Tuesday, July 26, 2011


"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. "But 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."


Shannon said...

I love that story!

Btrflygrl said...

I used to read this story to my two older boys when they were young. The youngest had this stuffed puppy that would tag along with him every step of the way. He loved that puppy more than anything. At nap time the puppy slept in the nook of his arm snuggled with love in deep peaceful sleep. The puppy gave him a sense of security and kept him safe. Overtime, it lost it's fur and was left unattended as my son grew to be a big boy. I put it away for him. Something a child loved so much and at one time believed to be real should not have to be forgotten. Thanks for the memory. Forever a picture in my heart.