The Ballestero Blog

"That's what I'm talking about!"

What Is It Like To Be Real?

with 4 comments

What Is It Like To Be Real?

That was a story my friend, Pastor Kenneth Bow told me about recently. He said that many years ago he had read the story and was taken by its power. It’s truths are still powerful today.

Bro. Bow is one of those friends that always helps me go to a higher level in God and in life. I will always be indebted to him for his insightful guidance and personal encouragement. He is a Gift of God in my life.

Since he related the story to me, I wouldn’t stop looking until I found it.

The following, is part of the story that takes place in a child’s nursery. The Velveteen Rabbit that is stuffed with sawdust is talking to the old Skin Horse.The Rabbit wanted to know what it would be like to be real.


For a long time he lived in the toy cupboard or on the nursery floor, and no one thought very much about him. He was naturally shy, and being only made of velveteen, some of the more expensive toys quite snubbed him. The mechanical toys were very superior, and looked down upon every one else; they were full of modern ideas, and pretended they were real. The model boat, who had lived through two seasons and lost most of his paint, caught the tone from them and never missed an opportunity of referring to his rigging in technical terms. The Rabbit could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn’t know that real rabbits existed; he thought they were all stuffed with sawdust like himself, and he understood that sawdust was quite out-of-date and should never be mentioned in modern circles. Even Timothy, the jointed wooden lion, who was made by the disabled soldiers, and should have had broader views, put on airs and pretended he was connected with Government. Between them all the poor little Rabbit was made to feel himself very insignificant and commonplace, and the only person who was kind to him at all was the Skin Horse.

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.

The Skin Horse Tells His Story

“The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 27, 2011 at 1:53 am

Posted in Life

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Wow! You guy’s are both a giftto this great family. What an honor to be friends with real people. Jesse


    February 27, 2011 at 10:36 am

  2. Ah. Made me cry. I have this book. I bought it for myself after my son grew up.

    Veridical Angel

    February 27, 2011 at 12:48 pm

  3. Thank you sir, the feeling is mutual.


    February 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm

  4. Wow.Bro. Bow,preached yesterday,useing this story. It brought us to our knees and made us want to be REAL.God is so good to give us men that follow after him.Thank you for shareing the story and being with us in a wonderful revival.

    Sis. Iris

    February 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Leave a Reply to JesseParker Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: