“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 Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long time, not just to play with but really loves you, then you become real.”
“Does it hurt,” asked the Rabbit? “Sometimes, when you are real you don’t mind being hurt.” “Does it happen all at once,” said 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 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.
(The Velveteen Rabbit)
Novermber 11, 2010