In the chaos this is our house, my daughter found a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit this evening. She wore uggies, and sat on the floor, poring through the thin book. I guess we found it at an op-shop or the boot market. I can’t remember.

Margery Williams tells the story of a rabbit who wants to be Real. It’s a tale about becoming mortal, rather than immortal.

“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.”

Elki's velveteen rabbit
Elki’s velveteen rabbit

Maybe because it is the Easter weekend. Or maybe because life is one big effort to become Real. Or maybe velveteen rabbits, like this one, just do this to you. I don’t know why. This book made me cry, sentimental that I am.