Warning: Contains Spoilers!
‘Call it the Silver Hare,’ he said softly.
Aufwader’s Thoughts: The start of this chapter really just adds to what I was saying last time about the dream-like quality of Whortle’s moment in the past – not because he wakes up from it, but because he never actually reaches the Hobbers.
I said previously that the journey to the past was all exactly what Whortle must’ve been wishing for, and that it was odd that he wasn’t more traumatised by the vicious battle taking place before his eyes. If Whortle’s trip into history was constructed as an exercise in wish-fulfilment for him by the water voles, it would make sense that he would never actually engage in any real fighting. He can go on all he likes about bashing evil meanie devils, but Whortle is still a very young mouse who has never seen real hardship, and the thought of having to actually slaughter other creatures in battle probably isn’t something he likes to dwell on.
Aside from all this rimpti-too theorising, we’ve got a very sweet chapter with some gentle humour and a dash of boat-building. I love the sneaky way in which the mice conceal the Silver Hare for the next day – there must be no end of rivals out to beat them to their prize, and I’m looking forward to meeting them.
Matt’s Thoughts: I might have imagined this, but in this whole chapter – apart from some confusion on Whortle’s part when he woke up – almost nothing sinister happened at all.
It does give us a chance, however, to get a feel for all of Whortle’s friends in a way we never quite got with The Crystal Prison. Given that I fondly remember reading the original Deptford Mice to my siblings with all the voices, I did have a chuckle that Hodge – my namesake – is reigning Fennywolde King of Impressions.