The Lower Bridge
Sun 04th Mar 2012 at 19:10:13
Box canvas 30x40” (75x100 cm)


The third part of the plan has worked perfectly: the Watership rabbits, with ten does and Blackavar, have vanished under the General nose, floating downstream on the punt.
Before passing under the Upper Bridge, most rabbits managed to get down into the bilge, but one of the does did not move and was struck by the upstream girder. The injured doe is visible in the right side of the punt, with Hyzenthlay comforting her. Acorn went flying too but escaped injury and is now resting again the side of the punt on the left.
The punt, with 22 rabbits on board, carries on its journey downstream, towards the Lower Bridge and its low arches…


Part 4: Hazel-rah
From chapter 39: The Bridges

By kind permission of Richard Adams

There was nothing to be done but wait. They drifted on and came to a second bend, where the river curved westward. The current did not slacken and the punt came round the bend almost in the middle of the stream, revolving as it did so.
The rabbits had been frightened by what had happened to Acorn and to the doe, and remained squatting miserably, half in and half out of the bilge. Hazel crept back to the raised bow and looked ahead.

The river broadened and the current slackened. He realized that they had begun to drift more slowly. The nearer bank was high and the trees stood close and thick, but on the further bank the ground was low and open. Grassy, it stretched away, smooth as the mown gallops on Watership Down. Hazel hoped that they might somehow drop out of the current and reach that side, but the punt moved quietly on, down the very centre of the broad pool. The open bank slipped by and now the trees towered on both sides. Downstream, the pool was closed by the second bridge, of which Kehaar had spoken.
It was old, built of darkened bricks. Ivy trailed over it and the valerian and creeping mauve toadflax. Well out from either bank stood four low arches - scarcely more than culverts, each filled by the stream to within a foot of the apex. Through them, thin segments of daylight showed from the downstream side. The piers did not project, but against each lay a little accumulation of flotsam, from which driftweed and sticks continually broke away to be carried through the bridge.

- Aldo Galli -