Writing

Becoming Real

One of my favourite children's books is 'The Velveteen Rabbit', by Margery Williams,first published in 1922.
It contains both Magic and Reality, and a little Philosophy too.
This is the passage I most enjoy:I have read it many times.
The Rabbit is talking to the Skin Horse, who is old and wise and much respected by the other toys.

     "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, 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 dont 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 often 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."


Well, I think I am Real now.
I am loose in the joints and rather shabby, and although I still have eyes and hair, my sharp edges have hopefully worn down......

Have a look at the book if you get a chance.

You have no rights to post comments