Quote of the Day: On Love

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

“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 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.”
“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.
But the Skin Horse only smiled.

The Velveteen Rabbit was my favorite book when I was little, and it still is.  Even though it is a children’s story, it is so insightful about the meaning of love.  The Skin Horse is so wise! (Plus, he has the coolest name… kinda sounds like porn star, right?)

Quote of the Day: On Love…

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9 thoughts on “Quote of the Day: On Love…

  1. unfinishedbizness says:

    I absolutely LOVE this passage. Thinking about having it read at my wedding 🙂 Along with “Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten”!!!

  2. I had my brother read it at the wedding. It was really nice.

  3. yasniger says:

    Wow…… I know I haven’t heard it all but I’ve heard a great deal & ‘The Skin Horse’ in The Velveteen Rabbit as a Porn star’s Name, was a whole new level of Weirdo; even for me. Most children’s stories are insightful and The Velveteen Rabbit’s Love emboldery is such basic stuff for kids to assimilate at that tender age, right? Thanks for the memory trip…. I so needed that for a piece I’m currently working on. Cheers.

    • A whole new level of Weirdo? Hmmm… I like it. It suits me. You must admit that it is pretty right on though.
      Besides venturing into inappropriate territory, the point of this post was to say that The Velveteen Rabbit so perfectly puts into words what many more mature books have failed to do… describe the meaning of true love.

      • yasniger says:

        Indeed The Velveteen Rabbit does ‘describe the meaning of true love’ snugly. Oh yes I concur with that alright!….. I’ve found love better expressed in the most ‘Out Of Sorts’ manner most time, than it gets said, shown or insinuated in the most obvious forms. I wrote a bit of that sentiment myself & most of my inspiration came from things I actually saw happen. Take the story of the begger girl that strolled into my Neighbor’s wife’s eatery years ago. I wrote an unpublished Novelette about her story.. Breasts Of Doom. http://yasniger.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/breasts-of-doom/
        You’ll find it a shade too sad, but it stresses my point. Good humor about the ‘The Porn Skin Horse’, though. Now I’ve got a secret Nick-Name for my favorite Velveteen Rabbit Character. Cheers

      • I am reading Breasts of Doom (which I am also taking as my new moniker!) About halfway through when my daughter starting wailing, but I am loving it. You are a beautiful writer! Can’t wait to finish it.

      • yasniger says:

        Oh do pls finish it and tell me what you think! Don’t spare me Pwwweeezzz>

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