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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.

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 so.

"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 mischief."

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.

收割牧草时,他们干得多卖力!但他们的汗水并没有白流,因为这次丰收比他们先前期望的还要大。

这些活时常很艰难:农具是为人而不是为动物设计的,没有一个动物能摆弄那些需要靠两条后腿站着才能使用的器械,这是一个很大的缺陷。但是,猪确实聪明,他们能想出排除每个困难的办法。至于马呢,他们这些田地了如指掌,实际上,他们比琼斯及其伙计们对刈草和耕地精通得多。猪其实并不干活,只是指导和监督其他动物。他们凭着非凡的学识,很自然地承担了领导工作。鲍克瑟和克拉弗情愿自己套上割草机或者马拉耙机(当然,这时候根本不会用嚼子或者缰绳),迈着沉稳的步伐,坚定地一圈一圈地行进,猪在其身后跟着,根据不同情况,要么吆喝一声“吁、吁,同志!”要么就是“喔、喔,同志!”在搬运和堆积牧草时,每个动物无不尽力服从指挥。就连鸭子和鸡也整天在大太阳下,辛苦地用嘴巴衔上一小撮牧草来来回回忙个不停。最后,他们完成了收获,比琼斯那伙人过去干的活的时间提前了整整两天!更了不起的是,这是一个庄园里前所未有的大丰收。没有半点遗落;鸡和鸭子凭他们敏锐的眼光竟连非常细小的草梗草叶也没有放过。也没有一个动物偷吃哪怕一口牧草。

整个夏季,庄园里的工作象时钟一样运行得有条有理,动物也都幸福愉快,而这一切,是他们从前连想都不敢想的。而今,既然所有食物都出自他们自己劳作,自己生产,而不是吝啬的主人施舍的嗟来之食,因而他们吃的是自己所有的食物,每嚼一口都是一种无比的享受。尽管他们还没有什么经验,但随着寄生的人的离去,每一个动物便有了更多的食物,也有了更多的闲暇。他们遇到过不少麻烦,但也都顺利解决了。比如,这年年底,收完玉米后,因为庄园里没有打谷机和脱粒机,他们就有那种古老的方式,踩来踩去地把玉米粒弄下来,再靠嘴巴把秣壳吹掉。面对困难,猪的机灵和鲍克瑟的力大无比总能使他们顺利度过难关。动物们对鲍克瑟赞叹不已。即使在琼斯时期,鲍克瑟就一直是个勤劳而持之以恒的好劳力,而今,他更是一个顶三个,那一双强劲的肩膀,常常象是承担了庄园里所有的活计。从早到晚,他不停地拉呀推呀,总是出现在工作最艰苦的地方。他早就和一只小公鸡约好,每天早晨,小公鸡提前半小时叫醒他,他就在正式上工之前先干一些志愿活,而这些活看起来也是最急需的。无论遇到什么困难和挫折,鲍克瑟的回答总是:“我要更加努力工作”,这句话也是他一直引用的座右铭。

但是,每个动物都只能量力而行,比如鸡和鸭子,收获时单靠他们捡拾零落的谷粒,就节约了五蒲式耳的玉米。没有谁偷吃,也没有谁为自己的口粮抱怨,那些过去习以为常的争吵、咬斗和嫉妒也几乎一扫而光。没有或者说几乎没有动物开小差逃工。不过,倒真有这样的事:莫丽不太习惯早晨起来,她还有一个坏毛病,常常借故蹄子里夹了个石子,便丢下地里的活,早早溜走了。猫的表现也多少与众不同。每当有活干的时候,大家就发现怎么也找不到猫了。她会连续几小时不见踪影,直到吃饭时,或者收工后,才若无其事一般重新露面。可是她总有绝妙的理由,咕咕噜噜地说着,简直真诚得叫谁也没法怀疑她动机良好。老本杰明,就是那头驴,起义后似乎变化不大。他还是和在琼斯时期一样,慢条斯理地干活,从不开小差,也从不支援承担额外工作。对于起义和起义的结果,他从不表态。谁要问他是否为琼斯的离去而感到高兴,他就只说一句:“驴都长寿,你们谁都没有见过死驴呢”。面对他那神秘的回答,其他动物只好就此罢休。

星期天没有活,早餐比平时晚一个小时,早餐之后,有一项每周都要举行的仪式,从不例外。先是升旗。这面旗是斯诺鲍以前在农具室里找到的一块琼斯夫人的绿色旧台布,上面用白漆画了一个蹄子和犄角,它每星期天早晨在庄主院花园的旗杆上升起。斯诺鲍解释说,旗是绿色的,象征绿色的英格兰大地。而蹄子和犄角象征着未来的动物共和国,这个共和国将在人类最终被铲除时诞生。升旗之后,所有动物列队进入大谷仓,参加一个名为“大会议”的全体会议。在这里将规划出有关下一周的工作,提出和讨论各项决议。别的动物知道怎样表决,但从未能自己提出任何议题。而斯诺鲍和拿破仑则分别是讨论中最活跃的中心。但显而易见,他们两个一直合不来,无论其中一个建议什么,另一个就准会反其道而行之。甚至对已经通过的议题,比如把果园后面的小牧场留给年老体衰的动物,这一个实际上谁都不反对的议题,他们也是同样如此。为各类动物确定退休年龄,也要激烈争论一番。大会议总是随着“英格兰兽”的歌声结束,下午留作娱乐时间。

猪已经把农具室当作他们自己的指挥部了。一到晚上,他们就在这里,从那些在庄主院里拿来的书上学习打铁、木工和其他必备的技艺。斯诺鲍自己还忙于组织其他动物加入他所谓的“动物委员会”。他为母鸡设立了“产蛋委员会”,为牛设立了“洁尾社”,还设立了“野生同志再教育委员会”(这个委员会目的在于驯化耗子和兔子),又为羊发起了“让毛更白运动”等等。此外,还组建了一个读写班。为这一切,他真是不知疲倦。但总的来说。这些活动都失败了,例如,驯化野生动物的努力几乎立即流产。这些野生动物仍旧一如既往,要是对他们宽宏大量,他们就公然趁机钻空子。猫参加了“再教育委员会”,很活跃了几天。有动物看见她曾经有一天在窝棚顶上和一些她够不着的麻雀交谈。她告诉麻雀说,动物现在都是同志,任何麻雀,只要他们愿意,都可以到她的爪子上来,并在上面休息,但麻雀们还是对她敬而远之。

然而,读书班却相当成功。到了秋季,庄园里几乎所有的动物都不同程度地扫了盲。

对猪来说,他们已经能够十分熟练地读写。狗的阅读能力也练得相当不错,可惜他们只对读“七诫”有兴趣。山羊穆丽尔比狗读得还要好,她还常在晚上把从垃圾堆里找来的剪报念给其他动物听。本杰明读得不比任何猪逊色,但从不运用发挥他的本领。他说,据他所知,迄今为止,还没有什么值得读的东西。克拉弗学会了全部字母,可是就拼不成单词。鲍克瑟只能学到字母D,他会用硕大的蹄子在尘土上摹写出A、B、C、D,然后,站在那里,翘着耳朵,目不转睛地盯着,而且还不时抖动一下额毛,竭尽全力地想下一个字母,可总是想不起来。有好几次,真的,他确实学到了E、F、G、H,但等他学会了这几个,又总是发现他已经忘了A、B、C、D。最后,他决定满足于头四个字母,并在每天坚持写上一两遍,以加强记忆。莫丽除了那六个拼出她自己名字的字母Mollie外,再也不肯学点别的。她会用几根细嫩的树枝,非常灵巧地拼出她的名字,然后用一两支鲜花装饰一下,再绕着它们走几圈,赞叹一番。

庄园里的其他动物都只学会了一个字母A。另外还有一点,那些比较迟钝的动物,如羊、鸡、鸭子等,还没有学会熟记“七诫”。于是,斯诺鲍经过反复思忖,宣布“七诫”实际上可以简化为一条准则,那就是“四条腿好,两条腿坏”。他说,这条准则包含了动物主义的基本原则,无论是谁,一旦完全掌握了这个准则,便免除了受到人类影响的危险。起初,禽鸟们首先表示反对,因为他们好像也只有两条腿,到斯诺鲍向他们证明这其实不然。

“同志们”,他说道,“禽鸟的翅膀,是一种推动行进的器官,而不是用来操作和控制的,因此,它和腿是一回事。而人的不同特点是手,那是他们作恶多端的器官。”

对这一番长篇大论,禽鸟们并没有弄懂,但他们接受了斯诺鲍的解释。同时,所有这类反应较慢的动物,都开始郑重其事地在心里熟记这个新准则。“四 条 腿 好,两条 腿 坏”还题写在大谷仓一端的墙上,位于“七诫”的上方,字体比“七诫”还要大。羊一旦在心里记住了这个准则之后,就愈发兴致勃勃。当他们躺在地里时,就经常咩咩地叫着:“四条腿好,两条腿坏!四条腿好,两条腿坏!”一叫就是几个小时,从不觉得厌烦。

拿破仑对斯诺鲍的什么委员会没有半点兴趣。他说,比起为那些已经长大成型的动物做的事来说,对年轻一代的教育才更为重要。赶巧,在收割牧草后不久,杰西和布鲁拜尔都崽了,生下了九条强壮的小狗。等这些小狗刚一断奶,拿破仑说他愿意为他们的教育负责,再把它们从母亲身边带走了。他把他们带到一间阁楼上,那间阁楼只有从农具室搭着梯子才能上去。他们处于这样的隔离状态中,庄园里其他动物很快就把他们忘掉了。

牛奶的神秘去向不久就弄清了。原来,它每天被掺到猪饲料里。这时,早茬的苹果正在成熟,果园的草坪上遍布着被风吹落的果子。动物们以为把这些果子平均分配乃是理所当然。然而,有一天,发布了这样一个指示,说是让把所有被风吹落下来的苹果收集起来,带到农具室去供猪食用。对此,其他有些动物嘟嘟囔囔地直发牢骚,但是,这也无济于事。所有的猪对此都完全赞同,甚至包括斯诺鲍和拿破仑在内。斯奎拉奉命对其他动物作些必要的解释。

“同志们”,他大声嚷道,“你们不会把我们猪这样做看成是出于自私和特权吧?我希望你们不。实际上,我们中有许多猪根本不喜欢牛奶和苹果。我自己就很不喜欢。我们食用这些东西的唯一目的是要保护我们的健康。牛奶和苹果(这一点已经被科学所证明,同志们)包含的营养对猪的健康来说是绝对必需的。我们猪是脑力劳动者。庄园的全部管理和组织工作都要依靠我们。我们夜以继日地为大家的幸福费尽心机。因此,这是为了你们,我们才喝牛奶,才吃苹果的。你们知道吧,万一我们猪失职了,那会发生什么事情呢?琼斯会卷土重来!是的,琼斯会卷土重来!真的,同志们!”斯奎拉一边左右蹦跳着,一边甩动着尾巴,几乎恳求地大喊道:“真的,你没有谁想看到琼斯卷土重来吧?”

此时,如果说还有那么一件事情动物们能完全肯定的话,那就是他们不愿意让琼斯回来。当斯奎拉的见解说明了这一点以后,他们就不再有什么可说的了。使猪保持良好健康的重要性再也清楚不过了。于是,再没有继续争论,大家便一致同意:牛奶和被风吹落的苹果(并且还有苹果成熟后的主要收获)应当单独分配给猪。