The next morning, Fox and Vixen have recovered. Kestrel has found water in a nearby quarry, which Toad remembers, and the animals set off for a much needed drink. Along the way Badger notices that leaves are falling, autumn is fast approaching. Badger tries to explain to Fox why he was forced to leave the Mice and Voles behind, but Fox's mind is on Vixen. Toad is getting tired as his hibernation time is getting nearer, so Fox decides he should ride on him.
The quarry is surrounded by a wire fence and while the Mice and Toad have no problem hopping through, the larger animals have to wait while Mole tunnels underneath. Inside the quarry, the animals find it a wonderful place. Suddenly they hear a strange noise, looking up they see a heron fly over making a loud whistling noise, Owl is very unimpressed. The water is lovely and cool, and all the animals enjoy a drink, Owl and Kestrel even have a bathe. For once the animals actually feel safe. The heron soon comes to introduce himself. His name is Whistler, after the noise he makes when he flies. He was accidently shot in the wing by a hunter during a pheasant shoot.
Whistler happilly catches the animals fish for breakfast. Toad is slightly jealous and decides to prove that he can fish too. He surfaces with a tiny fish, but is suddenly grabbed by a huge carp, who traps Toad in his mouth Whistler flies to Toads rescue, capturing the fish. Toad feels sorry for the dying carp and asks Whistler to throw it back in the water. Whistler is impressed and decides to join the animals, in the hope of finding a female heron at White Deer Park. He and Vixen both take the oath.
After leaving the quarry, the animals manage to walk into the middle of a pheasant shoot. Fox tells everyone to keep together and keep quiet, but one of the baby rabbits wanders out and is shot dead. His parents tearfully comfort one another, but Fox points out that the rabbit may have saved the rest of them, as the hunter is leaving. That evening, Owl asks Whistler how he is enjoying the journey. He says he can see why they all stick together.