Watership Down


Richard Adams

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Watership Down: Chapter 26 Summary & Analysis

Fiver sleeps uneasily throughout the day and remembers the loss of Hazel with a sharp pain each time he wakes. In his dreams, he has a conversation with a human man who brags about being able to kill rabbits with impunity as he puts up a notice board which reads “In memory of Hazel-rah! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!” The man tells Fiver that he is going to string Hazel up from the notice board after retrieving his body from “th’ bloody ‘ole.”
Fiver experiences another one of his visions, and this time, the reader is able to watch it unfold. Fiver’s visions aren’t literal, it seems, but rather atmospheric or metaphorical. His mind seems to both taunt him and give him the answers, as evidenced by this dream which is both painful and informative.
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Blackberry wakes Fiver to tell him that a bit of the roof elsewhere in the warren has fallen in due to the heat. Blackberry tells Fiver that he was kicking and squealing in his sleep and attempts to console him by telling him that Hazel has gone to be with Lord Frith. He also informs Fiver that Holly and the others have returned, maimed and ill—“everything’s as bad as it could be.”
Normally Fiver is the rabbit most attuned to doom, gloom, and bad portents—but now things are so dire that in a rare turn of events, Fiver may be the only one to show any optimism.
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Fiver asks Blackberry if he will take him to the place where Hazel was shot, as he believes that Hazel is still alive. Blackberry leads Fiver across the fields and to the ditch where Hazel was last seen. Fiver goes down into the ditch and moves along the bottom into the “hole” described in his dream—the drainage hole. Inside, Fiver finds Hazel, alive but weak.
Another one of Fiver’s visions proves helpful. Just as Fiver and Hazel made it out of Sandleford just in time, this latest vision has helped Fiver to find Hazel before it became too late to save him.
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