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Animal Farm: The New Rebellion
Author's note: This was an creative English project. Upon the completion of the reading of Animal Farm by George Orwell, we were assigned a choice of six creative options. I chose the option to write a sequel and file down the cliffhanger ending of the original book and smooth it into a complete ending. Please enjoy!
Weeks went by after the night the pigs had become almost like men themselves, the very creatures the animals had tried to break free of in the first place. Instead of fair rations and equal workloads, the pigs took all of the apples and barley for their own and did no work while the other animals worked like slaves. The pigs now walked clumsily around on their two stubby legs with whips in their trotters that would swish and crack in the air like lightning. Napoleon’s lady, a fat sow named Eleanor, had gone into town one afternoon and returned holding an expensive-looking lace parasol and her many chinned head was forced into a shiny silver pearl necklace. Where a numbered tag had once been in her ear there now was now a small golden hoop. As Eleanor wobbled through the gate to the farm, Moses the raven flapped away and out of sight behind the Manor House, muttering to himself about how absurd the pigs looked with all their extravagant fripperies.
Clover, an old mare well past what should have been a retiring age, looked on at the pigs in confusion. Squealer had reassured her yesterday that there was never such thing as a rule against wearing clothes- why, didn’t she remember Mollie, the young mare with the ribbons in her mane? Of course she did, for Clover and Mollie had been friends before the latter had run off in search of a fine stallion. But as Clover tried to call up the flickers of clouded memory, she didn’t remember any mention of a stallion in the disappearance of Mollie. Clover was starting to believe that maybe this time it was Squealer making a mistake, as it was he who usually corrected the animals and it was bound to happen sometime. Just to be sure, Clover sought out Benjamin, the ancient donkey who, despite all of his cryptic remarks, seemed to remember a lot more than he would say. Straining her old eyes, she saw the tip of his tail disappearing into the barn for his midday nap. Joints creaking and groaning, the horse swished her tail and began a slow walk to the old donkey’s favorite bed of hay.
As Clover broke into a pained trot, she suddenly felt a prickling sensation in her mane as the hair stood on end. She shook herself, trying to rid her neck of the itch, but it would not subside. Slowly with a tight, strained neck, Clover turned to look over her shoulder at the Manor House. At first she saw nothing, but as her gaze traveled upwards she noticed a pair of small, glittering eyes watching her from a darkened window. They glared at her with a malevolent hatred unlike anything she had ever seen before and unsettled her to the point of an uncomfortable shiver. As she stared, fear flickering in her heart, the evil eyes vanished behind a swaying lace curtain. The sun came out from behind a dark rain cloud and shone on the window in such a way that it reflected the hills in the distance, leaving no evidence that the entire silent exchange had ever happened. After a quick shudder, Clover kept walking, often glancing back suspiciously and nervously at the great white house that towered over the farm, but saw nothing more. A chill wind had picked up, and more rain clouds were piling up over the forest like a lump of dirty snow after the first snowmelt had begun.
The barn was old and made of creaking wood. The red and white paint was peeling and faded, and the hay on which the animals slept was rotten and soiled from not cleaning for months. After the ‘accidental’ deaths of many of the sheep, the duty of cleaning the barn had been entrusted to the young stallion named Blather who had unceremoniously passed the responsibility to the rats, who had simply left it on the floor. Clover, now carefully stepping around piles of dung that littered the floor, looked around to find Benjamin snoozing in the comfort of his stall. She called out his name and he looked up, snorting in confusion but awake.
“Benjamin,” Clover whinnied. “Benjamin, come walk with me, out to the pastures where we used to play as filly and colt. I -” She quickly looked around in case there was a spy in the barn “- I want to tell you something.” Benjamin nodded his grizzled old head and promptly followed Clover out of the barn.
Up the dirt road they walked in silence, almost touching flanks and earning them a suspicious glance from the cockerel that was resting in the sunlight outside the Manor House. There hadn’t been rain for weeks in this area and the ground was dry and parched. Where their hooves fell, a cloud of dirt swirled into the air behind the two equines as they lumbered slowly in their old age over the rise to the pasture. The flowers that had bloomed along the road had been cut down by Napoleon in order to increase the flow of trade, but in their secret pasture beyond the hill there was a bounty of lilies and lavender and lilac. The only place safe from the ears and eyes of Napoleon’s minions was this secret paradise, and this was where the whisperings of a new age of animal rebellion began.
A black speck among the gray and white clouds spiraled over the green smudge that was the forest. Looking down from above, Moses briefly witnessed the peculiar behavior of Clover as he went into a deep spiral and fell into the trees, landing precariously on a broken branch. Once the branch had been deemed sturdy enough, Moses let loose a wild caw that echoed through the trees, calling all the wild birds to a meeting. First came the little sparrows, fluttering down with their tiny wings, then the crows and the falcons. Last of all came the majestic swan, who had been busy relaxing in his pond. The whole air seemed to swirl with the pounding of their wings as the branches of the trees soon became laden with every sort of bird one could imagine. Moses waited for silence as the chittering and twittering of the crowd subsided.
“This isn’t one of those Sugarcandy Mountain talks again, is it?” piped up a red-faced chaffinch that was perching on a twig that sprung out from the side of a tree.
“No, no! Something is happening down at the farm!” the once-tame raven fluttered his wings in anxiety. “Animals have become worse than man! Killing, whipping, unfair treatment- it has all gone back to the way it was before! Many years ago, I did live in the house of a man, and that man was a drunken fool who couldn’t stay sober enough to even feed the animals. Those animals rebelled once, and renamed the farm Animal Farm, driving out the men! They created a wonderful system of laws and order. But after time went on, the pigs, with their superior intelligence (as they say), deceived all of the other animals into a sort of tyranny. An evil pig named Napoleon set ‘imself on top, and exiled the other leading pig, Snowball, and blamed every incident that ever happened on the farm on him, even though it wasn’t! That evil boar rewrote the laws and destroyed everything the animals had strived for and became himself the animal’s worst enemy. Now only a few animals are left from that initial rebellion, but they have been so brainwashed that they don’t even remember what’s right and what’s a lie from what stories the pigs have been feeding them. It’s awful, and I say we fix this problem right now! This Napoleon is a terrorist, killing those who ‘betray’ him in front of all the other animals to keep them in line! He must be stopped!”
Moses’s speech ended at a shrill squawk, his wings raised in dramatic emphasis. The other birds stared at him, some with questioning glances, some with humor in their eyes. A great sound louder than thunder suddenly erupted as every single bird in the forest opened wide their beaks and let out a tremendous laugh.
“Please! Help me!” Moses begged. “Didn’t you hear from the pigeons we sent that Animal Farm was once a great place? Don’t you care for the lives of fellow animals? Please, wait!”
But it was too late, as the birds had all begun to fly away, hundreds of darting shapes flitting out of the wooded glen. Moses stood for a moment on his branch, black chest rising and falling with his stunned breathing.
“Fine,” he said, mostly to himself. “I’ll liberate them myself.”
Just as the raven was about to fly back to the farm, a rustle in the brush below told him that he was not alone. His eyes widened in natural bird fear, for in the wild, birds have many predators, and the creatures that greeted him from below were perfect examples.
“Hullo, Crow!” The pointed black snout of a fox poked into the air.
Moses, panicking, quickly fluttered up to a higher branch before responding with the words, “I’m a raven, not a crow!”
The fox’s eyes glittered as he returned the comment. “Well then, hullo Raven! I’ve heard about that farm ‘o yours. I believe I know a feller or two to help you out!” His heavy accent and rough voice was difficult to comprehend at first, but once Moses had gotten past the initial fear of the sly creature, he began to realize that the fox was actually speaking of Animal Farm (the raven refused to use the name Manor Farm).
“What do you propose I do?” asked Moses tentatively, hopping down to the broken branch again. The fox looked around nervously, then scrambled up onto a low branch and whispered his plan to Moses. As the fox spoke, the raven’s eyes widened. Moses was shocked at what he proposed. Once the fox, whose name was George, had finished unfolding his plot, the raven flew back to the farm to seek out the two creatures he could trust- Clover and Benjamin.
“Oh, Benjamin, I fear my memory is failing me!”
Clover bent her head in sorrow as she explained how she was always being corrected by Squealer. How embarrassing it was to constantly be forgetful of the seven commandments that had built the foundations of Animalism! The old mare knew that she was not as bright as the pigs, but as she racked her memory, she could hardly believe that Napoleon’s way of rule was using the same concepts that Old Major had strived to form. It seemed like a distant fantasy that the animals were ever happy.
Benjamin simply blinked his clouded eyes and looked sadly up at her. After a few moments of silence, he said at last, “No. It is not your memory that is failing you, but your leader. The way you remember is no fantasy- it was real. When Napoleon took control and banished Snowball (who was completely innocent the whole time!), he brainwashed every one of you! The commandments were changed! The pigs took control of their higher intelligence to put themselves on top. Do you remember Jones? That is what the pigs have become- cruel, merciless, and evil, just like the humans Old Major sought to liberate us from.” Benjamin described to Clover all of the changes and lies of Napoleon’s tyrannical reign.
When he was done, Clover couldn’t believe what she had heard. “How do I know I can believe you?” she asked warily.
“Look into your memories, and into your heart, and the truth will spring forth,” replied Benjamin.
“Then we must tell the others!” Clover looked up at Benjamin anxiously. “The pigs must be stopped!”
“But how can we do so without getting killed ourselves?” This stumped the two of them, and Clover was about to make a hopeful remark when the sound of wings met their ears. Moses the raven appeared, old wings tired and breathing labored from the long flight to the pasture.
At first the two mammals were surprised, but as their shadows grew long and day became dusk their plot of rebellion wove into a fine silk. A throaty cry from Moses summoned George the fox, who had brought his mate Phyllis, to be introduced to Clover and Benjamin. As the sun dipped below the distant hills, the five silhouettes set a date for their plan to be put into action then went their separate ways. Clover and Benjamin lumbered off to the barn, Moses to his perch in the rafters, and the foxes to their forest home.
As the silence of night took hold, Clover tried to silence the clopping of her hooves as much as possible so they would not be heard. However, as the two passed by a sea of ferns bathed in moonlight, a rustling in the brush told them they were not alone. Benjamin’s ears lay flat against his head and he moved closer to Clover as she stopped and looked over at the ferns suspiciously. There it was again- the feeling of being watched. Sending shivers up her spine, the air suddenly felt cold and hostile. The rustling stopped. The only thing to be heard aside from the wind was the pounding of hearts. A hateful aura filled the air and mingled with the essence of fear emanating from Clover and Benjamin.
Suddenly, two lights blinked on in the midst of the fern clump. They were eyes, the same ones Clover had seen in the Manor House! Clover was paralyzed with fear, eyes wild and ears pricked. The eyes blinked a silent warning before fading away into the night, where another rustle told them the watcher had been gone.
“Let’s go!” whispered Clover, giving Benjamin a nudge as she trotted as fast as her joints would allow her to do so. The aged donkey quickened his pace and surprisingly managed an awkward canter through the silvery darkness.
A cloud cast a shadow in front of the moonlight as they entered the gates of the farm and dashed into the barn. Just about everyone was asleep now, standing quietly or curled up in the soiled hay. Moses was already asleep on the rafter upon which he had built his nest after being evicted from the Manor House about five months prior. Clover closed her eyes at last, eager to banish the darkness and restore the light.
Dawn was a breath of fresh air and a swathing of mist that poured down from the hills and engulfed the farm in a grey haze. The air was chill and dry, and as Clover stepped from the barn her breath misted out before her. Eyes watering, she made her way down to the fields and joined the spry young stallions, foolish as they were, in the morning work of pulling weeds from the potato field. Potatoes were in high demand now, as the animals had been told, so Squealer had designed a system of work shifts for each animal depending on their strength and intelligence, but unfortunately for Clover age was not accounted for and as once a strong, powerful horse, she had to take one some of the harder and more laborious tasks, like weeding and ploughing.
As she carefully plucked out the weeds with her teeth, a flash of bright ginger fur caught her eye. Clover looked up to see the fox, George, sitting in a bush and giving her a wink with one of his dark eyes. Clover tilted her great head in the tiniest of nods, and with a swirl of fur the fox was gone, vanishing into the now quivering leaves.
The day wore on and the fog dissipated, leaving the hot sun to burn down on their backs. The trumpeting of a cow-horn being blown echoed off the near-empty grain silo. Clover relaxed as she lumbered up the hill, done with this work for the day and quite tired. Hopefully the pigs wouldn’t demand that she pull their cart to town- the pigs had decided it was unseemly to walk all the way to town and since their stubby legs couldn’t reach the pedals of the car, the horse-drawn carriage was now used to transport Napoleon and his Officers, Squealer and Minimus especially.
The mid-day rations dealing was announced by Squealer from the podium they had built at the flagpole and the reading of a new Ode to Napoleon by the Illustrious Poet Minimus. After a quick meal of a clump of sour hay, Clover rejoined Benjamin at the highest hill on the edge of the farm, where he looked vacantly out over the surrounding pastures, plots and meadows.
They stood in silence for some time, and just as Clover was getting worried that he hadn’t heard her approach he said, “We must get to work.”
Taken aback by this statement, Clover crept closer, wondering if the old donkey had at last lost his wits. “But I’ve been at work all day!” she exclaimed.
“Not labor, planning. If the rebellion is carried out as planned and is a success, we will need to appoint a new leader, or create a new form of Animalism all together, and it must be infallible.”
“But from where will we get these ideas?” wondered Clover aloud.
“From the whisperings of land across the sea,” said a voice that was not Benjamin. Moses was winging towards them, and landed on the wooden fence. Clover looked a him in interest as he continued:
“I have lived long and traveled many miles. I have seen places you will never go, and I have learned much from the gulls at the harbors miles from here. In another land, seemingly another world, there have been other rebellions against the humans of England. The government they set up is one where the people can influence the leaders’ decisions. Indeed, many leaders with specified jobs! Yes, everyone rules there, by the power of the vote!”
Awestruck, Clover continued to listen as Moses described the idea that had hatched in his mind as he flew this morning. Not one, but many leaders would be appointed, divided into three main groups. The first would consist of seven animals so there was never a voting tie, and these would be in control of the flow of trade and money. The second would have nine seats and would be a sort of court of law that would make decisions for the good of the animals and keep the law. The third party would have nine members as well and would include the tasks of controlling the farm work and the crops and production of goods on the farm, like eggs and corn and wheat and milk. Although trade was a concept of man, Moses said he couldn’t find any way to be a successful farm without it. The best part, to Clover, was the idea that even those who were not elected to the Trade Administration, the Agricultural Department, or the Parliament of Decisions and Law (as they had decidedly been called) could still vote on big issues and laws and pick the members of each branch.
To make sure that one branch did not have power over the rest, a system called Checks and Balances was to be utilized, limiting the powers of each branch. The Parliament of Decisions had a check over the Trade Administration and would be able to request trade with any proposed farm, but the Trade Administration could request to import or build items they believe could increase the flow of money. The Parliament of Decisions also had a check over the Agricultural Department as they could decide the retiring age and pay of the laborers, but the Agricultural Department could decide the workload and hours depending on each species’s strengths. All of this must be voted on, of course, but the various members of each branch and by the general population. Finally, the Trade Administration could assign jobs to increase trade but the Agricultural Department controlled the flow and production of crop production and harvest.
“Yes!” Clover whinnied as the powers of each group were enumerated. She reared up in excitement. But Moses was not done, and a solemn look came over him.
“There is one more committee to appoint. There will be war someday, whether against man or Napoleon I know not. Therefore, when that time comes, I believe that only a temporary leader will be needed, but one who can make snap decisions for the good of the farm and the animals in it. There will be a fourth branch, the Military Coordination Headquarters, but it only will congregate in times of need.”
Clover saw this as necessary to keep in the peace, and Benjamin agreed with enthusiasm. “How shall we pass on the message?” asked Benjamin. “How can we build our forces and spread the interest?”
“We root out those we can trust,” suggested Clover, “by putting them through a series of loyalty tests.”
“But surely the loyal ones will turn us over to Napoleon!” Moses’s point was clear, and the horse and donkey looked at one another for further ideas.
“Then we shall gather them all and make them remember their past, like you did for me,” Clover declared as she looked fondly at Benjamin. “And if we die, then we shall die for a purpose.”
“Tell me, have you ever heard of a donkey dying?” Benjamin asked humorously.
It was decided that the meeting be held before dawn on the night of the full moon. The pigs usually slept until noon, often having horrible hangovers from the barley beer they brewed. Even if the pigs did awaken before the meeting had concluded, the original plan of the foxes’ would keep them at bay.
The full moon was fast approaching, and Moses was fretting over what he should say, if anything at all. Though he knew Sugarcandy Mountain awaited him after he had flown his last flight and breathed his last breath, Moses did not want to leave this world quite yet, leaving behind the animals who needed him.
Squealer, as of last night, had given even Moses a shift in the work of the potato field. His wings ached as he carried a bag of dung to use as fertilizer to drop over the field. Luckily, as a bird, his sense of smell was not great, but when he had returned to the barn the previous night Clover would not let the poor raven perch anywhere near her for his great stench.
Dumping this load, Moses found Clover, head bent over a patch of weeds. Hopping over to her, he whispered in her ear, “I will go to the forest and tell the foxes to watch the skies, for the moon is nearly full.”
Squealer, who had been pacing the fields in his official way, cracked his whip as he hobbled over to the two. “Hear now, Comrades! This is not work! You may talk with each other in the barn, but if you want to be able to afford a good meal for yourselves, work is all there is to do. It’s simple really- separate now, or your rations for this week will be slimmed significantly!” Squealer’s threat rang over the fields.
The afternoon horn sounded in the distance, and Moses took to the air. “Well, it looks like my shift is done,” he said to Squealer. “I’ll be going to the river now, to wash off this revolting dung!” Before the pig could say anything, Moses was already winging his way to the forest, luckily in the same direction as the river.
The raven landed on his broken branch just as he did before, and called a signal to the foxes. They appeared, scrambling out of their den. Moses relayed the date and idea for the meeting, and the foxes promised to remember. He also told them of their new government, and George was intrigued. Phyllis didn’t quite understand, but she still remained enthusiastic about the idea.
Finally, as the clouds began to roll in for the night’s predicted thundershower, George suggested, “Why don’t I spread the word throughout the wood, and recruit you some more supporters?” Moses was delighted, and the two foxes immediately disappeared to find allies.
Hours later, when a gentle rain was pattering on the leaves of the trees, George and Phyllis returned with a horde of wild animals and beasts of the forests, all pledging to aid in the liberation of Animal Farm after they had been told the plan. Moses dropped the berry he had plucked from a twig as his beak opened wide in shock at the vast numbers of recruits that awaited their orders. Things were looking up, and if the meeting on the dawn after the full moon went without a hitch then maybe, just maybe, they could drive out Napoleon once and for all!
Clover was more stressed than ever the night before the meeting. Her back stung from the fiery lines that had been burned into her flesh by Squealer’s whip. Her mind had been elsewhere that day at work, concentrating more on the meeting than what she was doing, and accidentally pulled out the carrot tops rather than the weeds she was meant to have been uprooting.
Now, the mare was pacing back and forth in her stall, a bubble of anxiety building up in her chest and threatening to burst. She knew the pigs had been watching her and Benjamin very closely and had been trying her hardest to act casual around them, but after this last error Clover knew she had slipped.
Another thing she knew was that the pigs were aware of her intentions to some degree, and had begun to administer warnings. They were subtle, yet sent a thrill of fear down her spine whenever she received them. The first occurred the evening after Squealer had scolded her for conversing with Moses in the potato field. She had come up to her feed trough to find plenty of hay, but the soiled hay from the barns, reeking of dung and writhing with worms. Soon after that shocking presentation came the horrid feeling for the third time, the hateful glare that filled the atmosphere yet seemed to come from nowhere but the eyes.
Several other admonitions had occurred since then, but less notable than the filthy hay. Still, Clover was determined not to let it deter her from her task.
As the full moon crept towards the center of the sky, Clover, shrouded in darkness, made her way to the backside of the barn. The moonlight ignited the fiery fur of George the fox as he slunk out of the shadows. In the distance, Clover heard the loud clamor of the pigs as they celebrated the two-year anniversary of Napoleon’s rule. The timing couldn’t have been better. Surely the pigs were drunk, and they would be out until midday.
“Group B is set,” whispered George, thrusting his nose over his shoulder and indicating the grove of pine trees behind him where the animals of the wood were hidden. “Dawn is hours away. Are you prepared to face the worst?”
Clover nodded slowly, closing her eyes. “Yes,” she responded. “But is this really Animalism? If I remember correctly, one of the commandments had said no animal shall kill any other animal. I can hardly believe that this is what Old Major had intended this farm to become!”
George considered this. “I was not there when the foundations of this Animalism were laid, nor do I know the intentions of this Old Major of whom you frequently speak. But I assure you, this cannot be a violation of that commandment, for the pigs are no longer truly animals. What animal do you know that walks upon two legs, lives in a house, drinks their weight in whisky each night and carries a whip in their hoof? Only man, and man is what the pigs have become.”
Clover decided this was suitable enough, but other thoughts nagged at her mind yet, a swirling frenzy of questions, fears, and hopes. A sudden clang from behind the well made the horse and the fox freeze. Looking all around with pounding hearts, neither of them saw a thing, but they knew it was time to part. Clover looked upon the fox she had come to call friend with pitying eyes.
“If it goes wrong and we have to... Well, if the pigs come out with the dogs... Oh, George, are you sure you want to go through with this? I know it was your idea, but I’m worried for you. You’ve done so much for us, and I couldn’t let you go.”
“Thank you for the concerns, dear friend, but I am most certainly prepared,” soothed the fox. His eyes suddenly took on a feral glint as he vanished into the night, his last words ringing harshly in Clover’s ears.
“After all, I am a predator.”
From high up on the roof, the cat looked down at Clover and George with a sneer on his muzzle. What a splendid reward he was to receive! Of course, he had been spying on the old hoot Benjamin and his friend Clover for quite some time now and knew something was boiling in their minds, but never before had any better time to tell the Great Napoleon than this. His bright green eyes glittered in delight as he looked over the scene below. A traitor working with a savage from the wild forest! The sight made the cat’s black fur prickle with disgust.
Arching his back in a stretch, the cat leaned forward, ears pricked, trying to catch their conversation. Unfortunately, the two treacherous disgraces to Animalism and Napoleon (long may he live!) were muttering their wicked plans in such a hush that even the cat’s keen ears couldn’t pick up a single phrase.
As the cat leaned farther over the precipice, his front claws knocked a small pebble from the roof which skittered down the gutter and landed with an audible clang on a metal bin. The cat’s breath caught in his throat and it flinched at the sound, then froze like a mouse before his deadly claws. After a moment, he carefully poked his head out a little ways and peered over the gutter. Clover and the fox had frozen as well, and were now looking everywhere in fear- everywhere except up, that is. Breathing a quiet sign of relief, the cat thanked the black fur he had once thought of as a handicap during wintertime hunting sessions for its miraculous color. Seconds passed, and the quiet whinnying of the horse continued, this time with a certain franticness to it. The cat returned to his surveillance point and saw the fox murmur something back, then slide into the trees from which he had come. Clover trotted back inside the barn, but not before muttering to herself quite loudly.
“Oh, the dawn is so near, I must wake Benjamin!” fretted the old horse as she disappeared into the barn, continuing to neigh to herself. But the cat had heard enough, and silent as the night in which he seemed to be swathed, he slunk across the roof and leapt to the ground, well on his way to the Manor House.
While the animals gathered around the pile of hay upon which Old Major had once stood to deliver his great prophecy, Moses floated down from his rafter to land on Clover’s back. As he perched there, he felt the great horse’s breathing, fast and fluttery. Something was not right.
“Oh, where is Benjamin?” Clover was in a state of panic. “He was supposed to be here an hour ago! I haven’t seen him since sunset, and I’m beginning to worry. Have you seen him, Moses?”
The raven shook his head. Clover sighed. “Oh Boxer,” she said, looking to the ceiling. “Whether you are at Sugarcandy Mountain or not, I cannot do this alone!”
The mention of Moses’s holy place sparked a new kind of power that sizzled in a river between bird and horse, connecting them both. “You aren’t alone,” said Moses. “I am here.”
“Ahem!” came an annoyed cough from one of the impatient cows outside. Clover stepped out from behind the hay bales and faced all of the animals. At least fifty were present. Clover looked at Moses for help, but he motioned for her to go on. This was her time to speak, his was later.
“Hello,” Clover began with an awkward nod. A few of the gathered crowd responded with the same. “I know that many of you have not been here since the days of the first rebellion where Napoleon was noted for his bravery at the Battle of the Cowshed, but I among few can remember the days before these. There once was a farmer named Jones, a drunk fool who treated us with no respect at all. And there was a great pig named Old Major who prophesied a great rebellion against man where animals would come to rule...” Clover’s voice was shaky at first but as she began to weave the story of Napoleon’s rise to power, Moses looked upon her with pride as she turned out to be quite a strong speaker. All of the animals listened intently as in a hushed voice Clover described the banishing of Snowball and the many executions of those who had supposedly followed him. She told of how the pigs had deemed themselves greater than all other animals and spread their propaganda almost as wide as their bellies.
As the morning sun rose over the hills, the animals of the farm learned much and developed new opinions of the pigs who called themselves great. A new dawn had broken over Animal Farm.
As soon as Clover was finished, many of the animals let their voices be heard.
“And how do you expect to eliminate Napoleon, then?” squawked a dusty gander.
“Why should we believe you and not Squealer?” mooed a cow.
“Will Snowball return?” asked a lame goat with a twisted front leg.
Clover hushed the crowd as Moses answered the little goat’s question.
“No, Snowball will not return,” he announced, much to the protest of the crowd. “It is not his rebellion to lead. He was in power once, but nothing can happen the same way twice.” Whether the animals understood this or not, they seemed content with this answer.
“What will we do if, and I strongly emphasize the if, if you manage to defeat Napoleon and his dogs?” a long-horned bull snorted.
At this, Moses took the stage as he described the new government with its four branches to the animals. He had to keep the words simple enough for even the sheep to comprehend, but in the end all animals could understand the main structure and especially their rights.
The meeting concluded with the very quiet reteaching of Beasts of England, the long extinct anthem of the old rebellion, and the reading of Phyllis the fox’s poem, A Free Farm. The clever vixen turned out to be quite the poet and was a clear rival of Minimus the pig.
The sudden sound of footsteps on gravel approaching the barn frightened them all. The animals scrambled to their stalls and pretended to be asleep. Moses swirled up to his rafter in a flurry of feathers and Clover ducked under the hay bales.
The barn door creaked open and a shadow entered the room. No, not a shadow, but the mangy cat that had appeared on the farm one day and never left.
“It’s okay, it’s just me!” said the cat. Though the other animals began to creep back out, Moses felt his feathers prickling and he shifted uneasily. Something wasn’t right here.
“I just got the message about this meeting, and I came right away,” the cat continued. Clover returned to the open, but Moses remained hidden.
Suddenly, the cat let out a shrill yowl. The barn door burst open as nine enormous dogs stormed in, barking and snarling ferociously. Strings of saliva dripped from their flapping jowls as they circled around the animals, blocking them in.
It’s happening! thought Moses. Clover was reared up on her hind legs and kicking at the dogs that tried to bring her down.
“The pig flies at dawn! The pig flies at dawn!” Clover was frantically whinnying the code for attack. Out the door, Moses saw Squealer, Minimus, three younger pigs and even Napoleon, all armed with whips. As he looked further, Napoleon was holding what looked like a slender piece of polished wood in his front hooves. Not a piece of wood, but the gun!
Moses was able to see the whole invasion from his high perch. The dogs corralled the crazed animals into a tight ring as Napoleon and his officers entered the barn. Feathers from the hens and geese were falling all around. It was quite the scene.
“Comrades!” came the throaty bellow from Napoleon. “What is going on in here? Surely this is not what it seems! I would hate to have to reduce the amount of my workers by this much!”
The animals remained silent, to Moses’s delight. However, Napoleon cast his laserlike glare across the room and said with a horrible snarl:
“There are weeds in our fields, and we must uproot them before they strangle away the perfect lives of the plants! See now, the face of a new kind of enemy!”
At this signal, the three young pigs and Squealer left for a moment and returned holding a large platform, upon which lay something gray and disheveled. The pigs dropped it on the floor with a thud and allowed the animals to step closer to view it.
Clover let out a horrible moan and began to wail as she saw what they had carried in. After a moment of confusion, Moses realized with a tightness in his chest that the gray lump was a donkey, and a particularly old one at that.
Benjamin’s eyes were wide with eternal shock, but the rest of his muscles were relaxed. A giant splinter of wood protruded from his side, covered in the congealed blood that also made the dead donkey’s fur appear matted and filthy. His mouth hung open as if he had died while uttering an exclamation of shock. Trembling, Moses had to steady himself so he did not fall off the rafter.
“This is the fate that comes of those who plot against the great Napoleon!” Minimus shouted with a flourish of his whip. As the whip cracked in the air, it was snatched out of Minimus’s trotter by what appeared to be a gray dart. Minimus stared down at his hoof in shock. The dogs growled again, looking all around.
“On your signal,” came a whisper from the rafter. Moses whirled around to see a beautiful gray dove perched next to him, holding the grip of the whip in her little talons. His body felt numb with relief but he managed to nod, and after an unearthly scream from the dove the door of the barn was kicked down by a strong buck and all hell broke loose as tens of animals from the woods stampeded inside.
A whirlwind of feathers and fur erupted as the dogs’ teeth met with the hooves of deer and talons of hawks. Whips flashed and snapped in the air and the explosion of a shot being fired from Napoleon’s gun was followed by a moan of pain from its target.
Some of the farm animals shrank back from the battle, but a majority of the cows and goats tried to stomp on the dogs and gore them with their horns. Moses knew that in his age, he wouldn’t be much of a help in claw-to-claw combat, but he did fly low passes over the dogs and tried to rake his talons over their eyes and ears.
The cat that had betrayed the animals was crouched in a corner. Moses darted over and sank his talons into the pitch-black fur. The cat let out a yowl of pain that was quickly cut short as Moses broke its neck. Letting the dead cat fall, Moses lifted back up into the air to see how else he could fight.
As soon as the battle had begun, it was over. The survivors of Napoleon’s forces fled from the farm, whimpering and panting towards the town. Surely the other farms would hear of this and come to see what had happened.
As the cloud of dust and hay and feathers began to settle, Moses and the rest of the animals were able to see the destruction they had brought upon themselves. Blood and torn fur covered the floor of the barn and many of the wooden walls had holes bashed in them by stray hooves. Four dogs and one of the young pigs were dead, trampled into the ground, and one of the dogs was covered in hedgehog spines. Six wild birds had their throats torn out and one was slowly dying from a horrible bite wound on his chest. One raccoon, two hedgehogs, a small deer and three sheep made up the rest of the casualties. One of the brave cows who had tried to take on Napoleon was covered in lashes from the whips and oozing blood from her belly where she had been shot by the gun. Two other heavily whipped cows were helping the more wounded cow stand and assuring her that she would be fine.
Moses flew down to Clover, who was standing over the broken body of a pig. Moses could not identify the victim, for his face was bashed in, but Clover had only gone after one pig. “Squealer,” she said with a spit of hate. “The one who told the lies.”
“What happened to Napoleon?” asked Moses.
Clover shook her head. “I lost him after his gun was broken,” she reported.
The sound of something heavy being dragged caught the attention of the two, and they looked around to see the enormous pig of which they spoke dragging his broken hindquarters towards them, crawling on four legs once again.
“You!” he gargled. Clover snorted threateningly and Moses puffed up his feathers to intimidate the tyrant pig. “I know it was you two behind this. You are enemies of the farm, and I banish you forever! You will find no allies, no matter where you run!”
George the fox had approached quietly behind Napoleon as he spoke.
“You have no power over them,” snarled the fox. “You are the enemy!”
Napoleon gave Clover a glare of malice and hatred as George sank his teeth into the pig’s throat. A final gargle signaled the end of the wrath of Napoleon. Clover gave an uneasy shake as she dropped her gaze to the floor.
“It’s over, Animal Farm can now be free!” Moses tried to comfort her, but after the loss of a dear friend she had known all her life, it would take some time for Clover to return to her normal self.
“There will be a new age, where man has fallen and we shall all be as equals!” said George.
“I suppose so,” said Clover.
“Then let us appoint members to our government and set up a proper farm. Burn the whips! Tear down the old commandments and let us rewrite them the way the should be. Long live Animal Farm!” Moses led the cheer and all of the animals, from the forest and from the farm, left behind their bloody past and went on to a brighter future.
Uneven footsteps accompanied by very horrible singing echoed in the silence as Napoleon’s sow Eleanor wobbled into the barn. “Napoleon!” she trilled. “Napol-” There was the sound of shattering glass as she dropped the vase of flowers she was bringing him, then an earsplitting shriek as she saw the blood and bodies. Turning around to dart from the barn, her eyes first fell upon the battered body of her mate and she promptly fell into a faint with a thud as she hit the earth.
A month had passed since the end of Napoleon’s tyranny and the beginning of a new age for the animals. Clover had been appointed to the Parliament of Decisions and was a splendid judge during the trials of Eleanor and the surviving dogs and pigs. All having been found guilty, the Parliament banished them from the premises of the farm and from anywhere in a ten mile radius. They had rushed out in a flurry of lace and fur, never to return again. It was said, however, that Eleanor would often sneak back to the bar in town and drink herself silly with the other men.
Moses was elected to the Trade Administration and had already struck up a deal with a poor dairy farmer from Birmingham that in exchange for fresh carrots, he would treat his cows with utmost respect and equality. He would, of course, also have to pay for the carrots in money, but Moses hoped the message of equality would spread by example. They had also closed their gates to Foxwood and Pinchfield because of the awful treatment of their animals, and would only share their wealth of crops with them if they would be kinder to their animals.
The work ethic of all the animals on the farm was superb, and no whip was ever raised against their backs. Retiring ages were set up by the Parliament of Decisions and, after a while of service, Clover did step down from her high post to live out her days in the flowery pastures, still often contributing to the elections and discussions of the bureaucratic democracy, as George called it.The crop production was better than ever before, and many of the animals had their first taste of apple that autumn. The brewery was sold to buy an irrigation system, as was voted on by the Trade Administration and by all of the animals at one of their meetings. The plain green flag was stripped down and burned, and a new flag was raised with the colors of a sunrise, and the now mangled gun was thrown to the bottom of the lake. The Manor House stood empty and haunting at first but later utilized as a space to store the excess of crops they produced after the storehouse and grain silo were pronounced full. The food troughs were always full, but the animals did not want to grow fat like the pigs and ate in moderation.
George and Phyllis were invited to stay on the farm but politely declined. However, they did stop by a lot and often lent a paw in the day’s work. Phyllis wrote a beautiful poem praising the farm and all who worked on it. The military branch had not yet been formed for there was no need to form one, but a strong and righteous bull named Bovinus had been selected as leader in case it ever be needed.
Benjamin was given as noble a burial as any great donkey could be given with much mourning and was pronounced the title to Animal Hero, First Class. It had been decided that the title of a hero would remain the same, but First Class was reserved for those who sacrificed their lives for the good of Animalism. George, Moses and Clover were honored with Animal Hero, Second Class, for their acts and action during the battle, but Clover refused to be noted for the slaying of Squealer, for it was against the Seven Commandments.
The celebration of the liberation, the Parliament had decided, was to occur in one year during the sunrise. A special panel would be set up next spring to decide what events they could have to celebrate.
And of course, every morning began with the raising of the flag and ended with the joyous singing of Beasts of England.