Watership Down by Richard Adams both traumatized and delighted me. The story ensured I would never look at rabbits the same again nor would I ever eat rabbit stew again. This masterful tale is an engaging and amazing story of family, strength, courage against impossible circumstance, and vulnerability born nobly. This was the book’s beginning from my post Books & Beginnings III
The next book enraged me, sent me into despair, and informed me on the corrupted nature of my fellow man. It turned the playground bully into a monster. I had met in some form or another every character in this book.
When I finished it, it was a summer evening. I was nine years old. My parents were on the screen porch having a drink. I ran out, book in hand which I had finished in a single day, and slung it at them. I wished my mother had never told me of its existence. It haunts me to this day. It is brilliant. It is true. It is fiction. I wonder if you recognize it.
The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon. Though he had taken off his school sweater and trailed it now from one hand, his grey shirt stuck to him and his hair was plastered to his forehead. All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat. He was clambering heavily among the creepers and broken trunks when a bird, a vision of red and yellow, flashed upwards with a witch-like cry; and this cry was echoed by another.
“Hi!” it said. “Wait a minute!”