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Animal Farm by George Orwell [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-3-27 00:53:58 |Display all floors
im wondering if any chinese living in china have read this amazing novel written by george orwell (published in 1945) which is considered as one of the 100 best english-language novels from 1923 to present. (Time Inc.)

ive read it back in 1984, when i was 15 and really enjoyed it and would love to upload all of its 10 chapters for anyone interested in reading it

and... of course, while improving your english reading skills, everyone is free to share their thoughts and comments

happy reading!

heres a pic of george orwell (1903 - 1950)
george orwell.JPG
"It ain't no thang but a chicken wing."

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Post time 2007-3-27 00:58:45 |Display all floors

chapter 1

CHAPTER 1

Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but
was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-holes. With the ring of light
from his lantern dancing from side to side, he lurched across the yard,
kicked off his boots at the back door, drew himself a last glass of beer
from the barrel in the scullery, and made his way up to bed, where
Mrs. Jones was already snoring.

As soon as the light in the bedroom went out there was a stirring and a
fluttering all through the farm buildings. Word had gone round during the
day that old Major, the prize Middle White boar, had had a strange dream
on the previous night and wished to communicate it to the other animals.
It had been agreed that they should all meet in the big barn as soon as
Mr. Jones was safely out of the way. Old Major (so he was always called,
though the name under which he had been exhibited was Willingdon Beauty)
was so highly regarded on the farm that everyone was quite ready to lose
an hour's sleep in order to hear what he had to say.

At one end of the big barn, on a sort of raised platform, Major was
already ensconced on his bed of straw, under a lantern which hung from a
beam. He was twelve years old and had lately grown rather stout, but he
was still a majestic-looking pig, with a wise and benevolent appearance in
spite of the fact that his tushes had never been cut. Before long the
other animals began to arrive and make themselves comfortable after their
different fashions. First came the three dogs, Bluebell, Jessie, and
Pincher, and then the pigs, who settled down in the straw immediately in
front of the platform. The hens perched themselves on the window-sills,
the pigeons fluttered up to the rafters, the sheep and cows lay down
behind the pigs and began to chew the cud. The two cart-horses, Boxer and
Clover, came in together, walking very slowly and setting down their vast
hairy hoofs with great care lest there should be some small animal
concealed in the straw. Clover was a stout motherly mare approaching
middle life, who had never quite got her figure back after her fourth foal.
Boxer was an enormous beast, nearly eighteen hands high, and as strong as
any two ordinary horses put together. A white stripe down his nose gave
him a somewhat stupid appearance, and in fact he was not of first-rate
intelligence, but he was universally respected for his steadiness of
character and tremendous powers of work. After the horses came Muriel,
the white goat, and Benjamin, the donkey. Benjamin was the oldest animal
on the farm, and the worst tempered. He seldom talked, and when he did, it
was usually to make some cynical remark--for instance, he would say that
God had given him a tail to keep the flies off, but that he would sooner
have had no tail and no flies. Alone among the animals on the farm he
never laughed. If asked why, he would say that he saw nothing to laugh at.
Nevertheless, without openly admitting it, he was devoted to Boxer; the
two of them usually spent their Sundays together in the small paddock
beyond the orchard, grazing side by side and never speaking.

The two horses had just lain down when a brood of ducklings, which had
lost their mother, filed into the barn, cheeping feebly and wandering from
side to side to find some place where they would not be trodden on. Clover
made a sort of wall round them with her great foreleg, and the ducklings
nestled down inside it and promptly fell asleep. At the last moment
Mollie, the foolish, pretty white mare who drew Mr. Jones's trap, came
mincing daintily in, chewing at a lump of sugar. She took a place near the
front and began flirting her white mane, hoping to draw attention to the
red ribbons it was plaited with. Last of all came the cat, who looked
round, as usual, for the warmest place, and finally squeezed herself in
between Boxer and Clover; there she purred contentedly throughout Major's
speech without listening to a word of what he was saying.

All the animals were now present except Moses, the tame raven, who slept
on a perch behind the back door. When Major saw that they had all made
themselves comfortable and were waiting attentively, he cleared his throat
and began:

"Comrades, you have heard already about the strange dream that I had last
night. But I will come to the dream later. I have something else to say
first. I do not think, comrades, that I shall be with you for many months
longer, and before I die, I feel it my duty to pass on to you such wisdom
as I have acquired. I have had a long life, I have had much time for
thought as I lay alone in my stall, and I think I may say that I
understand the nature of life on this earth as well as any animal now
living. It is about this that I wish to speak to you.

"Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it:
our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we are given
just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us
who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength;
and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are
slaughtered with hideous cruelty. No animal in England knows the meaning
of happiness or leisure after he is a year old. No animal in England is
free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth.

"But is this simply part of the order of nature? Is it because this land
of ours is so poor that it cannot afford a decent life to those who dwell
upon it? No, comrades, a thousand times no! The soil of England is
fertile, its climate is good, it is capable of affording food in abundance
to an enormously greater number of animals than now inhabit it. This
single farm of ours would support a dozen horses, twenty cows, hundreds of
sheep--and all of them living in a comfort and a dignity that are now
almost beyond our imagining. Why then do we continue in this miserable
condition? Because nearly the whole of the produce of our labour is stolen
from us by human beings. There, comrades, is the answer to all our
problems. It is summed up in a single word--Man. Man is the only real
enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and
overwork is abolished for ever.

"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not
give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he
cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the
animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that
will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself. Our
labour tills the soil, our dung fertilises it, and yet there is not one of
us that owns more than his bare skin. You cows that I see before me, how
many thousands of gallons of milk have you given during this last year?
And what has happened to that milk which should have been breeding up
sturdy calves? Every drop of it has gone down the throats of our enemies.
And you hens, how many eggs have you laid in this last year, and how many
of those eggs ever hatched into chickens? The rest have all gone to market
to bring in money for Jones and his men. And you, Clover, where are those
four foals you bore, who should have been the support and pleasure of your
old age? Each was sold at a year old--you will never see one of them
again. In return for your four confinements and all your labour in the
fields, what have you ever had except your bare rations and a stall?

"And even the miserable lives we lead are not allowed to reach their
natural span. For myself I do not grumble, for I am one of the lucky ones.
I am twelve years old and have had over four hundred children. Such is the
natural life of a pig. But no animal escapes the cruel knife in the end.
You young porkers who are sitting in front of me, every one of you will
scream your lives out at the block within a year. To that horror we all
must come--cows, pigs, hens, sheep, everyone. Even the horses and the dogs
have no better fate. You, Boxer, the very day that those great muscles of
yours lose their power, Jones will sell you to the knacker, who will cut
your throat and boil you down for the foxhounds. As for the dogs, when
they grow old and toothless, Jones ties a brick round their necks and
drowns them in the nearest pond.

"Is it not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the evils of this life
of ours spring from the tyranny of human beings? Only get rid of Man, and
the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost overnight we could
become rich and free. What then must we do? Why, work night and day, body
and soul, for the overthrow of the human race! That is my message to you,
comrades: Rebellion! I do not know when that Rebellion will come, it might
be in a week or in a hundred years, but I know, as surely as I see this
straw beneath my feet, that sooner or later justice will be done. Fix your
eyes on that, comrades, throughout the short remainder of your lives! And
above all, pass on this message of mine to those who come after you, so
that future generations shall carry on the struggle until it is victorious.

"And remember, comrades, your resolution must never falter. No argument
must lead you astray. Never listen when they tell you that Man and the
animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the
prosperity of the others. It is all lies. Man serves the interests of no
creature except himself. And among us animals let there be perfect unity,
perfect comradeship in the struggle. All men are enemies. All animals are
comrades."




(chapter 1 continues on next thread)
"It ain't no thang but a chicken wing."

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At this moment there was a tremendous uproar. While Major was speaking
four large rats had crept out of their holes and were sitting on their
hindquarters, listening to him. The dogs had suddenly caught sight of
them, and it was only by a swift dash for their holes that the rats saved
their lives. Major raised his trotter for silence.

"Comrades," he said, "here is a point that must be settled. The wild
creatures, such as rats and rabbits--are they our friends or our enemies?
Let us put it to the vote. I propose this question to the meeting: Are
rats comrades?"

The vote was taken at once, and it was agreed by an overwhelming majority
that rats were comrades. There were only four dissentients, the three dogs
and the cat, who was afterwards discovered to have voted on both sides.
Major continued:

"I have little more to say. I merely repeat, remember always your duty of
enmity towards Man and all his ways. Whatever goes upon two legs is an
enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. And
remember also that in fighting against Man, we must not come to resemble
him. Even when you have conquered him, do not adopt his vices. No animal
must ever live in a house, or sleep in a bed, or wear clothes, or drink
alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or touch money, or engage in trade. All the
habits of Man are evil. And, above all, no animal must ever tyrannise over
his own kind. Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers. No
animal must ever kill any other animal. All animals are equal.

"And now, comrades, I will tell you about my dream of last night. I cannot
describe that dream to you. It was a dream of the earth as it will be when
Man has vanished. But it reminded me of something that I had long
forgotten. Many years ago, when I was a little pig, my mother and the
other sows used to sing an old song of which they knew only the tune and
the first three words. I had known that tune in my infancy, but it had
long since passed out of my mind. Last night, however, it came back to me
in my dream. And what is more, the words of the song also came back-words,
I am certain, which were sung by the animals of long ago and have been
lost to memory for generations. I will sing you that song now, comrades.
I am old and my voice is hoarse, but when I have taught you the tune, you
can sing it better for yourselves. It is called 'Beasts of England'."

Old Major cleared his throat and began to sing. As he had said, his voice
was hoarse, but he sang well enough, and it was a stirring tune, something
between 'Clementine' and 'La Cucaracha'. The words ran:

Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken to my joyful tidings
Of the golden future time.

Soon or late the day is coming,
Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown,
And the fruitful fields of England
Shall be trod by beasts alone.

Rings shall vanish from our noses,
And the harness from our back,
Bit and spur shall rust forever,
Cruel whips no more shall crack.

Riches more than mind can picture,
Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels
Shall be ours upon that day.

Bright will shine the fields of England,
Purer shall its waters be,
Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
On the day that sets us free.

For that day we all must labour,
Though we die before it break;
Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
All must toil for freedom's sake.

Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken well and spread my tidings
Of the golden future time.


The singing of this song threw the animals into the wildest excitement.
Almost before Major had reached the end, they had begun singing it for
themselves. Even the stupidest of them had already picked up the tune and
a few of the words, and as for the clever ones, such as the pigs and dogs,
they had the entire song by heart within a few minutes. And then, after a
few preliminary tries, the whole farm burst out into 'Beasts of England' in
tremendous unison. The cows lowed it, the dogs whined it, the sheep
bleated it, the horses whinnied it, the ducks quacked it. They were so
delighted with the song that they sang it right through five times in
succession, and might have continued singing it all night if they had not
been interrupted.

Unfortunately, the uproar awoke Mr. Jones, who sprang out of bed, making
sure that there was a fox in the yard. He seized the gun which always
stood in a corner of his bedroom, and let fly a charge of number 6 shot
into the darkness. The pellets buried themselves in the wall of the barn
and the meeting broke up hurriedly. Everyone fled to his own
sleeping-place. The birds jumped on to their perches, the animals settled
down in the straw, and the whole farm was asleep in a moment.
"It ain't no thang but a chicken wing."

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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

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.

(Chapter 2 continues)
"It ain't no thang but a chicken wing."

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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
interest.

"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.
"It ain't no thang but a chicken wing."

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Post time 2007-3-27 01:10:13 |Display all floors
take time to enjoy these 2 chapters :)

happy reading~
"It ain't no thang but a chicken wing."

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Post time 2007-3-28 10:20:15 |Display all floors
Chapter 3

How they toiled and sweated to get the hay in! But their efforts were
rewarded, for the harvest was an even bigger success than they had hoped.

Sometimes the work was hard; the implements had been designed for human
beings and not for animals, and it was a great drawback that no animal was
able to use any tool that involved standing on his hind legs. But the pigs
were so clever that they could think of a way round every difficulty. As
for the horses, they knew every inch of the field, and in fact understood
the business of mowing and raking far better than Jones and his men had
ever done. The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the
others. With their superior knowledge it was natural that they should
assume the leadership. Boxer and Clover would harness themselves to the
cutter or the horse-rake (no bits or reins were needed in these days, of
course) and tramp steadily round and round the field with a pig walking
behind and calling out "Gee up, comrade!" or "Whoa back, comrade!" as the
case might be. And every animal down to the humblest worked at turning the
hay and gathering it. Even the ducks and hens toiled to and fro all day in
the sun, carrying tiny wisps of hay in their beaks. In the end they
finished the harvest in two days' less time than it had usually taken
Jones and his men. Moreover, it was the biggest harvest that the farm had
ever seen. There was no wastage whatever; the hens and ducks with their
sharp eyes had gathered up the very last stalk. And not an animal on the
farm had stolen so much as a mouthful.

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

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

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

The pigs had set aside the harness-room as a headquarters for themselves.
Here, in the evenings, they studied blacksmithing, carpentering, and other
necessary arts from books which they had brought out of the farmhouse.
Snowball also busied himself with organising the other animals into what
he called Animal Committees. He was indefatigable at this. He formed the
Egg Production Committee for the hens, the Clean Tails League for the
cows, the Wild Comrades' Re-education Committee (the object of this was to
tame the rats and rabbits), the Whiter Wool Movement for the sheep, and
various others, besides instituting classes in reading and writing. On the
whole, these projects were a failure. The attempt to tame the wild
creatures, for instance, broke down almost immediately. They continued to
behave very much as before, and when treated with generosity, simply took
advantage of it. The cat joined the Re-education Committee and was very
active in it for some days. She was seen one day sitting on a roof and
talking to some sparrows who were just out of her reach. She was telling
them that all animals were now comrades and that any sparrow who chose
could come and perch on her paw; but the sparrows kept their distance.

(continued)
"It ain't no thang but a chicken wing."

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