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
"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 isnt how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "Its 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 dont mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesnt happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You have to become. It takes a long time. Thats why it doesnt 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 dont matter at all, because once you are Real you cant be ugly, except to people who dont understand."
The Apostle Paul reminded us, "Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him." (I Cor. 13:4-7 – Living)
C. S. Lewis comments: "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no oneWrap it up carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change, it will not be broken, it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."++
Are you Real? Or Un-Real
+The Velveteen Rabbit – Margery Williams
++ The Four Loves C. S. LewisViews: 52