winter is difficult. We work to
finish the windmill despite snow, sleet, and the cruelest conditions imaginable.
Not only that, we are beginning to starve.
The hens are forced to give up their eggs to be sold so we can buy grain
to survive. For the first time
since the creation of Animal Farm, something like a rebellion occurs.
The hens smash their eggs so that Napoleon cannot steal them, but
Napoleon ruthlessly cuts off all rations to the hens and any animal caught
giving food to the hens will be killed. In
the five days that they hold out, nine hens die.
I admire their courage, but it is no use.
Napoleon has gained too much power already to be overthrown.
He can afford to rule with an iron fist because he knows that he has
security in his position. Also,
rumors are being spread that Snowball causes trouble in the farm at nights.
Pretty soon, anything negative that happens is attributed to Snowball.
It constantly amazes me how far the other animals go to ignore truth when
it is staring them in the face. Napoleon
then announces that Snowball was in league with Jones from the start.
Just days after this announcement, Napoleon calls all of us to a meeting.
The giant dogs seize four pigs, ones that spoke in protest occasionally,
and drag them to the front. Napoleon
orders that they confess their crimes, and without further prompting, they spill
their conscience, admitting to conspiring with Snowball. Their throats are torn out.
One by one, animals step up to confess utterly outrageous crimes, and are
murdered by the dogs. Even I am
frightened by such acts of blatant crime. If
Napoleon can get away with cold-blooded murder, he is unstoppable.
That night, we all lie together, scared, miserable, trying to comfort
each other, not knowing what our lives are coming to.
I knew it all along, if not consciously than subconsciously.
It seems that the other animals are just now beginning to realize that
life really is a far stretch from the ideal we were taught to believe long ago.
Slowly, we all sing “The Beasts of England,” maybe because it’s our
symbol of hope or an expression of our feelings.
I do not believe that the land described in “The Beasts of England”
was ever possible and even less now, but it holds a special place in our hearts.
Just then, Squealer walks in with an escort of dogs and announces that we
may no longer sing “The Beasts of England.”
They are destroying us. We
will become shells, with no hope, no life, no spark, and no will to live. We will obey and work mindlessly. That is the goal of the pigs.
seems to be receding from life on the farm, and squealer is now the official
spokesperson. Napoleon is becoming
an exalted being. Everyone calls
him “Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon,” and just as anything bad is blamed on
Snowball, every positive event is attributed to Napoleon.
In the meantime, those pigs are negotiating with our neighboring farms
about the sale of wood. I’m not sure why humans value a stack of old wood so much,
but both Frederick and Pilkington are vying to purchase the wood.
The situation is very complicated because every few days, Napoleon
changes his mind about the farmers. His
excuse is that one farm is harboring Snowball and it seems that Snowball moves
between the two farms daily. Finally,
right on schedule, we complete the windmill.
Everyone loves to go admire the windmill in their free time.
Though I admire the tenacity of my fellow animals and their determination
to hold on to an idea, I do not adopt their admiration of this stone object.
It is not worth our lives to build.
Napoleon finally decides to sell the wood to Frederick though he had been
leaning towards Pilkington just days ago. Frederick
pays in five-pound notes and Napoleon displays them at a special meeting so we
may examine them for ourselves. I
cannot believe how far we have debased ourselves.
We once resolved to make humans vanish from this earth; now we have
adopted the ways of the humans, including valuing worthless sheets of paper.
Three days after the payment, we discover that Frederick gave us
counterfeit bank notes. The very
next morning, he appears with a band of followers, armed to the teeth, to
destroy us. We try to charge them,
but they shoot at us before we can get close enough to do any harm.
We hide in the barn as the men take control of the entire pasture and the
beloved windmill. We see them produce a crowbar and sledgehammer.
Only I watch carefully and see what they really are aiming to do.
For once, I deign to speak aloud to everyone and I tell them that the men
are going to blast apart the windmill. With
a deafening roar, a cloud of dust arises where the windmill was, and when it
scattered, the windmill no longer stood. Goaded
on by anger, the foolish animals rush out, paying no attention to the bullets.
A fierce battle ensues, resulting in the retreat of the men.
Many animals are now dead, and even more are wounded, including Boxer. The pigs try to convince us that we won a great victory, but
I know that this indeed is a huge loss for the farm. We have celebrations, ceremonies, and speeches.
It is all pomp and circumstance, an effort to make the animals believe
that the farm can still prosper. Then
days after, the pigs discover a crate of whiskey in the cellar and get drunk.
Squealer announces that Napoleon is dying. I wish I could believe it, but I have seen Jones drunk before
and I know that Napoleon will not die. One
night, in the same season, we hear a crash in the middle of the night.
We all run and see Squealer on the ground next to a ladder and a paint
bucket. This time he is caught in
the act of changing the commandments. The
animals who have occasionally doubted their memory when they saw the
commandments, should now have realized it is the pigs they should doubt, not
their memory; especially since the pigs have been caught red-handed.
They don’t! With all the
evidence before them, it is still only I that understands what is happening.
injuries from the Battle of Cowshed are slow in healing, but he refuses to take
even one day off from work, especially since the building of the windmill is
beginning again. I tell him not to strain himself so, but he will not listen.
He is determined to work until the very day he reaches the retiring age.
What a fool; a lovable, good-hearted, simple-minded fool. After all the horrible things Napoleon has done, Boxer still
believes in this evil tyrant. Life
is cruel. There is never enough
food, and we are forced to work beyond our limits.
In an attempt to soften our hard lives, we have Spontaneous
Demonstrations every week. They are
pointless, time wasting processions out in the cold weather.
In the summer, Moses returns, still preaching Sugercandy Mountain.
Most of the animals now believe him and the pigs do not bother to silence
him. I give the pigs credit for
allowing Moses to stay because it gives us some hope for a better life after
death, which will probably reduce discontent with the current life. Again with the building of the windmill, it is Boxer who
solves all our problems. I can see
the strain that it is putting on him though.
He goes on through will power alone it seems.
It is a summer evening, when Boxer collapses while lugging a load of
stone to the windmill. Clover and I
help him back to his stall so he can rest, and each day after we finish work, we
go to be with him. It is during the
day that I see the van to take Boxer away.
I was at work as usual in the fields and I saw a van clatter into the
driveway. I saw Boxer being led out
of his stall by one of the pigs. I
quickly call to all of the animals and run to the driveway. The animals actually call out goodbye because they don’t
understand. I read out loud to them
the words written on the side of the van. Boxer
is being taken to the knacker! Boxer
hears our cries, but he is no longer strong enough to kick open the door.
He disappears down the road, never to be seen again.
Three days later, Squealer announces that Boxer died in the veterinary
hospital. I did not know that the
pigs could sink so low. To the
pigs, all animals are expendable, even the ones that support the pigs the most;
the powerful are willing to discard the weak as soon as they are no longer
useful. Days later, a box is
delivered to the doorstep of the farm. The
sale of Boxer to the butcher had brought in enough money to buy the pigs another
crate of whiskey.
The years are rushing by and our lives are as miserable as ever. I may be a crusty old fellow, but I sorely miss Boxer. Everyone from the old days is dead except for Moses, Clover, several of the pigs, and me. Most of the young animals are very stupid and don’t really care about the rebellion. What they know are the dim recollections of Clover passed on by word of mouth. The first windmill was completed, but instead of bringing electricity to the stalls, it is a corn miller. We are now working on another windmill, which the pigs say will be used for generation electricity, but I highly doubt it. The farm has become more prosperous, but we are still poor. There are so many pigs and dogs and they do not produce any food by their own labor, but their appetites are always good. Our lives have not changed. We are usually hungry, we sleep on straw, work in the fields, suffer from cold in the winter and flies in the summer. Perhaps I am the only one that still remembers every detail of our past. I still don’t understand how the animals can hold on to their pride in this farm. They know they are treated horribly, but they are proud of the fact they are the only animals with “freedom.” I feel more shame than pride, for the animals are oppressing their fellow animals worse than men oppress animals. One pleasant evening, we see a pig walking on his hind legs. Soon, the entire community of pigs march out walking on two legs, carrying whips in their trotters. Clover pulls me to the commandments inscribed on the wall, and asks that I read them aloud to her. I break my usual rule of silence and read, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” From then on, pigs carry whips, read magazines, and wear Mr. Jones’ clothing. A week later, many farmers are invited to take a tour of the farm. That night, the pigs and men sit together at cards. We peak in the windows and watch as they drink a toast. We overhear the men mention that the conditions on our farm are worse than any other that they have ever seen and that the name of the farm will be changed back to the Manor Farm. As we watch, the faces of the men and pigs seemed to blur into each other. We start to sneak away, but we hear loud, angry voices. We returned to the window, to see an argument going on because Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington had simultaneously played the Ace of Spades. Now there is no mistaking it, it is impossible to tell the difference between man and pig. We all knew it would happen. It is the way of the world. For the brief, happy time, in which we almost lived in equality, we have paid the price of more grief and misery than we would have suffered under Jones. Thus ends the sad chronicle of the Animal Farm.