Sunday, 21 July 2013

Watership Down


Well Roland is hanging on in there. His back leg has what I suspect to be some nerve damage, and is looking pretty useless, but in general baby rabbit terms , he looks quite bright and indeed feisty.
( you can tell this by the way I have him in a rather firm strangle hold in the above photo)
If it wasn't for his gammy leg, I would have released him by now...so I suspect his only chance will be a wildlife rescue centre.
I will keep him in the spare hen house for a few more days....to see how he improves
He has just started to eat now, cabbage leaves,grass, stale bread with an occasional garnish of green grapes!

In 1972 Richard Adams wrote the wonderful Watership down which was, ( for those few that dont know) an non patronising, mature adventure story featuring a wild group of rabbits and their search for a new home.
I was eleven when I first read it, and I enjoyed the novel as much then as I did last year when I re read it. Like To kill a Mockingbird , it is one of those rare reads that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike
There is no Internet " data" to support this, but I suspect that rabbit sales in the early 1970s soared after Watership Down's publication. On reflection, it surprises me that I never bought one.....after all I adored the novel with a passion. Having said that, I did have several guinea pigs, numerous shoals of tropical fish, a gaggle of red eared terrapins and a large sweet jar full of stick insects to look after, so rabbits, were not a high need on my agenda
Filled with rabbit nostalgia, I aim to dig out my old copy of Adams' novel today and I will start it on my break at work tonight.
If you have not read it....please do so......it's a cracking tale ........a bit like game of thrones with fluffy bits.

42 comments:

  1. I loved the book, but wasn't so keen on the animated film.

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    1. It was shite cro was it not?

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  2. Good old Roland. I am going to find the photo of Rabs my baby rabbit hand-reared by me. Hope you don't mind John I'll do a post on her/him today?

    LLX

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    1. I will look forward in reading it

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  3. I brought the class bunny home for a weekend in 6th grade. He pooped on every step, and my dad threatened to cook Hossenfeffer.

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    1. Gilly, Gilly, Ossenfeffer, Katzenellen Bogen by the Sea

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  4. There was a standing joke here. You've read the book, seen the movie - now eat the cast.
    Like you I loved the book though I haven't reread it.
    Please let us know how Roland gets on.

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    1. A local game-serving restaurant here had that on a bill-board outside when the film came out. I once needed a translation for an item on the menu of a Bavarian restaurant, and the waitress said, "I'm sorry, but the only English word I know is Bambi".

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  5. I agree, and like Cro loved the book and was disappointed with the movie.
    Cheers

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  6. Awww..sweet little Roland! Keep us updated on his progress.

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  7. I think you've pulled off a bit of a miracle with that wee rabbit. If anyone could, it would be you.

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  8. Yeah! Congrats on getting Roland this far and even eating!
    Els

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  9. Dandelions, plantain, appleleaves and twigs, willowleaves and twigs, hawthornleaves... all very tasty and healthy for a rabbit!

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  10. I expect you already know this John but W Down began life as a story Adams told to his kids to entertain them on long car journeys. They would drive past the down and so the story was born. You've worked a miracle with young Roland. Praps he should stay with you?

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  11. I think Roland wants to stay with you and call you Daddy.

    Love,
    Janie

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  12. Thanks a lot! I've got the stupid song 'Bright Eyes' stuck in my brain now!
    Jane x

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  13. I've never read "Watership Down" and will now have to.

    By "wildlife rescue centre," you mean your house, right?

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  14. I loved the book and my kids loved the film. We never had a pet rabbit but my mother's family did. Being short of meat during WWII her mother, my grandmother, cooked their rabbit in a stew. But no-one could eat it for tears pouring down their faces.

    I've eaten non-pet rabbit many times though mostly in France. But hey, good luck to Roland and let's hope he gets safely taken in at the wildlife rescue before you start feeling peckish, John...

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  15. If you can get to the Rescue Center ASAP maybe they can help the leg. Good luck..have raised a few rescued bunnies myself!

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  16. My childhood pet rabbit was a psychopath. The binmen wouldn't come and empty our bin unless he was restrained. He smashed his way out of every hutch he ever had - he chewed a rabbit shaped hole in our back gate and just came and went as he pleased. He scared the crap out of our working terrier and was once escorted home by two policemen.....

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    1. Ah a bunny with personality!

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  17. A favorite story of mine as well....a dog eared copy was given to me by my fifth grade teacher (also at the tender age of eleven) and it helped me greatly to get through pre-adolescent awkwardness and a rash of girl bullying. I have held that teacher, Mr. tally close to my heart ever since. :). Like you John, I have Re-read it many times and love it more everytime. Most of our bunnies have been named after book characters.

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  18. Don't get me started on guinea pigs. I used to look after them when my neighbours went on holiday. The joy of it. Still. Mustn't be unkind.

    When in my teens one of the Daimler family roasted their hamster. Hamsters are stupid: You don't get yourself into an oven just before lunchtime on a Sunday. Mama Daimler never lived it down with her kids. Not that it stopped me from eating whatever she produced from that oven.

    Yes, Rabbits. I like rabbits. When they are alive. Particularly at Easter. Fertility symbol and all that. Typing this comment I am right next to your Russel Crowe feeding the baby. You do know, don't you, and it's clearly been niggling away at my subconscious for a while, what is wrong with that scene You look AT the little blighter whilst feeding it. Not away. Fine mother hen he'd make.

    Wrote you a Dear John letter over at mine. No need to blush. People falling in love with you at the rate of rabbit droppings.

    U

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    1. Tee hee..you old nutter x

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  19. I must have read that at about the same age.
    Later in life, I had a French Lilac, who was housebroken and watched TV with us. The cat never bothered it.

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  20. I read that too in the 80s. If you liked Watership Down try 'Duncton Wood' by William Horwood. It is a story about moles trying to reach their sacred mountain (in Wales) and is written in a similar vein. After reading it I couldn't bring myself to use my mole trap for years!!! With welsh speaking grandparents from North Wales, the welsh connection got to me, I really lost myself in the story and forgot that it was fiction ;) .....Sounds daft now, but it really is a good read.

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  21. Ah, such a good book! I need to read it again, it's been a long time.

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    1. If you do, tell me what you think

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  22. I loved Watership Down too John.

    Do I detect just a teeny leaning towards keeping that rabbit???

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  23. He's looking bright-eyed and perky !
    Let's hope his dangly leg gets better.
    I raised rabbits growing up, they were my constant companions, the sweetest little creatures, I thought I was the Cheshire "Miss Potter".
    ~Jo

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  24. If the only thing wrong with him is a gammy leg, he's a remarkably lucky rabbit. His guardian angel was clearly on the ball when Albert turned up.

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  25. I love Watership Down too.
    It is one of those book who never leave you after reading.

    My brother calls rabbits "the food chain" and living here in the desert you can believe it. He also said that when attacked they kind of have a heart attack and die. I always hoped that was true because they are so sweet you don't want to see them in pain even if very destructive.
    So I think Roland is quite a fighter.

    cheers, parsnip

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  26. I never read the book, and found the animated film so-so.
    May have to make a trip to the library now.
    Enjoy your break tonight, John. :-)

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  27. It's years since I've read it. We used to have a rabbit and a ginuea pig in the same pen. The rabbit used to take advantage. Often. One day they escaped. They didn't run off together I can tell you.

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  28. Alas, I have not read the book, nor watched the movie. Obviously I need to get cracking.

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  29. I will! I love stories about animals! Usually Marian Babson's cat mysteries are my favorites, but there are a few books like Under The Cats Eye, that I liked alot. Under The Cat's Eye, is probably one of my favorites. It's a fairly recent children's book, I really liked it! I will put Watership Down, on my reading list. Good luck with your rabbit. I hope it gets better! : )

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    1. Nice to have you aboard Joseph

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  30. Those of you who liked Watership Down might like "Traveller", also by Richard Adams. Traveller was General Robert E. Lee's horse and in the novel he describes the Civil War from his viewpoint. I've read WD at least 3 times - guess it's time for another go at it!

    Nancy in Iowa

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  31. Rabbit story:
    The gal that works in my office told me that every summer the kids would get cute little bunnies (there were 8 kids) and every fall they'd mysteriously disappear with the explanation that the cold was too much for them. When my friend got older she asked her dad one day why rabbits were so hardy in the wild but died of cold in captivity. His answer was....."You DID know that we ate all those rabbits, right?" I about wet my pants from laughing when she told me. I guess they were told it was chicken for years. bahahaha

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