Friday, May 2, 2014

What is Real?



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!
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 : ) 

20 comments:

  1. One of my all time favourite reads. Such a beautiful story, it always makes me cry.

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  2. This is such a sweet story, I bought a copy of this for my daughter.

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    1. Heidi- I am sure it will be a treasure in your daughter's collection. :) ~L

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  3. Thanks for the memories. I have not thought of this book in years. It is one of my favorites, too. A beautiful beautiful story.

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    1. Beverly- Glad to take you down memory lane. :) ~L

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  4. I haven't read it, but I might have it.

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    1. Medeia- You have to read it soon! It is a book you won't forget. :) ~L

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  5. I had no idea what The Velveteen Rabbit was about until today. It feels like every child's dream in a book. I loved all my stuffed toys to bits when I was a kid and treated them like they were real.
    I couldn't help think of how this book might have inspired Toys Story in some small way. I must remember to read this one day.

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    1. Adriana- I have always wondered if Toy Story was inspired by The Velveteen Rabbit. I hope you read it soon. You will truly love it and I know it will stay with you forever. :) ~L

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  6. Very insightful. Toys/stuffed animals becoming real is a popular theme in children's books and I always thought The Velveteen Rabbit explained how it could happen best.

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    1. Stephanie- I agree! This seems like the "true" story behind toys that are real. :) ~L

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  7. Magic! This brings me right back to my childhood!!!

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    1. Morgan- Definitely magic! :) ~L

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  8. My mom and I absolutely love this book -- that explanation is so perfect. And Mr. Fazzy is too cute! Wonderful post, ladies!

    --Mckenzie @ A Belle's Tales

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    1. Mckenzie- Awesome to hear that you two are fans too! Such a great book.Glad that you liked Mr. Fazzy :) ~L

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  9. Sounds like a sweet story!

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    1. Nas- It is! A must read for sure. :) ~L

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  10. One of the best children stories ever. I know our mutual friend, Tracy, loves it.

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    1. Claudine- So true! It is a fabulous story. :) Tracy has good taste! ~L

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