The Velveteen rabbit

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From “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams

“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.”

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2 responses »

  1. I’de rather be a Real Skin Horse any day, with eyes hanging loose and a tail with no hair. ‘Cause, to suffer and have courage is more beautiful and more in line with our universal paradox. Thanks for this Countess. Keep it coming.

  2. The Velveteen Rabbit, one of my favourite excerpts. I’d also rather be a Real Skin Horse any day. Suffering makes you feel things more deeply, especially any joy, when it comes.

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