Bartleby the Steam Hound
No one was ever apt to call Dinah Percival an agreeable child – stubborn and persistent, she had an uncanny knack for getting her own way. At age four, she had managed to wheedle a puppy out of her beleaguered parents, but not just any puppy, no! She had heart set on a Great Dane she had seen at the pet store, and absolutely nothing else would do. Never mind that the Percivals inhabited a city flat that could only charitably be called “cozy”, the puppy lumbered home after them. When he installed himself upon an ottoman in the parlor and responded to any and all entreaties, orders and summons from his new owners with elaborate yawns, the Percivals concluded that the only name for the dog was Bartleby. In short order, Bartleby became enormous, as Great Danes do, and like his namesake seemed to prefer to do nothing much at all besides drool great lakes upon the linoleum and roll over languidly in the hope of belly scratches. Dinah loved the big galoot, but by her 7th birthday her attentions had drifted in that most predictable of directions for little girls everywhere: she wanted a pony. For most girls, a passing fancy, but it was sheer folly to think that Dinah would let go of the idea without a fight. Of course, no amount of tantruming could make the Percival residence suitable for equine inhabitence, and when Dinah sighed and supposed she’d settle for two pairs of rollerskates and a camp lantern, the Percivals barely questioned the odd request, so delighted were they with their very first parental triumph. In their giddiness, they barely noticed the dismantled bicycle, the deconstructed table lamp…As to what followed, well I realize it looks bad. It would be all too easy to conclude that the Percivals were raising a budding sociopathic little monster. But before we bring the Humane Society or PETA into things, please consider that Bartleby, for all his torpor, barely seemed to mind. He was amazingly adept on his skates and was so huge that he barely noticed the tiny Dinah perched on his back. Certainly the back propeller, he could have done without, but all told, he seemed to find it somewhat less strenuous than walking. And Dinah had managed to get her pony. Sort of.
This 5” x 7” x ¾” original collage depicts Dinah and Bartleby ready to take a jaunt around town and is constructed upon a handpainted stretched canvas layered with beautifully textured handmade art paper. Antiqued brass corners and real watch gears accent the piece which is finished with a brown grosgrain ribbon. Dinah wears a small crystal around her neck. Signed on the back, finished on the sides and fully hand-cut and assembled, this collage does not require a frame to hang.
This original artwork and story are copyright Ramona Szczerba 2009. Copyright to this material is in no way transferable with the sale of this item. The buyer is not entitled to any reproduction rights – neither image nor story can be reproduced without my express written permission. Thanks!