When I was around 5 years old, my mum showed me the 1978 film of Watership Down. During the years of my childhood following this first viewing I was obsessed with it. When I was a little older I read the book and it’s message became all the more clear to me, one that it had started teaching me as a little girl with the film. The message was clear: humans are not the only living creatures on this planet to feel pain, so it is our responsibility as the species at the top, to look after and preserve as much of this world as we can, and here are the consequences if we don’t, from the perspective of a most overlooked creature: the rabbit. Watership Down taught me empathy, to understand a perspective entirely alien to my own, to truly care about life and the natural world.
So here I sit, 17 years later, in my Watership Down tee, writing this post, a few days after finding out that Richard Adams had passed away. When I found out I cried a little, I won’t lie. On my own I went upstairs and read a few quotes from the novel online (my own copy is back at my mum’s house) and sobbed a little. Because Richard Adams really did change me, Hazel, Fiver and Bigwig changed me. And I am thankful, but I guess I didn’t only cry for his passing and his family but also because it signifies a part of my childhood ending almost. Adult life, every day tries to get in the way of that pure innocent view of the world that I had when I loved everything, treasured the world and wanted to protect it. So, I guess my poem that I am about to post isn’t only about Richard Adams, his memory and his rabbits, its also about that way of seeing the world, making it live on; giving it a way to survive.