All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.
Animals don't behave like men,' he said. 'If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill they kill. But they don't sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures' lives and hurting them. They have dignity and animality.
Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it.
You know how you let yourself think that everything will be all right if you can only get to a certain place or do a certain thing. But when you get there you find it's not that simple.
My Chief Rabbit has told me to stay and defend this run, and until he says otherwise, I shall stay here. --Bigwig.
There's terrible evil in the world." It comes from men," said Holly. "All other elil do what they have to do and Frith moves them as he moves us. They live on the earth and they need food. Men will never rest till they've spoiled the earth and destroyed the animals.
There is nothing that cuts you down to size like coming to some strange and marvelous place where no one even stops to notice that you stare about you.
Like the pain of a bad wound, the effect of a deep shock takes some while to be felt. When a child is told, for the first time in his life, that a person he has known is dead, although he does not disbelieve it, he may well fail to comprehend it and later ask--perhaps more than once--where the dead person is and when he is coming back.
Black Rabbit: Hazel... Hazel... you know me, don't you? Hazel: I don't know. [the apparition reveals himself to be the Black Rabbit, and Hazel gasps] Hazel: Yes, my lord. I know you. Black Rabbit: I've come to ask if you'd like to join my Owsla. We shall be glad to have you, and I know you'd like it. You've been feeling tired, haven't you? If you're ready, we might go along now. [Hazel looks at all the younger rabbits of Watership Down] Black Rabbit: You needn't worry about them. They'll be all right, and thousands like them. If you come along now, I'll show you what I mean.
Human beings say, "It never rains but it pours." This is not very apt, for it frequently does rain without pouring. The rabbits' proverb is better expressed. They say, "One cloud feels lonely": and indeed it is true that the sky will soon be overcast.
The rabbits mingled naturally. They did not talk for talking's sake, in the artificial manner that human beings - and sometimes even their dogs and cats - do. But this did not mean that they were not communicating; merely that they were not communicating by talking.
They want to be natural, the anti-social little beasts. They just don't realize that everyone's good depends on everyone's cooperation.
I am sorry for you with all my heart. But you cannot blame us, for you came to kill us if you could.
Rabbits live close to death and when death comes closer than usual, thinking about survival leaves little room for anything else.
At that moment, in the sunset on Watership Down, there was offered to General Woundwort the opportunity to show whether he was really the leader of vision and genius which he believed himself to be, or whether he was no more than a tyrant with the courage and cunning of a pirate. For one beat of his pulse the lame rabbit's idea shone clearly before him. He grasped it and realized what it meant. The next, he had pushed it away from him.
That wasn't why they destroyed the warren. It was just because we were in their way. They killed us to suit themselves.
Rabbits (says Mr. Lockley) are like human beings in many ways. One of these is certainly their staunch ability to withstand disaster and to let the stream of their life carry them along, past reaches of terror and loss. They have a certain quality which it would not be accurate to describe as callousness or indifference. It is, rather, a blessedly circumscribed imagination and an intuitive feeling that Life is Now. A foraging wild creature, intent above all upon survival, is as strong as the grass.
Would that the dead were not dead! But there is grass that must be eaten, pellets that must be chewed, hraka that must be passed, holes that must be dug, sleep that must be slept.
There is not a day or night but a doe offers her life for her kittens, or some honest captain of Owsla his life for his Chief Rabbit's. Sometimes it is taken, sometimes it is not. But there is no bargain, for here, what is, is what must be.
To come to the end of a time of anxiety and fear! To feel the cloud that hung over us lift and disperse—the cloud that dulled the heart and made happiness no more than a memory! This at least is one joy that must have been known by almost every living creature.
For that matter, Odysseus himself might have borrowed a trick or two from the rabbit hero, for he is very old and was never at a loss for a trick to deceive his enemies.
Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it. For them there is no winter food problem. They have fires and warm clothes. The winter cannot hurt them and therefore increases their sense of cleverness and security. For birds and animals, as for poor men, winter is another matter. Rabbits, like most wild animals, suffer hardship.
A wild animal that feels that it no longer has any reason to live reaches in the end a point when its remaining energies may actually be directed toward dying.
Love the animals. God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Don’t trouble it, don’t harass them, don’t deprive them of their happiness, don’t work against God’s intent. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.
Bluebell had been saying that he knew the men hated us for raiding their crops and gardens, and Toadflax answered, 'That wasn't why they destroyed the warren. It was just because we were in their way. They killed us to suit themselves.
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?.
This was their way of honoring the dead. The story over, the demands of their own hard, rough lives began to re-assert themselves in their hearts, in their nerves, their blood and appetites. Would that the dead were not dead! But there is grass that must be eaten, pellets that must be chewed, hraka that must be passed, holes that must be dug, sleep that must be slept. Odysseus brings not one man to shore with him. Yet he sleeps sound beside Calypso and when he wakes thinks only of Penelope.
Who wants to hear about brave deeds when he’s ashamed of his own, and who likes an open, honest tale from someone he’s deceiving?.
We do not take moonlight for granted. It is like snow, or like dew on a July morning. It does not reveal but changes what it covers.
With a kind of wry envy, Hazel realized that Bigwig was actually looking forward to meeting the Efrafan assault. He knew he could fight and he meant to show it. He was not thinking of anything else. The hopelessness of their chances had no important place in his thoughts. Even the sound of the digging, clearer already, only set him thinking of the best way to sell his life as dearly as he could.
A magpie, seeing some light-colored object conspicuous on the empty slope, flew closer to look. but all that lay there was a splintered peg and a twisted length of wire.