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Title:      Animal Farm
Author:     George Orwell (pseudonym of Eric Blair) (1903-1950)
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eBook No.:  0100011.txt
Language:   English
Date first posted:          August 2001
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Title:      Animal Farm
Author:     George Orwell (pseudonym of Eric Blair) (1903-1950)

Chapter I

Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but
was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-holes. 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 never speaking.

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
and began:

"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 for ever.

"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 nearest pond.

"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. Almost 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:

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.

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
been interrupted.

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.

Chapter II

Three nights later old Major died peacefully in his sleep. His body was
buried at the foot of the orchard.

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 white.

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 Mollie.

"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 market days.

"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 just 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 thus:


1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.

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 the hens.

"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 disappeared.

Chapter III

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 a mouthful.

All through that summer the work of the farm went like clockwork. The
animals were happy as they had never conceived it possible to be. Every
mouthful of food was an acute positive pleasure, now that it was truly
their own food, produced by themselves and for themselves, not doled out
to them by a grudging master. With the worthless parasitical human beings
gone, there was more for everyone to eat. There was more leisure too,
inexperienced though the animals were. They met with many difficulties--for
instance, later in the year, when they harvested the corn, they had to
tread it out in the ancient style and blow away the chaff with their
breath, since the farm possessed no threshing machine--but the pigs with
their cleverness and Boxer with his tremendous muscles always pulled them
through. Boxer was the admiration of everybody. He had been a hard worker
even in Jones's time, but now he seemed more like three horses than one;
there were days when the entire work of the farm seemed to rest on his
mighty shoulders. From morning to night he was pushing and pulling, always
at the spot where the work was hardest. He had made an arrangement with
one of the cockerels to call him in the mornings half an hour earlier than
anyone else, and would put in some volunteer labour at whatever seemed to
be most needed, before the regular day's work began. His answer to every
problem, every setback, was "I will work harder!"--which he had adopted as
his personal motto.

But everyone worked according to his capacity. The hens and ducks, for
instance, saved five bushels of corn at the harvest by gathering up the
stray grains. Nobody stole, nobody grumbled over his rations, the
quarrelling and biting and jealousy which had been normal features of life
in the old days had almost disappeared. Nobody shirked--or almost nobody.
Mollie, it was true, was not good at getting up in the mornings, and had a
way of leaving work early on the ground that there was a stone in her
hoof. And the behaviour of the cat was somewhat peculiar. It was soon
noticed that when there was work to be done the cat could never be found.
She would vanish for hours on end, and then reappear at meal-times, or in
the evening after work was over, as though nothing had happened. But she
always made such excellent excuses, and purred so affectionately, that it
was impossible not to believe in her good intentions. Old Benjamin, the
donkey, seemed quite unchanged since the Rebellion. He did his work in the
same slow obstinate way as he had done it in Jones's time, never shirking
and never volunteering for extra work either. About the Rebellion and its
results he would express no opinion. When asked whether he was not happier
now that Jones was gone, he would say only "Donkeys live a long time. None
of you has ever seen a dead donkey," and the others had to be content with
this cryptic answer.

On Sundays there was no work. Breakfast was an hour later than usual, and
after breakfast there was a ceremony which was observed every week without
fail. First came the hoisting of the flag. Snowball had found in the
harness-room an old green tablecloth of Mrs. Jones's and had painted on it
a hoof and a horn in white. This was run up the flagstaff in the farmhouse
garden every Sunday morning. The flag was green, Snowball explained, to
represent the green fields of England, while the hoof and horn signified
the future Republic of the Animals which would arise when the human race
had been finally overthrown. After the hoisting of the flag all the
animals trooped into the big barn for a general assembly which was known
as the Meeting. Here the work of the coming week was planned out and
resolutions were put forward and debated. It was always the pigs who put
forward the resolutions. The other animals understood how to vote, but
could never think of any resolutions of their own. Snowball and Napoleon
were by far the most active in the debates. But it was noticed that these
two were never in agreement: whatever suggestion either of them made, the
other could be counted on to oppose it. Even when it was resolved--a thing
no one could object to in itself--to set aside the small paddock behind
the orchard as a home of rest for animals who were past work, there was a
stormy debate over the correct retiring age for each class of animal. The
Meeting always ended with the singing of 'Beasts of England', and the
afternoon was given up to recreation.

The pigs had set aside the harness-room as a headquarters for themselves.
Here, in the evenings, they studied blacksmithing, carpentering, and other
necessary arts from books which they had brought out of the farmhouse.
Snowball also busied himself with organising the other animals into what
he called Animal Committees. He was indefatigable at this. He formed the
Egg Production Committee for the hens, the Clean Tails League for the
cows, the Wild Comrades' Re-education Committee (the object of this was to
tame the rats and rabbits), the Whiter Wool Movement for the sheep, and
various others, besides instituting classes in reading and writing. On the
whole, these projects were a failure. The attempt to tame the wild
creatures, for instance, broke down almost immediately. They continued to
behave very much as before, and when treated with generosity, simply took
advantage of it. The cat joined the 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 admiring them.

None of the other animals on the farm could get further than the letter A.
It was also found that the stupider animals, such as the sheep, hens, and
ducks, were unable to learn the Seven Commandments by heart. After much
thought Snowball declared that the Seven Commandments could in effect be
reduced to a single maxim, namely: "Four legs good, two legs bad." This,
he said, contained the essential principle of Animalism. Whoever had
thoroughly grasped it would be safe from human influences. The birds at
first objected, since it seemed to them that they also had two legs, but
Snowball proved to them that this was not so.

"A bird's wing, comrades," he said, "is an organ of propulsion and not of
manipulation. It should therefore be regarded as a leg. The distinguishing
mark of man is the HAND, the instrument with which he does all his

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.

Chapter IV

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 England'.

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 said.

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 farm.

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 one."

"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.

Chapter V

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 mean, Mollie?"

"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 the

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
different colours.

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 Mollie again.

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 conversation.

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

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 debates.

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 harder."

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

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

Chapter VI

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 both simultaneously.

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," 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 announced

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 perspective.

"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 that either.

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!"

Chapter VII

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 destroyed 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 time 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

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 blood."

"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

"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 them.

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:

Animal Farm, Animal Farm,
Never through me shalt thou come to harm!

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 England'.

Chapter VIII

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 Snowball.

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 anniversaries.

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:

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!"

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 being done 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 Hero, 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
windmill down.

"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 hind

"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 two

"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 death.

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."

Chapter IX

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 retirement.

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 tureen.

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

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 Benjamin 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

The animals crowded round the van. "Good-bye, Boxer!" they chorused,

"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

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 own.

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.

Chapter X

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

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 frugally.

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 always good.

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 equal.

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.

Benjamin felt a nose nuzzling at his shoulder. He looked round. It was
Clover. Her old eyes looked dimmer than ever. Without saying anything, she
tugged gently at his mane and led him round to the end of the big barn,
where the Seven Commandments were written. For a minute or two they stood
gazing at the tatted wall with its white lettering.

"My sight is failing," she said finally. "Even when I was young I could
not have read what was written there. But it appears to me that that wall
looks different. Are the Seven Commandments the same as they used to be,

For once Benjamin consented to break his rule, and he read out to her what
was written on the wall. There was nothing there now except a single
Commandment. It ran:


After that it did not seem strange when next day the pigs who were
supervising the work of the farm all carried whips in their trotters. It
did not seem strange to learn that the pigs had bought themselves a
wireless set, were arranging to install a telephone, and had taken out
subscriptions to 'John Bull', 'Tit-Bits', and the 'Daily Mirror'. It did
not seem strange when Napoleon was seen strolling in the farmhouse garden
with a pipe in his mouth--no, not even when the pigs took Mr. Jones's
clothes out of the wardrobes and put them on, Napoleon himself appearing
in a black coat, ratcatcher breeches, and leather leggings, while his
favourite sow appeared in the watered silk dress which Mrs. Jones had been
used to wearing on Sundays.

A week later, in the afternoon, a number of dog-carts drove up to the farm.
A deputation of neighbouring farmers had been invited to make a tour of
inspection. They were shown all over the farm, and expressed great
admiration for everything they saw, especially the windmill. The animals
were weeding the turnip field. They worked diligently hardly raising their
faces from the ground, and not knowing whether to be more frightened of
the pigs or of the human visitors.

That evening loud laughter and bursts of singing came from the farmhouse.
And suddenly, at the sound of the mingled voices, the animals were
stricken with curiosity. What could be happening in there, now that for
the first time animals and human beings were meeting on terms of equality?
With one accord they began to creep as quietly as possible into the
farmhouse garden.

At the gate they paused, half frightened to go on but Clover led the way
in. They tiptoed up to the house, and such animals as were tall enough
peered in at the dining-room window. There, round the long table, sat half
a dozen farmers and half a dozen of the more eminent pigs, Napoleon
himself occupying the seat of honour at the head of the table. The pigs
appeared completely at ease in their chairs. The company had been enjoying
a game of cards but had broken off for the moment, evidently in order to
drink a toast. A large jug was circulating, and the mugs were being
refilled with beer. No one noticed the wondering faces of the animals that
gazed in at the window.

Mr. Pilkington, of Foxwood, had stood up, his mug in his hand. In a
moment, he said, he would ask the present company to drink a toast. But
before doing so, there were a few words that he felt it incumbent upon him
to say.

It was a source of great satisfaction to him, he said--and, he was sure,
to all others present--to feel that a long period of mistrust and
misunderstanding had now come to an end. There had been a time--not that
he, or any of the present company, had shared such sentiments--but there
had been a time when the respected proprietors of Animal Farm had been
regarded, he would not say with hostility, but perhaps with a certain
measure of misgiving, by their human neighbours. Unfortunate incidents had
occurred, mistaken ideas had been current. It had been felt that the
existence of a farm owned and operated by pigs was somehow abnormal and
was liable to have an unsettling effect in the neighbourhood. Too many
farmers had assumed, without due enquiry, that on such a farm a spirit of
licence and indiscipline would prevail. They had been nervous about the
effects upon their own animals, or even upon their human employees. But
all such doubts were now dispelled. Today he and his friends had visited
Animal Farm and inspected every inch of it with their own eyes, and what
did they find? Not only the most up-to-date methods, but a discipline and
an orderliness which should be an example to all farmers everywhere. He
believed that he was right in saying that the lower animals on Animal Farm
did more work and received less food than any animals in the county.
Indeed, he and his fellow-visitors today had observed many features which
they intended to introduce on their own farms immediately.

He would end his remarks, he said, by emphasising once again the friendly
feelings that subsisted, and ought to subsist, between Animal Farm and its
neighbours. Between pigs and human beings there was not, and there need
not be, any clash of interests whatever. Their struggles and their
difficulties were one. Was not the labour problem the same everywhere?
Here it became apparent that Mr. Pilkington was about to spring some
carefully prepared witticism on the company, but for a moment he was too
overcome by amusement to be able to utter it. After much choking, during
which his various chins turned purple, he managed to get it out: "If you
have your lower animals to contend with," he said, "we have our lower
classes!" This BON MOT set the table in a roar; and Mr. Pilkington once
again congratulated the pigs on the low rations, the long working hours,
and the general absence of pampering which he had observed on Animal Farm.

And now, he said finally, he would ask the company to rise to their feet
and make certain that their glasses were full. "Gentlemen," concluded
Mr. Pilkington, "gentlemen, I give you a toast: To the prosperity of
Animal Farm!"

There was enthusiastic cheering and stamping of feet. Napoleon was so
gratified that he left his place and came round the table to clink his
mug against Mr. Pilkington's before emptying it. When the cheering had
died down, Napoleon, who had remained on his feet, intimated that he too
had a few words to say.

Like all of Napoleon's speeches, it was short and to the point. He too,
he said, was happy that the period of misunderstanding was at an end. For
a long time there had been rumours--circulated, he had reason to think,
by some malignant enemy--that there was something subversive and even
revolutionary in the outlook of himself and his colleagues. They had been
credited with attempting to stir up rebellion among the animals on
neighbouring farms. Nothing could be further from the truth! Their sole
wish, now and in the past, was to live at peace and in normal business
relations with their neighbours. This farm which he had the honour to
control, he added, was a co-operative enterprise. The title-deeds, which
were in his own possession, were owned by the pigs jointly.

He did not believe, he said, that any of the old suspicions still
lingered, but certain changes had been made recently in the routine of the
farm which should have the effect of promoting confidence still further.
Hitherto the animals on the farm had had a rather foolish custom of
addressing one another as "Comrade." This was to be suppressed. There had
also been a very strange custom, whose origin was unknown, of marching
every Sunday morning past a boar's skull which was nailed to a post in the
garden. This, too, would be suppressed, and the skull had already been
buried. His visitors might have observed, too, the green flag which flew
from the masthead. If so, they would perhaps have noted that the white
hoof and horn with which it had previously been marked had now been
removed. It would be a plain green flag from now onwards.

He had only one criticism, he said, to make of Mr. Pilkington's excellent
and neighbourly speech. Mr. Pilkington had referred throughout to
"Animal Farm." He could not of course know--for he, Napoleon, was only
now for the first time announcing it--that the name "Animal Farm"
had been abolished. Henceforward the farm was to be known as "The Manor
Farm"--which, he believed, was its correct and original name.

"Gentlemen," concluded Napoleon, "I will give you the same toast as
before, but in a different form. Fill your glasses to the brim. Gentlemen,
here is my toast: To the prosperity of The Manor Farm!"

There was the same hearty cheering as before, and the mugs were emptied to
the dregs. But as the animals outside gazed at the scene, it seemed to
them that some strange thing was happening. What was it that had altered
in the faces of the pigs? Clover's old dim eyes flitted from one face to
another. Some of them had five chins, some had four, some had three. But
what was it that seemed to be melting and changing? Then, the applause
having come to an end, the company took up their cards and continued the
game that had been interrupted, and the animals crept silently away.

But they had not gone twenty yards when they stopped short. An uproar of
voices was coming from the farmhouse. They rushed back and looked through
the window again. Yes, a violent quarrel was in progress. There were
shoutings, bangings on the table, sharp suspicious glances, furious
denials. The source of the trouble appeared to be that Napoleon and
Mr. Pilkington had each played an ace of spades simultaneously.

Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question,
now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside
looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again;
but already it was impossible to say which was which.

November 1943-February 1944


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