“Real isn’t how you are made. It is a thing that happens to you. Once you are Real, you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
— the Skin Horse, in The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
This is my mouse. I’ve had him as long as I can remember. I don’t sleep with him anymore, but it’s only because, as you can see, all his stuffing is falling out.
Everyone thinks he’s a girl, because he’s pink, but he’s not. They also always have to ask if he’s a rabbit, which I don’t quite understand, because he clearly has short, round ears and a long, skinny tail and not tall, skinny ears and a round tail, but whatever. He also doesn’t have a name. Is that weird?
When I studied in Spain in college, I took him with me. I lived with a family and one day I came home from school and he was not in my room. My “mom” had taken it upon herself to wash him with the rest of my laundry, and when she brought him back to me, he had shrunk to about half his size! But he was definitely clean, and he eventually fluffed back up, which was a relief. I don’t remember if he’d ever been washed before that, but I know he hasn’t been washed since, because I fear that would be the end of him.
He used to rattle, but he doesn’t anymore. I’m not quite sure what happened; it’s a mystery. I’ve sewed his holes several times, but I think patches are the only thing that might save him now. Maybe I’ll look into it, because he lives on my bookshelf now and I kind of miss him.