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Watership Down

Watership Down


by Richard Adams

Watership Down Chapters 9-12 Summary

Chapter 9

The Crow and the Beanfield

  • The epigraph here is from poet Robert Browning (who wrote this gem). Is this poem about the passing of time? Or love? Or just about beanflowers?
  • The next morning, Hazel wants to find a secure place for the rabbits to rest and explores a beanfield with beanflowers bean-blooming.
  • And a good thing, too, since a crow tries to eat Pipkin and Fiver (the small ones). Luckily Bigwig, Silver, and Hazel scare it off, proving once again that it pays to be friends with big guys.

Chapter 10

The Road and the Common

  • John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress get's us going with a quote in which a scaredy-cat character (not a real cat, but a real scaredy) says that they meet more dangers the further they go.
  • Back with the rabbits, a human shooting something scares them all. So far they've faced a badger (lendri), a dog, a crow, and a human with a gun. (Or as we call it in America, a typical Tuesday.)
  • Hazel sees his first road. Bigwig, who knows all about roads, explains to Hazel that they aren't dangerous, as long as you're not texting while driving. (Just kidding—rabbits only use their cellphones to play Angry Birds.)
  • After more travel, a few rabbits (Hawkbit, Acorn, Speedwell) want to quit and go back because it's scary. But Bigwig bullies them into traveling more.
  • Meanwhile, Fiver talks to Hazel about his visions of where they should live. Four miles away.

Chapter 11

Hard Going

  • The epigraph of this chapter is a quote from Thomas Malory's book about King Arthur and his knights about a guy who eventually ends up in the right place—but it takes him a while.
  • Similarly, this chapter is about how unhappy all the rabbits are during their overnight travels. (Those chapter titles are pretty helpful.)
  • But when day comes, they see a very nice field, complete with free Wi-Fi.

Chapter 12

The Stranger in the Field

  • In case you wanted more quotes from non-fiction books on rabbits, this is the chapter for you. It starts with another Lockley quote about how wandering rabbits sometimes join established warrens.
  • The rabbits are really enjoying the field.
  • After the rabbits relax, they do some exploring and find that men come here regularly. (The clue? Cigarette butts.)
  • Also, there's a strange rabbit who's watching them. Which makes sense since that's the title of the chapter.
  • Instead of fighting or threatening the new rabbits, the stranger introduces himself as Cowslip and wants to invite them all to live in his warren.
  • Now, you and we all know never to go with strangers unless they have really good candy. But no one taught Hazel that. Though Hazel is a little nervous, he agrees to visit Cowslip's warren.

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