect. Not sure if this is a true one or fantasy, but I loved every line of it! Lydi**

Posted 6 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

6 Days Ago

Thank you, Lydia. This one is all fantasy. I wrote it for a friend who wanted a story about a mous.. read more
What a sweet, well-written story. The kid as well as the senior citizen in me heartily approves. Having spent much time with my father in his watch and clock repair shop as a child, the story has a special allure. I'm pretty sure a mouse would occasional run from a grandfather clock he worked on. And me, well, I'd have chased it all over his shop.
Being a lover happy endings, I love the way you brought this one to a satisfying conclusion that ensures the clock and Harvey family will surely thrill more children as time goes on.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you, Samuel. Mice and grandfather clocks seem to go together rather well.
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Vin
Story itself has a life inside this. And Harvey will stay inside for long

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

Thank you, Vin.
What a wonderful story.
Made me remember my Granny's old house. She had a ghost and only me and my brother could see her. She scared us until our Granny told us who she was and how she died. Then we felt sorry and understood her expression better. When we grew up and our Granny was very old and in a nursing home, the whole family visited her on her birthday. She had suffered a stroke and couldn't speak or walk but she recognized us. My brother saw the ghost there but I didn't. He mentioned to our Granny that the old woman was there too. She began to cry and that's when our Aunt told us that the story Granny told us was just something she made up to keep us from being too frightened to come see her. Strange how things happen sometimes. Neither of us saw the woman ever again after that night at the nursing home.

I know my memory is a little off from your story, but it just made me think about how I used to pretend with my children when they had invisible playmates. I automatically thought my Son's friend was make-believe----to this day and he's thirty-seven, he still says that the boy he played with was real and that he's seen him since he's been grown too. I believe him.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

My best friend oen a home in the West of Wales that was built in the 12th century. It had a ghost w.. read more
This is great, really descriptive and the story pulls you right in. Good job!

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

Thank you very much!
reminded me of my aunts in augusta ga, we visited once a year.
she had a grandfather clock and pecan trees,out side of town was a place to get fresh mineral water
i remember as a boy a old black man getting water,not a wrinkle in his face but totally white headed
said he drank this sulphur water since ten years old,this is what the indians drank

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

The dragon must be hungry. :-))

Milky Way for me too although Snickers are ok.
 wordman

1 Month Ago

if it`s chocolate,i like it
Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

I like chocolate, esp if there's peanut butter with it.
So pleased I read this one Lea. I always find your story telling carries me along. This one about Harvey included. It is endearing and there is much detail I enjoyed. This particular story is another one that would work well as a. children's book with illustrations. Re. I dame if a Grandfather clock my great uncle had. All good wishes.

Chris

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

Thank you, Chris. I always enjoy your reviews. It gave me great pleasure to write this story about.. read more
Christine Anne Shaw

1 Month Ago

Please forgive the typo's. My phone has a mind of its own. I was reminded I meant to say of a Grand.. read more
Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

Ok, I wondered. :-)) My aunt had a grandfather clock. It was fascinating.
dear Lea... my son Robert felt this way about his paternal Grandmother's house.
O course, I do not think being in your eighties is really that old, as long as you are of
sound mind and purpose. Perhaps it is good to have an imagination at any age.
My favorite was the cucumber sandwiches. We lived in a house when my children were very young.
I opened a drawer where baby clothes were stored and a mouse had her litter of babies in the soft silky baby clothes. I wanted to keep them all and give them names. You imagination gives me permission
to write memories of young children and their furry friends that charmed their life back when. truly, Pat

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

Thank you, Patricia. I have fond memories of visiting my mother elderly aunts in an old Victorian h.. read more
One of the reasons i come to this site is to read stories and poems from many that are just yummy

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

I'm glad to think mine was yummy.
This seems so full of endearing realism from a young girls eyes, I can relate to thathe clock as my grandmother had one that would coocoo and chime, Your introduction of Harvey was neat and Harvey a cute name and also your introduction of Harvey and your aunt very endearing sentimentally and so full of realism, Its just how these bonds of friendship and love can be made. I thorougly enjoyed this trip you made of memory lane one that should be passed on.
Nice write lea it is very nostalgic and endearing to be held close

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

Thank you for the sweet review of a sweet story. Harvey was a name that called out to me. It sound.. read more
Kent Rawski

1 Month Ago

Well done lea
Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

Thank you! (Blush)

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Added on October 6, 2019
Last Updated on October 6, 2019
Tags: Harvey, Mouse, Grandfather Clock

Author

Lea Sheryn
Lea Sheryn

Sarasota, FL



About
I love to write! To have the ability to put words together to express myself is an ability that I cherish. Working for years to strengthen my talent, I am a self taught Word Weaver. Up until now, I.. more..

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