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AUTHOR Watership Down was written by Richard Adams, who was born May 9, 1920, in Berkshire, England. He won two awards for this novel. He is still living. CHARACTERS Hazel became the leader of the rabbits once they left their original warren.
He was a very smart and tricky rabbit who won the respect and trust of the other rabbits by his courage and many great deeds. He always handled problems calmly so others would also remained calm. Whenever a plan was needed, Hazel would always come up with one. Fiver, the younger brother of Hazel, was unique because of his small size and ability to foresee danger.
He saved the rabbits from death by warning some rabbits of the danger. Bigwig, a great fighting and courageous rabbit, was essential for the success of the traveling rabbits. He loved to fight and always did his best to protect the others. He was also the bird Kehaar?
s best friend and enjoyed spending time with him. Blackberry was the most intelligent rabbit in the group. For example, he made a boat to cross a river although the others had never even seen or understood the floating concept. Blackberry always helped Hazel to think of ideas when problems arose.
Dandelion, another smart rabbit, was known for his speed and for his great story telling of El-ahrairah, the rabbit folk hero. He could always tell stories which distracted and eased the rabbits from problems. Pipkin, a good friend of Fiver, was small like Fiver but acted as if he was as big as Bigwig. He always did what he was told and never complained.
PLOT One day Fiver, sensing danger, convinced his brother Hazel that they must leave their warren. Hazel tried to warn the Chief Rabbit of the danger, but he did not listen. Hazel gathered a group and went along the brook until they reached another warren of rabbits. These rabbits were very strange and acted differently from other rabbits. Hazel and his group decided to leave after Bigwig got caught in a wire. The man would feed the rabbits so they would become big and healthy; then the man would kill them.
After many days of travel, Hazel and the others came to Watership Down, which was an excellent place for a warren. The soil was perfect, and enemies could be spotted from many miles away. Here they dug a burrows where the rabbits were happy. Hazel made friends with animals such as mice and even a bird named Kehaar. Hazel then realized that the warren needed does to survive. He used Kehaar to find some does.
They made a raid on a farm and brought back two does. Then three of four rabbits left to visit a big warren to ask for more does. However, the party came back tired and injured because the warren Efrafa did not agree to give up the does; the group had to escape. Hazel decided that almost all of the rabbits must go and steal some does. The rabbits came up with a great plan where Bigwig would ask General Woundwort, the leader, if he could be in the military.
Bigwig was accepted and led ten does onto a boat in the river. Efrafa tried to stop Bigwig, but they failed. After some time at Watership Down, the Efrafa military and Woundwort came to take back the does from Watership Down. Hazel thought of a unique plan to fill all the holes with dirt.
All crowded into one room with Bigwig guarding the one entrance. Hazel and two others went to lure the dog from the farm to the warren to kill the enemy. The plan worked, and Woundwort had disappeared. The rest of the enemy left while some stayed to live at Watership Down.
Efrafa and Watership Down made peace and decided to start another warren with some rabbits from each of the two warrens. At last, after Hazel saw the warren prosper with new babies and happy rabbits, he left his body to run with extraordinary strength and speed over the fields. SETTING This book takes place in New Hampshire in May through the winter. The story begins in the Saddleford Warren and ends in Watership Down. Distinguishing Characteristics Richard Adams? writing keeps the reader?
s attention and interest. He makes the rabbits appear and act like humans. He frequently uses some phrases and words in Line, an animal language. His descriptions of nature are very detailed and easy to imagine.
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