“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.”
Margery Williams – The Velveteen Rabbit, 1922
While surfing facebook this morning — a bad habit I said I’d never go back to — I came across this and instantly decided to start a new feature, “Favorite Book Passages.” It will be random, like doodads. The Velveteen Rabbit is definitely one of my top favorite children’s books that old crones like me continue to love.
Update: as I just became aware that Fandango’s One Word Challenge word for the day is “real,” I consider it serendipity and will link this to his challenge word for the day.