Love makes us real, no matter what.

I was chatting to a dear friend last night and for some reason our conversation later made me think of the story of the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

In the story, the toy velveteen rabbit was told by another toy that he could become real if his owner really and truly loved him. He was told that once you are real, you can never be made unreal again.

The velveteen rabbit became the constant companion of a young boy who loved him, no matter how shabby he became. Then one day the boy became ill with scarlet fever and the doctor ordered that all the boy's toys be burned to disinfect his nursery.

The boy was given a new plush rabbit and sent to the seaside to convalesce and he became so excited by this that he forgot all about his old shabby velveteen rabbit. While the rabbit was lying in the pile of things to be burned, it shed a real tear which invoked the Nursery Magic Fairy.

She explained that he was real, but only to the boy. She took him to the woods where the real rabbits were and kissed him, making him real to everyone and he ran off to live with the wild rabbits.

The next spring, the boy saw the velveteen rabbit in the woods playing with the other rabbits and, although it reminded him of his old toy, he had no idea that it was his shabby old velveteen rabbit.

We are all velveteen rabbits, wanting to be real, wanting to be loved, no matter how shabby we become.


D T McAdam said...

Shades of the ugly duckling and Pinocchio. We are all to ready to dismiss and discard ourselves as neither use nor ornament not realising that there are others out there who see us as a treasure to be grasped. We go through life trying our best to be petals in order to be appealing instead of being the root that actually appeals.

Jennie Harborth said...

David, thank you for your comment. You make an interesting point there. Trying to be something we're not. And yes, we do tend to dismiss our good points that we should treasure in order for others to do the same.