Rita’s Corner: Watership Down by Richard Adams

Book 4

This story is a story about rabbits. Traveling rabbits. So beware, this isn’t your normal rabbit tail. (see what I did there?)

Our story or tale starts off with a rabbit named Hazel, and his brother Fiver. Hazel is yourIMG_1056 normal every-day grass-eating rabbit. But Fiver on the other paw… is different. He’s the runt, and since rabbits can only count up to four behold his nickname! (His real name is something else)…. He’s not just different by being the runt, but he also can see things. You might be thinking, “Well yeah duh! Of course he can see he has eyes!” But it’s not that type of seeing. He has visions (I suppose that’s what we could call them).

So the day started off regular, get up and eat grass, or as they call it Silflay,(please note that any unusual language here is rabbit language — if it is the real rabbit language we don’t know, but it could be or could be the invention of the author) or cowslips (a type of flower). But this day doesn’t end the same, or even have a middle that’s the same. As they are eating their grass Fiver has a vision, he sees a field soaked in blood. Now of course Hazel thinks this is nonsense and at first he tries to ignore it. But Fiver keeps telling him about it, and about how they must leave the Warren (a warren is a place where rabbits live, not just one hole but an entire community of holes and rabbits). Finally Hazel gives in. But first they decide to warn the Chief rabbit, who basically is the ruler and decision maker of the Warren. This doesn’t end well. First, the chief rabbit keeps mistaking Hazel’s name for Walnut. Second, he brushes the warning off and tells them it was a waste of his time. He sends them off. Now, you can tell what kind of rabbit this Chief rabbit is. He doesn’t listen or even care about the warning.

Since that didn’t work, the two siblings decide to leave and they tell their friends. Blackberry and Dandelion both come along too. And so does Bigwig, he overheard the conversation with the chief rabbit and decides to round up some more rabbits to come. They wait until night… then when they run off they have some more rabbits with them. But they don’t leave without a fight. Turn out it’s not easy to leave a Warren. Chief rabbits really like to keep their rabbits!

Soon they come across a river. And they are all tired and worn out but they have to cross the river because a dog is loose in the woods that surrounds the river on their side. Also note, they have never crossed a river let alone seen a river before.

They find a way across and then they rest. The next morning they start traveling again, sadly some of the rabbits are losing faith in Hazel. Will Hazel lead them to safety? Or will they die trying? Those are the thoughts in their heads. Before I continue I must say, that Hazel is pretty stupid for he never listens to Fiver and Fiver’s visions.

Soon are fellow travelers meet a stranger in a field. His name is Cowslip. Cowslip then leads them to another Warren. But, something is off about this Warren…only Fiver seems to notice, as the other rabbits enjoy their time eating carrots and having a man come and shooting any necessary threats, Fiver is observing. Soon, Fiver convinces the others to leave, read the book to find out how. ;D

fullsizeoutput_d95They are well on their way, over some hills and through the woods. They finally come upon Watership Down (how they know what it’s called will alway stump me and never stop). So, they make their home, by digging. Soon, Hazel rescues a mouse from a kestrel. Then he realizes, he wants a bird. Not a small bird, but a medium sized bird who can fly out to scout the land. He gets his wish. A gull lands injured from a cat, near the newly made Warren. And yes, Hazel saves the gull (his name is Kehaar) but does that make him a nice rabbit, since he only saved it for personal reasons for the Warren? Then, they realize they have no does (the term used for female rabbits, bucks is for male) guess what’s the thing they do? Send the bird out! And the bird comes back with knowledge! He has scouted ahead and seen a farmhouse with rabbits (some are does) and another Warren farther ahead. Hazel has devised a plan to get the does.

Now, why do they need does? Simple! So they can mate and continue life in their new Warren.

So as Hazel is putting his plan into action, Fiver says something. He says that the plan won’t go well, something unprepared for and bad will happen. And of course like a good rabbit, Hazel ignores this. Which I find incredibly annoying, since Fiver has proven that his visions come to be pretty true. So of course, they go to get the does at a farm. This ends badly, sort of. Hazel gets shot by one of the people at the farm. (See, Fiver was correct you idiot.) Now, everyone thinks Hazel is dead (not true) everyone except for Fiver. So, he and Blackberry go off to where Hazel was shot and boom, he’s alive.

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Afterward, they devise a plan to get even more does! out of that Warren that Kehaar had spotted. And out goes Bigwig, but he’s not called that anymore he’s called Thlayli (for undercover reasons). What I was surprised at was that Woundwart, the Chief rabbit of the warren Efrafa that Kehaar had seen, trusted him so fast. Like, wouldn’t you be suspicious of him? Guess that’s just me! Anyway, Bigwig, or we should call him Thlayli for now, is getting used to the warren and how its run. He meets some of the does and tells them the plan. It’s all ready to be set into action when something goes wrong…

It turns out that one of the does has tattled on them! They still manage to put the plan into place, but not without a couple of fights. They disappear before Woundwort’s eyes. How? They get on a boat and float down the river. Woundwort has no chance of getting them now haha! But, perhaps they celebrated a bit too early… As it turns out, how it was possible I don’t know, but Woundwort found out the location of their warren to seek revenge. So now they have to fight for their home.

I really liked this book, I think it was a fun and interesting read. With talking rabbits and the stories in stories method. I would recommend this book to anyone really! It has interesting parts and interesting characters! My favorite rabbit was Fiver, I really like him and the way he wasn’t shot down (figuratively not literally) when Hazel told him that his visions were nonsense and weren’t going to happen. He sticks to himself and believes in himself. So yes, I did enjoy reading this book!

Until next book!
-Rita Nolan

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