Transcriptions: Writing

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'Transcriptions: Writing' is a project inviting MA Creative Writing students from Birkbeck, University of London, to write a short fiction response to a National Gallery painting.

Picasso: 'Child with a Dove'

Graham Hodge

Picasso, 'Child with A Dove', 1901
Pablo Picasso: 'Child with a Dove', 1901

- What are you doing with that dove?
- Holding it.
- ‘Holding it’! Look at you with your head like that and eyes all ‘I’m such a good little girl, honest I am’. You’re up to no good aren’t you?
- He’s happy. His wings aren’t flapping-
- Its wings aren’t flapping because you’re holding them. But look at its head, bobbing around – it’s not happy at all! How did you catch it?
- I didn’t.
- It just hopped into your hands? I don’t believe you. You were going to hurt it weren’t you?
- No!
- Oh yes you were!
- No I wasn’t! Promise!
- ‘Promise’ – ha! Still playing the innocent – but those days are long gone. If I hadn’t come along you’d have snapped its neck.
- No-
- Let it go – let it go at once!
- OK daddy, OK...