Jamie receives a Velveteen Rabbit for Christmas. As one of his many toys the Rabbit is thrown into the full toy cupboard. The Velveteen Rabbit is snubbed by other more expensive or mechanical toys; the latter of which fancy themselves real. From the Skin Horse, the Rabbit learns that real is not how you are made; rather, a toy becomes real if its owner really and truly loves it. When Jamie’s china dog is misplaced, the Velveteen Rabbit takes the place as Jamie’s constant companion. Even though the Rabbit becomes shabby, Jamie loves him no matter what.
Jamie falls ill with scarlet fever and becomes too ill to play for a very long time. Upon his recovery, he is sent to the seaside on doctor’s orders. Jamie wishes to take the Rabbit with him, but his doctor forbids him to take the germ-laden toy. Not only can he not take the Rabbit, but the doctor says it must be burned along with all the nursery toys in order to disinfect the nursery. While awaiting the bonfire, in which the Velveteen Rabbit will be burned, the Rabbit cries a real tear. This tear brings forth the Nursery Magic Fairy. The Rabbit thinks he was real before, but the fairy tells him he was only real to Jamie. She flies him to the woods, where he realizes that he is a real rabbit at last and runs to join the other rabbits in the wild.
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