Sunday, September 12, 2010

Watership Down Revisited - Part Two

Finishing this book early on a warm Sunday morning gave me a renewed longing to live on a farm in the English countryside. It is clear that the author was intimately familiar with the setting and with human nature. The fact that the characters are rabbits rather than humans is enchanting.

I love many characters in this book, but Hazel is my favorite. Hazel is a great leader. Is it because he is the cleverest rabbit? No. The biggest? No. The best fighter? No. Hazel is none of these, but Hazel is a great leader because he understands that for the group to survive and prosper he must effectively utilize all of his resources. He asks each rabbit to employ his own unique talents. Each rabbit knows that his gift is appreciated. Hazel even embraces those gifts that he does not understand; he is not afraid of the unknown. He has great courage and trust. He asks none to do what he would not do himself. He is loved by his followers.

And by those who read his story.


  1. I read this book when I was in 6th or 7th grade. I can't remember which. I don't remember liking it because I hate when animals die, and I think the idea of animals ganging up on each other was disturbing to me. But I'm thinking reading your wonderful reviews that I should probably tackle this book as an adult and see if I have a different experience with it. :)

  2. Am hoping to finish reading this in the next day or two. Thanks for bring it back into my awareness. I agree with you on Hazel's qualities. Great book!

    Whatcha reading next Ms. Tryton?

  3. Pam, I recommend rereading it. I hate when animals die, too (was once traumatized watching a penguin get killed by a sea lion and have never like sea lions since even though I understand about the food chain) but I believe you would view it differently now.

    Estelle, I'm currently reading Artemis Fowl. It's a delight so far and will probably be a quick read.