the velveteen rabbit and other stories

velveteen rabbit“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day.  “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 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 people who don’t understand.”

The Rabbit sighed.  He thought it would be a long time before this magic called Real happened to him.  He longed to become Real, to know what it felt like; and yet the idea of growing shabby and losing his eyes and whiskers was rather sad.  He wished that he could become it without these uncomfortable things happening to him.

— The Velveteen Rabbit and Other Stories

**************

I was in my favorite mall Robinsons Galleria, doing my shopping there when something hit me.  There was this book that my friend from long ago told me was her number one favorite.  A book called Velveteen Rabbit.  Just out of the blue I got curious about the story of this Velveteen Rabbit. So not being part of my original plan, I went straight to Bestseller bookstore and asked the customer service for a copy of it.  A book about Velveteen Rabbit was no longer available but a book about “Velveteen Rabbit and Other Stories” (more pricey than the other) was there.  I purchased the book without thinking twice.

I read the book in one sitting, including the other stories that mostly I am already familiar with since I was a child– thanks to my Nanay who educated me during my early years by giving me fairytale books to read. I agree with my old friend.  Velveteen Rabbit is, indeed, wonderful and very touching and for a moment there, I felt that I was the lead protagonist, that I was Velveteen Rabbit.

Other stories in the book include Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Thumbelina, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Ugly Duckling.

There is this fairytale story that I only knew now and became my favorite.  I loved this story about “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse.” About not comparing what you have with what others have.  About being grateful and finding contentment.  And I do love its ending.  I also liked “The Good Little Mouse” for it’s a story about trust.

All stories here, typical to a fairytale story, ended happily ever after.  Which, of course, now that I am an adult, is not realistic at all.  But there are, needless to say, lessons to be learned.  It is nice to read a children’s book every once in a while even when you’re old. I always want to be reminded of the basic good manners and right conduct that I sometimes  forget because sometimes I tend to focus too much on the negative.

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