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... Show full author's note »
CloverWeeks 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.