"What is Real?"

"What is Real?"

“What is Real?” asked the Velveteen Rabbit.  “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse.  “It is 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 is 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 toys who break easily or have sharp edges or have to be carefully kept. By the time you are real, most of your hair has been loved off, your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and are 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.”

– From The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

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