Oct 9th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog


For those seniors fortunate enough to have had parents read to them at bedtime, or for grandparents who have read to their grandchildren,  you will likely know “The Velveteen Rabbit,” by Margery Williams.  It is a delightful tale, allowing the imagination to get caught up in its fairy tale, nursery rhyme wonders.  It has surfaced many times over my career, as a timely and pointed illustration.  Today’s meditation is taken from that book.

“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 stickout 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.

Real Means Being Loved

“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 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 the people who don’t understand.

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