I read this one alot circa '73. I was usually into happy stories, but this one had a touch of bittersweet to it, so I didn't keep the book for long. It broke my heart when the toy rabbit had to be thrown out and destroyed. And even though it was turned into a real rabbit in the end, the rabbit had changed and the friendship with the boy was over, and things could never be the same as they once were. I don't know if this is the intended moral of the story, but this book makes me realize that time changes people, and friendships quite often don't last because through life's circumstances we're always evolving as individuals, our personalities change and eventually we part ways. I often say "my friends", but they're actually never really mine - they're only "on loan" for awhile and sooner or later they're gone. Family will always be family, but you can never take your friends for granted - enjoy them while you have them, because 'friends for life' are rare, no matter how permanent the friendship may seem to be.