The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams has been on our minds this week, and last night I read it again 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!|
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."
Happy reading! ~ F
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|Mr. Fazzy in the morning glories : )|