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Watership Down

Watership Down


by Richard Adams

Watership Down Chapters 26-29 Summary

Chapter 26

Fiver Beyond

  • This chapter starts with a quote from Joseph Campbell's book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. That book is all about comparing various folktales and myths. This quote from Uno Harva is about how the shaman travels through the underworld in traditional myths and folk tales.
  • The plot of this chapter is that Fiver has freaky dreams about Hazel. And like Fiver usually does, he takes this freak-out as a sign.
  • So Blackberry takes Fiver back to the farm; and that's where Fiver finds Hazel, who's not dead yet.

Chapter 27

"You Can't Imagine It Unless You've Been There"

  • This epigraph is really obscure (to us), so head on over to the "Shout-Outs" for the backstory. For now, all we need to know here is that the quote is from someone surprised by the people he sees.
  • Holly tells his story about what happened in the other warren, called Efrafa.
  • Efrafa turns out to be a big, totalitarian warren: the Chief Rabbit (General Woundwort) and his Owsla are totally in charge of everything—and we mean everything. (They even have a special police section called the Owslafa.)
  • How totalitarian can rabbits get? This totalitarian: every rabbit gets scarred on a part of their body to identify what group he belongs to (called "Marks"). And the Marks are only allowed out to eat at certain times of the day.
  • Efrafa also does other military things, like patrol the area around the warren. They even have some long-distance patrols called "Wide Patrols" (which will be important to the plot later).
  • Holly meets some rabbits there, like the brave Captain Campion (who works for Woundwort) and the unhappy doe Hyzenthlay who would like to leave Efrafa but isn't allowed to.
  • A bunch of does want to leave because Woundwort won't allow them to enlarge the warren, which is overcrowded. (Because it's overcrowded, they can't have babies.)
  • And Woundwort also won't allow Holly's group to leave. That's how totalitarian Efrafa is.
  • But Holly's group escapes, thanks to some quick thinking and a very convenient train (that conveniently cuts off the pursuit).

Chapter 28

At the Foot of the Hill

  • The epigraph from Walter de la Mare is from a poem called "The Pilgrim," which is—on its surface—about a pilgrim and how nice it is to come home.
  • The rabbits in Watership Down come out to snack after Holly's sad story, and they find Blackberry who has amazing news: Hazel is alive but too weak to climb up the hill to Watership Down.
  • Luckily, Kehaar knows something about getting shot, so he removes the shotgun pellets from Hazel's leg.
  • Then Hazel, even with his limp, is back to scheming about getting more does from Efrafa.

Chapter 29

Return and Departure

  • Here's another Shakespeare quote, this time from Henry V. In it, Henry's saying that only people who want to fight should come with him. So, this is probably going to be a chapter about volunteering for something dangerous.
  • Hazel comes back and the rabbits give him a parade. Or just play with him, which is pretty much the rabbit equivalent of a parade.
  • Hazel announces the plan to go to Efrafa for more does. Holly doesn't like the idea of going back to that terrible place. Surprisingly, Fiver is totally okay with that plan—he doesn't have a bad feeling or fall into a trance or anything.
  • Hazel gets Kehaar to help them, but Kehaar also wants to go to the ocean. (He'll come back for visits and Skype, but he also wants to see other gulls.)

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