I was given The Velveteen Rabbit as a Christmas gift by Jon M. I hope you enjoy the summary below. It is a story warm and dear to my heart as my own two boys each had their own special stuffed animals they made real.
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams is about a velvet rabbit who was found in the Christmas stocking of little boy. He was brand new with real thread whiskers and a soft body filled out just the way brand new bunnies look. For a while he seemed to be forgotten and thrown in the toy room with lots of other toys. There he met a skin horse who was old and wise. He asked the Skin Horse, “What is real?” Skin horse said that it wasn’t a matter of how you were made but a thing that happens to you. Skin Horse explained that when you are real you don’t mind being hurt and that it takes a long time. You lose your fur from being hugged too much, your eyes drop out, and your joints become loose and shabbiness occurs. You are not ugly to the one who loves you, only to the ones who don’t understand.
The bunny gets his chance to be real. He becomes the boy’s sleeping buddy and goes from one adventure to the other. He was hugged, tugged, and dragged along. One day he saw some very real bunnies and wished he could be like them but he wasn’t. Right after this the little boy got scarlet fever. He was very sick. The bunny spoke encouraging words to the boy – plans that would come to life when the boy was well. Finally the boy recovered and all items in that room were gathered and burned, including the Velveteen Bunny due to the Scarlet Fever germs.
The bunny lay in the bag knowing his life was over and memories of times spent with the little boy sprang up in his mind and a real tear rolled down his cheek. Where the tear fell a flower suddenly sprung up and out of it a fairy arose. The fairy carried him to a place where he would be real. His first life he was real to the boy and his second life real to everyone
7 thoughts on “The Velveteen Rabbit”
Velveteen Rabbit is a wonderful lesson on living to become REAL. Some of us are afraid to be real because we think others will not like us. We think maybe we would be a turn-off in someone else’s life. Or we don’t really like our REAL selves, so we posture, and pretend to be what we are not thinking we might please others if we were one way or another. We hardly know our authentic selves and if we did we fear we would not like “us” either.
Sara writes and teaches in her book/conference DANCE OF HEALING, that “the study of God’s Word is (among other things) Agricultural…that is the cultivating of the AUTHENTIC SELF (REAL), who you REALLY are according to Jesus, the Master Farmer, Builder, Teacher and Physician..and always SOMETHING MORE…ETERNITY!”
If I allow the Spirit of the living GOD to freely indwell in my soul, I cultivate the nine manifestations of the Fruit of the Spirit which is a glorious harvest of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness & SELF CONTROL! Someone with all those virtures would surely please the Lord Jesus Christ, if no one else. And it certainly is way spiritually above all the sham of pretending to be something that we are not when we COULD be REAL.
Velveteen Rabbit became real IN the book. We become real THROUGH the BOOK.
To me this story was about love. In Matthew 22:36-38 (New International Version)
the disciples ask Jesus:
36″Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[a] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. Without love we are not real – we are just faking it. Jesus was LOVE, He was hurt for our sins and willing laid his life down for our transgressions. He is there always cheering us on when we are sick and in trouble due to physical or emotional illness or sin in our lives.
He is real and wants us to be real too. The bunny became real because he gave all that he had – hugs, chat time, listening ear, encouragement, giving of yourself even unto death, and being there. Jesus does the same for us – that’s real love. I also liked the ending which I didn’t put but that the rabbit was transformed into a real live bunny. Isn’t it neat to know that when we go to heaven we will be totally complete even if we are not totally complete on earth.
Reading the blog and comments by Rena and MG say to me lose your life that you may find it (Mark 8:35). It also reminded me of something I was just reading online last night… ‘The Pathway of the Cross’ by Jesse Penn-Lewis. She writes:…’Grafted into the death of Jesus, the believer is daily ‘given over to death’ that the life of Jesus might be manifested. One of the effects of this ‘death’ is, that we lose a certain exterior ‘hardness’ which most of us have by nature, as if the clay of the earthen vessel acted as a veil of the true life within. Too often others meet the ‘clay’ exterior, and not the life of Jesus within. But as the ‘grain of wheat’ shell is broken away, there comes about a simplicity of manner and absence of reserve, which enables the inner life to shine forth and draws others to come to you without fear.’ About such Christians she writes,…”just being what they are, and walking with God, with the tincture of God touching everything.”
The Rabbit lost his life only to find it. The boy seemed to love him and want to be close to him without fear just as he was.
Rena, thanks for sharing your audio book. I have a hard copy my sister gave to me for my birthday a few years ago. I love reading it and do so often. I thought the older I get the more child like I become and hopefully the more wiser and happier.
Sara, you are the epitomy of what Jesus said to His disciples. Unless you become like a little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of God. You are getting closer and closer to the Lord the “younger” you get.
I frequently read this book and am often in search of other adaptations. I love people’s perspective on this story about love and becoming real.
Feature Films for Families is coming out with their own film adaptation in February. I am very excited to see how the mix of live action and animation make this story come to life again.
Thanks Rebecca for heads up on the opening of “Velveteen Rabbit”. Hope to be in the theater Feburay 20. “Love does make us real.” And, “Sometimes to find what we want we just have to imagine it.” What a wise rabbit!