Several years ago, for her 5th birthday (top photo), Selena's friend Rachel gave Istra this cute striped sock horse that she made. Several years later, soon approaching her 7th birthday, Zeebie has become Istra's Velveteen Rabbit. Wearing thin in some areas, with seams which have had to have been restitched in a few places, Istra insists on sleeping with her belovèd Zeebie every night. (See bottom picture.).
As the famous passage from the story describes:
"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?"So, Zeebie is well on its way to becoming real around here. It may be a bit of a strange thing when that pink and black stripped, big-nosed, fellow starts clomping around this place on it's own. But it's okay, because we'll understand.
"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."
Sometimes it's hard to know what is going to become the most real for us in the future, and what is going to break or just slowly fade away. Anyhow, in this case, as it works out, it couldn't have happen to a nicer horse-zebra.
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