Friday, September 21, 2012

Margo's Musings: How Toys Become Real



Last night, I read The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams to Margo. The book is the oldest in my collection and one of the most treasured in my library. The story held Margo captivated as she desperately wished for the toy rabbit to become Real. She showed a great respect for the wise, old Skin Horse, listening hard to his words, and seemed to really take the message to heart. Now, Mr. Fazzy (her stuffed velvet pony) has been making his way around the yard, relaxing in different sunny spots and galloping across the lawn. She's determined to love him as much as possible because, to her, Mr. Fazzy is most definitely real!

Mr. Fazzy, wild and free!
How do toys become real? There's been quite a bit of debate about this among people over the years, but here's the explanation that resonates the most with me...


The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand about it all.
     "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 you, 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 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 you."

This story is very special to me, and I have always held it close to my heart. There is so much to learn from nursery magic, if only you choose to remember!

Happy reading! ~ F

Preview The Velveteen Rabbit
Read the reviews!

Mr. Fazzy in the morning glories : ) 

17 comments:

  1. Oh I loved this post! I need to get this book for my daughter.,She found my chilhood teddy bear the other day and he is so worn that he definitely should be real by now! Lovely post!

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    1. Heidi- So glad you loved this post. I think your daughter will love this book and I think it is great that your childhood bear is so worn and "real". :) ~F

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  2. I want the stuffed horse. It's so cute. And I like the book too. : )

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    1. Jeanette- Margo can't get enough of her stuffed horse. It is a cool stuffed animal. This book always touches my heart. :) ~F

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  3. +JMJ+

    I have my own Mr. Fazzy, so I loved "meeting" Margo's! =)

    Have you read The Curious Adventures of the Abandoned Toys by Julian Fellowes? It's about toys having to fend for themselves after their owners outgrow them, but I recall that it's much sadder than The Velveteen Rabbit. Which might be saying much, as The Velveteen Rabbit is already quite bittersweet.

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    1. JMJ- I love that you have your own Mr. Fazzy! I have not read The Curious Adventures of Abandoned Toys- but I must read it now that you told me about it. I can imagine it is sad. I hope I don't get too sad because I always get a little teary at The Velveteen Rabbit! ~F

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  4. This is beautiful and so, so true. I've still got my old teddy bear from really early childhood (and I'm in my 50's!) I (unintentionally) instilled the same attachment to certain toys in my son - he'll have some of them when he's my age one day as well. To me they have always been real and I've never lost that feeling. Love your photos of Mr Fazzy.

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    1. Hi - I can't seem to leave a comment on your latest post - tried last night and again now and the publish button will not work. Don't know if it is just me but this post works ok.

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    2. Sharon- I feel like all of the special objects in my life have feelings and I treat them all as if they do! I think it is awesome that you have your childhood teddy bear. It is so loved! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

      I am sorry to hear that you aren't able to comment on our most recent post. Sometimes that happens and we aren't sure why- so we don't know how to fix it! Thanks for letting us know. :) ~Jess

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  5. I loved this post so much, too...

    We often forget about these gentle books and characters.

    Thank you!

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    1. Patty- I agree with you that it is important to remember gentle books and characters. :) ~F

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  6. Great story! My daughter cried the first time I read it to her. She was so upset when the Velveteen Rabbit was thrown away. I had to promise her it had a happy ending before she'd let me keep reading.

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    1. Kelly- I can understand why your daughter cried the first time she heard The Veleveteen Rabbit. It is such a touching book! ~F

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  7. One of my all time favorite books! Beautifully written and filled with such wisdom.
    Loved reading the passage with the skinned horse. Thanks so much.

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    1. Lee- I can see why it is one of your all time favorite books! It really hits home and is so well written. Glad you enjoyed the post! ~F

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  8. So much truth in children's books. Love it.

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