Watership Down

by: Richard Adams

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

"The rabbits became strange in many ways, different from other rabbits. They knew well enough what was happening. But even to themselves they pretended that all was well, for the food was good, they were protected, they had nothing to fear but the one fear; and that struck here and there, never enough at a time to drive them away. They forgot the ways of wild rabbits. They forgot El-ahrairah, for what use had they for tricks and cunning, living in the enemy's warren and paying his price?"

In this passage, Fiver has finally figured out the problem with Cowslip's warren. The rabbits are all fed by a farmer who keeps their predators away and makes life easy for them until he catches them in one of his snares. Fiver explains, from the perspective of the rabbits, how they became trapped in that unnatural existence, unable to escape it because they had lost the ability to live in the wild. Everything was good about their lives except the fact that they lived with death among them and accepted it. Even though they pretended that everything was all right, in reality they knew that death was a part of their warren, and they paid a terrible price for that knowledge. Fiver has tried to warn the others about the warren, but only now do they finally understand. They leave without hesitation, for they know now that the warren of the snares is not a place for rabbits to live, but a place for rabbits to die.