When the Velveteen Rabbit first arrives in the nursery, he is snubbed by the other toys. But the Rabbit soon makes friends with the Skin Horse, who explains how toys can become "real" if they are loved enough. The Velveteen Rabbit longs for this to happen, and one day he finds that he has become the Boy's very favorite toy. They play together through a long, golden summer, Rabbit becoming shabbier and shabbier as he becomes real to the boy who loves him. The rabbits in the garden think otherwise -- how can Rabbit be real when he can't leap and hop? When Boy takes ill with scarlet fever and Rabbit must be discarded, a magical fairy appears to transform him into a real, wild rabbit, though her parting words remind him that he was always real to the Boy.