'In the road, he [Hazel] could not climb the bank and had to limp along the verge until he could crawl under a gate. Much later, as they came under the pylon line, he remembered the overgrown ditch at the foot of the hill and set himself to reach it. Once there, he lay down and at once returned to the sleep of total exhaustion.'
You are standing, probably at least, in that ditch looking back to Nuthanger Farm, looking back the way you have come. If you were a rabbit near to death that would seem a very long way indeed - the longest way in your life. However you are not Hazel and so you can look round and see a way through the thin belt of trees, you get out of the ditch and head through the narrow gap. Blackberry here went with Fiver to rescue Hazel, from here he climbed the down to tell the other rabbits that Hazel was still alive.
Watership Down is marketed in the UK as
both an adults’ and a childrens’ book,
everywhere else it is sold only as mainstream
adult fiction. It was intended for, if it was really intended at all, for older children and
younger teens, i.e. 11-14 year olds.
Some adults seem to feel threatened by the idea
that they like a children’s book.
Why? Do you?