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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES
CHAPTER 28 - At the Foot of the Hill
Hazel is forced to spend a couple of nights in the bank at the foot of Watership Down before he recovers enough strength to get back to the top. Kehaar proves useful again in that he knows about buckshot and is able to use his sharp beak to pick the shot out of Hazelís leg. Hazel is remorseful, calling his trip to the farm a "silly lark,í but Holly comforts him by pointing out that at least it brought them the only two does they have. Still Hazel anticipates future conflicts if they donít find a way to get more does. The only solution is to return to Efrafa and get the does. Holly tells him that it canít be done by ordinary means; the only way to do it is with a trick, and he cannot imagine any trick that would get the better of them. Hazel turns to Blackberry and assigns him the task of coming up with a trick that will get the does out of Efrafa, defeat the resulting pursuit and make the Honeycomb rabbits impossible to find. Holly disagrees, saying the Hazel has no idea what he is up against and is making a bad mistake that will get them all killed. For once, Fiver has a strange turn of his insights. He says that even though he knows going to Efrafa ought to feel wrong, somehow, it doesnít. He believes that it can be done.
CHAPTER 29 - Return and Departure
Within a couple of days Hazel is well enough to return to the top of the Down. He announces to the other rabbits that he and Blackberry have a plan for going back to Efrafa to make another attempt to get more does. Holly feels obliged to speak against him, certain that it will be a complete disaster. He agrees that Woundwort may not have anyone cleverer than Blackberry and Fiver, but the problem will be getting away with the does. They argue for a bit and then one asks for Fiverís opinion. Fiver says that nothing is wrong with the plan and that if he has any misgiving later on, he will not keep it to himself. Furthermore, Kehaar is a part of the plan. Finally they sort out who will go and who will stay. Holly, Strawberry, Buckthorn and the hutch rabbits will remain at the Honeycomb.
Fiverís change in status is becoming quite apparent. Holly speaks of the cleverness of Blackberry and Fiver in the same sentence, and other rabbits ask how Fiver feels about an action before they decide to take it. All of the rabbits seem to be accepting Fiverís gift as a real skill to be recognized and utilized to their best advantage. Holly might seem like a logical rabbit to send back with the group as he knows what to expect, but as a former leader, he has "had his chance." While it is not his fault that he failed, he does not show the ability to develop conplex strategy that is needed for accomplishing their task.