Seymour’s Beautiful Balloon
Seymour was bored. Normally he was an active little boy who ran around outside most of the day until he was wrestled into the bathtub by the housekeeper before bedtime. But today he had been pronounced sick and confined to his bedroom for the time being. Seymour didn’t feel sick, though. He felt bored, and neither the stack of silly games in the corner nor the plate of cookies Mrs. Myrtle left on the bureau were going to be of any help for it, he was sure. In desperation he began to absent-mindedly doodle a bit in the big sketchbook his Aunt Miranda had given him last holiday. Seymour started with the tuxedo his father had worn last night when he and mother had gone to the opera and he wondered if he’d wear such a tuxedo some time when he was grown. Then he sketched the baby badger he’d found in the garden a few days ago which no one would let him keep. He gave the badger a jaunty hat and decided Canto would be a good name for him. If only he could hide the baby badger well enough, Seymour could sneak him crickets and grubs and no one would know!
Seymour jolted awake a few minutes later to find he had drooled a bit on his sketchpad in his sleep and that the pen had leaked all over his lap desk. Mrs. Myrtle wasn’t going to be happy about that. Oddly, except for a dainty damp spot, the sketchbook was blank. However, hanging in the closet doorway on a maroon velvet hanger was a Seymour-sized tuxedo, complete with top hat, a white bow tie and pocket square. Delighted, he leapt out of bed and tried the suit on – it was a perfect fit. Hearing some faint scratching from the back of the closet, Seymour crept in. He lifted up a large overturned laundry basket and huddled beneath it was Canto! The badger even had a hat! Seymour dragged the basket out of the closet and got in it with Canto and his sketchbook, thinking to play Boat, but he started drawing a balloon instead. It was a beautiful balloon with gilt tassels and bunting and gargoyles and the zodiac painted around it. Of course it began slowly rising above his head as he drew, filling with hot air and nudging towards the ceiling and then towards the large window Mrs. Myrtle had thrown open because “Fresh air is healthy air!” He could see his drawing fading on the page as the balloon began to squeeze through the open window. Seymour grabbed some extra nibs and bottles of ink as the basket slid past his nightstand and was able to snatch up the plate of cookies before the balloon escaped out of the window with a loud and satisfying pop, like a cork pulled out of a bottle of treacle. They were off! Canto was a perfect co-pilot, pouring out thin streams of ink from bottles slung over the side of the basket when they wanted to ascend and expertly replacing Seymour’s pen nib from time to time. As the sun drifted lower and lower towards the horizon, Seymour began drawing his bedroom with its four post bed, his trunk of toys and his special carpet with every animal in the world woven into it. As the laundry basket sailed into the open window, Seymour drew his green pajamas, the ones with airships all over them. Canto gave one last little squeak before he turned to plush and Mrs. Myrtle opened the door with a dinner tray to find Seymour in bed, quietly reading his big book of fables.
He couldn’t wait until tomorrow.
This original collage of Seymour and Canto is hand cut and hand assembled with vintage images on a 6” x 8” x 3/4” stretched gallery canvas and is accented with Thai lace paper, satin ribbon, copper-toned corners and embellishments and a vintage pen nib.
This original artwork and story are copyright Ramona Szczerba 2012. 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!