Animal Farm

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Whatever  goes upon two  legs  is  an enemy. 


Whatever goes upon four  legs, or has wings, is  a friend. 


No animal shall wear  clothes. 


No  animal shall sleep  in a bed. 


No animal  shall  drink  alcohol. 


No  animal shall kill any other animal. 


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. 

 Animal Farm



"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

 Animal Farm



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

 Animal Farm



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. 


,  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. 

 Animal Farm






 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

Pilkington  said. 

However,  these stories were never  fully  believed.  Rumours  of a  wonderful  farm, where the human beings had

been turned  out and the  animals  managed their  own affairs,  continued to circulate in  vague  and distorted

forms, and  throughout that year  a wave of  rebelliousness  ran through the  countryside. Bulls which had always

been  tractable suddenly  turned savage,  sheep broke down hedges and  devoured the clover, cows  kicked the

pail over,  hunters  refused  their fences and shot their  riders on  to the  other side.  Above all,  the  tune  and even

the words of  Beasts of  England were  known  everywhere. It had spread with astonishing speed. The human

beings  could not  contain their rage when they heard this song, though they  pretended to think  it merely

ridiculous. They could not understand,  they said, how even animals  could bring themselves to sing such

contemptible rubbish. Any animal  caught  singing  it was  given  a  flogging on  the  spot.  And  yet  the  song  was

irrepressible. The  blackbirds whistled it in the  hedges, the  pigeons cooed  it in the  elms,  it got  into the din  of

the  smithies and  the tune of the  church  bells.  And  when  the  human  beings listened  to it, they  secretly

trembled, hearing in it a prophecy of their future doom. 

Early in  October, when the corn was cut and stacked and some of it  was already threshed, a flight of pigeons

came  whirling through the  air and  alighted in the yard of Animal Farm in the wildest excitement.  Jones and

all  his men, with half  a dozen others from Foxwood  and  Pinchfield, had entered  the five−barred gate and

were coming up the  cart−track that led to the farm.  They  were all carrying sticks,  except Jones, who was

marching ahead with a  gun in his hands.  Obviously they were going to attempt the recapture  of the  farm. 

 Animal 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. 

 Animal Farm



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

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