What is Real

by Rachel on February 14, 2011

As Valentine’s Day 2011 comes to the end, I thought I’d give you a little bit of romance with this excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit.

“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. “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 all 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.”

Thank you for helping me be Real — I love you guys. Happy Valentine’s Day.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dori February 14, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Gorgeous cupcake, and gorgeous excerpt. Hope your holiday was wonderful.


2 Jess-The SemiAbnormal Gal February 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Love; pure, sweet and Real.


3 G February 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm

I remember “The Velveteen Rabit” from my childhood and am definitely going to go back and re-read it.


4 Triz February 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm

You can let Eric check the score … you will definitely have a bouncier half-time than we will!


5 Rachel February 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I said in my post about it last week that we were celebrating over the weekend so he could watch the game tonight! I’m solo this evening…and the way the game is going so far, I think that’s probably for the best.


6 Triz February 14, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Well, how the heck did I miss that? Hm. And wow, your guy’s team crushed mine!


7 Alison February 14, 2011 at 10:48 pm

I keep reading this over and over. I love every word. Thanks so much for sharing Rachel! Just what I needed.


8 Jasmine @ Eat Move Write February 14, 2011 at 10:54 pm

That was really beautiful. And, I agree completely. :)


9 Mel February 14, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Wow. I’m going to need to reread this classic ASAP. That was wonderful.

Also, it made my day to come home to my giveaway Flytrapp card today! Thanks so much again and happy VDay :)


10 Manon February 14, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Perfect. Love.


11 Sable February 15, 2011 at 1:41 am

What a wonderful excerpt… Thank you <3


12 Angela February 15, 2011 at 4:46 am

Love you dearie.


13 Mary (A Merry Life) February 15, 2011 at 5:02 am

I love you.


14 Di February 15, 2011 at 6:51 am

My best friend had that passage from The Velveteen Rabbit read at her wedding. I thought it was perfect. :)


15 Allison February 15, 2011 at 6:54 am

you know… this was the first time reading any part of Velveteen Rabbit that i sort of enjoyed it and felt like i got it… my mother hated it and wouldn’t read it to me when i was little, even though we had a copy (that was a gift) and i sort of absorbed that attitude… but i think i might give it another shot. i think she didn’t get it.


16 Kristina @ Life as Kristina February 15, 2011 at 8:57 am

love this post…and the cupcake too obviously!


17 Melissa February 15, 2011 at 9:44 am

I have chills. Literally, goosebumps on my arms. Thank you, Rachel, for being real & for being YOU! Love ya right back!


18 Jacki February 15, 2011 at 10:46 am

Love this Rachel!! Great job


19 Stephanie February 15, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Wow. That hit home. I’m saving this post. In a spreadsheet obviously. :)


20 Kendra February 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm

That’s my favorite book ever. I still can’t read it without getting all teary eyed.


21 Kristina @ spabettie February 17, 2011 at 1:03 am

aahh… this has always been my Very Favorite ever… I don’t know how many times I’ve “quoted” it… thank you! <3


22 Ashley November 14, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I don’t know how I missed this the first time around, but it was one of the LinkWithin suggestions, and I just LOVE it. Wow.


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