Free Study Guide for Watership Down by Richard Adams|
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Within a couple of days Hazel is well enough to return to the top of the Down.
He announces to the other rabbits that he and Blackberry have a plan for
going back to Efrafa to make another attempt to get more does. Holly feels
obliged to speak against him, certain that it will be a complete disaster.
He agrees that Woundwort may not have anyone cleverer than Blackberry
and Fiver, but the problem will be getting away with the does. They argue
for a bit and then one asks for Fiverís opinion. Fiver says that nothing
is wrong with the plan and that if he has any misgiving later on, he will
not keep it to himself. Furthermore, Kehaar is a part of the plan. Finally
they sort out who will go and who will stay. Holly, Strawberry, Buckthorn
and the hutch rabbits will remain at the Honeycomb.
Fiverís change in status is becoming quite apparent. Holly speaks of the cleverness
of Blackberry and Fiver in the same sentence, and other rabbits ask how
Fiver feels about an action before they decide to take it. All of the
rabbits seem to be accepting Fiverís gift as a real skill to be recognized
and utilized to their best advantage. Holly might seem like a logical
rabbit to send back with the group as he knows what to expect, but as
a former leader, he has "had his chance." While it is not his
fault that he failed, he does not show the ability to develop conplex
strategy that is needed for accomplishing their task.
With the exception of Buckthorn and the addition of Bluebell, the rabbits
who make the second trip to Efrafa are the same ones who followed Hazel
out of Sandleford warren five weeks earlier. They have gone through so
much that they trust Hazel and Fiver without question. As they approach
Efrafa, Hazel reveals part of the plan. They are not going directly to
the warren, but are making a big circle and will be coming at Efrafa from
the river and the railroad. They will be counting on Kehaar to guide them
when they get beyond the territory with which Silver is familiar. Kehaar
explains that while the river is big and swift, there is a bridge which
will give them crossing and also provide cover. Bigwig seems to be getting
very irritable. When they decide to rest and listen to a story from Dandelion
at the end of a day, Bigwig snarlingly insists on the story of El-ahrairah
and the Black Rabbit of Inle.
This was basically a transition chapter which establishes a sense of nervous tension among the rabbits. Bigwig especially needs some sort of action to relieve the sense of anticipation and anxiety.
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Ruff, Karen SC. "TheBestNotes on Watership Down".
. 09 May 2017