Hi everyone, Shasta here! Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and to say thank you again for allowing ME to even have a chance at having another Christmas. I am probably leaving some wonderful folks at AGA out of my thanks so I would appreciate it if you would pass them along for me.
I am so happy to have a Mom and Dad that love me so much (they tell me all the time) and my very own home. I have learned to hop up onto the couch whenever I want to and love to stretch out, and I am getting around better and better. Mom and Dad tell me all the time how beautiful I am and mom calls me her "velveteen rabbit" because she says I am all soft and fuzzy and real.
I wasn't sure what she meant until she read me the following, and I like it now when she calls me her own velveteen rabbit because even though I kind of limp sometimes, and I can't hear real well, or my eyes or a little watery, it means I am really, really loved and I am special.
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, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
"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."
"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."
"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.
But the Skin Horse only smiled.
I couldn't have wished for a better Christmas.
PS - The pictures above are some that my Mom took of me today on our walk to show you how beautiful I am now that I have so many folks who love me. The 2nd picture shows my left side with my bad back leg--it feels so much better that I even use it now rather than just swing it along.