The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day . . .
“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.”
They were rabbits like himself, but quite furry and brand-new. They must have been very well made, for their seams didn’t show at all, and they changed shape in a queer way when they moved.
“I am the nursery magic Fairy,” she said. “I take care of all the playthings that the children have loved. When they are old and worn out and the children don’t need them anymore, then I come and take them away with me and turn them into Real.”
“Wasn’t I Real before?” asked the little Rabbit.
“You were Real to the Boy,” the Fairy said, “because he loved you. Now you shall be Real to every one.”
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