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Revisiting a Classic

Devon Murphy-Petersen devonm@waukee.lib.ia.us
Devon Murphy-Petersen devonm@waukee.lib.ia.us

This summer I’ve thoroughly enjoyed revisiting some old favorites. I just finished a book that I first read in high school (I’m not going to say how many years back – suffice it to say a loooong time ago!) “Watership Down” was originally a story that Richard Adams told his two daughters to pass the time while on a long car trip. The girls persistently insisted he write it all down, which he eventually did. After being rejected by six publishers, the book was published in England in 1972.

“Watership Down” tells the story of a band of rabbits fleeing the destruction of their warren by a land developer. Lead by two brothers, the rabbits encounter myriad dangers and obstacles along the journey to their new home. After settling in a lovely meadow, the rabbits realize there are no females among them, giving rise to a whole new series of adventures.

Although portrayed in their natural setting, these rabbits exhibit human-like personality, wit, and comradery. They have their own language - lapin, and share stories and myths among themselves.

More than a tale about rabbits, this book explores ethics, family, perseverance, and the universal longing for a stable and comfortable home. If you missed this book when it came out in the 1970’s, you’ll want to give it a try now.

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