Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Velveteen Rabbit

There are a few children's books in our house that have a permanent home on the “big people” shelves. This is one of them. A wonderful story about a velveteen rabbit and a boy, this is a profound and touching book for all adults who understand the challenge of becoming and staying “real.” As 2008 comes to an end, I thank my trifecta--Lindsey, Ethan, and Corban--for continuing to keep me real.

From The Velveteen Rabbit:

"What is Real?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled. "The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."


Bdogs said...

This is one of the authentically great children's books. Thanks so much for reminding us!

Femin Susan said...

i like is story very much.
Happy 2009!

Reya Mellicker said...

Indeed, what IS real? I've wondered about it all my life.

Thank you so much for coming to visit the Gold Puppy yesterday. It was an overwhelming blog day (good, but ... yikes).

Happiest new year to you! May 2009 bring all good things your way.

sizzie said...

I am still in the process of becoming, I think. You have reminded me of another great book to find and read again.

WinterRose said...

I got this warm, tingly feeling when I read to the end of the story. I love the meaning of the story. It's the kind of thing that makes you stop, think and appreciate life. So... thank you very much for sharing it with us. ^^