Table of Contents
Etext by Roderick da Rat
MR. JONES, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen−houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to
shut the popholes. With the ring of light from his lantern dancing from side to side, he lurched across the
yard, kicked off his boots at the back door, drew himself a last glass of beer from the barrel in the scullery,
and made his way up to bed, where Mrs. Jones was already snoring.
As soon as the light in the bedroom went out there was a stirring and a fluttering all through the farm
buildings. Word had gone round during the day that old Major, the prize Middle White boar, had had a
strange dream on the previous night and wished to communicate it to the other animals. It had been agreed
that they should all meet in the big barn as soon as Mr. Jones was safely out of the way. Old Major (so he was
always called, though the name under which he had been exhibited was Willingdon Beauty) was so highly
regarded on the farm that everyone was quite ready to lose an hour’s sleep in order to hear what he had to say.
At one end of the big barn, on a sort of raised platform, Major was already ensconced on his bed of straw,
under a lantern which hung from a beam. He was twelve years old and had lately grown rather stout, but he
was still a majestic−looking pig, with a wise and benevolent appearance in spite of the fact that his tushes had
never been cut. Before long the other animals began to arrive and make themselves comfortable after their
different fashions. First came the three dogs, Bluebell, Jessie, and Pincher, and then the pigs, who settled
down in the straw immediately in front of the platform. The hens perched themselves on the window−sills,
the pigeons fluttered up to the rafters, the sheep and cows lay down behind the pigs and began to chew the
cud. The two cart−horses, Boxer and Clover, came in together, walking very slowly and setting down their
vast hairy hoofs with great care lest there should be some small animal concealed in the straw. Clover was a
stout motherly mare approaching middle life, who had never quite got her figure back after her fourth foal.
Boxer was an enormous beast, nearly eighteen hands high, and as strong as any two ordinary horses put
together. A white stripe down his nose gave him a somewhat stupid appearance, and in fact he was not of
first−rate intelligence, but he was universally respected for his steadiness of character and tremendous powers
of work. After the horses came Muriel, the white goat, and Benjamin, the donkey. Benjamin was the oldest
animal on the farm, and the worst tempered. He seldom talked, and when he did, it was usually to make some
cynical remark−for instance, he would say that God had given him a tail to keep the flies off, but that he
would sooner have had no tail and no flies. Alone among the animals on the farm he never laughed. If asked
why, he would say that he saw nothing to laugh at. Nevertheless, without openly admitting it, he was devoted
to Boxer; the two of them usually spent their Sundays together in the small paddock beyond the orchard,
Animal Farm 1
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?
Animal Farm 2
“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. A1most overnight we could
become rich and free. What then must we do? Why, work night and day, body and soul, for the overthrow of
the human race! That is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion! I do not know when that Rebellion will
come, it might be in a week or in a hundred years, but I know, as surely as I see this straw beneath my feet,
that sooner or later justice will be done. Fix your eyes on that, comrades, throughout the short remainder of
your lives! And above all, pass on this message of mine to those who come after you, so that future
generations shall carry on the struggle until it is victorious.
“And remember, comrades, your resolution must never falter. No argument must lead you astray. Never listen
when they tell you that Man and the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the
prosperity of the others. It is all lies. Man serves the interests of no creature except himself. And among us
animals let there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the struggle. All men are enemies. All animals are
At this moment there was a tremendous uproar. While Major was speaking four large rats had crept out of
their holes and were sitting on their hindquarters, listening to him. The dogs had suddenly caught sight of
them, and it was only by a swift dash for their holes that the rats saved their lives. Major raised his trotter for
“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
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
Animal Farm 3
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
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;
Animal Farm 4
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.
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 underfed.
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 lust coming down the stairs when Mollie was discovered to be missing. Going back, the others
found that she had remained behind in the best bedroom. She had taken a piece of blue ribbon from Mrs.
Jones’s dressing−table, and was holding it against her shoulder and admiring herself in the glass in a very
foolish manner. The others reproached her sharply, and they went outside. Some hams hanging in the kitchen
were taken out for burial, and the barrel of beer in the scullery was stove in with a kick from Boxer’s
hoof,−otherwise nothing in the house was touched. A unanimous resolution was passed on the spot that the
farmhouse should be preserved as a museum. All were agreed that no animal must ever live there.
The animals had their breakfast, and then Snowball and Napoleon called them together again.
“Comrades,” said Snowball, “it is half−past six and we have a long day before us. Today we begin the hay
harvest. But there is another matter that must be attended to first.”
The pigs now revealed that during the past three months they had taught themselves to read and write from an
old spelling book which had belonged to Mr. Jones’s children and which had been thrown on the rubbish
heap. Napoleon sent for pots of black and white paint and led the way down to the five−barred gate that gave
on to the main road. Then Snowball (for it was Snowball who was best at writing) took a brush between the
two knuckles of his trotter, painted out MANOR FARM from the top bar of the gate and in its place painted
ANIMAL FARM. This was to be the name of the farm from now onwards. After this they went back to the farm
buildings, where Snowball and Napoleon sent for a ladder which they caused to be set against the end wall of
the big barn. They explained that by their studies of the past three months the pigs had succeeded in reducing
the principles of Animalism to Seven Commandments. These Seven Commandments would now be inscribed
on the wall; they would form an unalterable law by which all the animals on Animal Farm must live for ever
after. With some difficulty (for it is not easy for a pig to balance himself on a ladder) Snowball climbed up
and set to work, with Squealer a few rungs below him holding the paint−pot. The Commandments were
written on the tarred wall in great white letters that could be read thirty yards away. They ran thus:
THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS
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.
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 8, morning. The flag was green,
Snowball explained, to represent the green fields of England, while the hoof and horn signified the future
Republic of the Animals which would arise when the human race had been finally overthrown. After the
hoisting of the flag all the animals trooped into the big barn for a general assembly which was known as the
Meeting. Here the work of the coming week was planned out and resolutions were put forward and debated.
It was always the pigs who put forward the resolutions. The other animals understood how to vote, but could
never think of any resolutions of their own. Snowball and Napoleon were by far the most active in the
debates. But it was noticed that these two were never in agreement: whatever suggestion either of them made,
the other could be counted on to oppose it. Even when it was resolved−a thing no one could object to in
itself−to set aside the small paddock behind the orchard as a home of rest for animals who were past work,
there was a stormy debate over the correct retiring age for each class of animal. The Meeting always ended
with the singing of Beasts of England, and the afternoon was given up to 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
“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.
BY THE late summer the news of what had happened on Animal Farm had spread across half the county.
Every day Snowball and Napoleon sent out flights of pigeons whose instructions were to mingle with the
animals on neighbouring farms, tell them the story of the Rebellion, and teach them the tune of Beasts of
Most of this time Mr. Jones had spent sitting in the taproom of the Red Lion at Willingdon, complaining to
anyone who would listen of the monstrous injustice he had suffered in being turned out of his property by a
pack of good−for−nothing animals. The other farmers sympathised in principle, but they did not at first give
him much help. At heart, each of them was secretly wondering whether he could not somehow turn Jones’s
misfortune to his own advantage. It was lucky that the owners of the two farms which adjoined Animal Farm
were on permanently bad terms. One of them, which was named Foxwood, was a large, neglected,
old−fashioned farm, much overgrown by woodland, with all its pastures worn out and its hedges in a
disgraceful condition. Its owner, Mr. Pilkington, was an easy−going gentleman farmer who spent most of his
time in fishing or hunting according to the season. The other farm, which was called Pinchfield, was smaller
and better kept. Its owner was a Mr. Frederick, a tough, shrewd man, perpetually involved in lawsuits and
with a name for driving hard bargains. These two disliked each other so much that it was difficult for them to
come to any agreement, even in defence of their own interests.
Nevertheless, they were both thoroughly frightened by the rebellion on Animal Farm, and very anxious to
prevent their own animals from learning too much about it. At first they pretended to laugh to scorn the idea
of animals managing a farm for themselves. The whole thing would be over in a fortnight, they said. They put
it about that the animals on the Manor Farm (they insisted on calling it the Manor Farm; they would not
tolerate the name “Animal Farm”) were perpetually fighting among themselves and were also rapidly starving
to death. When time passed and the animals had evidently not starved to death, Frederick and Pilkington
changed their tune and began to talk of the terrible wickedness that now flourished on Animal Farm. It was
given out that the animals there practised cannibalism, tortured one another with red−hot horseshoes, and had
their females in common. This was what came of rebelling against the laws of Nature, Frederick and
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 post.
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.
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
“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 field.
A thought struck Clover. Without saying anything to the others, she went to Mollie’s stall and turned over the
straw with her hoof. Hidden under the straw was a little pile of lump sugar and several bunches of ribbon of
Three days later Mollie disappeared. For some weeks nothing was known of her whereabouts, then the
pigeons reported that they had seen her on the other side of Willingdon. She was between the shafts of a
smart dogcart painted red and black, which was standing outside a public−house. A fat red−faced man in
check breeches and gaiters, who looked like a publican, was stroking her nose and feeding her with sugar.
Her coat was newly clipped and she wore a scarlet ribbon round her forelock. She appeared to be enjoying
herself, so the pigeons said. None of the animals ever mentioned 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
At last the day came when Snowball’s plans were completed. At the Meeting on the following Sunday the
question of whether or not to begin work on the windmill was to be put to the vote. When the animals had
assembled in the big barn, Snowball stood up and, though occasionally interrupted by bleating from the
sheep, set forth his reasons for advocating the building of the windmill. Then Napoleon stood up to reply. He
said very quietly that the windmill was nonsense and that he advised nobody to vote for it, and promptly sat
down again; he had spoken for barely thirty seconds, and seemed almost indifferent as to the effect he
produced. At this Snowball sprang to his feet, and shouting down the sheep, who had begun bleating again,
broke into a passionate appeal in favour of the windmill. Until now the animals had been about equally
divided in their sympathies, but in a moment Snowball’s eloquence had carried them away. In glowing
sentences he painted a picture of Animal Farm as it might be when sordid labour was lifted from the animals’
backs. His imagination had now run far beyond chaff−cutters and turnip−slicers. Electricity, he said, could
operate threshing machines, ploughs, harrows, rollers, and reapers and binders, besides supplying every stall
with its own electric light, hot and cold water, and an electric heater. By the time he had finished speaking,
there was no doubt as to which way the vote would go. But just at this moment Napoleon stood up and,
casting a peculiar sidelong look at Snowball, uttered a high−pitched whimper of a kind no one had ever heard
him utter before.
At this there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass−studded collars
came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for Snowball, who only sprang from his place just in time
to escape their snapping jaws. In a moment he was out of the door and they were after him. Too amazed and
frightened to speak, all the animals crowded through the door to watch the chase. Snowball was racing across
the long pasture that led to the road. He was running as only a pig can run, but the dogs were close on his
heels. Suddenly he slipped and it seemed certain that they had him. Then he was up again, running faster than
ever, then the dogs were gaining on him again. One of them all but closed his jaws on Snowball’s tail, but
Snowball whisked it free just in time. Then he put on an extra spurt and, with a few inches to spare, slipped
through a hole in the hedge and was seen no more.
Silent and terrified, the animals crept back into the barn. In a moment the dogs came bounding back. At first
no one had been able to imagine where these creatures came from, but the problem was soon solved: they
were the puppies whom Napoleon had taken away from their mothers and reared privately. Though not yet
full−grown, they were huge dogs, and as fierce−looking as wolves. They kept close to Napoleon. It was
noticed that they wagged their tails to him in the same way as the other dogs had been used to do to Mr.
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 years.
That evening Squealer explained privately to the other animals that Napoleon had never in reality been
opposed to the windmill. On the contrary, it was he who had advocated it in the beginning, and the plan
which Snowball had drawn on the floor of the incubator shed had actually been stolen from among
Napoleon’s papers. The windmill was, in fact, Napoleon’s own creation. Why, then, asked somebody, had he
spoken so strongly against it? Here Squealer looked very sly. That, he said, was Comrade Napoleon’s
cunning. He had seemed to oppose the windmill, simply as a manoeuvre to get rid of Snowball, who was a
dangerous character and a bad influence. Now that Snowball was out of the way, the plan could go forward
without his interference. This, said Squealer, was something called tactics. He repeated a number of times,
“Tactics, comrades, tactics!” skipping round and whisking his tail with a merry laugh. The animals were not
certain what the word meant, but Squealer spoke so persuasively, and the three dogs who happened to be with
him growled so threateningly, that they accepted his explanation without further questions.
ALL that year the animals worked like slaves. But they were happy in their work; they grudged no effort or
sacrifice, well aware that everything that they did was for the benefit of themselves and those of their kind
who would come after them, and not for a pack of idle, thieving human beings.
Throughout the spring and summer they worked a sixty−hour week, and in August Napoleon announced that
there would be work on Sunday afternoons as well. This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who
absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half. Even so, it was found necessary to leave
certain tasks undone. The harvest was a little less successful than in the previous year, and two fields which
should have been sown with roots in the early summer were not sown because the ploughing had not been
completed early enough. It was possible to foresee that the coming winter would be a hard one.
The windmill presented unexpected difficulties. There was a good quarry of limestone on the farm, and
plenty of sand and cement had been found in one of the outhouses, so that all the materials for building were
at hand. But the problem the animals could not at first solve was how to break up the stone into pieces of
suitable size. There seemed no way of doing this except with picks and crowbars, which no animal could use,
because no animal could stand on his hind legs. Only after weeks of vain effort did the right idea occur to
somebody−namely, to utilise the force of gravity. Huge boulders, far too big to be used as they were, were
lying all over the bed of the quarry. The animals lashed ropes round these, and then all together, cows, horses,
sheep, any animal that could lay hold of the rope−even the pigs sometimes joined in at critical moments−they
dragged them with desperate slowness up the slope to the top of the quarry, where they were toppled over the
edge, to shatter to pieces below. Transporting the stone when it was once broken was comparatively simple.
The horses carried it off in cart−loads, the sheep dragged single blocks, even Muriel and Benjamin yoked
themselves into an old governess−cart and did their share. By late summer a sufficient store of stone had
accumulated, and then the building began, under the superintendence of the pigs.
But it was a slow, laborious process. Frequently it took a whole day of exhausting effort to drag a single
boulder to the top of the quarry, and sometimes when it was pushed over the edge it failed to break. Nothing
could have been achieved without Boxer, whose strength seemed equal to that of all the rest of the animals
put together. When the boulder began to slip and the animals cried out in despair at finding themselves
dragged down the hill, it was always Boxer who strained himself against the rope and brought the boulder to
a stop. To see him toiling up the slope inch by inch, his breath coming fast, the tips of his hoofs clawing at
the ground, and his great sides matted with sweat, filled everyone with admiration. Clover warned him
sometimes to be careful not to overstrain himself, but Boxer would never listen to her. His two slogans, “I
will work harder” and “Napoleon is always right,” seemed to him a sufficient answer to all problems. He had
made arrangements with the cockerel to call him three−quarters of an hour earlier in the mornings instead of
half an hour. And in his spare moments, of which there were not many nowadays, he would go alone to the
quarry, collect a load of broken stone, and drag it down to the site of the windmill unassisted.
The animals were not badly off throughout that summer, in spite of the hardness of their work. If they had no
more food than they had had in Jones’s day, at least they did not have less. The advantage of only having to
feed themselves, and not having to support five extravagant human beings as well, was so great that it would
have taken a lot of failures to outweigh it. And in many ways the animal method of doing things was more
efficient and saved labour. Such jobs as weeding, for instance, could be done with a thoroughness impossible
to human beings. And again, since no animal now stole, it was unnecessary to fence off pasture from arable
land, which saved a lot of labour on the upkeep of hedges and gates. Nevertheless, as the summer wore on,
various unforeseen shortages began to make them selves felt. There was need of paraffin oil, nails, string, dog
biscuits, and iron for the horses’ shoes, none of which could be produced on the farm. Later there would also
be need for seeds and artificial manures, besides various tools and, finally, the machinery for the windmill.
How these were to be procured, no one was able to imagine.
One Sunday morning, when the animals assembled to receive their orders, Napoleon announced that he had
decided upon a new policy. From now onwards Animal Farm would engage in trade with the neighbouring
farms: not, of course, for any commercial purpose, but simply in order to obtain certain materials which were
urgently necessary. The needs of the windmill must override everything else, he said. He was therefore
making arrangements to sell a stack of hay and part of the current year’s wheat crop, and later on, if more
money were needed, it would have to be made up by the sale of eggs, for which there was always a market in
Willingdon. The hens, said Napoleon, should welcome this sacrifice as their own special contribution towards
the building of the windmill.
Once again the animals were conscious of a vague uneasiness. Never to have any dealings with human
beings, never to engage in trade, never to make use of money−had not these been among the earliest
resolutions passed at that first triumphant Meeting after Jones was expelled? All the animals remembered
passing such resolutions: or at least they thought that they remembered it. The four young pigs who had
protested when Napoleon abolished the Meetings raised their voices timidly, but they were promptly silenced
by a tremendous growling from the dogs. Then, as usual, the sheep broke into “Four legs good, two legs
bad!” and the momentary awkwardness was smoothed over. Finally Napoleon raised his trotter for silence
and announced that he had already made all the arrangements. There would be no need for any of the animals
to come in contact with human beings, which would clearly be most undesirable. He intended to take the
whole burden upon his own shoulders. A Mr. Whymper, a solicitor living in Willingdon, had agreed to act as
intermediary between Animal Farm and the outside world, and would visit the farm every Monday morning
to receive his instructions. Napoleon ended his speech with his usual cry of “Long live Animal Farm!” and
after the singing of Beasts of England the animals were dismissed.
Afterwards Squealer made a round of the farm and set the animals’ minds at rest. He assured them that the
resolution against engaging in trade and using money had never been passed, or even suggested. It was pure
imagination, probably traceable in the beginning to lies circulated by Snowball. A few animals still felt
faintly doubtful, but Squealer asked them shrewdly, “Are you certain that this is not something that you have
dreamed, comrades? Have you any record of such a resolution? Is it written down anywhere?” And since it
was certainly true that nothing of the kind existed in writing, the animals were satisfied that they had been
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.
“Muriel,” she said, “read me the Fourth Commandment. Does it not say something about never sleeping in a
With some difficulty Muriel spelt it out.
“It says, ‘No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets ,”‘ she announced finally.
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
The animals were shocked beyond measure to learn that even Snowball could be guilty of such an action.
There was a cry of indignation, and everyone began thinking out ways of catching Snowball if he should ever
come back. Almost immediately the footprints of a pig were discovered in the grass at a little distance from
the knoll. They could only be traced for a few yards, but appeared to lead to a hole in the hedge. Napoleon
snuffed deeply at them and pronounced them to be Snowball’s. He gave it as his opinion that Snowball had
probably come from the direction of Foxwood Farm.
“No more delays, comrades!” cried Napoleon when the footprints had been examined. “There is work to be
done. This very morning we begin rebuilding the windmill, and we will build all through the winter, rain or
shine. We will teach this miserable traitor that he cannot undo our work so easily. Remember, comrades,
there must be no alteration in our plans: they shall be carried out to the day. Forward, comrades! Long live
the windmill! Long live Animal Farm!”
IT WAS a bitter winter. The stormy weather was followed by sleet and snow, and then by a hard frost which
did not break till well into February. The animals carried on as best they could with the rebuilding of the
windmill, well knowing that the outside world was watching them and that the envious human beings would
rejoice and triumph if the mill were not finished on time.
Out of spite, the human beings pretended not to believe that it was Snowball who had destroyer the windmill:
they said that it had fallen down because the walls were too thin. The animals knew that this was not the case.
Still, it had been decided to build the walls three feet thick this time instead of eighteen inches as before,
which meant collecting much larger quantities of stone. For a long i.ne the quarry was full of snowdrifts and
nothing could be done. Some progress was made in the dry frosty weather that followed, but it was cruel
work, and the animals could not feel so hopeful about it as they had felt before. They were always cold, and
usually hungry as well. Only Boxer and Clover never lost heart. Squealer made excellent speeches on the joy
of service and the dignity of labour, but the other animals found more inspiration in Boxer’s strength and his
never−failing cry of “I will work harder! ”
In January food fell short. The corn ration was drastically reduced, and it was announced that an extra potato
ration would be issued to make up for it. Then it was discovered that the greater part of the potato crop had
been frosted in the clamps, which had not been covered thickly enough. The potatoes had become soft and
discoloured, and only a few were edible. For days at a time the animals had nothing to eat but chaff and
mangels. Starvation seemed to stare them in the face.
It was vitally necessary to conceal this fact from the outside world. Emboldened by the collapse of the
windmill, the human beings were inventing fresh lies about Animal Farm. Once again it was being put about
that all the animals were dying of famine and disease, and that they were continually fighting among
themselves and had resorted to cannibalism and infanticide. Napoleon was well aware of the bad results that
might follow if the real facts of the food situation were known, and he decided to make use of Mr. Whymper
to spread a contrary impression. Hitherto the animals had had little or no contact with Whymper on his
weekly visits: now, however, a few selected animals, mostly sheep, were instructed to remark casually in his
hearing that rations had been increased. In addition, Napoleon ordered the almost empty bins in the
store−shed to be filled nearly to the brim with sand, which was then covered up with what remained of the
grain and meal. On some suitable pretext Whymper was led through the store−shed and allowed to catch a
glimpse of the bins. He was deceived, and continued to report to the outside world that there was no food
shortage on Animal Farm.
Nevertheless, towards the end of January it became obvious that it would be necessary to procure some more
grain from somewhere. In these days Napoleon rarely appeared in public, but spent all his time in the
farmhouse, which was guarded at each door by fierce−looking dogs. When he did emerge, it was in a
ceremonial manner, with an escort of six dogs who closely surrounded him and growled if anyone came too
near. Frequently he did not even appear on Sunday mornings, but issued his orders through one of the other
pigs, usually Squealer.
One Sunday morning Squealer announced that the hens, who had just come in to lay again, must surrender
their eggs. Napoleon had accepted, through Whymper, a contract for four hundred eggs a week. The price of
these would pay for enough grain and meal to keep the farm going till summer came on and conditions were
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
“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
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 said:
“I do not understand it. I would not have believed that such things could happen on our farm. It must be due
to some fault in ourselves. The solution, as I see it, is to work harder. From now onwards I shall get up a full
hour earlier in the mornings.”
And he moved off at his lumbering trot and made for the quarry. Having got there, he collected two
successive loads of stone and dragged them down to the windmill before retiring for the night.
The animals huddled about Clover, not speaking. The knoll where they were lying gave them a wide prospect
across the countryside. Most of Animal Farm was within their view−the long pasture stretching down to the
main road, the hayfield, the spinney, the drinking pool, the ploughed fields where the young wheat was thick
and green, and the red roofs of the farm buildings with the smoke curling from the chimneys. It was a clear
spring evening. The grass and the bursting hedges were gilded by the level rays of the sun. Never had the
farm−and with a kind of surprise they remembered that it was their own farm, every inch of it their own
property−appeared to the animals so desirable a place. As Clover looked down the hillside her eyes filled
with tears. If she could have spoken her thoughts, it would have been to say that this was not what they had
aimed at when they had set themselves years ago to work for the overthrow of the human race. These scenes
of terror and slaughter were not what they had looked forward to on that night when old Major first stirred
them to rebellion. If she herself had had any picture of the future, it had been of a society of animals set free
from hunger and the whip, all equal, each working according to his capacity, the strong protecting the weak,
as she had protected the lost brood of ducklings with her foreleg on the night of Major’s speech. Instead−she
did not know why−they had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs
roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking
crimes. There was no thought of rebellion or disobedience in her mind. She knew that, even as things were,
they were far better off than they had been in the days of Jones, and that before all else it was needful to
prevent the return of the human beings. Whatever happened she would remain faithful, work hard, carry out
the orders that were given to her, and accept the leadership of Napoleon. But still, it was not for this that she
and all the other animals had hoped and toiled. It was not for this that they had built the windmill and faced
the bullets of Jones’s gun. Such were her thoughts, though she lacked the words to express 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 before.
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
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
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.
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
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,
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,
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
Napoleon approved of this poem and caused it to be inscribed on the wall of the big barn, at the opposite end
from the Seven Commandments. It was surmounted by a portrait of Napoleon, in profile, executed by
Squealer in white paint.
Meanwhile, through the agency of Whymper, Napoleon was engaged in complicated negotiations with
Frederick and Pilkington. The pile of timber was still unsold. Of the two, Frederick was the more anxious to
get hold of it, but he would not offer a reasonable price. At the same time there were renewed rumours that
Frederick and his men were plotting to attack Animal Farm and to destroy the windmill, the building of
which had aroused furious jealousy in him. Snowball was known to be still skulking on Pinchfield Farm. In
the middle of the summer the animals were alarmed to hear that three hens had come forward and confessed
that, inspired by Snowball, they had entered into a plot to murder Napoleon. They were executed
immediately, and fresh precautions for Napoleon’s safety were taken. Four dogs guarded his bed at night, one
at each corner, and a young pig named Pinkeye was given the task of tasting all his food before he ate it, lest
it should be poisoned.
At about the same time it was given out that Napoleon had arranged to sell the pile of timber to Mr.
Pilkington; he was also going to enter into a regular agreement for the exchange of certain products between
Animal Farm and Foxwood. The relations between Napoleon and Pilkington, though they were only
conducted through Whymper, were now almost friendly. The animals distrusted Pilkington, as a human
being, but greatly preferred him to Frederick, whom they both feared and hated. As the summer wore on, and
the windmill neared completion, the rumours of an impending treacherous attack grew stronger and stronger.
Frederick, it was said, intended to bring against them twenty men all armed with guns, and he had already
bribed the magistrates and police, so that if he could once get hold of the title−deeds of Animal Farm they
would ask no questions. Moreover, terrible stories were leaking out from Pinchfield about the cruelties that
Frederick practised upon his animals. He had flogged an old horse to death, he starved his cows, he had killed
a dog by throwing it into the furnace, he amused himself in the evenings by making cocks fight with splinters
of razor−blade tied to their spurs. The animals’ blood boiled with rage when they heard of these things
beingdone to their comrades, and sometimes they clamoured to be allowed to go out in a body and attack
Pinchfield Farm, drive out the humans, and set the animals free. But Squealer counselled them to avoid rash
actions and trust in Comrade Napoleon’s strategy.
Nevertheless, feeling against Frederick continued to run high. One Sunday morning Napoleon appeared in the
barn and explained that he had never at any time contemplated selling the pile of timber to Frederick; he
considered it beneath his dignity, he said, to have dealings with scoundrels of that description. The pigeons
who were still sent out to spread tidings of the Rebellion were forbidden to set foot anywhere on Foxwood,
and were also ordered to drop their former slogan of “Death to Humanity” in favour of “Death to Frederick.”
In the late summer yet another of Snowball’s machinations was laid bare. The wheat crop was full of weeds,
and it was discovered that on one of his nocturnal visits Snowball had mixed weed seeds with the seed corn.
A gander who had been privy to the plot had confessed his guilt to Squealer and immediately committed
suicide by swallowing deadly nightshade berries. The animals now also learned that Snowball had never−as
many of them had believed hitherto−received the order of “Animal Hero7 First Class.” This was merely a
legend which had been spread some time after the Battle of the Cowshed by Snowball himself. So far from
being decorated, he had been censured for showing cowardice in the battle. Once again some of the animals
heard this with a certain bewilderment, but Squealer was soon able to convince them that their memories had
been at fault.
In the autumn, by a tremendous, exhausting effort−for the harvest had to be gathered at almost the same
time−the windmill was finished. The machinery had still to be installed, and Whymper was negotiating the
purchase of it, but the structure was completed. In the teeth of every difficulty, in spite of inexperience, of
primitive implements, of bad luck and of Snowball’s treachery, the work had been finished punctually to the
very day! Tired out but proud, the animals walked round and round their masterpiece, which appeared even
more beautiful in their eyes than when it had been built the first time. Moreover, the walls were twice as thick
as before. Nothing short of explosives would lay them low this time! And when they thought of how they had
laboured, what discouragements they had overcome, and the enormous difference that would be made in their
lives when the sails were turning and the dynamos running−when they thought of all this, their tiredness
forsook them and they gambolled round and round the windmill, uttering cries of triumph. Napoleon himself,
attended by his dogs and his cockerel, came down to inspect the completed work; he personally congratulated
the animals on their achievement, and announced that the mill would be named Napoleon Mill.
Two days later the animals were called together for a special meeting in the barn. They were struck dumb
with surprise when Napoleon announced that he had sold the pile of timber to Frederick. Tomorrow
Frederick’s wagons would arrive and begin carting it away. Throughout the whole period of his seeming
friendship with Pilkington, Napoleon had really been in secret agreement with Frederick.
All relations with Foxwood had been broken off; insulting messages had been sent to Pilkington. The pigeons
had been told to avoid Pinchfield Farm and to alter their slogan from “Death to Frederick” to “Death to
Pilkington.” At the same time Napoleon assured the animals that the stories of an impending attack on
Animal Farm were completely untrue, and that the tales about Frederick’s cruelty to his own animals had
been greatly exaggerated. All these rumours had probably originated with Snowball and his agents. It now
appeared that Snowball was not, after all, hiding on Pinchfield Farm, and in fact had never been there in his
life: he was living−in considerable luxury, so it was said−at Foxwood, and had in reality been a pensioner of
Pilkington for years past.
The pigs were in ecstasies over Napoleon’s cunning. By seeming to be friendly with Pilkington he had forced
Frederick to raise his price by twelve pounds. But the superior quality of Napoleon’s mind, said Squealer, was
shown in the fact that he trusted nobody, not even Frederick. Frederick had wanted to pay for the timber with
something called a cheque, which, it seemed, was a piece of paper with a promise to pay written upon it. But
Napoleon was too clever for him. He had demanded payment in real five−pound notes, which were to be
handed over before the timber was removed. Already Frederick had paid up; and the sum he had paid was
just enough to buy the machinery for the windmill.
Meanwhile the timber was being carted away at high speed. When it was all gone, another special meeting
was held in the barn for the animals to inspect Frederick’s bank−notes. Smiling beatifically, and wearing both
his decorations, Napoleon reposed on a bed of straw on the platform, with the money at his side, neatly piled
on a china dish from the farmhouse kitchen. The animals filed slowly past, and each gazed his fill. And Boxer
put out his nose to sniff at the bank−notes, and the flimsy white things stirred and rustled in his breath.
Three days later there was a terrible hullabaloo. Whymper, his face deadly pale, came racing up the path on
his bicycle, flung it down in the yard and rushed straight into the farmhouse. The next moment a choking roar
of rage sounded from Napoleon’s apartments. The news of what had happened sped round the farm like
wildfire. The banknotes were forgeries! Frederick had got the timber for nothing!
Napoleon called the animals together immediately and in a terrible voice pronounced the death sentence upon
Frederick. When captured, he said, Frederick should be boiled alive. At the same time he warned them that
after this treacherous deed the worst was to be expected. Frederick and his men might make their
long−expected attack at any moment. Sentinels were placed at all the approaches to the farm. In addition,
four pigeons were sent to Foxwood with a conciliatory message, which it was hoped might re−establish good
relations with Pilkington.
The very next morning the attack came. The animals were at breakfast when the look−outs came racing in
with the news that Frederick and his followers had already come through the five−barred gate. Boldly enough
the animals sallied forth to meet them, but this time they did not have the easy victory that they had had in the
Battle of the Cowshed. There were fifteen men, with half a dozen guns between them, and they opened fire as
soon as they got within fifty yards. The animals could not face the terrible explosions and the stinging pellets,
and in spite of the efforts of Napoleon and Boxer to rally them, they were soon driven back. A number of
them were already wounded. They took refuge in the farm buildings and peeped cautiously out from chinks
and knot−holes. The whole of the big pasture, including the windmill, was in the hands of the enemy. For the
moment even Napoleon seemed at a loss. He paced up and down without a word, his tail rigid and twitching.
Wistful glances were sent in the direction of Foxwood. If Pilkington and his men would help them, the day
might yet be won. But at this moment the four pigeons, who had been sent out on the day before, returned,
one of them bearing a scrap of paper from Pilkington. On it was pencilled the words: “Serves you right.”
Meanwhile Frederick and his men had halted about the windmill. The animals watched them, and a murmur
of dismay went round. Two of the men had produced a crowbar and a sledge hammer. They were going to
knock the 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 leg.
“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 years!”
“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
“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
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.”
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 teeth.
In the middle of the summer Moses the raven suddenly reappeared on the farm, after an absence of several
years. He was quite unchanged, still did no work, and talked in the same strain as ever about Sugarcandy
Mountain. He would perch on a stump, flap his black wings, and talk by the hour to anyone who would listen.
“Up there, comrades,” he would say solemnly, pointing to the sky with his large beak−”up there, just on the
other side of that dark cloud that you can see−there it lies, Sugarcandy Mountain, that happy country where
we poor animals shall rest for ever from our labours!” He even claimed to have been there on one of his
higher flights, and to have seen the everlasting fields of clover and the linseed cake and lump sugar growing
on the hedges. Many of the animals believed him. Their lives now, they reasoned, were hungry and laborious;
was it not right and just that a better world should exist somewhere else? A thing that was difficult to
determine was the attitude of the pigs towards Moses. They all declared contemptuously that his stories about
Sugarcandy Mountain were lies, and yet they allowed him to remain on the farm, not working, with an
allowance of a gill of beer a day.
After his hoof had healed up, Boxer worked harder than ever. Indeed, all the animals worked like slaves that
year. Apart from the regular work of the farm, and the rebuilding of the windmill, there was the schoolhouse
for the young pigs, which was started in March. Sometimes the long hours on insufficient food were hard to
bear, but Boxer never faltered. In nothing that he said or did was there any sign that his strength was not what
it had been. It was only his appearance that was a little altered; his hide was less shiny than it had used to be,
and his great haunches seemed to have shrunken. The others said, “Boxer will pick up when the spring grass
comes on”; but the spring came and Boxer grew no fatter. Sometimes on the slope leading to the top of the
quarry, when he braced his muscles against the weight of some vast boulder, it seemed that nothing kept him
on his feet except the will to continue. At such times his lips were seen to form the words, “I will work
harder”; he had no voice left. Once again Clover and Benjamin warned him to take care of his health, but
Boxer paid no attention. His twelfth birthday was approaching. He did not care what happened so long as a
good store of stone was accumulated before he went on pension.
Late one evening in the summer, a sudden rumour ran round the farm that something had happened to Boxer.
He had gone out alone to drag a load of stone down to the windmill. And sure enough, the rumour was true.
A few minutes later two pigeons came racing in with the news: “Boxer has fallen! He is lying on his side and
can’t get up!”
About half the animals on the farm rushed out to the knoll where the windmill stood. There lay Boxer,
between the shafts of the cart, his neck stretched out, unable even to raise his head. His eyes were glazed, his
sides matted with sweat. A thin stream of blood had trickled out of his mouth. Clover dropped to her knees at
“Boxer!” she cried, “how are you?”
“It is my lung,” said Boxer in a weak voice. “It does not matter. I think you will be able to finish the windmill
without me. There is a pretty good store of stone accumulated. I had only another month to go in any case. To
tell you the truth, I had been looking forward to my retirement. And perhaps, as Benjamin is growing old too,
they will let him retire at the same time and be a companion to me.”
“We must get help at once,” said Clover. “Run, somebody, and tell Squealer what has happened.”
All the other animals immediately raced back to the farmhouse to give Squealer the news. Only Clover
remained, and Benjamin7 who lay down at Boxer’s side, and, without speaking, kept the flies off him with his
long tail. After about a quarter of an hour Squealer appeared, full of sympathy and concern. He said that
Comrade Napoleon had learned with the very deepest distress of this misfortune to one of the most loyal
workers on the farm, and was already making arrangements to send Boxer to be treated in the hospital at
Willingdon. The animals felt a little uneasy at this. Except for Mollie and Snowball, no other animal had ever
left the farm, and they did not like to think of their sick comrade in the hands of human beings. However,
Squealer easily convinced them that the veterinary surgeon in Willingdon could treat Boxer’s case more
satisfactorily than could be done on the farm. And about half an hour later, when Boxer had somewhat
recovered, he was with difficulty got on to his feet, and managed to limp back to his stall, where Clover and
Benjamin had prepared a good bed of straw for him.
For the next two days Boxer remained in his stall. The pigs had sent out a large bottle of pink medicine which
they had found in the medicine chest in the bathroom, and Clover administered it to Boxer twice a day after
meals. In the evenings she lay in his stall and talked to him, while Benjamin kept the flies off him. Boxer
professed not to be sorry for what had happened. If he made a good recovery, he might expect to live another
three years, and he looked forward to the peaceful days that he would spend in the corner of the big pasture. It
would be the first time that he had had leisure to study and improve his mind. He intended, he said, to devote
the rest of his life to learning the remaining twenty−two letters of the alphabet.
However, Benjamin and Clover could only be with Boxer after working hours, and it was in the middle of the
day when the van came to take him away. The animals were all at work weeding turnips under the
supervision of a pig, when they were astonished to see Benjamin come galloping from the direction of the
farm buildings, braying at the top of his voice. It was the first time that they had ever seen Benjamin
excited−indeed, it was the first time that anyone had ever seen him gallop. “Quick, quick!” he shouted.
“Come at once! They’re taking Boxer away!” Without waiting for orders from the pig, the animals broke off
work and raced back to the farm buildings. Sure enough, there in the yard was a large closed van, drawn by
two horses, with lettering on its side and a sly−looking man in a low−crowned bowler hat sitting on the
driver’s seat. And Boxer’s stall was empty.
The animals crowded round the van. “Good−bye, Boxer!” they chorused, “good−bye!”
“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
All the animals took up the cry of “Get out, Boxer, get out!” But the van was already gathering speed and
drawing away from them. It was uncertain whether Boxer had understood what Clover had said. But a
moment later his face disappeared from the window and there was the sound of a tremendous drumming of
hoofs inside the van. He was trying to kick his way out. The time had been when a few kicks from Boxer’s
hoofs would have smashed the van to matchwood. But alas! his strength had left him; and in a few moments
the sound of drumming hoofs grew fainter and died away. In desperation the animals began appealing to the
two horses which drew the van to stop. “Comrades, comrades!” they shouted. “Don’t take your own brother to
his death! ” But the stupid brutes, too ignorant to realise what was happening, merely set back their ears and
quickened their pace. Boxer’s face did not reappear at the window. Too late, someone thought of racing ahead
and shutting the five−barred gate; but in another moment the van was through it and rapidly disappearing
down the road. Boxer was never seen again.
Three days later it was announced that he had died in the hospital at Willingdon, in spite of receiving every
attention a horse could have. Squealer came to announce the news to the others. He had, he said, been present
during Boxer’s last hours.
“It was the most affecting sight I have ever seen!” said Squealer, lifting his trotter and wiping away a tear. “I
was at his bedside at the very last. And at the end, almost too weak to speak, he whispered in my ear that his
sole sorrow was to have passed on before the windmill was finished. ‘Forward, comrades!’ he whispered.
‘Forward in the name of the Rebellion. Long live Animal Farm! Long live Comrade Napoleon! Napoleon is
always right.’ Those were his very last words, comrades.”
Here Squealer’s demeanour suddenly changed. He fell silent for a moment, and his little eyes darted
suspicious glances from side to side before he proceeded.
It had come to his knowledge, he said, that a foolish and wicked rumour had been circulated at the time of
Boxer’s removal. Some of the animals had noticed that the van which took Boxer away was marked “Horse
Slaughterer,” and had actually jumped to the conclusion that Boxer was being sent to the knacker’s. It was
almost unbelievable, said Squealer, that any animal could be so stupid. Surely, he cried indignantly, whisking
his tail and skipping from side to side, surely they knew their beloved Leader, Comrade Napoleon, better than
that? But the explanation was really very simple. The van had previously been the property of the knacker,
and had been bought by the veterinary surgeon, who had not yet painted the old name out. That was how the
mistake had arisen.
The animals were enormously relieved to hear this. And when Squealer went on to give further graphic
details of Boxer’s death−bed, the admirable care he had received, and the expensive medicines for which
Napoleon had paid without a thought as to the cost, their last doubts disappeared and the sorrow that they felt
for their comrade’s death was tempered by the thought that at least he had died happy.
Napoleon himself appeared at the meeting on the following Sunday morning and pronounced a short oration
in Boxer’s honour. It had not been possible, he said, to bring back their lamented comrade’s remains for
interment on the farm, but he had ordered a large wreath to be made from the laurels in the farmhouse garden
and sent down to be placed on Boxer’s grave. And in a few days’ time the pigs intended to hold a memorial
banquet in Boxer’s honour. Napoleon ended his speech with a reminder of Boxer’s two favourite maxims, “I
will work harder” and “Comrade Napoleon is always right”−maxims, he said, which every animal would do
well to adopt as his 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.
YEARS passed. The seasons came and went, the short animal lives fled by. A time came when there was no
one who remembered the old days before the Rebellion, except Clover, Benjamin, Moses the raven, and a
number of the pigs.
Muriel was dead; Bluebell, Jessie, and Pincher were dead. Jones too was dead−he had died in an inebriates’
home in another part of the country. Snowball was forgotten. Boxer was forgotten, except by the few who
had known him. Clover was an old stout mare now, stiff in the joints and with a tendency to rheumy eyes.
She was two years past the retiring age, but in fact no animal had ever actually retired. The talk of setting
aside a corner of the pasture for superannuated animals had long since been dropped. Napoleon was now a
mature boar of twenty−four stone. Squealer was so fat that he could with difficulty see out of his eyes. Only
old Benjamin was much the same as ever, except for being a little greyer about the muzzle, and, since Boxer’s
death, more morose and taciturn than ever.
There were many more creatures on the farm now, though the increase was not so great as had been expected
in earlier years. Many animals had been born to whom the Rebellion was only a dim tradition, passed on by
word of mouth, and others had been bought who had never heard mention of such a thing before their arrival.
The farm possessed three horses now besides Clover. They were fine upstanding beasts, willing workers and
good comrades, but very stupid. None of them proved able to learn the alphabet beyond the letter B. They
accepted everything that they were told about the Rebellion and the principles of Animalism, especially from
Clover, for whom they had an almost filial respect; but it was doubtful whether they understood very much of
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
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:
ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL
BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS
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, TitBits, 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 wear on Sundays.
A week later, in the afternoon, a number of dogcarts 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
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
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 stiff 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.
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