Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Velveteen Rabbit

"Why don't you get up and play with us? one of them asked.
"I don't feel like it," said the rabbit, for he didn't want to explain that he had no clockwork.

"Ho!" said the furry rabbit.  "It's as easy as anything."  And he gave a big hop sideways and stood on his hind legs.
"I don't believe you can!" he said.
"I can!" said the little Rabbit.  "I can jump higher than anything!"  He meant when the Boy threw him, but of course he didn't want to say so.
"Can you hop on your hind legs?" asked the furry rabbit.
That was a dreadful question, for the Velveteen Rabbit had no hind legs at all!  The back of him was made all in one piece, like a pincushion.  He sat still in the bracken, and hoped the other rabbits wouldn't notice. .....

"I don't want to!" he said again.

But the wild rabbits have very sharp eyes.  and this one stretched out his neck and looked.
"He hasn't got any hind legs!" he called out.  Fancy a rabbit without any hind legs!"  And he began to laugh.
"I have!" cried the little Rabbit.  "I have got hind legs!  I am sitting on them!"
"Then stretch them out and show me, Like this!" said the wild rabbit.  And he began to whirl round and dance, till the little Rabbit got quite dizzy.
"I don't like dancing," he said.  "I'd rather sit still!"
But all the while he was longing to dance, for a funny new tickly feeling ran through him, and he felt he would give anything in the world to be able to jump about like these rabbits did.

The Strange rabbit stopped dancing and came quite close.  He came so close this time that his long whiskers brushed the Velveteen Rabbit's ear, and then he wrinkled his nose suddenly and flattened his ears and jumped backwards.
"He doesn't smell right! he exclaimed.  "He isn't a real rabbit at all! He isn't real!"
"I am real!" said the little Rabbit.  "I am real!  The Boy said so!"

And that, of course, is from the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.  Read it and weep - as they say - sorry.  I LOVE that book, still makes me cry when the Boy sees the wild rabbit and thinks "Why, he looks just like my old Bunny that was lost when I had scarlet fever".  Lost.  Breaks my heart every time.

Oh, and this little guy is a bunny cuddly of Patons Velveteen for the adored Mrs K's soon to arrive baby.  Mrs K is my 6 year old's teacher, and was my 9 year old's year 2 teacher as well.  I knitted her a Noro scarf, that's how much we adore her!  Hope she likes this funny little bunny, for some reason he makes me think of Sooty and Sweep (my mum, who lived in the north of England until she was 9, always pronounced it "sue-ty" although she had no accent otherwise). 

A You-Tube search to show you what I'm talking about brought up this really odd clip.  Soo has a surprise for the boys - is it a skateboard, or a racing car or a computer game?  No it's new jumpers. Which somehow leads to a long investigation of how to shrink your woollens, with lots of beating it seems, and if all else fails - the tumble drier!  Matthew's having trouble with tension.  Maybe he needs to do some beating.  Ahem. 

"Sweep - you could agitate a saint!"  Poor Soo, so uptight for a hand puppet panda.  I feel a feminist rant coming on, the only girl on the show and she gets to be an uptight mother figure - but I totally relate to her (as a mother), so I'll have to have that rant at myself.

This is 9 minutes long, so only for if you're really keen, plus there's part 2!

The Sooty Show, Knitting

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