Summary (Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition)
“The Burrow” opens with the successful completion of the burrow and the narrator claiming that he is no longer afraid, then immediately stating his fear that someone could inadvertently discover the opening of the burrow and “destroy everything for good.” Though at the zenith of his life, he cannot be tranquil, even in his burrow’s strongest, innermost chamber, for some unknown, unnamed enemy may be burrowing toward him. The narrator has the advantage of knowing all the burrow’s passages and each of its more than fifty rooms; he is, however, growing old. Not only do real, external enemies frighten him; so do legendary creatures of the inner earth, in whom he firmly believes. Still, the burrow is peaceful, and hunting the “small fry” that venture through it gives him a constant, if modest, food supply.
The narrator boasts particularly of his Castle Keep, the burrow’s chief cell, into the construction of which he has literally poured his life’s blood, pounding its walls with his forehead to harden them. In the Keep he has placed all of his food stores, the extent of which he now gloatingly contemplates. On the other hand, he sometimes fears that storing all of his food in one place may be disastrously wrong. At such times, he panics and feverishly redistributes it to several chambers, randomly. Then, reflecting on the problems with the scheme—and the cost to his conceit when he can no longer see all of his stores together—he puts...
(The entire section is 1248 words.)
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