Fiver was in a panic. The rabbit guards who had removed him from his Prison burrow were not being rough but their towering image still frightened him. He wasn't as brave as his older brother. His brother had been so close to being a member of the Owlsia before they had been forced to leave Sandelwood.
He had been so proud of his older brother. His brother had led the complaining rabbits to Watership down. He had organized the digging. He had realized that the future of Watership down depended on us getting more rabbits (preferably does) to join them. Plus he had persuaded, planned and sorted out the rescue of Primrose and Blackavar.
So where had it gone wrong? Bigwig had managed to fight the Efrafan's so he, Primrose and Blackavar could escape to the border.
Hazel, Bigwig, Primrose and Blackavar had made it to the bridge where the others were waiting in the large floating object or 'boat' as Kehaar had informed us. Blackberry was quickly gnawing at the rope that tethered the 'boat' to the land. She could hear the owlsia thundering towards us but the rope was thicker then she had realized. She needed a little more time.
'Fiver,' Hazel had barked over the sound of the approaching enemy, 'help the others get Primrose and Blackavar comfortable in the boat. Hurry.'
Blackavar was sniffing at the edge of the boat, confused. Primrose was less curious and simply hopped into the boat like she did it every day. Fiver was starting to understand why his brother liked her.
Hawkbit hopped over to Blackavar and pawed confidently at the edge. 'Don't worry. It seems strange but Hazel says its safe and Hazel is always right.'
Fiver noticed his ears droop quickly in response to Bigwig's warning stare. Hawkbit can never hold his tongue. Sighing Fiver hopped to Blackavar and was about to assure him that the boat was safe when Kehaar squarks a warning. Hazel was confronting General Woundwort, trying to give everyone more time.
Hazel is a wonderful leader and Chief rabbit but he is too protective of his people. The Watership down rabbits knew that he would never be a match for General Woundwort, fighting wise. Brains maybe but Woundwort was more heavy and looked like he had fought rabbits stronger then Hazel.
The appearance was enough to persuade Blackavar to get on the boat and cower under the planks that cross the length of the boat. Protectively, Primrose coiled up next to him and started to shush him. Dandelion had joined Blackberry in tearing at the rope, Blackberry didn't stop him but one eye was on Hazel and the confrontation.
Bigwig had hopped back on the bank and next to Hazel, roaring as only Bigwig does. The appearance of the general had forced Fiver to a frozen position, deaf to Hawkbit who was whimpering next to him.
General Woundwort moved a huge paw forward, his blind eye was frighting. His other eye flashed dangerously. 'You are trapped. You can either jump in the river or be torn to pieces. There is no where left to run'.
Fiver was still frozen on the bank. Campion and Vervain was hopping forward like obedient soldiers. He could count four other well built rabbits further up the bank but there were probably more close to the bridge. Fiver turned my attention to Blackberry and Dandelion, probably unhelpfully urging them to hurry up.
Dandelion rudely asked if he wanted to help.
Blinking out some courage Fiver was about to do just that when Bigwig let out a roar and jumped at Woundwort. The attack was so sudden that the General and Efrafrans were a little started. Woundwort however soon recovered and slapped his attack away.
In the confusion, the rope had thinned dangerously. Blackberry was so frightened at the noise of the battle that she cuffed Dandelion away and yelled at Hawkbit, Hazel, Bigwig and Fiver to get on the boat now.
Keheer swooped down at that point confusing the Efrafrans enough for Bigwig to break away. Hawkbit hopped on the boat and Fiver was about to follow when sharp teeth snapped on his neck and pulled him away. Hawkbit noticed too late as the rope snapped.
Bigwig meanwhile had already jumped for the boat but the call of his name told Fiver that Hazel hadn't followed. Fiver wiggled and tried to cuff at his capture. He must have been lucky because with a cry, his captor let go of him and he ran with his brother to the edge of the bank, avoiding attacks and pouncing rabbits.
It looked like they could jump for it however their escape was blocked off by Vervain and the General. Hazel turned to try and escape another way but it was becoming obvious that there was nothing they could do. They were surrounded and the boat was now too far to jump. Inside the boat, Bigwig was perched on the edge of the boat, watching helplessly. The other rabbits were also watching in horror.
Hazel quickly moved Fiver behind him, himself in a fighting position. The general only laughed at their helplessness.
'Not so clever now." he laughed, 'where's your great warren now?" He raised onto his back legs, his huge form casting a dangerous shadow over them, "Owslia, bring these prisoners back to Efrafia.
The last thing that Fiver remembered was a set of large, terrifying rabbits jumping on them before the world went back to the tone of his name.