The Rabbit and the broken Pony
Rabbit came home from school with his owner, Lucy, after farm day at school.
Rabbit had seen all types of other toys that looked all torn up, but he kept hearing over and over about 'real' rabbits and 'real' puppies, but he couldn't find anything that looked as nice as he did.
Disgruntled, and mildly confused, Rabbit asked the Broken Pony when Lucy brought him back home.
"What does it mean to be real? Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
Pony laughed at him.
''Real isn't how you are made. It's a thing that happens to you," he said. "When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real."
Rabbit wondered how he was ever going to figure his 'real' mystery out if he kept asking this Pony.
So he tried again, using a different method. He was the new model after all, and Pony was terribly outdated.
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked. "Or bit by bit?''
The Pony thought for a minute about it, and just when Rabbit had given up he said, "It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time."
"So, what kind of time are we talking here?" Rabbit asked. "I only have a shelf life of about 1 year; only a few months before the new model comes out. Is there any way to speed this process up?"
"Not without it hurting, things like this take time," Pony said. "You don't get to have everything your way."
"But why?" Rabbit demanded, growing more and more impatient with this Pony's crazy ideas.
"Because it isn't about you," Pony said as he started to limp away.
"Then who is it about?" Rabbit asked.
"It's about your relationship with Lucy. It's not about the rules, or the color of your fur," he said.
"Then how am I ever supposed to be real?" Rabbit asked, somewhat dejected at this thought. "I've never been taught anything but cute and fluffy."
Pony stopped, turned around and smirked at the Rabbit. He saw the vigor of his youth and desire to become this 'real' he had seen at school.
"It doesn't happen often to toys who break easily, or have sharp edges. You know, those toys who have to be carefully kept," he said. "Generally, by the time you are real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose joints and look very shabby."
Rabbit was stunned. He had never considered Pony as anything but broken before. His limpy leg was all taped and held together with a half Popsicle stick that was still half purple from Lucy's snack the other day.
"Are you telling me I have to look like YOU to be real?" Rabbit asked.
"Rabbit," Pony said, looking at his broken body. "These things don't matter at all, because once you are real you can't be ugly, except to the people who don't understand."