Watership Down


Best of 2017

We’re away until January 3, but we’re reposting some of our favorite pieces from 2017. Enjoy your holiday!


My parents had known each other for only three weeks when my dad asked my mom to marry him. She was stunned by his proposal, and so she said, Let me think about it. And she sat there for a few minutes in silence, thinking, while my dad, in agony, sat there and watched her think.

After considering the question logically, my mom said yes, for five reasons. She laughs when she tells this story, though she assures me that it’s true. In those few minutes, she decided that even though she hardly knew my dad, she ought to marry him because:

  1. He, like her, ate the entire apple, swallowed the core and all the seeds, so she knew he was not wasteful or pretentious.
  2. He, like her, had always wanted to name a son the unusual name Rory, and that seemed an important, even wistful, thing to have in common.
  3. My dad knew all the words to the Kenny Loggins song “House at Pooh Corner,” so she knew he was probably kind to children.
  4. He, like her, was an Idaho Democrat.
  5. Most importantly, while they were dating those three weeks, they read Watership Down.

That was the tipping point for my mom: if this strange and loud man could become so invested in the fates of rabbits as to have tears fill his eyes while he read, then he was, without question, a good man. They’ve been married now for thirty-three years.