I found this abandoned bunny while walking near the Royal Free Hospital on Sunday. He was lying atop someone's recycling bin, staring up at the sky. I wondered if a little kid dropped him, or if he was put out for someone to take? I felt bad for him but I left him there, in case someone came looking for him.
He reminded me of that famous passage from "The Velveteen Rabbit":
“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 never read that book as a child, but I remember hearing that passage in an animated TV show at some point. I heard it not knowing the story and it made an impact -- I even wrote it down in my journal as best I could remember it -- and then it took me years to figure out that what I'd been watching was "The Velveteen Rabbit." It could have been the 1985 Meryl Streep version, though I would have been 18 or 19 when that came out, so perhaps it was an earlier one.
At any rate, the lost rabbit above seems quite real.
I'm actually trying to cut down on some of the stuff we have lying around our apartment, so picking up a wayward bunny was the last thing I needed to do. I'm feeling oppressed by all our belongings. As I mentioned the other day, I donated two big bags of books from our bookshelves, and I've set aside some other things for charity. I think I'm going to Freecycle some larger items, too.
Spring just seems like the natural time to do this kind of thing, doesn't it?