Cross Examination and the Velveteen Rabbit
Whew! I had to cross-examine two witnesses today. I’m hoping that I was able to raise doubts and I’ll leave it at that.
In the stress that followed that marathon hearing, I now sit and ponder on the books that I recently bought from Booksale. These are the things that bring me absolute joy. I spent two hours browsing through a pile that they were supposed to pull out for storage at the warehouse. The two hour search yielded “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter, “The Teddy Bear” by David McPhail, “On the Day You Were Born” by Debra Frasier, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst, “Winnie the Pooh” by A.A. Milne, “The Moon Came Down On Milk St.” by Jean Gralley and a host of other books, all at Php25! (That’s approximately .50UScents). I actually bought a total of 20 children’s books. Haha. (Talk about an overkill).
My parents raised me with the help of books. 🙂 Our mongrel dog was even named Babar, after Babar, the Elephant King. My younger sister and I looked forward to hearing the tales of beautiful princesses, brave tailors, handsome princes or Bible heroes before our bedtime. It was the highlight of our day.
Suffice it to say that I grew up fond of books but that fondness became a full grown love affair when I turned 7 years old. I transferred schools when I was in Grade 2. It was a harrowing experience for a little kid. I was plucked from classmates I’d grown up with, who played with a “game and watch” gadget fashioned with paper, who chased each other ala “Dayuhan” and was enrolled in a new school with classmates who had the latest Fisher-Price toys and who had more than one Barbie. It wasn’t easy being the outsider. The usual bullies made my life difficult (Although, I must admit I can’t actually recall what they actually did to me 🙂 In the library, I found a home and in the pages of the books I found characters that inspired me to dream and to imagine. I found the courage to approach every situation with positivity from my favorite characters. Enid Blyton’s Fabulous Five taught me to embrace adventure, Nancy Drew showed me that using your smarts and keeping your wits about you would get you through any scrape, The Little Prince taught me about compassion and love, the Little Misses and the Little Men showed me that no one is perfect, we are fine just the way we are.
Eventually, I found a new best friend in my new school. She loved books as much as I did and together we would spend hours in the library with our beloved friends. Sometime later, I found myself happily adjusted to my new school..but the love I found in that library has never left my heart.
Soon, hubby and I will be welcoming a little boy. While other moms-to-be are busy buying baby clothes and the like, I am busy scouring bookstores for my favorite childhood reads. =) I hope to introduce him to my dear friends. I pray that through their adventures, he too will view life with wonder, that blessed with a vivid imagination, he will dream wonderful dreams and have the courage to achieve them.
Thank You Lord for the gift of reading. =)
Excerpt of Velveteen Rabbit culled from http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/williams/rabbit/rabbit.html
“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.”