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What Is Real?

velveteen_thumb6

The Velveteen Rabbit – I read this book to my son the other day and bawled like a baby.  No offense intended to you babies out there, ok?  I could hardly believe I had this book all these years and had never actually read it in its entirety.  About three quarters of the way through it, my son could hear my voice crack as I tried to choke back the tears (unsuccessfully, by the way) and he said, “stop reading Mommy because it’s making you cry”.  I replied “it’s o.k. honey because the end of the book will be a happy ending as all my endings are happy endings”.  And so it was and so it is.

“What is Real?”
asked the Rabbit one day.

“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.  It doesn’t happen all at once.
You become.  It takes a long time.
Generally, by the time you are Real,
most of your hair has been loved off,
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.”

~The Velveteen Rabbit~
written by Margery Williams
first pulished in 1922

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