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Free Study Guide for Watership Down by Richard Adams

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WATERSHIP DOWN NOTES DOWNLOAD

CHAPTER 28 - At the Foot of the Hill

Summary

Hazel is forced to spend a couple of nights in the bank at the foot of Watership Down before he recovers enough strength to get back to the top. Kehaar proves useful again in that he knows about buckshot and is able to use his sharp beak to pick the shot out of Hazelís leg. Hazel is remorseful, calling his trip to the farm a "silly lark,í but Holly comforts him by pointing out that at least it brought them the only two does they have. Still Hazel anticipates future conflicts if they donít find a way to get more does. The only solution is to return to Efrafa and get the does. Holly tells him that it canít be done by ordinary means; the only way to do it is with a trick, and he cannot imagine any trick that would get the better of them. Hazel turns to Blackberry and assigns him the task of coming up with a trick that will get the does out of Efrafa, defeat the resulting pursuit and make the Honeycomb rabbits impossible to find. Holly disagrees, saying the Hazel has no idea what he is up against and is making a bad mistake that will get them all killed. For once, Fiver has a strange turn of his insights. He says that even though he knows going to Efrafa ought to feel wrong, somehow, it doesnít. He believes that it can be done.



CHAPTER 29 - Return and Departure

Summary

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.

Notes

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.


PART III: Efrafa

CHAPTER 30 - A New Journey

Summary

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.

Notes

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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