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losing my fur

They were lying side by side together near the fireplace in the Nursery.

CuddleBunny: What is *real*? Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?

SkinHorse: Real isn't how you are made. 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.

CB: Does it hurt?

SH: Sometimes. But when you are Real you don't mind being hurt.

CB: Does it happen all at once, like being wound up, or bit by bit?

SH: It doesn't happen all at once. You *become*. It takes a long time, that's why it doesn't often happen at all to people who break easily or have sharp edges or who have to be cared for carefully. Usually by the time you are Real, most of your fur has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But those things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be fugly, except to people who don't understand.

CB: Then I suppose *you* are real??

SH: Well, it was a great many years ago, but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always ...

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:Sarita Broden [2001] quoting Margery Williams, "The Velveteen Rabbit", (c) 1958

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