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'Watership Down' Author Richard Adams Dies At 96

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The author of the beloved children's book "Watership Down" has died.  

People reports that Richard Adams died peacefully in his sleep on Christmas Eve, at the age of 96.  

“Richard’s much-loved family announce with sadness that their dear father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve, ” a statement from the family read.

Adams was best known for his children’s book, "Watership Down," about a group of rabbits in search of a new home, which was published in 1972 and went on to become one of the bestselling children’s books of all time.  The novel earned Adams a Carnegie Medal and Guardian children’s fiction prize. 

The book’s website contained the following passage from Adams’ book:  

It seemed to Hazel that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge of the ditch, but stopped for a moment to watch his rabbits and to try to get used to the extraordinary feeling that strength and speed were flowing inexhaustibly out of him into their sleek young bodies and healthy senses.

‘You needn’t worry about them,’ said his companion. ‘They’ll be alright — and thousands like them.’

"Watership Down" was later made into an animated film which featured Art Garfunkel's hit song, “Bright Eyes.” 

Adams said the idea for "Watership Down" came to him during a car trip with his daughters, who asked him to tell them a story.  “I had been put on the spot and I started off, ‘Once there were two rabbits called Hazel and Fiver.’ And I just took it on from there,” he said. 

Sources: People, Watership Down / Photo credit: Daily Mail

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