Bone Wiki
Family: Other Rat Creatures(presumably)
Species: Rat Creature
Status: Alive
Book Appearance: Bone: The Dragonslayer

Bone: Rock Jaw: Master of the Eastern Border

Bone: Ghost Circles

Bone: Treasure Hunters

Bone: Crown of Horns

Bone: Tall Tales

Additional Information
First appearance: Bone: The Dragonslayer

Bartleby is a baby Rat Creature adopted by Fone Bone and Smiley. He ran away from his kind sometime before the events of the Dragonslayer. Unlike most Rat Creatures, Bartleby is an ally to the Bones. Bartleby is easily distinguished by his ears, which are uncropped.


Bartleby was an infant Rat Creature who ran away from his kind soon after having his tail cut off but before having his ears cropped. who befriends smiley bone and goofs off and eats with him.

The Dragonslayer[]

Fone Bone finds the infant Rat Creature after Bartleby was stealing food from the village compound. However, Fone Bone soon notices Bartleby is good natured and brings him to Thorn, figuring he was just left behind. Thorn becomes furious at the sight, remembering how her parents were killed by Kingdok, and threatens to kill Bartleby. Smiley immediately attaches to the young Rat Creature, even feeding him and teaching him tricks. Fone Bone and Smiley both smuggle food for Bartleby, and decide to bring him back to the Eastern Mountains were he would be safe from the threat of the villagers. Fone Bone and Smiley successfully sneak Bartleby out of the compound, but Smiley follows Bartleby, with Fone Bone reluctantly following.

Rock Jaw: Master of the Eastern Border[]

Along the way to return Bartleby to his own kind, Fone Bone, Bartleby and Smiley are attacked by The Two Rat Creatures. Fone Bone manages to knock them out by reading Moby Dick. When Smiley and Fone Bone run into the mountains, Bartleby stays behind. Fone Bone takes it that he is returning to his kind and they run to avoid the Rat Creatures. The Rat Creatures wake up and chase Smiley and Fone Bone, but are saved by Bartleby. When Bartleby is kicked away, Smiley attacks the Rat Creatures in fury and the three scare them away.

Soon after, they meet Roque Ja, who plans to take them to The Hooded One. After the Possum Kids lead the two rats to Roque Ja, the mountain lion falls off the cliff with the two. Bartleby, Possum Kids, and Roderick and the other orphan mountain creatures go behind a rock, where they wind up in a dark short room and Roque Ja is still looking for them. They then go down a secret tunnel which leads to an abandoned Rat Creature temple. The group is intercepted by the Two Rat Creatures, but they are all attacked by Kingdok. They are all forced onto a narrow ledge and Bartleby grabs some of the orphans before joining them. Bartleby stays with the group until they are ambushed by Kingdok and other Rat Creatures. The Bones and orphans are able to escape into the woods by the mountains, but Bartleby stays up in the cliffs and returns to his kind, much to Smiley's chagrin and distress.

Ghost Circles[]

Bartleby returns in Ghost Circles when the Bone cousins, Thorn, and Gran'ma Ben are cornered by Rat Creatures and The Hooded One while traveling to Atheia. Bartleby is among the group of Rat Creatures that corner Phoney, Gran'ma Ben and Smiley, but recognizes his best friend and helps them escape their enemies. He continues with the heroes to Atheia. Bartleby is now able to talk with the characters and is full grown, although his ears remain uncropped, as it is likely that he did not allowed his kind to crop them.

Treasure Hunters[]

Bartleby is snuck into Atheia in a hay cart. Although Gran'ma Ben is reluctant to let Bartleby in, Smiley is able to convince her. Bartleby is hidden inside a shed, where Smiley brings him food and keeps him company. When Phoney gets Athenian gold, Bartleby pounds a stamp with Phoney's face into the coins. Bartleby hides in the hay cart after Phoney and Smiley leave to take a peek of the treasure hidden by Tarsil in the well.

Crown of Horns[]

When Phoney tries to get the treasure, Smiley brings Bartleby in the haycart, but it's knocked over by a farmer who says it's his haycart. When it's tipped over, Bartleby is discovered but runs up a ladder that Phoney brought. When Thorn jumps straight into the burning city, Bartleby carries Fone Bone on his back and jumps after her, saying "I can jump that far!" They start looking for Thorn but see a group of rat creatures and hide. They see the rat creatures chase after Thorn but she disappears into a ghost circle. They then infiltrate the rat creature army to get past the ghost circles and start heading for the mountains. Thorn then crashes through a ghost circle and joins them. They come across Roque Ja because Thorn hadn't been "looking" and sneak past, even though he was woken up. Thorn then faces the enemy army head-on but flies straight into Tanen Gard. The army notices Fone Bone and went after him, but Bartleby helped Fone Bone escape into Tanen Gard. Bartleby gets too scared to go on because of the dragons everywhere, so he waits for Fone Bone and Thorn at the entrance to Tanen Gard. Later, when he sees the Great Red Dragon carrying Fone Bone and Thorn out of Tanen Gard, he runs away because of all the dragons behind them. Later, he is seen attending Thorn's coronation as queen of the valley. He goes back to Barrelhaven with the Bone cousins, Thorn, and Gran'ma Ben and attends Lucius's burial. He stays in Barrelhaven all winter due to the quick and heavy snowfall Barrelhaven typically gets. In spring, he travels Boneville with the Bone cousins and is quite excited about this.

Quest for the Spark[]

He and Smiley are mentioned briefly by Percival Bone thoughts. 


Bartleby has a close bond with Smiley and another with Fone, but not as strong. Bartleby gets emotional when he is called a Rat Creature in a harsh way, he also picked up some of Smiley's personality, Happy and free as a bird. He also is very loyal to the Bones and betrayed the rest of his species to help them in their quest. He also loves blank sandwiches and other stinky foods provided by the Atheian teachers.

As a baby Bartleby doesn't speak and seems to be of animal intelligence, acting almost like Smiley's loyal pet due to his young age. As of his return, he seems to be far more anthropomorphic in his personality and ability to speak.

As all Rat Creatures, he is terrified of Dragons and the smell of Brimstone.


Bartleby can run for long distances and has powerful forepaws. Bartleby can take down enemies twice his size with his forepaws and can hold hammers and ladders without any trouble.


As a baby, Bartleby resembles a small purple bear cub, with large, round fuzzy ears, fluffy paws, a short stubby tail and large red eyes.

As an adolescent, Bartleby now looks like the rest of the Rat Creatures, with purple fur and clawed hands and feet. He is now big and strong enough for Fone Bone to ride on his back during the events of Crown of Horns, though he is still distinguished by his round fluffy ears, which were uncropped unlike those of the others.



  • In Quest for the Spark he was mentioned in Percival's thoughts questioning what his name was.
  • Once on a Christmas card that was made the three possum kids decorated him like a Christmas tree.
  • In his first appearance as a cub, Bartleby had a short stub of a tail and fuzzy bear-like paws. After he returns slightly older, he now looks just like the other Rat Creatures, with clawed hands and feet (though he still stands out with his uncropped ears).
  • Strangely, while as a cub he acted like a mindless baby animal, upon his return and reunion with Smiley he seems to have greatly increased in intelligence, now able to speak and express ideas and feelings at a human-like level.
  • Other than the main, Valley, and Athenian characters, Lucius has actually never seen Bartleby through the book series.

Relationships with Other Characters[]


Smiley is easily Bartleby's best friend. When Smiley found Bartleby, he fed him, kept him company, gave him a name, and followed him to the Eastern Mountains. Smiley was emotional when Bartleby returned to his kind.

Fone Bone[]

Fone Bone is the one who found Bartleby in The Dragonslayer, and Bartleby took to him immediately, leaning on him as a sign that he liked him. This fondness grew into allyship during the events of The Crown of Horns. There, they accompanied Thorn to Tanen Gard and worked as a duo to navigate through an enemy encampment to enter the burial ground.


Thorn was initially hostile toward Bartleby when she first laid eyes on him. She drew her sword at him and threatened to kill him, causing the cub to hiss in response. Fone Bone quickly ushered Bartleby out while Thorn is left rattled and shaken by the encounter. Later, as she becomes aware that her fear of falling asleep has deteriorated her well-being, she approaches Fone in a barn where Bartleby is hiding and assures him she won't harm him, indicating that she regrets placing the blame of her parents' death on him. Thorn's relationship with Bartleby greatly improves when ghosts circles manifest in the Valley and they see each other again. They are on friendly terms with one another to the point where Thorn does not perceive him as an enemy but as a comrade.