Watership Down


Richard Adams

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Watership Down: Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

As the sun rises, the rabbits take shelter in a thorn patch in the middle of a field and Hazel takes stock of the group’s surroundings. As he traverses the field he smells a strange new scent and decides to go see what it is. Hazel runs through the meadow and up a hill. On the other side, he spots a field of beans in full flower. Though he knows rabbits can’t eat these plants, their strong scent and lush greenery will provide cover, and they can stay there as long as they please.
Hazel is intrepid and brave, putting his own safety on the line to try and find the safest, best conditions for the larger group.
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Hazel returns and tells the group he has found a place for them to rest. As they begin drowsily traversing the field, Silver and Bigwig lead the way while the others go slowly behind them. Soon, a crow sets upon their group and begins attacking Fiver and Pipkin. Hazel distracts the crow as Silver and Bigwig set upon it. It takes off, and the group continues on their way. 
Everywhere the rabbits go, there is danger—even when they seem on the verge of finding a safe place to rest and recuperate, the natural world does not pause for them.
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The rabbits arrive in the bean field and take shelter beneath the plants, but Pipkin is breathing heavily and seems to be in pain. Hazel takes a look at the rabbit’s foot and sees that he has a thorn embedded in his paw. Hazel carefully works the thorn out, then urges Pipkin to lick his paw and sleep, sheltered as they are in their new hiding place.
Even though Hazel knows that there are uncountable threats all around them, he does his best to help soothe and comfort his fellow rabbits, urging them to ease their minds. Hazel knows that however stressful or dangerous things are now, there is still a long way to go.
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