George Orwell. Animal Farm
MR. JONES, of the Manor
Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember
to shut the popholes. With the ring of light from his lantern dancing from
side to side, he lurched across the yard, kicked off his boots at the back
door, drew himself a last glass of beer from the barrel in the scullery, and
made his way up to bed, where Mrs. Jones was already snoring.
As soon as the light in the bedroom went out there was a stirring
and a fluttering all through the farm buildings. Word had gone round during
the day that old Major, the prize Middle White boar, had had a strange dream
on the previous night and wished to communicate it to the other animals. It
had been agreed that they should all meet in the big barn as soon as Mr.
Jones was safely out of the way. Old Major (so he was always called, though
the name under which he had been exhibited was Willingdon Beauty) was so
highly regarded on the farm that everyone was quite ready to lose an hour's
sleep in order to hear what he had to say.
At one end of the big barn, on a sort of raised platform, Major was
already ensconced on his bed of straw, under a lantern which hung from a
beam. He was twelve years old and had lately grown rather stout, but he was
still a majestic-looking pig, with a wise and benevolent appearance in spite
of the fact that his tushes had never been cut. Before long the other
animals began to arrive and make themselves comfortable after their
different fashions. First came the three dogs, Bluebell, Jessie, and
Pincher, and then the pigs, who settled down in the straw immediately in
front of the platform. The hens perched themselves on the window-sills, the
pigeons fluttered up to the rafters, the sheep and cows lay down behind the
pigs and began to chew the cud. The two cart-horses, Boxer and Clover, came
in together, walking very slowly and setting down their vast hairy hoofs
with great care lest there should be some small animal concealed in the
straw. Clover was a stout motherly mare approaching middle life, who had
never quite got her figure back after her fourth foal. Boxer was an enormous
beast, nearly eighteen hands high, and as strong as any two ordinary horses
put together. A white stripe down his nose gave him a somewhat stupid
appearance, and in fact he was not of first-rate intelligence, but he was
universally respected for his steadiness of character and tremendous powers
of work. After the horses came Muriel, the white goat, and Benjamin, the
donkey. Benjamin was the oldest animal on the farm, and the worst tempered.
He seldom talked, and when he did, it was usually to make some cynical
remark-for instance, he would say that God had given him a tail to keep the
flies off, but that he would sooner have had no tail and no flies. Alone
among the animals on the farm he never laughed. If asked why, he would say
that he saw nothing to laugh at. Nevertheless, without openly admitting it,
he was devoted to Boxer; the two of them usually spent their Sundays
together in the small paddock beyond the orchard, grazing side by side and
The two horses had just lain down when a brood of ducklings, which
had lost their mother, filed into the barn, cheeping feebly and wandering
from side to side to find some place where they would not be trodden on.
Clover made a sort of wall round them with her great foreleg, and the
ducklings nestled down inside it and promptly fell asleep. At the last
moment Mollie, the foolish, pretty white mare who drew Mr. Jones's trap,
came mincing daintily in, chewing at a lump of sugar. She took a place near
the front and began flirting her white mane, hoping to draw attention to the
red ribbons it was plaited with. Last of all came the cat, who looked round,
as usual, for the warmest place, and finally squeezed herself in between
Boxer and Clover; there she purred contentedly throughout Major's speech
without listening to a word of what he was saying.
All the animals were now present except Moses, the tame raven, who
slept on a perch behind the back door. When Major saw that they had all made
themselves comfortable and were waiting attentively, he cleared his throat
"Comrades, you have heard already about the strange dream that I
had last night. But I will come to the dream later. I have something else to
say first. I do not think, comrades, that I shall be with you for many
months longer, and before I die, I feel it my duty to pass on to you such
wisdom as I have acquired. I have had a long life, I have had much time for
thought as I lay alone in my stall, and I think I may say that I understand
the nature of life on this earth as well as any animal now living. It is
about this that I wish to speak to you.
"Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us
face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we are
given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of
us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our
strength; and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are
slaughtered with hideous cruelty. No animal in England knows the meaning of
happiness or leisure after he is a year old. No animal in England is free.
The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth.
"But is this simply part of the order of nature? Is it because this
land of ours is so poor that it cannot afford a decent life to those who
dwell upon it? No, comrades, a thousand times no! The soil of England is
fertile, its climate is good, it is capable of affording food in abundance
to an enormously greater number of animals than now inhabit it. This single
farm of ours would support a dozen horses, twenty cows, hundreds of
sheep-and all of them living in a comfort and a dignity that are now almost
beyond our imagining. Why then do we continue in this miserable condition?
Because nearly the whole of the produce of our labour is stolen from us by
human beings. There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is
summed up in a single word-Man. Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove
Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished
"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does
not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he
cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals.
He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will
prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself. Our labour
tills the soil, our dung fertilises it, and yet there is not one of us that
owns more than his bare skin. You cows that I see before me, how many
thousands of gallons of milk have you given during this last year? And what
has happened to that milk which should have been breeding up sturdy calves?
Every drop of it has gone down the throats of our enemies. And you hens, how
many eggs have you laid in this last year, and how many of those eggs ever
hatched into chickens? The rest have all gone to market to bring in money
for Jones and his men. And you, Clover, where are those four foals you bore,
who should have been the support and pleasure of your old age? Each was sold
at a year old-you will never see one of them again. In return for your four
confinements and all your labour in the fields, what have you ever had
except your bare rations and a stall?
"And even the miserable lives we lead are not allowed to reach
their natural span. For myself I do not grumble, for I am one of the lucky
ones. I am twelve years old and have had over four hundred children. Such is
the natural life of a pig. But no animal escapes the cruel knife in the end.
You young porkers who are sitting in front of me, every one of you will
scream your lives out at the block within a year. To that horror we all must
come-cows, pigs, hens, sheep, everyone. Even the horses and the dogs have no
better fate. You, Boxer, the very day that those great muscles of yours lose
their power, Jones will sell you to the knacker, who will cut your throat
and boil you down for the foxhounds. As for the dogs, when they grow old and
toothless, Jones ties a brick round their necks and drowns them in the
"Is it not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the evils of
this life of ours spring from the tyranny of human beings? Only get rid of
Man, and the produce of our labour would be our own. A1most overnight we
could become rich and free. What then must we do? Why, work night and day,
body and soul, for the overthrow of the human race! That is my message to
you, comrades: Rebellion! I do not know when that Rebellion will come, it
might be in a week or in a hundred years, but I know, as surely as I see
this straw beneath my feet, that sooner or later justice will be done. Fix
your eyes on that, comrades, throughout the short remainder of your lives!
And above all, pass on this message of mine to those who come after you, so
that future generations shall carry on the struggle until it is victorious.
"And remember, comrades, your resolution must never falter. No
argument must lead you astray. Never listen when they tell you that Man and
the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the
prosperity of the others. It is all lies. Man serves the interests of no
creature except himself. And among us animals let there be perfect unity,
perfect comradeship in the struggle. All men are enemies. All animals are
At this moment there was a tremendous uproar. While Major was
speaking four large rats had crept out of their holes and were sitting on
their hindquarters, listening to him. The dogs had suddenly caught sight of
them, and it was only by a swift dash for their holes that the rats saved
their lives. Major raised his trotter for silence.
"Comrades," he said, "here is a point that must be settled. The
wild creatures, such as rats and rabbits-are they our friends or our
enemies? Let us put it to the vote. I propose this question to the meeting:
Are rats comrades?"
The vote was taken at once, and it was agreed by an overwhelming
majority that rats were comrades. There were only four dissentients, the
three dogs and the cat, who was afterwards discovered to have voted on both
sides. Major continued:
"I have little more to say. I merely repeat, remember always your
duty of enmity towards Man and all his ways. Whatever goes upon two legs is
an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. And
remember also that in fighting against Man, we must not come to resemble
him. Even when you have conquered him, do not adopt his vices. No animal
must ever live in a house, or sleep in a bed, or wear clothes, or drink
alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or touch money, or engage in trade. All the
habits of Man are evil. And, above all, no animal must ever tyrannise over
his own kind. Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers. No
animal must ever kill any other animal. All animals are equal.
"And now, comrades, I will tell you about my dream of last night. I
cannot describe that dream to you. It was a dream of the earth as it will be
when Man has vanished. But it reminded me of something that I had long
forgotten. Many years ago, when I was a little pig, my mother and the other
sows used to sing an old song of which they knew only the tune and the first
three words. I had known that tune in my infancy, but it had long since
passed out of my mind. Last night, however, it came back to me in my dream.
And what is more, the words of the song also came back-words, I am certain,
which were sung by the animals of long ago and have been lost to memory for
generations. I will sing you that song now, comrades. I am old and my voice
is hoarse, but when I have taught you the tune, you can sing it better for
yourselves. It is called Beasts of England."
Old Major cleared his throat and began to sing. As he had said, his
voice was hoarse, but he sang well enough, and it was a stirring tune,
something between Clementine and La Cucaracha. The words ran:
The singing of this song threw the animals into the wildest
excitement. Almost before Major had reached the end, they had begun singing
it for themselves. Even the stupidest of them had already picked up the tune
and a few of the words, and as for the clever ones, such as the pigs and
dogs, they had the entire song by heart within a few minutes. And then,
after a few preliminary tries, the whole farm burst out into Beasts of
England in tremendous unison. The cows lowed it, the dogs whined it, the
sheep bleated it, the horses whinnied it, the ducks quacked it. They were so
delighted with the song that they sang it right through five times in
succession, and might have continued singing it all night if they had not
Unfortunately, the uproar awoke Mr. Jones, who sprang out of bed,
making sure that there was a fox in the yard. He seized the gun which always
stood in a corner of his bedroom, and let fly a charge of number 6 shot into
the darkness. The pellets buried themselves in the wall of the barn and the
meeting broke up hurriedly. Everyone fled to his own sleeping-place. The
birds jumped on to their perches, the animals settled down in the straw, and
the whole farm was asleep in a moment.
- Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,
- Beasts of every land and clime,
- Hearken to my joyful tidings
- Of the golden future time.
- Soon or late the day is coming,
- Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown,
- And the fruitful fields of England
- Shall be trod by beasts alone.
- Rings shall vanish from our noses,
- And the harness from our back,
- Bit and spur shall rust forever,
- Cruel whips no more shall crack.
- Riches more than mind can picture,
- Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
- Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels
- Shall be ours upon that day.
- Bright will shine the fields of England,
- Purer shall its waters be,
- Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
- On the day that sets us free.
- For that day we all must labour,
- Though we die before it break;
- Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
- All must toil for freedom's sake.
- Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,
- Beasts of every land and clime,
- Hearken well and spread my tidings
- Of the golden future time.
THREE nights later old
Major died peacefully in his sleep. His body was buried at the foot of the
This was early in March. During the next three months there was
much secret activity. Major's speech had given to the more intelligent
animals on the farm a completely new outlook on life. They did not know when
the Rebellion predicted by Major would take place, they had no reason for
thinking that it would be within their own lifetime, but they saw clearly
that it was their duty to prepare for it. The work of teaching and
organising the others fell naturally upon the pigs, who were generally
recognised as being the cleverest of the animals. Pre-eminent among the pigs
were two young boars named Snowball and Napoleon, whom Mr. Jones was
breeding up for sale. Napoleon was a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire
boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker, but with a
reputation for getting his own way. Snowball was a more vivacious pig than
Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive, but was not considered to
have the same depth of character. All the other male pigs on the farm were
porkers. The best known among them was a small fat pig named Squealer, with
very round cheeks, twinkling eyes, nimble movements, and a shrill voice. He
was a brilliant talker, and when he was arguing some difficult point he had
a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail which was somehow
very persuasive. The others said of Squealer that he could turn black into
These three had elaborated old Major's teachings into a complete
system of thought, to which they gave the name of Animalism. Several nights
a week, after Mr. Jones was asleep, they held secret meetings in the barn
and expounded the principles of Animalism to the others. At the beginning
they met with much stupidity and apathy. Some of the animals talked of the
duty of loyalty to Mr. Jones, whom they referred to as "Master," or made
elementary remarks such as "Mr. Jones feeds us. If he were gone, we should
starve to death." Others asked such questions as "Why should we care what
happens after we are dead?" or "If this Rebellion is to happen anyway, what
difference does it make whether we work for it or not?", and the pigs had
great difficulty in making them see that this was contrary to the spirit of
Animalism. The stupidest questions of all were asked by Mollie, the white
mare. The very first question she asked Snowball was: "Will there still be
sugar after the Rebellion? "
"No," said Snowball firmly. "We have no means of making sugar on
this farm. Besides, you do not need sugar. You will have all the oats and
hay you want."
"And shall I still be allowed to wear ribbons in my mane?" asked
"Comrade," said Snowball, "those ribbons that you are so devoted to
are the badge of slavery. Can you not understand that liberty is worth more
than ribbons? "
Mollie agreed, but she did not sound very convinced.
The pigs had an even harder struggle to counteract the lies put
about by Moses, the tame raven. Moses, who was Mr. Jones's especial pet, was
a spy and a tale-bearer, but he was also a clever talker. He claimed to know
of the existence of a mysterious country called Sugarcandy Mountain, to
which all animals went when they died. It was situated somewhere up in the
sky, a little distance beyond the clouds, Moses said. In Sugarcandy Mountain
it was Sunday seven days a week, clover was in season all the year round,
and lump sugar and linseed cake grew on the hedges. The animals hated Moses
because he told tales and did no work, but some of them believed in
Sugarcandy Mountain, and the pigs had to argue very hard to persuade them
that there was no such place.
Their most faithful disciples were the two cart-horses, Boxer and
Clover. These two had great difficulty in thinking anything out for
themselves, but having once accepted the pigs as their teachers, they
absorbed everything that they were told, and passed it on to the other
animals by simple arguments. They were unfailing in their attendance at the
secret meetings in the barn, and led the singing of Beasts of England, with
which the meetings always ended.
Now, as it turned out, the Rebellion was achieved much earlier and
more easily than anyone had expected. In past years Mr. Jones, although a
hard master, had been a capable farmer, but of late he had fallen on evil
days. He had become much disheartened after losing money in a lawsuit, and
had taken to drinking more than was good for him. For whole days at a time
he would lounge in his Windsor chair in the kitchen, reading the newspapers,
drinking, and occasionally feeding Moses on crusts of bread soaked in beer.
His men were idle and dishonest, the fields were full of weeds, the
buildings wanted roofing, the hedges were neglected, and the animals were
June came and the hay was almost ready for cutting. On Midsummer's
Eve, which was a Saturday, Mr. Jones went into Willingdon and got so drunk
at the Red Lion that he did not come back till midday on Sunday. The men had
milked the cows in the early morning and then had gone out rabbiting,
without bothering to feed the animals. When Mr. Jones got back he
immediately went to sleep on the drawing-room sofa with the News of the
World over his face, so that when evening came, the animals were still
unfed. At last they could stand it no longer. One of the cows broke in the
door of the store-shed with her horn and all the animals began to help
themselves from the bins. It was just then that Mr. Jones woke up. The next
moment he and his four men were in the store-shed with whips in their hands,
lashing out in all directions. This was more than the hungry animals could
bear. With one accord, though nothing of the kind had been planned
beforehand, they flung themselves upon their tormentors. Jones and his men
suddenly found themselves being butted and kicked from all sides. The
situation was quite out of their control. They had never seen animals behave
like this before, and this sudden uprising of creatures whom they were used
to thrashing and maltreating just as they chose, frightened them almost out
of their wits. After only a moment or two they gave up trying to defend
themselves and took to their heels. A minute later all five of them were in
full flight down the cart-track that led to the main road, with the animals
pursuing them in triumph.
Mrs. Jones looked out of the bedroom window, saw what was
happening, hurriedly flung a few possessions into a carpet bag, and slipped
out of the farm by another way. Moses sprang off his perch and flapped after
her, croaking loudly. Meanwhile the animals had chased Jones and his men out
on to the road and slammed the five-barred gate behind them. And so, almost
before they knew what was happening, the Rebellion had been successfully
carried through: Jones was expelled, and the Manor Farm was theirs.
For the first few minutes the animals could hardly believe in their
good fortune. Their first act was to gallop in a body right round the
boundaries of the farm, as though to make quite sure that no human being was
hiding anywhere upon it; then they raced back to the farm buildings to wipe
out the last traces of Jones's hated reign. The harness-room at the end of
the stables was broken open; the bits, the nose-rings, the dog-chains, the
cruel knives with which Mr. Jones had been used to castrate the pigs and
lambs, were all flung down the well. The reins, the halters, the blinkers,
the degrading nosebags, were thrown on to the rubbish fire which was burning
in the yard. So were the whips. All the animals capered with joy when they
saw the whips going up in flames. Snowball also threw on to the fire the
ribbons with which the horses' manes and tails had usually been decorated on
"Ribbons," he said, "should be considered as clothes, which are the
mark of a human being. All animals should go naked."
When Boxer heard this he fetched the small straw hat which he wore
in summer to keep the flies out of his ears, and flung it on to the fire
with the rest.
In a very little while the animals had destroyed everything that
reminded them of Mr. Jones. Napoleon then led them back to the store-shed
and served out a double ration of corn to everybody, with two biscuits for
each dog. Then they sang Beasts of England from end to end seven times
running, and after that they settled down for the night and slept as they
had never slept before.
But they woke at dawn as usual, and suddenly remembering the
glorious thing that had happened, they all raced out into the pasture
together. A little way down the pasture there was a knoll that commanded a
view of most of the farm. The animals rushed to the top of it and gazed
round them in the clear morning light. Yes, it was theirs-everything that
they could see was theirs! In the ecstasy of that thought they gambolled
round and round, they hurled themselves into the air in great leaps of
excitement. They rolled in the dew, they cropped mouthfuls of the sweet
summer grass, they kicked up clods of the black earth and snuffed its rich
scent. Then they made a tour of inspection of the whole farm and surveyed
with speechless admiration the ploughland, the hayfield, the orchard, the
pool, the spinney. It was as though they had never seen these things before,
and even now they could hardly believe that it was all their own.
Then they filed back to the farm buildings and halted in silence
outside the door of the farmhouse. That was theirs too, but they were
frightened to go inside. After a moment, however, Snowball and Napoleon
butted the door open with their shoulders and the animals entered in single
file, walking with the utmost care for fear of disturbing anything. They
tiptoed from room to room, afraid to speak above a whisper and gazing with a
kind of awe at the unbelievable luxury, at the beds with their feather
mattresses, the looking-glasses, the horsehair sofa, the Brussels carpet,
the lithograph of Queen Victoria over the drawing-room mantelpiece. They
were lust coming down the stairs when Mollie was discovered to be missing.
Going back, the others found that she had remained behind in the best
bedroom. She had taken a piece of blue ribbon from Mrs. Jones's
dressing-table, and was holding it against her shoulder and admiring herself
in the glass in a very foolish manner. The others reproached her sharply,
and they went outside. Some hams hanging in the kitchen were taken out for
burial, and the barrel of beer in the scullery was stove in with a kick from
Boxer's hoof,-otherwise nothing in the house was touched. A unanimous
resolution was passed on the spot that the farmhouse should be preserved as
a museum. All were agreed that no animal must ever live there.
The animals had their breakfast, and then Snowball and Napoleon
called them together again.
"Comrades," said Snowball, "it is half-past six and we have a long
day before us. Today we begin the hay harvest. But there is another matter
that must be attended to first."
The pigs now revealed that during the past three months they had
taught themselves to read and write from an old spelling book which had
belonged to Mr. Jones's children and which had been thrown on the rubbish
heap. Napoleon sent for pots of black and white paint and led the way down
to the five-barred gate that gave on to the main road. Then Snowball (for it
was Snowball who was best at writing) took a brush between the two knuckles
of his trotter, painted out MANOR FARM from the top bar
of the gate and in its place painted ANIMAL FARM. This
was to be the name of the farm from now onwards. After this they went back
to the farm buildings, where Snowball and Napoleon sent for a ladder which
they caused to be set against the end wall of the big barn. They explained
that by their studies of the past three months the pigs had succeeded in
reducing the principles of Animalism to Seven Commandments. These Seven
Commandments would now be inscribed on the wall; they would form an
unalterable law by which all the animals on Animal Farm must live for ever
after. With some difficulty (for it is not easy for a pig to balance himself
on a ladder) Snowball climbed up and set to work, with Squealer a few rungs
below him holding the paint-pot. The Commandments were written on the tarred
wall in great white letters that could be read thirty yards away. They ran
THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS
It was very neatly written, and except that "friend" was written
"freind" and one of the "S's" was the wrong way round, the spelling was
correct all the way through. Snowball read it aloud for the benefit of the
others. All the animals nodded in complete agreement, and the cleverer ones
at once began to learn the Commandments by heart.
"Now, comrades," cried Snowball, throwing down the paint-brush, "to
the hayfield! Let us make it a point of honour to get in the harvest more
quickly than Jones and his men could do."
But at this moment the three cows, who had seemed uneasy for some
time past, set up a loud lowing. They had not been milked for twenty-four
hours, and their udders were almost bursting. After a little thought, the
pigs sent for buckets and milked the cows fairly successfully, their
trotters being well adapted to this task. Soon there were five buckets of
frothing creamy milk at which many of the animals looked with considerable
"What is going to happen to all that milk?" said someone.
"Jones used sometimes to mix some of it in our mash," said one of
"Never mind the milk, comrades!" cried Napoleon, placing himself in
front of the buckets. "That will be attended to. The harvest is more
important. Comrade Snowball will lead the way. I shall follow in a few
minutes. Forward, comrades! The hay is waiting."
So the animals trooped down to the hayfield to begin the harvest,
and when they came back in the evening it was noticed that the milk had
- Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
- Whatever goes upon four
legs, or has wings, is a friend.
- No animal shall wear clothes.
animal shall sleep in a bed.
- No animal shall drink alcohol.
animal shall kill any other animal.
- All animals are equal.
HOW they toiled and
sweated to get the hay in! But their efforts were rewarded, for the harvest
was an even bigger success than they had hoped.
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
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
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 Re-education 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 some degree.
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
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.
BY THE late summer the
news of what had happened on Animal Farm had spread across half the county.
Every day Snowball and Napoleon sent out flights of pigeons whose
instructions were to mingle with the animals on neighbouring farms, tell
them the story of the Rebellion, and teach them the tune of Beasts of
Most of this time Mr. Jones had spent sitting in the taproom of the
Red Lion at Willingdon, complaining to anyone who would listen of the
monstrous injustice he had suffered in being turned out of his property by a
pack of good-for-nothing animals. The other farmers sympathised in
principle, but they did not at first give him much help. At heart, each of
them was secretly wondering whether he could not somehow turn Jones's
misfortune to his own advantage. It was lucky that the owners of the two
farms which adjoined Animal Farm were on permanently bad terms. One of them,
which was named Foxwood, was a large, neglected, old-fashioned farm, much
overgrown by woodland, with all its pastures worn out and its hedges in a
disgraceful condition. Its owner, Mr. Pilkington, was an easy-going
gentleman farmer who spent most of his time in fishing or hunting according
to the season. The other farm, which was called Pinchfield, was smaller and
better kept. Its owner was a Mr. Frederick, a tough, shrewd man, perpetually
involved in lawsuits and with a name for driving hard bargains. These two
disliked each other so much that it was difficult for them to come to any
agreement, even in defence of their own interests.
Nevertheless, they were both thoroughly frightened by the rebellion
on Animal Farm, and very anxious to prevent their own animals from learning
too much about it. At first they pretended to laugh to scorn the idea of
animals managing a farm for themselves. The whole thing would be over in a
fortnight, they said. They put it about that the animals on the Manor Farm
(they insisted on calling it the Manor Farm; they would not tolerate the
name "Animal Farm") were perpetually fighting among themselves and were also
rapidly starving to death. When time passed and the animals had evidently
not starved to death, Frederick and Pilkington changed their tune and began
to talk of the terrible wickedness that now flourished on Animal Farm. It
was given out that the animals there practised cannibalism, tortured one
another with red-hot horseshoes, and had their females in common. This was
what came of rebelling against the laws of Nature, Frederick and Pilkington
However, these stories were never fully believed. Rumours of a
wonderful farm, where the human beings had been turned out and the animals
managed their own affairs, continued to circulate in vague and distorted
forms, and throughout that year a wave of rebelliousness ran through the
countryside. Bulls which had always been tractable suddenly turned savage,
sheep broke down hedges and devoured the clover, cows kicked the pail over,
hunters refused their fences and shot their riders on to the other side.
Above all, the tune and even the words of Beasts of England were known
everywhere. It had spread with astonishing speed. The human beings could not
contain their rage when they heard this song, though they pretended to think
it merely ridiculous. They could not understand, they said, how even animals
could bring themselves to sing such contemptible rubbish. Any animal caught
singing it was given a flogging on the spot. And yet the song was
irrepressible. The blackbirds whistled it in the hedges, the pigeons cooed
it in the elms, it got into the din of the smithies and the tune of the
church bells. And when the human beings listened to it, they secretly
trembled, hearing in it a prophecy of their future doom.
Early in October, when the corn was cut and stacked and some of it
was already threshed, a flight of pigeons came whirling through the air and
alighted in the yard of Animal Farm in the wildest excitement. Jones and all
his men, with half a dozen others from Foxwood and Pinchfield, had entered
the five-barred gate and were coming up the cart-track that led to the farm.
They were all carrying sticks, except Jones, who was marching ahead with a
gun in his hands. Obviously they were going to attempt the recapture of the
This had long been expected, and all preparations had been made.
Snowball, who had studied an old book of Julius Caesar's campaigns which he
had found in the farmhouse, was in charge of the defensive operations. He
gave his orders quickly, and in a couple of minutes every animal was at his
As the human beings approached the farm buildings, Snowball
launched his first attack. All the pigeons, to the number of thirty-five,
flew to and fro over the men's heads and muted upon them from mid-air; and
while the men were dealing with this, the geese, who had been hiding behind
the hedge, rushed out and pecked viciously at the calves of their legs.
However, this was only a light skirmishing manoeuvre, intended to create a
little disorder, and the men easily drove the geese off with their sticks.
Snowball now launched his second line of attack. Muriel, Benjamin, and all
the sheep, with Snowball at the head of them, rushed forward and prodded and
butted the men from every side, while Benjamin turned around and lashed at
them with his small hoofs. But once again the men, with their sticks and
their hobnailed boots, were too strong for them; and suddenly, at a squeal
from Snowball, which was the signal for retreat, all the animals turned and
fled through the gateway into the yard.
The men gave a shout of triumph. They saw, as they imagined, their
enemies in flight, and they rushed after them in disorder. This was just
what Snowball had intended. As soon as they were well inside the yard, the
three horses, the three cows, and the rest of the pigs, who had been lying
in ambush in the cowshed, suddenly emerged in their rear, cutting them off.
Snowball now gave the signal for the charge. He himself dashed straight for
Jones. Jones saw him coming, raised his gun and fired. The pellets scored
bloody streaks along Snowball's back, and a sheep dropped dead. Without
halting for an instant, Snowball flung his fifteen stone against Jones's
legs. Jones was hurled into a pile of dung and his gun flew out of his
hands. But the most terrifying spectacle of all was Boxer, rearing up on his
hind legs and striking out with his great iron-shod hoofs like a stallion.
His very first blow took a stable-lad from Foxwood on the skull and
stretched him lifeless in the mud. At the sight, several men dropped their
sticks and tried to run. Panic overtook them, and the next moment all the
animals together were chasing them round and round the yard. They were
gored, kicked, bitten, trampled on. There was not an animal on the farm that
did not take vengeance on them after his own fashion. Even the cat suddenly
leapt off a roof onto a cowman's shoulders and sank her claws in his neck,
at which he yelled horribly. At a moment when the opening was clear, the men
were glad enough to rush out of the yard and make a bolt for the main road.
And so within five minutes of their invasion they were in ignominious
retreat by the same way as they had come, with a flock of geese hissing
after them and pecking at their calves all the way.
All the men were gone except one. Back in the yard Boxer was pawing
with his hoof at the stable-lad who lay face down in the mud, trying to turn
him over. The boy did not stir.
"He is dead," said Boxer sorrowfully. "I had no intention of doing
that. I forgot that I was wearing iron shoes. Who will believe that I did
not do this on purpose?"
"No sentimentality, comrade!" cried Snowball from whose wounds the
blood was still dripping. "War is war. The only good human being is a dead
"I have no wish to take life, not even human life," repeated Boxer,
and his eyes were full of tears.
"Where is Mollie?" exclaimed somebody.
Mollie in fact was missing. For a moment there was great alarm; it
was feared that the men might have harmed her in some way, or even carried
her off with them. In the end, however, she was found hiding in her stall
with her head buried among the hay in the manger. She had taken to flight as
soon as the gun went off. And when the others came back from looking for
her, it was to find that the stable-lad, who in fact was only stunned, had
already recovered and made off.
The animals had now reassembled in the wildest excitement, each
recounting his own exploits in the battle at the top of his voice. An
impromptu celebration of the victory was held immediately. The flag was run
up and Beasts of England was sung a number of times, then the sheep who had
been killed was given a solemn funeral, a hawthorn bush being planted on her
grave. At the graveside Snowball made a little speech, emphasising the need
for all animals to be ready to die for Animal Farm if need be.
The animals decided unanimously to create a military decoration,
"Animal Hero, First Class," which was conferred there and then on Snowball
and Boxer. It consisted of a brass medal (they were really some old
horse-brasses which had been found in the harness-room), to be worn on
Sundays and holidays. There was also "Animal Hero, Second Class," which was
conferred posthumously on the dead sheep.
There was much discussion as to what the battle should be called.
In the end, it was named the Battle of the Cowshed, since that was where the
ambush had been sprung. Mr. Jones's gun had been found lying in the mud, and
it was known that there was a supply of cartridges in the farmhouse. It was
decided to set the gun up at the foot of the Flagstaff, like a piece of
artillery, and to fire it twice a year-once on October the twelfth, the
anniversary of the Battle of the Cowshed, and once on Midsummer Day, the
anniversary of the Rebellion.
AS WINTER drew on, Mollie
became more and more troublesome. She was late for work every morning and
excused herself by saying that she had overslept, and she complained of
mysterious pains, although her appetite was excellent. On every kind of
pretext she would run away from work and go to the drinking pool, where she
would stand foolishly gazing at her own reflection in the water. But there
were also rumours of something more serious. One day, as Mollie strolled
blithely into the yard, flirting her long tail and chewing at a stalk of
hay, Clover took her aside.
"Mollie," she said, "I have something very serious to say to you.
This morning I saw you looking over the hedge that divides Animal Farm from
Foxwood. One of Mr. Pilkington's men was standing on the other side of the
hedge. And-I was a long way away, but I am almost certain I saw this-he was
talking to you and you were allowing him to stroke your nose. What does that
"He didn't! I wasn't! It isn't true!" cried Mollie, beginning to
prance about and paw the ground.
"Mollie! Look me in the face. Do you give me your word of honour
that that man was not stroking your nose?"
"It isn't true!" repeated Mollie, but she could not look Clover in
the face, and the next moment she took to her heels and galloped away into
A thought struck Clover. Without saying anything to the others, she
went to Mollie's stall and turned over the straw with her hoof. Hidden under
the straw was a little pile of lump sugar and several bunches of ribbon of
Three days later Mollie disappeared. For some weeks nothing was
known of her whereabouts, then the pigeons reported that they had seen her
on the other side of Willingdon. She was between the shafts of a smart
dogcart painted red and black, which was standing outside a public-house. A
fat red-faced man in check breeches and gaiters, who looked like a publican,
was stroking her nose and feeding her with sugar. Her coat was newly clipped
and she wore a scarlet ribbon round her forelock. She appeared to be
enjoying herself, so the pigeons said. None of the animals ever mentioned
In January there came bitterly hard weather. The earth was like
iron, and nothing could be done in the fields. Many meetings were held in
the big barn, and the pigs occupied themselves with planning out the work of
the coming season. It had come to be accepted that the pigs, who were
manifestly cleverer than the other animals, should decide all questions of
farm policy, though their decisions had to be ratified by a majority vote.
This arrangement would have worked well enough if it had not been for the
disputes between Snowball and Napoleon. These two disagreed at every point
where disagreement was possible. If one of them suggested sowing a bigger
acreage with barley, the other was certain to demand a bigger acreage of
oats, and if one of them said that such and such a field was just right for
cabbages, the other would declare that it was useless for anything except
roots. Each had his own following, and there were some violent debates. At
the Meetings Snowball often won over the majority by his brilliant speeches,
but Napoleon was better at canvassing support for himself in between times.
He was especially successful with the sheep. Of late the sheep had taken to
bleating "Four legs good, two legs bad" both in and out of season, and they
often interrupted the Meeting with this. It was noticed that they were
especially liable to break into "Four legs good, two legs bad" at crucial
moments in Snowball's speeches. Snowball had made a close study of some back
numbers of the Farmer and Stockbreeder which he had found in the farmhouse,
and was full of plans for innovations and improvements. He talked learnedly
about field drains, silage, and basic slag, and had worked out a complicated
scheme for all the animals to drop their dung directly in the fields, at a
different spot every day, to save the labour of cartage. Napoleon produced
no schemes of his own, but said quietly that Snowball's would come to
nothing, and seemed to be biding his time. But of all their controversies,
none was so bitter as the one that took place over the windmill.
In the long pasture, not far from the farm buildings, there was a
small knoll which was the highest point on the farm. After surveying the
ground, Snowball declared that this was just the place for a windmill, which
could be made to operate a dynamo and supply the farm with electrical power.
This would light the stalls and warm them in winter, and would also run a
circular saw, a chaff-cutter, a mangel-slicer, and an electric milking
machine. The animals had never heard of anything of this kind before (for
the farm was an old-fashioned one and had only the most primitive
machinery), and they listened in astonishment while Snowball conjured up
pictures of fantastic machines which would do their work for them while they
grazed at their ease in the fields or improved their minds with reading and
Within a few weeks Snowball's plans for the windmill were fully
worked out. The mechanical details came mostly from three books which had
belonged to Mr. Jones - One Thousand Useful Things to Do About the House,
Every Man His Own Bricklayer, and Electricity for Beginners. Snowball used
as his study a shed which had once been used for incubators and had a smooth
wooden floor, suitable for drawing on. He was closeted there for hours at a
time. With his books held open by a stone, and with a piece of chalk gripped
between the knuckles of his trotter, he would move rapidly to and fro,
drawing in line after line and uttering little whimpers of excitement.
Gradually the plans grew into a complicated mass of cranks and cog-wheels,
covering more than half the floor, which the other animals found completely
unintelligible but very impressive. All of them came to look at Snowball's
drawings at least once a day. Even the hens and ducks came, and were at
pains not to tread on the chalk marks. Only Napoleon held aloof. He had
declared himself against the windmill from the start. One day, however, he
arrived unexpectedly to examine the plans. He walked heavily round the shed,
looked closely at every detail of the plans and snuffed at them once or
twice, then stood for a little while contemplating them out of the corner of
his eye; then suddenly he lifted his leg, urinated over the plans, and
walked out without uttering a word.
The whole farm was deeply divided on the subject of the windmill.
Snowball did not deny that to build it would be a difficult business. Stone
would have to be carried and built up into walls, then the sails would have
to be made and after that there would be need for dynamos and cables. (How
these were to be procured, Snowball did not say.) But he maintained that it
could all be done in a year. And thereafter, he declared, so much labour
would be saved that the animals would only need to work three days a week.
Napoleon, on the other hand, argued that the great need of the moment was to
increase food production, and that if they wasted time on the windmill they
would all starve to death. The animals formed themselves into two factions
under the slogan, "Vote for Snowball and the three-day week" and "Vote for
Napoleon and the full manger." Benjamin was the only animal who did not side
with either faction. He refused to believe either that food would become
more plentiful or that the windmill would save work. Windmill or no
windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on-that is, badly.
Apart from the disputes over the windmill, there was the question
of the defence of the farm. It was fully realised that though the human
beings had been defeated in the Battle of the Cowshed they might make
another and more determined attempt to recapture the farm and reinstate Mr.
Jones. They had all the more reason for doing so because the news of their
defeat had spread across the countryside and made the animals on the
neighbouring farms more restive than ever. As usual, Snowball and Napoleon
were in disagreement. According to Napoleon, what the animals must do was to
procure firearms and train themselves in the use of them. According to
Snowball, they must send out more and more pigeons and stir up rebellion
among the animals on the other farms. The one argued that if they could not
defend themselves they were bound to be conquered, the other argued that if
rebellions happened everywhere they would have no need to defend themselves.
The animals listened first to Napoleon, then to Snowball, and could not make
up their minds which was right; indeed, they always found themselves in
agreement with the one who was speaking at the moment.
At last the day came when Snowball's plans were completed. At the
Meeting on the following Sunday the question of whether or not to begin work
on the windmill was to be put to the vote. When the animals had assembled in
the big barn, Snowball stood up and, though occasionally interrupted by
bleating from the sheep, set forth his reasons for advocating the building
of the windmill. Then Napoleon stood up to reply. He said very quietly that
the windmill was nonsense and that he advised nobody to vote for it, and
promptly sat down again; he had spoken for barely thirty seconds, and seemed
almost indifferent as to the effect he produced. At this Snowball sprang to
his feet, and shouting down the sheep, who had begun bleating again, broke
into a passionate appeal in favour of the windmill. Until now the animals
had been about equally divided in their sympathies, but in a moment
Snowball's eloquence had carried them away. In glowing sentences he painted
a picture of Animal Farm as it might be when sordid labour was lifted from
the animals' backs. His imagination had now run far beyond chaff-cutters and
turnip-slicers. Electricity, he said, could operate threshing machines,
ploughs, harrows, rollers, and reapers and binders, besides supplying every
stall with its own electric light, hot and cold water, and an electric
heater. By the time he had finished speaking, there was no doubt as to which
way the vote would go. But just at this moment Napoleon stood up and,
casting a peculiar sidelong look at Snowball, uttered a high-pitched whimper
of a kind no one had ever heard him utter before.
At this there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine
enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn.
They dashed straight for Snowball, who only sprang from his place just in
time to escape their snapping jaws. In a moment he was out of the door and
they were after him. Too amazed and frightened to speak, all the animals
crowded through the door to watch the chase. Snowball was racing across the
long pasture that led to the road. He was running as only a pig can run, but
the dogs were close on his heels. Suddenly he slipped and it seemed certain
that they had him. Then he was up again, running faster than ever, then the
dogs were gaining on him again. One of them all but closed his jaws on
Snowball's tail, but Snowball whisked it free just in time. Then he put on
an extra spurt and, with a few inches to spare, slipped through a hole in
the hedge and was seen no more.
Silent and terrified, the animals crept back into the barn. In a
moment the dogs came bounding back. At first no one had been able to imagine
where these creatures came from, but the problem was soon solved: they were
the puppies whom Napoleon had taken away from their mothers and reared
privately. Though not yet full-grown, they were huge dogs, and as
fierce-looking as wolves. They kept close to Napoleon. It was noticed that
they wagged their tails to him in the same way as the other dogs had been
used to do to Mr. Jones.
Napoleon, with the dogs following him, now mounted on to the raised
portion of the floor where Major had previously stood to deliver his speech.
He announced that from now on the Sunday-morning Meetings would come to an
end. They were unnecessary, he said, and wasted time. In future all
questions relating to the working of the farm would be settled by a special
committee of pigs, presided over by himself. These would meet in private and
afterwards communicate their decisions to the others. The animals would
still assemble on Sunday mornings to salute the flag, sing Beasts of
England, and receive their orders for the week; but there would be no more
In spite of the shock that Snowball's expulsion had given them, the
animals were dismayed by this announcement. Several of them would have
protested if they could have found the right arguments. Even Boxer was
vaguely troubled. He set his ears back, shook his forelock several times,
and tried hard to marshal his thoughts; but in the end he could not think of
anything to say. Some of the pigs themselves, however, were more articulate.
Four young porkers in the front row uttered shrill squeals of disapproval,
and all four of them sprang to their feet and began speaking at once. But
suddenly the dogs sitting round Napoleon let out deep, menacing growls, and
the pigs fell silent and sat down again. Then the sheep broke out into a
tremendous bleating of "Four legs good, two legs bad!" which went on for
nearly a quarter of an hour and put an end to any chance of discussion.
Afterwards Squealer was sent round the farm to explain the new
arrangement to the others.
"Comrades," he said, "I trust that every animal here appreciates
the sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labour
upon himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On
the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more
firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only
too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you
might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?
Suppose you had decided to follow Snowball, with his moonshine of
windmills-Snowball, who, as we now know, was no better than a criminal?"
"He fought bravely at the Battle of the Cowshed," said somebody.
"Bravery is not enough," said Squealer. "Loyalty and obedience are
more important. And as to the Battle of the Cowshed, I believe the time will
come when we shall find that Snowball's part in it was much exaggerated.
Discipline, comrades, iron discipline! That is the watchword for today. One
false step, and our enemies would be upon us. Surely, comrades, you do not
want Jones back?"
Once again this argument was unanswerable. Certainly the animals
did not want Jones back; if the holding of debates on Sunday mornings was
liable to bring him back, then the debates must stop. Boxer, who had now had
time to think things over, voiced the general feeling by saying: "If Comrade
Napoleon says it, it must be right." And from then on he adopted the maxim,
"Napoleon is always right," in addition to his private motto of "I will work
By this time the weather had broken and the spring ploughing had
begun. The shed where Snowball had drawn his plans of the windmill had been
shut up and it was assumed that the plans had been rubbed off the floor.
Every Sunday morning at ten o'clock the animals assembled in the big barn to
receive their orders for the week. The skull of old Major, now clean of
flesh, had been disinterred from the orchard and set up on a stump at the
foot of the flagstaff, beside the gun. After the hoisting of the flag, the
animals were required to file past the skull in a reverent manner before
entering the barn. Nowadays they did not sit all together as they had done
in the past. Napoleon, with Squealer and another pig named Minimus, who had
a remarkable gift for composing songs and poems, sat on the front of the
raised platform, with the nine young dogs forming a semicircle round them,
and the other pigs sitting behind. The rest of the animals sat facing them
in the main body of the barn. Napoleon read out the orders for the week in a
gruff soldierly style, and after a single singing of Beasts of England, all
the animals dispersed.
On the third Sunday after Snowball's expulsion, the animals were
somewhat surprised to hear Napoleon announce that the windmill was to be
built after all. He did not give any reason for having changed his mind, but
merely warned the animals that this extra task would mean very hard work, it
might even be necessary to reduce their rations. The plans, however, had all
been prepared, down to the last detail. A special committee of pigs had been
at work upon them for the past three weeks. The building of the windmill,
with various other improvements, was expected to take two years.
That evening Squealer explained privately to the other animals that
Napoleon had never in reality been opposed to the windmill. On the contrary,
it was he who had advocated it in the beginning, and the plan which Snowball
had drawn on the floor of the incubator shed had actually been stolen from
among Napoleon's papers. The windmill was, in fact, Napoleon's own creation.
Why, then, asked somebody, had he spoken so strongly against it? Here
Squealer looked very sly. That, he said, was Comrade Napoleon's cunning. He
had seemed to oppose the windmill, simply as a manoeuvre to get rid of
Snowball, who was a dangerous character and a bad influence. Now that
Snowball was out of the way, the plan could go forward without his
interference. This, said Squealer, was something called tactics. He repeated
a number of times, "Tactics, comrades, tactics!" skipping round and whisking
his tail with a merry laugh. The animals were not certain what the word
meant, but Squealer spoke so persuasively, and the three dogs who happened
to be with him growled so threateningly, that they accepted his explanation
without further questions.
ALL that year the animals
worked like slaves. But they were happy in their work; they grudged no
effort or sacrifice, well aware that everything that they did was for the
benefit of themselves and those of their kind who would come after them, and
not for a pack of idle, thieving human beings.
Throughout the spring and summer they worked a sixty-hour week, and
in August Napoleon announced that there would be work on Sunday afternoons
as well. This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented
himself from it would have his rations reduced by half. Even so, it was
found necessary to leave certain tasks undone. The harvest was a little less
successful than in the previous year, and two fields which should have been
sown with roots in the early summer were not sown because the ploughing had
not been completed early enough. It was possible to foresee that the coming
winter would be a hard one.
The windmill presented unexpected difficulties. There was a good
quarry of limestone on the farm, and plenty of sand and cement had been
found in one of the outhouses, so that all the materials for building were
at hand. But the problem the animals could not at first solve was how to
break up the stone into pieces of suitable size. There seemed no way of
doing this except with picks and crowbars, which no animal could use,
because no animal could stand on his hind legs. Only after weeks of vain
effort did the right idea occur to somebody-namely, to utilise the force of
gravity. Huge boulders, far too big to be used as they were, were lying all
over the bed of the quarry. The animals lashed ropes round these, and then
all together, cows, horses, sheep, any animal that could lay hold of the
rope-even the pigs sometimes joined in at critical moments-they dragged them
with desperate slowness up the slope to the top of the quarry, where they
were toppled over the edge, to shatter to pieces below. Transporting the
stone when it was once broken was comparatively simple. The horses carried
it off in cart-loads, the sheep dragged single blocks, even Muriel and
Benjamin yoked themselves into an old governess-cart and did their share. By
late summer a sufficient store of stone had accumulated, and then the
building began, under the superintendence of the pigs.
But it was a slow, laborious process. Frequently it took a whole
day of exhausting effort to drag a single boulder to the top of the quarry,
and sometimes when it was pushed over the edge it failed to break. Nothing
could have been achieved without Boxer, whose strength seemed equal to that
of all the rest of the animals put together. When the boulder began to slip
and the animals cried out in despair at finding themselves dragged down the
hill, it was always Boxer who strained himself against the rope and brought
the boulder to a stop. To see him toiling up the slope inch by inch, his
breath coming fast, the tips of his hoofs clawing at the ground, and his
great sides matted with sweat, filled everyone with admiration. Clover
warned him sometimes to be careful not to overstrain himself, but Boxer
would never listen to her. His two slogans, "I will work harder" and
"Napoleon is always right," seemed to him a sufficient answer to all
problems. He had made arrangements with the cockerel to call him
three-quarters of an hour earlier in the mornings instead of half an hour.
And in his spare moments, of which there were not many nowadays, he would go
alone to the quarry, collect a load of broken stone, and drag it down to the
site of the windmill unassisted.
The animals were not badly off throughout that summer, in spite of
the hardness of their work. If they had no more food than they had had in
Jones's day, at least they did not have less. The advantage of only having
to feed themselves, and not having to support five extravagant human beings
as well, was so great that it would have taken a lot of failures to outweigh
it. And in many ways the animal method of doing things was more efficient
and saved labour. Such jobs as weeding, for instance, could be done with a
thoroughness impossible to human beings. And again, since no animal now
stole, it was unnecessary to fence off pasture from arable land, which saved
a lot of labour on the upkeep of hedges and gates. Nevertheless, as the
summer wore on, various unforeseen shortages began to make them selves felt.
There was need of paraffin oil, nails, string, dog biscuits, and iron for
the horses' shoes, none of which could be produced on the farm. Later there
would also be need for seeds and artificial manures, besides various tools
and, finally, the machinery for the windmill. How these were to be procured,
no one was able to imagine.
One Sunday morning, when the animals assembled to receive their
orders, Napoleon announced that he had decided upon a new policy. From now
onwards Animal Farm would engage in trade with the neighbouring farms: not,
of course, for any commercial purpose, but simply in order to obtain certain
materials which were urgently necessary. The needs of the windmill must
override everything else, he said. He was therefore making arrangements to
sell a stack of hay and part of the current year's wheat crop, and later on,
if more money were needed, it would have to be made up by the sale of eggs,
for which there was always a market in Willingdon. The hens, said Napoleon,
should welcome this sacrifice as their own special contribution towards the
building of the windmill.
Once again the animals were conscious of a vague uneasiness. Never
to have any dealings with human beings, never to engage in trade, never to
make use of money-had not these been among the earliest resolutions passed
at that first triumphant Meeting after Jones was expelled? All the animals
remembered passing such resolutions: or at least they thought that they
remembered it. The four young pigs who had protested when Napoleon abolished
the Meetings raised their voices timidly, but they were promptly silenced by
a tremendous growling from the dogs. Then, as usual, the sheep broke into
"Four legs good, two legs bad!" and the momentary awkwardness was smoothed
over. Finally Napoleon raised his trotter for silence and announced that he
had already made all the arrangements. There would be no need for any of the
animals to come in contact with human beings, which would clearly be most
undesirable. He intended to take the whole burden upon his own shoulders. A
Mr. Whymper, a solicitor living in Willingdon, had agreed to act as
intermediary between Animal Farm and the outside world, and would visit the
farm every Monday morning to receive his instructions. Napoleon ended his
speech with his usual cry of "Long live Animal Farm!" and after the singing
of Beasts of England the animals were dismissed.
Afterwards Squealer made a round of the farm and set the animals'
minds at rest. He assured them that the resolution against engaging in trade
and using money had never been passed, or even suggested. It was pure
imagination, probably traceable in the beginning to lies circulated by
Snowball. A few animals still felt faintly doubtful, but Squealer asked them
shrewdly, "Are you certain that this is not something that you have dreamed,
comrades? Have you any record of such a resolution? Is it written down
anywhere?" And since it was certainly true that nothing of the kind existed
in writing, the animals were satisfied that they had been mistaken.
Every Monday Mr. Whymper visited the farm as had been arranged. He
was a sly-looking little man with side whiskers, a solicitor in a very small
way of business, but sharp enough to have realised earlier than anyone else
that Animal Farm would need a broker and that the commissions would be worth
having. The animals watched his coming and going with a kind of dread, and
avoided him as much as possible. Nevertheless, the sight of Napoleon, on all
fours, delivering orders to Whymper, who stood on two legs, roused their
pride and partly reconciled them to the new arrangement. Their relations
with the human race were now not quite the same as they had been before. The
human beings did not hate Animal Farm any less now that it was prospering;
indeed, they hated it more than ever. Every human being held it as an
article of faith that the farm would go bankrupt sooner or later, and, above
all, that the windmill would be a failure. They would meet in the
public-houses and prove to one another by means of diagrams that the
windmill was bound to fall down, or that if it did stand up, then that it
would never work. And yet, against their will, they had developed a certain
respect for the efficiency with which the animals were managing their own
affairs. One symptom of this was that they had begun to call Animal Farm by
its proper name and ceased to pretend that it was called the Manor Farm.
They had also dropped their championship of Jones, who had given up hope of
getting his farm back and gone to live in another part of the county. Except
through Whymper, there was as yet no contact between Animal Farm and the
outside world, but there were constant rumours that Napoleon was about to
enter into a definite business agreement either with Mr. Pilkington of
Foxwood or with Mr. Frederick of Pinchfield-but never, it was noticed, with
It was about this time that the pigs suddenly moved into the
farmhouse and took up their residence there. Again the animals seemed to
remember that a resolution against this had been passed in the early days,
and again Squealer was able to convince them that this was not the case. It
was absolutely necessary, he said, that the pigs, who were the brains of the
farm, should have a quiet place to work in. It was also more suited to the
dignity of the Leader (for of late he had taken to speaking of Napoleon
under the title of "Leader") to live in a house than in a mere sty.
Nevertheless, some of the animals were disturbed when they heard that the
pigs not only took their meals in the kitchen and used the drawing-room as a
recreation room, but also slept in the beds. Boxer passed it off as usual
with "Napoleon is always right!", but Clover, who thought she remembered a
definite ruling against beds, went to the end of the barn and tried to
puzzle out the Seven Commandments which were inscribed there. Finding
herself unable to read more than individual letters, she fetched Muriel.
"Muriel," she said, "read me the Fourth Commandment. Does it not
say something about never sleeping in a bed?"
With some difficulty Muriel spelt it out.
"It says, 'No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets,"' she
Curiously enough, Clover had not remembered that the Fourth
Commandment mentioned sheets; but as it was there on the wall, it must have
done so. And Squealer, who happened to be passing at this moment, attended
by two or three dogs, was able to put the whole matter in its proper
"You have heard then, comrades," he said, "that we pigs now sleep
in the beds of the farmhouse? And why not? You did not suppose, surely, that
there was ever a ruling against beds? A bed merely means a place to sleep
in. A pile of straw in a stall is a bed, properly regarded. The rule was
against sheets, which are a human invention. We have removed the sheets from
the farmhouse beds, and sleep between blankets. And very comfortable beds
they are too! But not more comfortable than we need, I can tell you,
comrades, with all the brainwork we have to do nowadays. You would not rob
us of our repose, would you, comrades? You would not have us too tired to
carry out our duties? Surely none of you wishes to see Jones back?"
The animals reassured him on this point immediately, and no more
was said about the pigs sleeping in the farmhouse beds. And when, some days
afterwards, it was announced that from now on the pigs would get up an hour
later in the mornings than the other animals, no complaint was made about
By the autumn the animals were tired but happy. They had had a hard
year, and after the sale of part of the hay and corn, the stores of food for
the winter were none too plentiful, but the windmill compensated for
everything. It was almost half built now. After the harvest there was a
stretch of clear dry weather, and the animals toiled harder than ever,
thinking it well worth while to plod to and fro all day with blocks of stone
if by doing so they could raise the walls another foot. Boxer would even
come out at nights and work for an hour or two on his own by the light of
the harvest moon. In their spare moments the animals would walk round and
round the half-finished mill, admiring the strength and perpendicularity of
its walls and marvelling that they should ever have been able to build
anything so imposing. Only old Benjamin refused to grow enthusiastic about
the windmill, though, as usual, he would utter nothing beyond the cryptic
remark that donkeys live a long time.
November came, with raging south-west winds. Building had to stop
because it was now too wet to mix the cement. Finally there came a night
when the gale was so violent that the farm buildings rocked on their
foundations and several tiles were blown off the roof of the barn. The hens
woke up squawking with terror because they had all dreamed simultaneously of
hearing a gun go off in the distance. In the morning the animals came out of
their stalls to find that the flagstaff had been blown down and an elm tree
at the foot of the orchard had been plucked up like a radish. They had just
noticed this when a cry of despair broke from every animal's throat. A
terrible sight had met their eyes. The windmill was in ruins.
With one accord they dashed down to the spot. Napoleon, who seldom
moved out of a walk, raced ahead of them all. Yes, there it lay, the fruit
of all their struggles, levelled to its foundations, the stones they had
broken and carried so laboriously scattered all around. Unable at first to
speak, they stood gazing mournfully at the litter of fallen stone Napoleon
paced to and fro in silence, occasionally snuffing at the ground. His tail
had grown rigid and twitched sharply from side to side, a sign in him of
intense mental activity. Suddenly he halted as though his mind were made up.
"Comrades," he said quietly, "do you know who is responsible for
this? Do you know the enemy who has come in the night and overthrown our
windmill? SNOWBALL!" he suddenly roared in a voice of
thunder. "Snowball has done this thing! In sheer malignity, thinking to set
back our plans and avenge himself for his ignominious expulsion, this
traitor has crept here under cover of night and destroyed our work of nearly
a year. Comrades, here and now I pronounce the death sentence upon Snowball.
'Animal Hero, Second Class,' and half a bushel of apples to any animal who
brings him to justice. A full bushel to anyone who captures him alive!"
The animals were shocked beyond measure to learn that even Snowball
could be guilty of such an action. There was a cry of indignation, and
everyone began thinking out ways of catching Snowball if he should ever come
back. Almost immediately the footprints of a pig were discovered in the
grass at a little distance from the knoll. They could only be traced for a
few yards, but appeared to lead to a hole in the hedge. Napoleon snuffed
deeply at them and pronounced them to be Snowball's. He gave it as his
opinion that Snowball had probably come from the direction of Foxwood Farm.
"No more delays, comrades!" cried Napoleon when the footprints had
been examined. "There is work to be done. This very morning we begin
rebuilding the windmill, and we will build all through the winter, rain or
shine. We will teach this miserable traitor that he cannot undo our work so
easily. Remember, comrades, there must be no alteration in our plans: they
shall be carried out to the day. Forward, comrades! Long live the windmill!
Long live Animal Farm!"
IT WAS a bitter winter.
The stormy weather was followed by sleet and snow, and then by a hard frost
which did not break till well into February. The animals carried on as best
they could with the rebuilding of the windmill, well knowing that the
outside world was watching them and that the envious human beings would
rejoice and triumph if the mill were not finished on time.
Out of spite, the human beings pretended not to believe that it was
Snowball who had destroyer the windmill: they said that it had fallen down
because the walls were too thin. The animals knew that this was not the
case. Still, it had been decided to build the walls three feet thick this
time instead of eighteen inches as before, which meant collecting much
larger quantities of stone. For a long i.ne the quarry was full of
snowdrifts and nothing could be done. Some progress was made in the dry
frosty weather that followed, but it was cruel work, and the animals could
not feel so hopeful about it as they had felt before. They were always cold,
and usually hungry as well. Only Boxer and Clover never lost heart. Squealer
made excellent speeches on the joy of service and the dignity of labour, but
the other animals found more inspiration in Boxer's strength and his
never-failing cry of "I will work harder! "
In January food fell short. The corn ration was drastically
reduced, and it was announced that an extra potato ration would be issued to
make up for it. Then it was discovered that the greater part of the potato
crop had been frosted in the clamps, which had not been covered thickly
enough. The potatoes had become soft and discoloured, and only a few were
edible. For days at a time the animals had nothing to eat but chaff and
mangels. Starvation seemed to stare them in the face.
It was vitally necessary to conceal this fact from the outside
world. Emboldened by the collapse of the windmill, the human beings were
inventing fresh lies about Animal Farm. Once again it was being put about
that all the animals were dying of famine and disease, and that they were
continually fighting among themselves and had resorted to cannibalism and
infanticide. Napoleon was well aware of the bad results that might follow if
the real facts of the food situation were known, and he decided to make use
of Mr. Whymper to spread a contrary impression. Hitherto the animals had had
little or no contact with Whymper on his weekly visits: now, however, a few
selected animals, mostly sheep, were instructed to remark casually in his
hearing that rations had been increased. In addition, Napoleon ordered the
almost empty bins in the store-shed to be filled nearly to the brim with
sand, which was then covered up with what remained of the grain and meal. On
some suitable pretext Whymper was led through the store-shed and allowed to
catch a glimpse of the bins. He was deceived, and continued to report to the
outside world that there was no food shortage on Animal Farm.
Nevertheless, towards the end of January it became obvious that it
would be necessary to procure some more grain from somewhere. In these days
Napoleon rarely appeared in public, but spent all his time in the farmhouse,
which was guarded at each door by fierce-looking dogs. When he did emerge,
it was in a ceremonial manner, with an escort of six dogs who closely
surrounded him and growled if anyone came too near. Frequently he did not
even appear on Sunday mornings, but issued his orders through one of the
other pigs, usually Squealer.
One Sunday morning Squealer announced that the hens, who had just
come in to lay again, must surrender their eggs. Napoleon had accepted,
through Whymper, a contract for four hundred eggs a week. The price of these
would pay for enough grain and meal to keep the farm going till summer came
on and conditions were easier.
When the hens heard this, they raised a terrible outcry. They had
been warned earlier that this sacrifice might be necessary, but had not
believed that it would really happen. They were just getting their clutches
ready for the spring sitting, and they protested that to take the eggs away
now was murder. For the first time since the expulsion of Jones, there was
something resembling a rebellion. Led by three young Black Minorca pullets,
the hens made a determined effort to thwart Napoleon's wishes. Their method
was to fly up to the rafters and there lay their eggs, which smashed to
pieces on the floor. Napoleon acted swiftly and ruthlessly. He ordered the
hens' rations to be stopped, and decreed that any animal giving so much as a
grain of corn to a hen should be punished by death. The dogs saw to it that
these orders were carried out. For five days the hens held out, then they
capitulated and went back to their nesting boxes. Nine hens had died in the
meantime. Their bodies were buried in the orchard, and it was given out that
they had died of coccidiosis. Whymper heard nothing of this affair, and the
eggs were duly delivered, a grocer's van driving up to the farm once a week
to take them away.
All this while no more had been seen of Snowball. He was rumoured
to be hiding on one of the neighbouring farms, either Foxwood or Pinchfield.
Napoleon was by this time on slightly better terms with the other farmers
than before. It happened that there was in the yard a pile of timber which
had been stacked there ten years earlier when a beech spinney was cleared.
It was well seasoned, and Whymper had advised Napoleon to sell it; both Mr.
Pilkington and Mr. Frederick were anxious to buy it. Napoleon was hesitating
between the two, unable to make up his mind. It was noticed that whenever he
seemed on the point of coming to an agreement with Frederick, Snowball was
declared to be in hiding at Foxwood, while, when he inclined toward
Pilkington, Snowball was said to be at Pinchfield.
Suddenly, early in the spring, an alarming thing was discovered.
Snowball was secretly frequenting the farm by night! The animals were so
disturbed that they could hardly sleep in their stalls. Every night, it was
said, he came creeping in under cover of darkness and performed all kinds of
mischief. He stole the corn, he upset the milk-pails, he broke the eggs, he
trampled the seedbeds, he gnawed the bark off the fruit trees. Whenever
anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball. If a window
was broken or a drain was blocked up, someone was certain to say that
Snowball had come in the night and done it, and when the key of the
store-shed was lost, the whole farm was convinced that Snowball had thrown
it down the well. Curiously enough, they went on believing this even after
the mislaid key was found under a sack of meal. The cows declared
unanimously that Snowball crept into their stalls and milked them in their
sleep. The rats, which had been troublesome that winter, were also said to
be in league with Snowball.
Napoleon decreed that there should be a full investigation into
Snowball's activities. With his dogs in attendance he set out and made a
careful tour of inspection of the farm buildings, the other animals
following at a respectful distance. At every few steps Napoleon stopped and
snuffed the ground for traces of Snowball's footsteps, which, he said, he
could detect by the smell. He snuffed in every corner, in the barn, in the
cow-shed, in the henhouses, in the vegetable garden, and found traces of
Snowball almost everywhere. He would put his snout to the ground, give
several deep sniffs, ad exclaim in a terrible voice, "Snowball! He has been
here! I can smell him distinctly!" and at the word "Snowball" all the dogs
let out blood-curdling growls and showed their side teeth.
The animals were thoroughly frightened. It seemed to them as though
Snowball were some kind of invisible influence, pervading the air about them
and menacing them with all kinds of dangers. In the evening Squealer called
them together, and with an alarmed expression on his face told them that he
had some serious news to report.
"Comrades!" cried Squealer, making little nervous skips, "a most
terrible thing has been discovered. Snowball has sold himself to Frederick
of Pinchfield Farm, who is even now plotting to attack us and take our farm
away from us! Snowball is to act as his guide when the attack begins. But
there is worse than that. We had thought that Snowball's rebellion was
caused simply by his vanity and ambition. But we were wrong, comrades. Do
you know what the real reason was? Snowball was in league with Jones from
the very start! He was Jones's secret agent all the time. It has all been
proved by documents which he left behind him and which we have only just
discovered. To my mind this explains a great deal, comrades. Did we not see
for ourselves how he attempted-fortunately without success-to get us
defeated and destroyed at the Battle of the Cowshed?"
The animals were stupefied. This was a wickedness far outdoing
Snowball's destruction of the windmill. But it was some minutes before they
could fully take it in. They all remembered, or thought they remembered, how
they had seen Snowball charging ahead of them at the Battle of the Cowshed,
how he had rallied and encouraged them at every turn, and how he had not
paused for an instant even when the pellets from Jones's gun had wounded his
back. At first it was a little difficult to see how this fitted in with his
being on Jones's side. Even Boxer, who seldom asked questions, was puzzled.
He lay down, tucked his fore hoofs beneath him, shut his eyes, and with a
hard effort managed to formulate his thoughts.
"I do not believe that," he said. "Snowball fought bravely at the
Battle of the Cowshed. I saw him myself. Did we not give him 'Animal Hero,
first Class,' immediately afterwards?"
"That was our mistake, comrade. For we know now-it is all written
down in the secret documents that we have found-that in reality he was
trying to lure us to our doom."
"But he was wounded," said Boxer. "We all saw him running with
"That was part of the arrangement!" cried Squealer. "Jones's shot
only grazed him. I could show you this in his own writing, if you were able
to read it. The plot was for Snowball, at the critical moment, to give the
signal for flight and leave the field to the enemy. And he very nearly
succeeded-I will even say, comrades, he would have succeeded if it had not
been for our heroic Leader, Comrade Napoleon. Do you not remember how, just
at the moment when Jones and his men had got inside the yard, Snowball
suddenly turned and fled, and many animals followed him? And do you not
remember, too, that it was just at that moment, when panic was spreading and
all seemed lost, that Comrade Napoleon sprang forward with a cry of 'Death
to Humanity!' and sank his teeth in Jones's leg? Surely you remember that,
comrades?" exclaimed Squealer, frisking from side to side.
Now when Squealer described the scene so graphically, it seemed to
the animals that they did remember it. At any rate, they remembered that at
the critical moment of the battle Snowball had turned to flee. But Boxer was
still a little uneasy.
"I do not believe that Snowball was a traitor at the beginning," he
said finally. "What he has done since is different. But I believe that at
the Battle of the Cowshed he was a good comrade."
"Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon," announced Squealer, speaking very
slowly and firmly, "has stated categorically-categorically, comrade-that
Snowball was Jones's agent from the very beginning-yes, and from long before
the Rebellion was ever thought of."
"Ah, that is different!" said Boxer. "If Comrade Napoleon says it,
it must be right."
"That is the true spirit, comrade!" cried Squealer, but it was
noticed he cast a very ugly look at Boxer with his little twinkling eyes. He
turned to go, then paused and added impressively: "I warn every animal on
this farm to keep his eyes very wide open. For we have reason to think that
some of Snowball's secret agents are lurking among us at this moment! "
Four days later, in the late afternoon, Napoleon ordered all the
animals to assemble in the yard. When they were all gathered together,
Napoleon emerged from the farmhouse, wearing both his medals (for he had
recently awarded himself "Animal Hero, First Class," and "Animal Hero,
Second Class"), with his nine huge dogs frisking round him and uttering
growls that sent shivers down all the animals' spines. They all cowered
silently in their places, seeming to know in advance that some terrible
thing was about to happen.
Napoleon stood sternly surveying his audience; then he uttered a
high-pitched whimper. Immediately the dogs bounded forward, seized four of
the pigs by the ear and dragged them, squealing with pain and terror, to
Napoleon's feet. The pigs' ears were bleeding, the dogs had tasted blood,
and for a few moments they appeared to go quite mad. To the amazement of
everybody, three of them flung themselves upon Boxer. Boxer saw them coming
and put out his great hoof, caught a dog in mid-air, and pinned him to the
ground. The dog shrieked for mercy and the other two fled with their tails
between their legs. Boxer looked at Napoleon to know whether he should crush
the dog to death or let it go. Napoleon appeared to change countenance, and
sharply ordered Boxer to let the dog go, whereat Boxer lifted his hoof, and
the dog slunk away, bruised and howling.
Presently the tumult died down. The four pigs waited, trembling,
with guilt written on every line of their countenances. Napoleon now called
upon them to confess their crimes. They were the same four pigs as had
protested when Napoleon abolished the Sunday Meetings. Without any further
prompting they confessed that they had been secretly in touch with Snowball
ever since his expulsion, that they had collaborated with him in destroying
the windmill, and that they had entered into an agreement with him to hand
over Animal Farm to Mr. Frederick. They added that Snowball had privately
admitted to them that he had been Jones's secret agent for years past. When
they had finished their confession, the dogs promptly tore their throats
out, and in a terrible voice Napoleon demanded whether any other animal had
anything to confess.
The three hens who had been the ringleaders in the attempted
rebellion over the eggs now came forward and stated that Snowball had
appeared to them in a dream and incited them to disobey Napoleon's orders.
They, too, were slaughtered. Then a goose came forward and confessed to
having secreted six ears of corn during the last year's harvest and eaten
them in the night. Then a sheep confessed to having urinated in the drinking
pool-urged to do this, so she said, by Snowball-and two other sheep
confessed to having murdered an old ram, an especially devoted follower of
Napoleon, by chasing him round and round a bonfire when he was suffering
from a cough. They were all slain on the spot. And so the tale of
confessions and executions went on, until there was a pile of corpses lying
before Napoleon's feet and the air was heavy with the smell of blood, which
had been unknown there since the expulsion of Jones.
When it was all over, the remaining animals, except for the pigs
and dogs, crept away in a body. They were shaken and miserable. They did not
know which was more shocking-the treachery of the animals who had leagued
themselves with Snowball, or the cruel retribution they had just witnessed.
In the old days there had often been scenes of bloodshed equally terrible,
but it seemed to all of them that it was far worse now that it was happening
among themselves. Since Jones had left the farm, until today, no animal had
killed another animal. Not even a rat had been killed. They had made their
way on to the little knoll where the half-finished windmill stood, and with
one accord they all lay down as though huddling together for warmth-Clover,
Muriel, Benjamin, the cows, the sheep, and a whole flock of geese and
hens-everyone, indeed, except the cat, who had suddenly disappeared just
before Napoleon ordered the animals to assemble. For some time nobody spoke.
Only Boxer remained on his feet. He fidgeted to and fro, swishing his long
black tail against his sides and occasionally uttering a little whinny of
surprise. Finally he said:
"I do not understand it. I would not have believed that such things
could happen on our farm. It must be due to some fault in ourselves. The
solution, as I see it, is to work harder. From now onwards I shall get up a
full hour earlier in the mornings."
And he moved off at his lumbering trot and made for the quarry.
Having got there, he collected two successive loads of stone and dragged
them down to the windmill before retiring for the night.
The animals huddled about Clover, not speaking. The knoll where
they were lying gave them a wide prospect across the countryside. Most of
Animal Farm was within their view-the long pasture stretching down to the
main road, the hayfield, the spinney, the drinking pool, the ploughed fields
where the young wheat was thick and green, and the red roofs of the farm
buildings with the smoke curling from the chimneys. It was a clear spring
evening. The grass and the bursting hedges were gilded by the level rays of
the sun. Never had the farm-and with a kind of surprise they remembered that
it was their own farm, every inch of it their own property-appeared to the
animals so desirable a place. As Clover looked down the hillside her eyes
filled with tears. If she could have spoken her thoughts, it would have been
to say that this was not what they had aimed at when they had set themselves
years ago to work for the overthrow of the human race. These scenes of
terror and slaughter were not what they had looked forward to on that night
when old Major first stirred them to rebellion. If she herself had had any
picture of the future, it had been of a society of animals set free from
hunger and the whip, all equal, each working according to his capacity, the
strong protecting the weak, as she had protected the lost brood of ducklings
with her foreleg on the night of Major's speech. Instead-she did not know
why-they had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce,
growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades
torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes. There was no thought of
rebellion or disobedience in her mind. She knew that, even as things were,
they were far better off than they had been in the days of Jones, and that
before all else it was needful to prevent the return of the human beings.
Whatever happened she would remain faithful, work hard, carry out the orders
that were given to her, and accept the leadership of Napoleon. But still, it
was not for this that she and all the other animals had hoped and toiled. It
was not for this that they had built the windmill and faced the bullets of
Jones's gun. Such were her thoughts, though she lacked the words to express
At last, feeling this to be in some way a substitute for the words
she was unable to find, she began to sing Beasts of England. The other
animals sitting round her took it up, and they sang it three times over-very
tunefully, but slowly and mournfully, in a way they had never sung it
They had just finished singing it for the third time when Squealer,
attended by two dogs, approached them with the air of having something
important to say. He announced that, by a special decree of Comrade
Napoleon, Beasts of England had been abolished. From now onwards it was
forbidden to sing it.
The animals were taken aback.
"Why?" cried Muriel.
"It's no longer needed, comrade," said Squealer stiffly. "Beasts of
England was the song of the Rebellion. But the Rebellion is now completed.
The execution of the traitors this afternoon was the final act. The enemy
both external and internal has been defeated. In Beasts of England we
expressed our longing for a better society in days to come. But that society
has now been established. Clearly this song has no longer any purpose."
Frightened though they were, some of the animals might possibly
have protested, but at this moment the sheep set up their usual bleating of
"Four legs good, two legs bad," which went on for several minutes and put an
end to the discussion.
So Beasts of England was heard no more. In its place Minimus, the
poet, had composed another song which began:
and this was sung
every Sunday morning after the hoisting of the flag. But somehow neither the
words nor the tune ever seemed to the animals to come up to Beasts of
- Animal Farm, Animal
- Never through me shalt thou come to harm!
A FEW days later, when
the terror caused by the executions had died down, some of the animals
remembered-or thought they remembered-that the Sixth Commandment decreed "No
animal shall kill any other animal." And though no one cared to mention it
in the hearing of the pigs or the dogs, it was felt that the killings which
had taken place did not square with this. Clover asked Benjamin to read her
the Sixth Commandment, and when Benjamin, as usual, said that he refused to
meddle in such matters, she fetched Muriel. Muriel read the Commandment for
her. It ran: "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause." Somehow
or other, the last two words had slipped out of the animals' memory. But
they saw now that the Commandment had not been violated; for clearly there
was good reason for killing the traitors who had leagued themselves with
Throughout the year the animals worked even harder than they had
worked in the previous year To rebuild the windmill, with walls twice as
thick as before, and to finish it by the appointed date, together with the
regular work of the farm, was a tremendous labour. There were times when it
seemed to the animals that they worked longer hours and fed no better than
they had done in Jones's day. On Sunday mornings Squealer, holding down a
long strip of paper with his trotter, would read out to them lists of
figures proving that the production of every class of foodstuff had
increased by two hundred per cent, three hundred per cent, or five hundred
per cent, as the case might be. The animals saw no reason to disbelieve him,
especially as they could no longer remember very clearly what conditions had
been like before the Rebellion. All the same, there were days when they felt
that they would sooner have had less figures and more food.
All orders were now issued through Squealer or one of the other
pigs. Napoleon himself was not seen in public as often as once in a
fortnight. When he did appear, he was attended not only by his retinue of
dogs but by a black cockerel who marched in front of him and acted as a kind
of trumpeter, letting out a loud "cock-a-doodle-doo" before Napoleon spoke.
Even in the farmhouse, it was said, Napoleon inhabited separate apartments
from the others. He took his meals alone, with two dogs to wait upon him,
and always ate from the Crown Derby dinner service which had been in the
glass cupboard in the drawing-room. It was also announced that the gun would
be fired every year on Napoleon's birthday, as well as on the other two
Napoleon was now never spoken of simply as "Napoleon." He was
always referred to in formal style as "our Leader, Comrade Napoleon," and
this pigs liked to invent for him such titles as Father of All Animals,
Terror of Mankind, Protector of the Sheep-fold, Ducklings' Friend, and the
like. In his speeches, Squealer would talk with the tears rolling down his
cheeks of Napoleon's wisdom the goodness of his heart, and the deep love he
bore to all animals everywhere, even and especially the unhappy animals who
still lived in ignorance and slavery on other farms. It had become usual to
give Napoleon the credit for every successful achievement and every stroke
of good fortune. You would often hear one hen remark to another, "Under the
guidance of our Leader, Comrade Napoleon, I have laid five eggs in six
days"; or two cows, enjoying a drink at the pool, would exclaim, "Thanks to
the leadership of Comrade Napoleon, how excellent this water tastes!" The
general feeling on the farm was well expressed in a poem entitled Comrade
Napoleon, which was composed by Minimus and which ran as follows:
Napoleon approved of this poem and caused it to be inscribed on the
wall of the big barn, at the opposite end from the Seven Commandments. It
was surmounted by a portrait of Napoleon, in profile, executed by Squealer
in white paint.
Meanwhile, through the agency of Whymper, Napoleon was engaged in
complicated negotiations with Frederick and Pilkington. The pile of timber
was still unsold. Of the two, Frederick was the more anxious to get hold of
it, but he would not offer a reasonable price. At the same time there were
renewed rumours that Frederick and his men were plotting to attack Animal
Farm and to destroy the windmill, the building of which had aroused furious
jealousy in him. Snowball was known to be still skulking on Pinchfield Farm.
In the middle of the summer the animals were alarmed to hear that three hens
had come forward and confessed that, inspired by Snowball, they had entered
into a plot to murder Napoleon. They were executed immediately, and fresh
precautions for Napoleon's safety were taken. Four dogs guarded his bed at
night, one at each corner, and a young pig named Pinkeye was given the task
of tasting all his food before he ate it, lest it should be poisoned.
At about the same time it was given out that Napoleon had arranged
to sell the pile of timber to Mr. Pilkington; he was also going to enter
into a regular agreement for the exchange of certain products between Animal
Farm and Foxwood. The relations between Napoleon and Pilkington, though they
were only conducted through Whymper, were now almost friendly. The animals
distrusted Pilkington, as a human being, but greatly preferred him to
Frederick, whom they both feared and hated. As the summer wore on, and the
windmill neared completion, the rumours of an impending treacherous attack
grew stronger and stronger. Frederick, it was said, intended to bring
against them twenty men all armed with guns, and he had already bribed the
magistrates and police, so that if he could once get hold of the title-deeds
of Animal Farm they would ask no questions. Moreover, terrible stories were
leaking out from Pinchfield about the cruelties that Frederick practised
upon his animals. He had flogged an old horse to death, he starved his cows,
he had killed a dog by throwing it into the furnace, he amused himself in
the evenings by making cocks fight with splinters of razor-blade tied to
their spurs. The animals' blood boiled with rage when they heard of these
things beingdone to their comrades, and sometimes they clamoured to be
allowed to go out in a body and attack Pinchfield Farm, drive out the
humans, and set the animals free. But Squealer counselled them to avoid rash
actions and trust in Comrade Napoleon's strategy.
Nevertheless, feeling against Frederick continued to run high. One
Sunday morning Napoleon appeared in the barn and explained that he had never
at any time contemplated selling the pile of timber to Frederick; he
considered it beneath his dignity, he said, to have dealings with scoundrels
of that description. The pigeons who were still sent out to spread tidings
of the Rebellion were forbidden to set foot anywhere on Foxwood, and were
also ordered to drop their former slogan of "Death to Humanity" in favour of
"Death to Frederick." In the late summer yet another of Snowball's
machinations was laid bare. The wheat crop was full of weeds, and it was
discovered that on one of his nocturnal visits Snowball had mixed weed seeds
with the seed corn. A gander who had been privy to the plot had confessed
his guilt to Squealer and immediately committed suicide by swallowing deadly
nightshade berries. The animals now also learned that Snowball had never-as
many of them had believed hitherto-received the order of "Animal Hero7 First
Class." This was merely a legend which had been spread some time after the
Battle of the Cowshed by Snowball himself. So far from being decorated, he
had been censured for showing cowardice in the battle. Once again some of
the animals heard this with a certain bewilderment, but Squealer was soon
able to convince them that their memories had been at fault.
In the autumn, by a tremendous, exhausting effort-for the harvest
had to be gathered at almost the same time-the windmill was finished. The
machinery had still to be installed, and Whymper was negotiating the
purchase of it, but the structure was completed. In the teeth of every
difficulty, in spite of inexperience, of primitive implements, of bad luck
and of Snowball's treachery, the work had been finished punctually to the
very day! Tired out but proud, the animals walked round and round their
masterpiece, which appeared even more beautiful in their eyes than when it
had been built the first time. Moreover, the walls were twice as thick as
before. Nothing short of explosives would lay them low this time! And when
they thought of how they had laboured, what discouragements they had
overcome, and the enormous difference that would be made in their lives when
the sails were turning and the dynamos running-when they thought of all
this, their tiredness forsook them and they gambolled round and round the
windmill, uttering cries of triumph. Napoleon himself, attended by his dogs
and his cockerel, came down to inspect the completed work; he personally
congratulated the animals on their achievement, and announced that the mill
would be named Napoleon Mill.
Two days later the animals were called together for a special
meeting in the barn. They were struck dumb with surprise when Napoleon
announced that he had sold the pile of timber to Frederick. Tomorrow
Frederick's wagons would arrive and begin carting it away. Throughout the
whole period of his seeming friendship with Pilkington, Napoleon had really
been in secret agreement with Frederick.
All relations with Foxwood had been broken off; insulting messages
had been sent to Pilkington. The pigeons had been told to avoid Pinchfield
Farm and to alter their slogan from "Death to Frederick" to "Death to
Pilkington." At the same time Napoleon assured the animals that the stories
of an impending attack on Animal Farm were completely untrue, and that the
tales about Frederick's cruelty to his own animals had been greatly
exaggerated. All these rumours had probably originated with Snowball and his
agents. It now appeared that Snowball was not, after all, hiding on
Pinchfield Farm, and in fact had never been there in his life: he was
living-in considerable luxury, so it was said-at Foxwood, and had in reality
been a pensioner of Pilkington for years past.
The pigs were in ecstasies over Napoleon's cunning. By seeming to
be friendly with Pilkington he had forced Frederick to raise his price by
twelve pounds. But the superior quality of Napoleon's mind, said Squealer,
was shown in the fact that he trusted nobody, not even Frederick. Frederick
had wanted to pay for the timber with something called a cheque, which, it
seemed, was a piece of paper with a promise to pay written upon it. But
Napoleon was too clever for him. He had demanded payment in real five-pound
notes, which were to be handed over before the timber was removed. Already
Frederick had paid up; and the sum he had paid was just enough to buy the
machinery for the windmill.
Meanwhile the timber was being carted away at high speed. When it
was all gone, another special meeting was held in the barn for the animals
to inspect Frederick's bank-notes. Smiling beatifically, and wearing both
his decorations, Napoleon reposed on a bed of straw on the platform, with
the money at his side, neatly piled on a china dish from the farmhouse
kitchen. The animals filed slowly past, and each gazed his fill. And Boxer
put out his nose to sniff at the bank-notes, and the flimsy white things
stirred and rustled in his breath.
Three days later there was a terrible hullabaloo. Whymper, his face
deadly pale, came racing up the path on his bicycle, flung it down in the
yard and rushed straight into the farmhouse. The next moment a choking roar
of rage sounded from Napoleon's apartments. The news of what had happened
sped round the farm like wildfire. The banknotes were forgeries! Frederick
had got the timber for nothing!
Napoleon called the animals together immediately and in a terrible
voice pronounced the death sentence upon Frederick. When captured, he said,
Frederick should be boiled alive. At the same time he warned them that after
this treacherous deed the worst was to be expected. Frederick and his men
might make their long-expected attack at any moment. Sentinels were placed
at all the approaches to the farm. In addition, four pigeons were sent to
Foxwood with a conciliatory message, which it was hoped might re-establish
good relations with Pilkington.
The very next morning the attack came. The animals were at
breakfast when the look-outs came racing in with the news that Frederick and
his followers had already come through the five-barred gate. Boldly enough
the animals sallied forth to meet them, but this time they did not have the
easy victory that they had had in the Battle of the Cowshed. There were
fifteen men, with half a dozen guns between them, and they opened fire as
soon as they got within fifty yards. The animals could not face the terrible
explosions and the stinging pellets, and in spite of the efforts of Napoleon
and Boxer to rally them, they were soon driven back. A number of them were
already wounded. They took refuge in the farm buildings and peeped
cautiously out from chinks and knot-holes. The whole of the big pasture,
including the windmill, was in the hands of the enemy. For the moment even
Napoleon seemed at a loss. He paced up and down without a word, his tail
rigid and twitching. Wistful glances were sent in the direction of Foxwood.
If Pilkington and his men would help them, the day might yet be won. But at
this moment the four pigeons, who had been sent out on the day before,
returned, one of them bearing a scrap of paper from Pilkington. On it was
pencilled the words: "Serves you right."
Meanwhile Frederick and his men had halted about the windmill. The
animals watched them, and a murmur of dismay went round. Two of the men had
produced a crowbar and a sledge hammer. They were going to knock the
"Impossible!" cried Napoleon. "We have built the walls far too
thick for that. They could not knock it down in a week. Courage, comrades!"
But Benjamin was watching the movements of the men intently. The
two with the hammer and the crowbar were drilling a hole near the base of
the windmill. Slowly, and with an air almost of amusement, Benjamin nodded
his long muzzle.
"I thought so," he said. "Do you not see what they are doing? In
another moment they are going to pack blasting powder into that hole."
Terrified, the animals waited. It was impossible now to venture out
of the shelter of the buildings. After a few minutes the men were seen to be
running in all directions. Then there was a deafening roar. The pigeons
swirled into the air, and all the animals, except Napoleon, flung themselves
flat on their bellies and hid their faces. When they got up again, a huge
cloud of black smoke was hanging where the windmill had been. Slowly the
breeze drifted it away. The windmill had ceased to exist!
At this sight the animals' courage returned to them. The fear and
despair they had felt a moment earlier were drowned in their rage against
this vile, contemptible act. A mighty cry for vengeance went up, and without
waiting for further orders they charged forth in a body and made straight
for the enemy. This time they did not heed the cruel pellets that swept over
them like hail. It was a savage, bitter battle. The men fired again and
again, and, when the animals got to close quarters, lashed out with their
sticks and their heavy boots. A cow, three sheep, and two geese were killed,
and nearly everyone was wounded. Even Napoleon, who was directing operations
from the rear, had the tip of his tail chipped by a pellet. But the men did
not go unscathed either. Three of them had their heads broken by blows from
Boxer's hoofs; another was gored in the belly by a cow's horn; another had
his trousers nearly torn off by Jessie and Bluebell. And when the nine dogs
of Napoleon's own bodyguard, whom he had instructed to make a detour under
cover of the hedge, suddenly appeared on the men's flank, baying
ferociously, panic overtook them. They saw that they were in danger of being
surrounded. Frederick shouted to his men to get out while the going was
good, and the next moment the cowardly enemy was running for dear life. The
animals chased them right down to the bottom of the field, and got in some
last kicks at them as they forced their way through the thorn hedge.
They had won, but they were weary and bleeding. Slowly they began
to limp back towards the farm. The sight of their dead comrades stretched
upon the grass moved some of them to tears. And for a little while they
halted in sorrowful silence at the place where the windmill had once stood.
Yes, it was gone; almost the last trace of their labour was gone! Even the
foundations were partially destroyed. And in rebuilding it they could not
this time, as before, make use of the fallen stones. This time the stones
had vanished too. The force of the explosion had flung them to distances of
hundreds of yards. It was as though the windmill had never been.
As they approached the farm Squealer, who had unaccountably been
absent during the fighting, came skipping towards them, whisking his tail
and beaming with satisfaction. And the animals heard, from the direction of
the farm buildings, the solemn booming of a gun.
"What is that gun firing for?" said Boxer.
"To celebrate our victory!" cried Squealer.
"What victory?" said Boxer. His knees were bleeding, he had lost a
shoe and split his hoof, and a dozen pellets had lodged themselves in his
"What victory, comrade? Have we not driven the enemy off our
soil-the sacred soil of Animal Farm? "
"But they have destroyed the windmill. And we had worked on it for
"What matter? We will build another windmill. We will build six
windmills if we feel like it. You do not appreciate, comrade, the mighty
thing that we have done. The enemy was in occupation of this very ground
that we stand upon. And now-thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon-we
have won every inch of it back again!"
"Then we have won back what we had before," said Boxer.
"That is our victory," said Squealer.
They limped into the yard. The pellets under the skin of Boxer's
leg smarted painfully. He saw ahead of him the heavy labour of rebuilding
the windmill from the foundations, and already in imagination he braced
himself for the task. But for the first time it occurred to him that he was
eleven years old and that perhaps his great muscles were not quite what they
had once been.
But when the animals saw the green flag flying, and heard the gun
firing again-seven times it was fired in all-and heard the speech that
Napoleon made, congratulating them on their conduct, it did seem to them
after all that they had won a great victory. The animals slain in the battle
were given a solemn funeral. Boxer and Clover pulled the wagon which served
as a hearse, and Napoleon himself walked at the head of the procession. Two
whole days were given over to celebrations. There were songs, speeches, and
more firing of the gun, and a special gift of an apple was bestowed on every
animal, with two ounces of corn for each bird and three biscuits for each
dog. It was announced that the battle would be called the Battle of the
Windmill, and that Napoleon had created a new decoration, the Order of the
Green Banner, which he had conferred upon himself. In the general rejoicings
the unfortunate affair of the banknotes was forgotten.
It was a few days later than this that the pigs came upon a case of
whisky in the cellars of the farmhouse. It had been overlooked at the time
when the house was first occupied. That night there came from the farmhouse
the sound of loud singing, in which, to everyone's surprise, the strains of
Beasts of England were mixed up. At about half past nine Napoleon, wearing
an old bowler hat of Mr. Jones's, was distinctly seen to emerge from the
back door, gallop rapidly round the yard, and disappear indoors again. But
in the morning a deep silence hung over the farmhouse. Not a pig appeared to
be stirring. It was nearly nine o'clock when Squealer made his appearance,
walking slowly and dejectedly, his eyes dull, his tail hanging limply behind
him, and with every appearance of being seriously ill. He called the animals
together and told them that he had a terrible piece of news to impart.
Comrade Napoleon was dying!
A cry of lamentation went up. Straw was laid down outside the doors
of the farmhouse, and the animals walked on tiptoe. With tears in their eyes
they asked one another what they should do if their Leader were taken away
from them. A rumour went round that Snowball had after all contrived to
introduce poison into Napoleon's food. At eleven o'clock Squealer came out
to make another announcement. As his last act upon earth, Comrade Napoleon
had pronounced a solemn decree: the drinking of alcohol was to be punished
By the evening, however, Napoleon appeared to be somewhat better,
and the following morning Squealer was able to tell them that he was well on
the way to recovery. By the evening of that day Napoleon was back at work,
and on the next day it was learned that he had instructed Whymper to
purchase in Willingdon some booklets on brewing and distilling. A week later
Napoleon gave orders that the small paddock beyond the orchard, which it had
previously been intended to set aside as a grazing-ground for animals who
were past work, was to be ploughed up. It was given out that the pasture was
exhausted and needed re-seeding; but it soon became known that Napoleon
intended to sow it with barley.
About this time there occurred a strange incident which hardly
anyone was able to understand. One night at about twelve o'clock there was a
loud crash in the yard, and the animals rushed out of their stalls. It was a
moonlit night. At the foot of the end wall of the big barn, where the Seven
Commandments were written, there lay a ladder broken in two pieces.
Squealer, temporarily stunned, was sprawling beside it, and near at hand
there lay a lantern, a paint-brush, and an overturned pot of white paint.
The dogs immediately made a ring round Squealer, and escorted him back to
the farmhouse as soon as he was able to walk. None of the animals could form
any idea as to what this meant, except old Benjamin, who nodded his muzzle
with a knowing air, and seemed to understand, but would say nothing.
But a few days later Muriel, reading over the Seven Commandments to
herself, noticed that there was yet another of them which the animals had
remembered wrong. They had thought the Fifth Commandment was "No animal
shall drink alcohol," but there were two words that they had forgotten.
Actually the Commandment read: "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess."
- Friend of fatherless!
- Fountain of happiness!
- Lord of the swill-bucket! Oh, how my soul is on
- Fire when I gaze at thy
- Calm and commanding eye,
- Like the sun in the sky,
- Comrade Napoleon!
- Thou are the giver of
- All that thy creatures love,
- Full belly twice a day, clean straw to roll upon;
- Every beast great or small
- Sleeps at peace in his stall,
- Thou watchest over all,
- Comrade Napoleon!
- Had I a sucking-pig,
- Ere he had grown as big
- Even as a pint bottle or as a rolling-pin,
- He should have learned to be
- Faithful and true to thee,
- Yes, his first squeak should be
- "Comrade Napoleon!"
BOXER'S split hoof was a
long time in healing. They had started the rebuilding of the windmill the
day after the victory celebrations were ended Boxer refused to take even a
day off work, and made it a point of honour not to let it be seen that he
was in pain. In the evenings he would admit privately to Clover that the
hoof troubled him a great deal. Clover treated the hoof with poultices of
herbs which she prepared by chewing them, and both she and Benjamin urged
Boxer to work less hard. "A horse's lungs do not last for ever," she said to
him. But Boxer would not listen. He had, he said, only one real ambition
left-to see the windmill well under way before he reached the age for
At the beginning, when the laws of Animal Farm were first
formulated, the retiring age had been fixed for horses and pigs at twelve,
for cows at fourteen, for dogs at nine, for sheep at seven, and for hens and
geese at five. Liberal old-age pensions had been agreed upon. As yet no
animal had actually retired on pension, but of late the subject had been
discussed more and more. Now that the small field beyond the orchard had
been set aside for barley, it was rumoured that a corner of the large
pasture was to be fenced off and turned into a grazing-ground for
superannuated animals. For a horse, it was said, the pension would be five
pounds of corn a day and, in winter, fifteen pounds of hay, with a carrot or
possibly an apple on public holidays. Boxer's twelfth birthday was due in
the late summer of the following year.
Meanwhile life was hard. The winter was as cold as the last one had
been, and food was even shorter. Once again all rations were reduced, except
those of the pigs and the dogs. A too rigid equality in rations, Squealer
explained, would have been contrary to the principles of Animalism. In any
case he had no difficulty in proving to the other animals that they were not
in reality short of food, whatever the appearances might be. For the time
being, certainly, it had been found necessary to make a readjustment of
rations (Squealer always spoke of it as a "readjustment," never as a
"reduction"), but in comparison with the days of Jones, the improvement was
enormous. Reading out the figures in a shrill, rapid voice, he proved to
them in detail that they had more oats, more hay, more turnips than they had
had in Jones's day, that they worked shorter hours, that their drinking
water was of better quality, that they lived longer, that a larger
proportion of their young ones survived infancy, and that they had more
straw in their stalls and suffered less from fleas. The animals believed
every word of it. Truth to tell, Jones and all he stood for had almost faded
out of their memories. They knew that life nowadays was harsh and bare, that
they were often hungry and often cold, and that they were usually working
when they were not asleep. But doubtless it had been worse in the old days.
They were glad to believe so. Besides, in those days they had been slaves
and now they were free, and that made all the difference, as Squealer did
not fail to point out.
There were many more mouths to feed now. In the autumn the four
sows had all littered about simultaneously, producing thirty-one young pigs
between them. The young pigs were piebald, and as Napoleon was the only boar
on the farm, it was possible to guess at their parentage. It was announced
that later, when bricks and timber had been purchased, a schoolroom would be
built in the farmhouse garden. For the time being, the young pigs were given
their instruction by Napoleon himself in the farmhouse kitchen. They took
their exercise in the garden, and were discouraged from playing with the
other young animals. About this time, too, it was laid down as a rule that
when a pig and any other animal met on the path, the other animal must stand
aside: and also that all pigs, of whatever degree, were to have the
privilege of wearing green ribbons on their tails on Sundays.
The farm had had a fairly successful year, but was still short of
money. There were the bricks, sand, and lime for the schoolroom to be
purchased, and it would also be necessary to begin saving up again for the
machinery for the windmill. Then there were lamp oil and candles for the
house, sugar for Napoleon's own table (he forbade this to the other pigs, on
the ground that it made them fat), and all the usual replacements such as
tools, nails, string, coal, wire, scrap-iron, and dog biscuits. A stump of
hay and part of the potato crop were sold off, and the contract for eggs was
increased to six hundred a week, so that that year the hens barely hatched
enough chicks to keep their numbers at the same level. Rations, reduced in
December, were reduced again in February, and lanterns in the stalls were
forbidden to save Oil. But the pigs seemed comfortable enough, and in fact
were putting on weight if anything. One afternoon in late February a warm,
rich, appetising scent, such as the animals had never smelt before, wafted
itself across the yard from the little brew-house, which had been disused in
Jones's time, and which stood beyond the kitchen. Someone said it was the
smell of cooking barley. The animals sniffed the air hungrily and wondered
whether a warm mash was being prepared for their supper. But no warm mash
appeared, and on the following Sunday it was announced that from now onwards
all barley would be reserved for the pigs. The field beyond the orchard had
already been sown with barley. And the news soon leaked out that every pig
was now receiving a ration of a pint of beer daily, with half a gallon for
Napoleon himself, which was always served to him in the Crown Derby soup
But if there were hardships to be borne, they were partly offset by
the fact that life nowadays had a greater dignity than it had had before.
There were more songs, more speeches, more processions. Napoleon had
commanded that once a week there should be held something called a
Spontaneous Demonstration, the object of which was to celebrate the
struggles and triumphs of Animal Farm. At the appointed time the animals
would leave their work and march round the precincts of the farm in military
formation, with the pigs leading, then the horses, then the cows, then the
sheep, and then the poultry. The dogs flanked the procession and at the head
of all marched Napoleon's black cockerel. Boxer and Clover always carried
between them a green banner marked with the hoof and the horn and the
caption, "Long live Comrade Napoleon! " Afterwards there were recitations of
poems composed in Napoleon's honour, and a speech by Squealer giving
particulars of the latest increases in the production of foodstuffs, and on
occasion a shot was fired from the gun. The sheep were the greatest devotees
of the Spontaneous Demonstration, and if anyone complained (as a few animals
sometimes did, when no pigs or dogs were near) that they wasted time and
meant a lot of standing about in the cold, the sheep were sure to silence
him with a tremendous bleating of "Four legs good, two legs bad!" But by and
large the animals enjoyed these celebrations. They found it comforting to be
reminded that, after all, they were truly their own masters and that the
work they did was for their own benefit. So that, what with the songs, the
processions, Squealer's lists of figures, the thunder of the gun, the
crowing of the cockerel, and the fluttering of the flag, they were able to
forget that their bellies were empty, at least part of the time.
In April, Animal Farm was proclaimed a Republic, and it became
necessary to elect a President. There was only one candidate, Napoleon, who
was elected unanimously. On the same day it was given out that fresh
documents had been discovered which revealed further details about
Snowball's complicity with Jones. It now appeared that Snowball had not, as
the animals had previously imagined, merely attempted to lose the Battle of
the Cowshed by means of a stratagem, but had been openly fighting on Jones's
side. In fact, it was he who had actually been the leader of the human
forces, and had charged into battle with the words "Long live Humanity!" on
his lips. The wounds on Snowball's back, which a few of the animals still
remembered to have seen, had been inflicted by Napoleon's teeth.
In the middle of the summer Moses the raven suddenly reappeared on
the farm, after an absence of several years. He was quite unchanged, still
did no work, and talked in the same strain as ever about Sugarcandy
Mountain. He would perch on a stump, flap his black wings, and talk by the
hour to anyone who would listen. "Up there, comrades," he would say
solemnly, pointing to the sky with his large beak-"up there, just on the
other side of that dark cloud that you can see-there it lies, Sugarcandy
Mountain, that happy country where we poor animals shall rest for ever from
our labours!" He even claimed to have been there on one of his higher
flights, and to have seen the everlasting fields of clover and the linseed
cake and lump sugar growing on the hedges. Many of the animals believed him.
Their lives now, they reasoned, were hungry and laborious; was it not right
and just that a better world should exist somewhere else? A thing that was
difficult to determine was the attitude of the pigs towards Moses. They all
declared contemptuously that his stories about Sugarcandy Mountain were
lies, and yet they allowed him to remain on the farm, not working, with an
allowance of a gill of beer a day.
After his hoof had healed up, Boxer worked harder than ever.
Indeed, all the animals worked like slaves that year. Apart from the regular
work of the farm, and the rebuilding of the windmill, there was the
schoolhouse for the young pigs, which was started in March. Sometimes the
long hours on insufficient food were hard to bear, but Boxer never faltered.
In nothing that he said or did was there any sign that his strength was not
what it had been. It was only his appearance that was a little altered; his
hide was less shiny than it had used to be, and his great haunches seemed to
have shrunken. The others said, "Boxer will pick up when the spring grass
comes on"; but the spring came and Boxer grew no fatter. Sometimes on the
slope leading to the top of the quarry, when he braced his muscles against
the weight of some vast boulder, it seemed that nothing kept him on his feet
except the will to continue. At such times his lips were seen to form the
words, "I will work harder"; he had no voice left. Once again Clover and
Benjamin warned him to take care of his health, but Boxer paid no attention.
His twelfth birthday was approaching. He did not care what happened so long
as a good store of stone was accumulated before he went on pension.
Late one evening in the summer, a sudden rumour ran round the farm
that something had happened to Boxer. He had gone out alone to drag a load
of stone down to the windmill. And sure enough, the rumour was true. A few
minutes later two pigeons came racing in with the news: "Boxer has fallen!
He is lying on his side and can't get up!"
About half the animals on the farm rushed out to the knoll where
the windmill stood. There lay Boxer, between the shafts of the cart, his
neck stretched out, unable even to raise his head. His eyes were glazed, his
sides matted with sweat. A thin stream of blood had trickled out of his
mouth. Clover dropped to her knees at his side.
"Boxer!" she cried, "how are you?"
"It is my lung," said Boxer in a weak voice. "It does not matter. I
think you will be able to finish the windmill without me. There is a pretty
good store of stone accumulated. I had only another month to go in any case.
To tell you the truth, I had been looking forward to my retirement. And
perhaps, as Benjamin is growing old too, they will let him retire at the
same time and be a companion to me."
"We must get help at once," said Clover. "Run, somebody, and tell
Squealer what has happened."
All the other animals immediately raced back to the farmhouse to
give Squealer the news. Only Clover remained, and Benjamin7 who lay down at
Boxer's side, and, without speaking, kept the flies off him with his long
tail. After about a quarter of an hour Squealer appeared, full of sympathy
and concern. He said that Comrade Napoleon had learned with the very deepest
distress of this misfortune to one of the most loyal workers on the farm,
and was already making arrangements to send Boxer to be treated in the
hospital at Willingdon. The animals felt a little uneasy at this. Except for
Mollie and Snowball, no other animal had ever left the farm, and they did
not like to think of their sick comrade in the hands of human beings.
However, Squealer easily convinced them that the veterinary surgeon in
Willingdon could treat Boxer's case more satisfactorily than could be done
on the farm. And about half an hour later, when Boxer had somewhat
recovered, he was with difficulty got on to his feet, and managed to limp
back to his stall, where Clover and Benjamin had prepared a good bed of
straw for him.
For the next two days Boxer remained in his stall. The pigs had
sent out a large bottle of pink medicine which they had found in the
medicine chest in the bathroom, and Clover administered it to Boxer twice a
day after meals. In the evenings she lay in his stall and talked to him,
while Benjamin kept the flies off him. Boxer professed not to be sorry for
what had happened. If he made a good recovery, he might expect to live
another three years, and he looked forward to the peaceful days that he
would spend in the corner of the big pasture. It would be the first time
that he had had leisure to study and improve his mind. He intended, he said,
to devote the rest of his life to learning the remaining twenty-two letters
of the alphabet.
However, Benjamin and Clover could only be with Boxer after working
hours, and it was in the middle of the day when the van came to take him
away. The animals were all at work weeding turnips under the supervision of
a pig, when they were astonished to see Benjamin come galloping from the
direction of the farm buildings, braying at the top of his voice. It was the
first time that they had ever seen Benjamin excited-indeed, it was the first
time that anyone had ever seen him gallop. "Quick, quick!" he shouted. "Come
at once! They're taking Boxer away!" Without waiting for orders from the
pig, the animals broke off work and raced back to the farm buildings. Sure
enough, there in the yard was a large closed van, drawn by two horses, with
lettering on its side and a sly-looking man in a low-crowned bowler hat
sitting on the driver's seat. And Boxer's stall was empty.
The animals crowded round the van. "Good-bye, Boxer!" they
"Fools! Fools!" shouted Benjamin, prancing round them and stamping
the earth with his small hoofs. "Fools! Do you not see what is written on
the side of that van?"
That gave the animals pause, and there was a hush. Muriel began to
spell out the words. But Benjamin pushed her aside and in the midst of a
deadly silence he read:
" 'Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler, Willingdon.
Dealer in Hides and Bone-Meal. Kennels Supplied.' Do you not understand what
that means? They are taking Boxer to the knacker's! "
A cry of horror burst from all the animals. At this moment the man
on the box whipped up his horses and the van moved out of the yard at a
smart trot. All the animals followed, crying out at the tops of their
voices. Clover forced her way to the front. The van began to gather speed.
Clover tried to stir her stout limbs to a gallop, and achieved a canter.
"Boxer!" she cried. "Boxer! Boxer! Boxer!" And just at this moment, as
though he had heard the uproar outside, Boxer's face, with the white stripe
down his nose, appeared at the small window at the back of the van.
"Boxer!" cried Clover in a terrible voice. "Boxer! Get out! Get out
quickly! They're taking you to your death!"
All the animals took up the cry of "Get out, Boxer, get out!" But
the van was already gathering speed and drawing away from them. It was
uncertain whether Boxer had understood what Clover had said. But a moment
later his face disappeared from the window and there was the sound of a
tremendous drumming of hoofs inside the van. He was trying to kick his way
out. The time had been when a few kicks from Boxer's hoofs would have
smashed the van to matchwood. But alas! his strength had left him; and in a
few moments the sound of drumming hoofs grew fainter and died away. In
desperation the animals began appealing to the two horses which drew the van
to stop. "Comrades, comrades!" they shouted. "Don't take your own brother to
his death! " But the stupid brutes, too ignorant to realise what was
happening, merely set back their ears and quickened their pace. Boxer's face
did not reappear at the window. Too late, someone thought of racing ahead
and shutting the five-barred gate; but in another moment the van was through
it and rapidly disappearing down the road. Boxer was never seen again.
Three days later it was announced that he had died in the hospital
at Willingdon, in spite of receiving every attention a horse could have.
Squealer came to announce the news to the others. He had, he said, been
present during Boxer's last hours.
"It was the most affecting sight I have ever seen!" said Squealer,
lifting his trotter and wiping away a tear. "I was at his bedside at the
very last. And at the end, almost too weak to speak, he whispered in my ear
that his sole sorrow was to have passed on before the windmill was finished.
'Forward, comrades!' he whispered. 'Forward in the name of the Rebellion.
Long live Animal Farm! Long live Comrade Napoleon! Napoleon is always
right.' Those were his very last words, comrades."
Here Squealer's demeanour suddenly changed. He fell silent for a
moment, and his little eyes darted suspicious glances from side to side
before he proceeded.
It had come to his knowledge, he said, that a foolish and wicked
rumour had been circulated at the time of Boxer's removal. Some of the
animals had noticed that the van which took Boxer away was marked "Horse
Slaughterer," and had actually jumped to the conclusion that Boxer was being
sent to the knacker's. It was almost unbelievable, said Squealer, that any
animal could be so stupid. Surely, he cried indignantly, whisking his tail
and skipping from side to side, surely they knew their beloved Leader,
Comrade Napoleon, better than that? But the explanation was really very
simple. The van had previously been the property of the knacker, and had
been bought by the veterinary surgeon, who had not yet painted the old name
out. That was how the mistake had arisen.
The animals were enormously relieved to hear this. And when
Squealer went on to give further graphic details of Boxer's death-bed, the
admirable care he had received, and the expensive medicines for which
Napoleon had paid without a thought as to the cost, their last doubts
disappeared and the sorrow that they felt for their comrade's death was
tempered by the thought that at least he had died happy.
Napoleon himself appeared at the meeting on the following Sunday
morning and pronounced a short oration in Boxer's honour. It had not been
possible, he said, to bring back their lamented comrade's remains for
interment on the farm, but he had ordered a large wreath to be made from the
laurels in the farmhouse garden and sent down to be placed on Boxer's grave.
And in a few days' time the pigs intended to hold a memorial banquet in
Boxer's honour. Napoleon ended his speech with a reminder of Boxer's two
favourite maxims, "I will work harder" and "Comrade Napoleon is always
right"-maxims, he said, which every animal would do well to adopt as his
On the day appointed for the banquet, a grocer's van drove up from
Willingdon and delivered a large wooden crate at the farmhouse. That night
there was the sound of uproarious singing, which was followed by what
sounded like a violent quarrel and ended at about eleven o'clock with a
tremendous crash of glass. No one stirred in the farmhouse before noon on
the following day, and the word went round that from somewhere or other the
pigs had acquired the money to buy themselves another case of whisky.
YEARS passed. The seasons
came and went, the short animal lives fled by. A time came when there was no
one who remembered the old days before the Rebellion, except Clover,
Benjamin, Moses the raven, and a number of the pigs.
Muriel was dead; Bluebell, Jessie, and Pincher were dead. Jones too
was dead-he had died in an inebriates' home in another part of the country.
Snowball was forgotten. Boxer was forgotten, except by the few who had known
him. Clover was an old stout mare now, stiff in the joints and with a
tendency to rheumy eyes. She was two years past the retiring age, but in
fact no animal had ever actually retired. The talk of setting aside a corner
of the pasture for superannuated animals had long since been dropped.
Napoleon was now a mature boar of twenty-four stone. Squealer was so fat
that he could with difficulty see out of his eyes. Only old Benjamin was
much the same as ever, except for being a little greyer about the muzzle,
and, since Boxer's death, more morose and taciturn than ever.
There were many more creatures on the farm now, though the increase
was not so great as had been expected in earlier years. Many animals had
been born to whom the Rebellion was only a dim tradition, passed on by word
of mouth, and others had been bought who had never heard mention of such a
thing before their arrival. The farm possessed three horses now besides
Clover. They were fine upstanding beasts, willing workers and good comrades,
but very stupid. None of them proved able to learn the alphabet beyond the
letter B. They accepted everything that they were told about the Rebellion
and the principles of Animalism, especially from Clover, for whom they had
an almost filial respect; but it was doubtful whether they understood very
much of it.
The farm was more prosperous now, and better organised: it had even
been enlarged by two fields which had been bought from Mr. Pilkington. The
windmill had been successfully completed at last, and the farm possessed a
threshing machine and a hay elevator of its own, and various new buildings
had been added to it. Whymper had bought himself a dogcart. The windmill,
however, had not after all been used for generating electrical power. It was
used for milling corn, and brought in a handsome money profit. The animals
were hard at work building yet another windmill; when that one was finished,
so it was said, the dynamos would be installed. But the luxuries of which
Snowball had once taught the animals to dream, the stalls with electric
light and hot and cold water, and the three-day week, were no longer talked
about. Napoleon had denounced such ideas as contrary to the spirit of
Animalism. The truest happiness, he said, lay in working hard and living
Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without
making the animals themselves any richer-except, of course, for the pigs and
the dogs. Perhaps this was partly because there were so many pigs and so
many dogs. It was not that these creatures did not work, after their
fashion. There was, as Squealer was never tired of explaining, endless work
in the supervision and organisation of the farm. Much of this work was of a
kind that the other animals were too ignorant to understand. For example,
Squealer told them that the pigs had to expend enormous labours every day
upon mysterious things called "files," "reports," "minutes," and
"memoranda." These were large sheets of paper which had to be closely
covered with writing, and as soon as they were so covered, they were burnt
in the furnace. This was of the highest importance for the welfare of the
farm, Squealer said. But still, neither pigs nor dogs produced any food by
their own labour; and there were very many of them, and their appetites were
As for the others, their life, so far as they knew, was as it had
always been. They were generally hungry, they slept on straw, they drank
from the pool, they laboured in the fields; in winter they were troubled by
the cold, and in summer by the flies. Sometimes the older ones among them
racked their dim memories and tried to determine whether in the early days
of the Rebellion, when Jones's expulsion was still recent, things had been
better or worse than now. They could not remember. There was nothing with
which they could compare their present lives: they had nothing to go upon
except Squealer's lists of figures, which invariably demonstrated that
everything was getting better and better. The animals found the problem
insoluble; in any case, they had little time for speculating on such things
now. Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life
and to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or
much worse-hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the
unalterable law of life.
And yet the animals never gave up hope. More, they never lost, even
for an instant, their sense of honour and privilege in being members of
Animal Farm. They were still the only farm in the whole county-in all
England!-owned and operated by animals. Not one of them, not even the
youngest, not even the newcomers who had been brought from farms ten or
twenty miles away, ever ceased to marvel at that. And when they heard the
gun booming and saw the green flag fluttering at the masthead, their hearts
swelled with imperishable pride, and the talk turned always towards the old
heroic days, the expulsion of Jones, the writing of the Seven Commandments,
the great battles in which the human invaders had been defeated. None of the
old dreams had been abandoned. The Republic of the Animals which Major had
foretold, when the green fields of England should be untrodden by human
feet, was still believed in. Some day it was coming: it might not be soon,
it might not be with in the lifetime of any animal now living, but still it
was coming. Even the tune of Beasts of England was perhaps hummed secretly
here and there: at any rate, it was a fact that every animal on the farm
knew it, though no one would have dared to sing it aloud. It might be that
their lives were hard and that not all of their hopes had been fulfilled;
but they were conscious that they were not as other animals. If they went
hungry, it was not from feeding tyrannical human beings; if they worked
hard, at least they worked for themselves. No creature among them went upon
two legs. No creature called any other creature "Master." All animals were
One day in early summer Squealer ordered the sheep to follow him,
and led them out to a piece of waste ground at the other end of the farm,
which had become overgrown with birch saplings. The sheep spent the whole
day there browsing at the leaves under Squealer's supervision. In the
evening he returned to the farmhouse himself, but, as it was warm weather,
told the sheep to stay where they were. It ended by their remaining there
for a whole week, during which time the other animals saw nothing of them.
Squealer was with them for the greater part of every day. He was, he said,
teaching them to sing a new song, for which privacy was needed.
It was just after the sheep had returned, on a pleasant evening
when the animals had finished work and were making their way back to the
farm buildings, that the terrified neighing of a horse sounded from the
yard. Startled, the animals stopped in their tracks. It was Clover's voice.
She neighed again, and all the animals broke into a gallop and rushed into
the yard. Then they saw what Clover had seen.
It was a pig walking on his hind legs.
Yes, it was Squealer. A little awkwardly, as though not quite used
to supporting his considerable bulk in that position, but with perfect
balance, he was strolling across the yard. And a moment later, out from the
door of the farmhouse came a long file of pigs, all walking on their hind
legs. Some did it better than others, one or two were even a trifle unsteady
and looked as though they would have liked the support of a stick, but every
one of them made his way right round the yard successfully. And finally
there was a tremendous baying of dogs and a shrill crowing from the black
cockerel, and out came Napoleon himself, majestically upright, casting
haughty glances from side to side, and with his dogs gambolling round him.
He carried a whip in his trotter.
There was a deadly silence. Amazed, terrified, huddling together,
the animals watched the long line of pigs march slowly round the yard. It
was as though the world had turned upside-down. Then there came a moment
when the first shock had worn off and when, in spite of everything-in spite
of their terror of the dogs, and of the habit, developed through long years,
of never complaining, never criticising, no matter what happened-they might
have uttered some word of protest. But just at that moment, as though at a
signal, all the sheep burst out into a tremendous bleating of-
"Four legs good, two legs better! Four legs good, two legs better!
Four legs good, two legs better!"
It went on for five minutes without stopping. And by the time the
sheep had quieted down, the chance to utter any protest had passed, for the
pigs had marched back into the farmhouse.