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Watership Down

Richard Adams

Chapters 36–38

Chapters 33–35

Chapters 36–38, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

Chapter 36: Approaching Thunder

One of the officers wakes Bigwig up, and he heads out to feed with his Mark. Outside, he sees Kehaar and, while eating, talks to the bird. He tells Kehaar that the rabbits must be ready at sunset and that he must attack the sentries. Bigwig goes to tell Hyzenthlay and her friend Thethuthinnang about the plan. Just as Bigwig gets ready to make the break that night, General Woundwort calls him aside to talk to him.

Chapter 37: The Thunder Builds Up

Woundwort questions Bigwig because one of the officers from the patrol Bigwig encountered while running from the fox has recognized him. Bigwig explains to Woundwort that he did not bring the fox on them intentionally. Woundwort asks him if he knows anything about the other rabbits that his Patrol was tracking. Bigwig says that he saw their tracks, but otherwise has no idea where they went. Woundwort invites Bigwig to go on a Wide Patrol with him two days later and then tells him to keep an eye on Hyzenthlay because there may be more trouble.

Hazel and the other rabbits realize that something must have gone wrong. They return to the other side of the river, trying to keep their spirits up. Bigwig is very worried, and to add to his troubles he learns that Hyzenthlay and Thethuthinnang have told the other does to be ready. He is worried that one of them will talk and that they will be found out. The next morning, Bigwig finds a way to send a message to Kehaar by using another officer as his unwitting pawn. He tells the bird to come back that night. Later, Bigwig finds Blackavar apart from his escort for a moment and tells him to be ready to break later that night.

Chapter 38: The Thunder Breaks

Hazel and the others get Bigwig's message through Kehaar and prepare to meet him. Hyzenthlay wakes Bigwig up to tell him that a doe has been arrested. He tells her to gather the others quickly and goes to get Blackavar. Bigwig attacks one of Blackavar's escorts, while the prisoner fights with the other. Bigwig knocks down both escorts and then takes off with Blackavar and the does right behind him. They hear stamping and know that the Efrafans have spotted their escape.

Woundwort learns what has happened and takes off after them. Campion tries to get Bigwig to stop, but they continue on. Soon, however, the General and his men catch up to them. Just when the escapees turn to fight, lightning flashes, giving everyone pause. It begins to pour, and then Kehaar attacks out of nowhere. The other rabbits come to Bigwig and the does' aid, and they make a hasty retreat towards the river.

Woundwort and his rabbits come at them from one side while Campion comes from the other. Now all the rabbits are on the boat except Dandelion, who is hiding in the bushes, and Woundwort comes to kill them all. Hazel says they must leave, but Bigwig cries out that Kehaar is there. Woundwort leaps back, and Dandelion jumps on the boat. The force breaks the already frayed rope, and the rabbits drift away from Woundwort and Efrafa.

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