THEY TOILED AND SWEATED to get the hay in! But their efforts were
rewarded, for the harvest was an even bigger success than they
Sometimes the work was hard; the implements had been designed
for human beings and not for animals, and it was a great drawback
that no animal was able to use any tool that involved standing
on his hind legs. But the pigs were so clever that they could
think of a way round every difficulty. As for the horses, they
knew every inch of the field, and in fact understood the business
of mowing and raking far better than Jones and his men had ever
done. The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised
the others. With their superior knowledge it was natural that
they should assume the leadership. Boxer and Clover would harness
themselves to the cutter or the horse-rake (no bits or reins were
needed in these days, of course) and tramp steadily round and
round the field with a pig walking behind and calling out 'Gee
up, comrade!' or 'Whoa back, comrade!' as the case might be. And
every animal down to the humblest worked at turning the hay and
gathering it. Even the ducks and hens toiled to and fro all day
in the sun, carrying tiny wisps of hay in their beaks. In the
end they finished the harvest in two days' less time than it had
usually taken Jones and his men. Moreover, it was the biggest
harvest that the farm had ever seen. There was no wastage whatever;
the hens and ducks with their sharp eyes had gathered up the very
last stalk. And not an animal on the farm had stolen so much as
All through that summer the work of the farm went like clockwork.
The animals were happy as they had never conceived it possible
to be. Every mouthful of food was an acute positive pleasure,
now that it was truly their own food, produced by themselves and
for themselves, not doled out to them by a grudging master. With
the worthless parasitical human beings gone, there was more for
everyone to eat. There was more leisure too, inexperienced though
the animals were. They met with many difficulties - for instance,
later in the year, when they harvested the corn, they had to tread
it out in the ancient style and blow away the chaff with their
breath, since the farm possessed no threshing machine - but the
pigs with their cleverness and Boxer with his tremendous muscles
always pulled them through. Boxer was the admiration of everybody.
He had been a hard worker even in Jones's time, but now he seemed
more like three horses than one; there were days when the entire
work of the farm seemed to rest on his mighty shoulders. From
morning to night he was pushing and pulling, always at the spot
where the work was hardest. He had made an arrangement with one
of the cockerels to call him in the mornings half an hour earlier
than anyone else, and would put in some volunteer labour at whatever
seemed to be most needed, before the regular day's work began.
His answer to every problem, every setback, was 'I will work harder!'
- which he had adopted as his personal motto.
But everyone worked according to his capacity The hens and ducks,
for instance, saved five bushels of corn at the harvest by gathering
up the stray grains. Nobody stole, nobody grumbled over his rations,
the quarrelling and biting and jealousy which had been normal
features of life in the old days had almost disappeared. Nobody
shirked - or almost nobody. Mollie, it was true, was not good
at getting up in the mornings, and had a way of leaving work early
on the ground that there was a stone in her hoof. And the behaviour
of the cat was somewhat peculiar. It was soon noticed that when
there was work to be done the cat could never be found. She would
vanish for hours on end, and then reappear at meal-times, or in
the evening after work was over, as though nothing had happened.
But she always made such excellent excuses, and purred so affectionately,
that it was impossible not to believe in her good intentions.
Old Benjamin, the donkey, seemed quite unchanged since the Rebellion.
He did his work in the same slow obstinate way as he had done
it in Jones's time, never shirking and never volunteering for
extra work either. About the Rebellion and its results he would
express no opinion. When asked whether he was not happier now
that Jones was gone, he would say only 'Donkeys live a long time.
None of you has ever seen a dead donkey,' and the others had to
be content with this cryptic answer.
On Sundays there was no work. Breakfast was an hour later than
usual, and after breakfast there was a ceremony which was observed
every week without fail. First came the hoisting of the flag.
Snowball had found in the harness-room an old green tablecloth
of Mrs. Jones's and had painted on it a hoof and a horn in white.
This was run up the flagstaff in the farmhouse garden every Sunday
8, morning. The flag was green, Snowball explained, to represent
the green fields of England, while the hoof and horn signified
the future Republic of the Animals which would arise when the
human race had been finally overthrown. After the hoisting of
the flag all the animals trooped into the big barn for a general
assembly which was known as the Meeting. Here the work of the
coming week was planned out and resolutions were put forward and
debated. It was always the pigs who put forward the resolutions.
The other animals understood how to vote, but could never think
of any resolutions of their own. Snowball and Napoleon were by
far the most active in the debates. But it was noticed that these
two were never in agreement: whatever suggestion either of them
made, the other could be counted on to oppose it. Even when it
was resolved - a thing no one could object to in itself - to set
aside the small paddock behind the orchard as a home of rest for
animals who were past work, there was a stormy debate over the
correct retiring age for each class of animal. The Meeting always
ended with the singing of 'Beasts of England', and the afternoon
was given up to recreation.
The pigs had set aside the harness-room as a headquarters for
themselves. Here, in the evenings, they studied blacksmithing,
carpentering, and other necessary arts from books which they had
brought out of the farmhouse. Snowball also busied himself with
organising the other animals into what he called Animal Committees.
He was indefatigable at this. He formed the Egg Production Committee
for the hens, the Clean Tails League for the cows, the Wild Comrades'
Re-education Committee (the object of this was to tame the rats
and rabbits), the Whiter Wool Movement for the sheep, and various
others, besides instituting classes in reading and writing. On
the whole, these projects were a failure. The attempt to tame
the wild creatures, for instance, broke down almost immediately.
They continued to behave very much as before, and when treated
with generosity, simply took advantage of it. The cat joined the
Reeducation Committee and was very active in it for some days.
She was seen one day sitting on a roof and talking to some sparrows
who were just out of her reach. She was telling them that all
animals were now comrades and that any sparrow who chose could
come and perch on her paw; but the sparrows kept their distance.
The reading and writing classes, however, were a great success.
By the autumn almost every animal on the farm was literate in
As for the pigs, they could already read and write perfectly.
The dogs learned to read fairly well, but were not interested
in reading anything except the Seven Commandments. Muriel, the
goat, could read somewhat better than the dogs, and sometimes
used to read to the others in the evenings from scraps of newspaper
which she found on the rubbish heap. Benjamin could read as well
as any pig, but never exercised his faculty. So far as he knew,
he said, there was nothing worth reading. Clover learnt the whole
alphabet, but could not put words together. Boxer could not get
beyond the letter D. He would trace out A, B, C, D, in the dust
with his great hoof, and then would stand staring at the letters
with his ears back, sometimes shaking his forelock, trying with
all his might to remember what came next and never succeeding.
On several occasions, indeed, he did learn E, F, G, H, but by
the time he knew them, it was always discovered that he had forgotten
A, B, C, and D. Finally he decided to be content with the first
four letters, and used to write them out once or twice every day
to refresh his memory. Mollie refused to learn any but the six
letters which spelt her own name. She would form these very neatly
out of pieces of twig, and would then decorate them with a flower
or two and walk round them admiring them.
None of the other animals on the farm could get further than the
letter A. It was also found that the stupider animals, such as
the sheep, hens, and ducks, were unable to learn the Seven Commandments
by heart. After much thought Snowball declared that the Seven
Commandments could in effect be reduced to a single maxim, namely:
'Four legs good, two legs bad.' This, he said, contained the essential
principle of Animalism. Whoever had thoroughly grasped it would
be safe from human influences. The birds at first objected, since
it seemed to them that they also had two legs, but Snowball proved
to them that this was not so.
'A bird's wing, comrades,' he said, 'is an organ of propulsion
and not of manipulation. It should therefore be regarded as a
leg. The distinguishing mark of man is the hand, the instrument
with which he does all his mischief.'
The birds did not understand Snowball's long words, but they accepted
his explanation, and all the humbler animals set to work to learn
the new maxim by heart. FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD, was inscribed
on the end wall of the barn, above the Seven Commandments and
in bigger letters When they had once got it by heart, the sheep
developed a great liking for this maxim, and often as they lay
in the field they would all start bleating 'Four legs good, two
legs bad! Four legs good, two legs bad!' and keep it up for hours
on end, never growing tired of it.
Napoleon took no interest in Snowball's committees. He said that
the education of the young was more important than anything that
could be done for those who were already grown up. It happened
that Jessie and Bluebell had both whelped soon after the hay harvest,
giving birth between them to nine sturdy puppies. As soon as they
were weaned, Napoleon took them away from their mothers, saying
that he would make himself responsible for their education. He
took them up into a loft which could only be reached by a ladder
from the harness-room, and there kept them in such seclusion that
the rest of the farm soon forgot their existence.
The mystery of where the milk went to was soon cleared up. It
was mixed every day into the pigs' mash. The early apples were
now ripening, and the grass of the orchard was littered with windfalls.
The animals had assumed as a matter of course that these would
be shared out equally; one day, however, the order went forth
that all the windfalls were to be collected and brought to the
harness-room for the use of the pigs. At this some of the other
animals murmured, but it was no use. All the pigs were in full
agreement on this point, even Snowball and Napoleon. Squealer
was sent to make the necessary explanations to the others.
'Comrades!' he cried. 'You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs
are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many
of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself.
Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health.
Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain
substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We
pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of
this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your
welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those
apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our
duty? Jones would come back! Yes, Jones would come back! Surely,
comrades,' cried Squealer almost pleadingly, skipping from side
to side and whisking his tail, 'surely there is no one among you
who wants to see Jones come back?'
Now if there was one thing that the animals were completely certain
of, it was that they did not want Jones back. When it was put
to them in this light, they had no more to say. The importance
of keeping the pigs in good health was all too obvious. So it
was agreed without further argument that the milk and the windfall
apples (and also the main crop of apples when they ripened) should
be reserved for the pigs alone.
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