Being Real

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One of my retirement goals is removing decades of clutter. In that task I find myself finding troves of forgotten memories. Today it was stuffed animals.

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My sister gave my daughter a stuffed pig which she still keeps as a companion. That reminds me of the story of 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 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. - Velveteen Rabbit

In the boxes I found in the attic is an entire stuffed menagerie. It is my hope that these animals need to be with children not locked away in a plastic tomb in my attic. I will find a home for them, stay tuned. Let’s visit the zoo.

Did you have a favorite stuffed animal? I didn’t, I had a blue and yellow toy seaplane which was my favorite. I am not normal.

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