Clockwork ~ Innocent Murmur

Once upon a time, in the village of Clockhaven there was a little boy named Edward. Edward was an ordinary boy who like all boys his age loved to play with his model cards, run around in the green fields on the edge of the village with his friends and eat all the sweets, cakes and chocolates his mother would leave out on the kitchen table.


One fine summers day on returning home from the village nursery school, Edward noticed a small purple envelope addressed to him with the golden Clockmakers stamp. The Clockmaker was responsible for making sure everyone in the village was happy and healthy and that the clocks that ticked inside of them were working well. It was now Edwards turn for his annual check with the Clockmaker and he was anxious and scared. He had never seen the Clockmaker before and he wondered what he was like… was he kind or frightening? What did he look like? But worst of all Edward was worried about whether he might find something wrong with his clock…


Edward took the envelope and peeled it open to read it slowly aloud to his mother:


“Dear Edward,


I am Mr Tick the Clockmaker, and if you could so kindly see me this Monday at 1pm.


Yours sincerely

Mr Tick”

That Monday Edward walked down to the Village Town hall with his mother to meet Mr Tick. After waiting a while Edward and his mother were called in. There stood Mr Tick at the centre of a purple room with a huge friendly smile plastered on his face surrounded by weird and wonderful clocks and metal instruments of varying sizes. Edward was in awe and found himself smiling. Mr Tick pulled out a stethoscope, a shiny metal object that would let him hear Edwards clock better. After listening to Edwards clock, Mr Tick asked, “Edward how have you been feeling?” To which Edward replied, “Perfectly fine Mr Tick.” Mr Tick smiled and said, “I am happy to hear that you are well Edward, although after listening to your clock I must tell you I have found something known as an innocent murmur.”

Edward was suddenly worried, he had never heard of these words before and he had no idea what it would mean. Edward asked, “ I don’t understand what this all means, is there something wrong with my clock?” Mr Tick smiled and replied, “Your clock Edward is known as a heart it is ticking and beating to keep you alive. Sometimes peoples hearts especially when they are very young like yourself can have extra ticking noises that sound like a swish or whoosh noise. Although your heart has these noises do not worry it is still working normally and there is nothing wrong with it. These are just noises we clockmakers find on our normal checks of healthy young children and they will not make you feel different or ill.”

“But Mr Tick if my heart is normal then why do I have these extra noises?” exclaimed Edward. To which Mr Tick said, “ These extra noises are what we call murmurs. They are very common in younger children and you are not the only one. The reason we hear these murmurs is because the blood travelling round in your body has to pass through tight bends as it flows in your heart. Sometimes the murmur is noisier when you run around or when you have a fever and are not well as your heart has to work harder. However when you go to bed the murmur maybe quieter. But Edward I want you to know that you can continue with all your normal activities and fun without any worry.” Edward beamed at the thought of not being the only person with an innocent murmur, the fact it was common and there was nothing wrong with him made him happy to know. Nothing had changed, he still could play with his friends and run around the fields and go to school.

Edward cheerful in his chair looked at Mr Tick and said, “Mr Tick I have one last question, what will happen now? Will I have this murmur forever?” Mr Tick answered, “ As young children like yourself grow older, the heart moves deeper into your body, the bends become less tight so the blood flows easily and the ticking will become slower. So with time Edward, your murmur will disappear all by itself.” Edward was thrilled, he did not need any special tests or further visits to see Mr Tick and in time his murmur would go away. Edward went home that afternoon smiling from his visit, and he couldn’t wait to eat the chocolate cake his mum had baked that morning.

Shreena Patel

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