I’m deeply troubled by the thought that my young adolescent self was not as hard-hearted as I’ve always believed. See, I first read Watership Down while either 11 or 12, on a family vacation, and I remember bawling my eyes out at some point near the end, thereby casting a pall on the rest of the holiday. So when I thought to re-read this, I braced myself for tragedy… only there isn’t any really, or at least none that I can understand as being sufficiently traumatic to myself at that age. Perhaps I hadn’t yet experienced epic drama of its sort before, and was more emotionally invested in the fate of the warren than I was used to feeling with fictional characters. Decades later, I’m a bit disconcerted to find that my memory has served me so poorly, though this book once again reinforces my belief that certain books should be read at a certain point in one’s life. Watership Down is a good, entertaining novel now, but it was a devastatingly excellent one to me as a child.
Oh, and Bigwig is still the greatest.