There was a great famine that spread throughout the farm. And the animals had neither water nor sunshine. And they fought in queues over dwindling rations. And the Whitists cursed the sun and the pipes that would not supply water and the food that did not grow and the former farm manager Goodhead whose tenure a long time ago they refused to forget. But that will not be the subject of this story. What is the point of a sad story of despair and privation?
This story is a love story. Love is not what you see in the movies. Sometimes love is neither kind nor patient; It is not selfless. Love is just love. And to understand love one must understand White, the farm manager whose speeches outside the farm forms the basis for what Whitists have now bound and codified called “A Treatise on Love”.
1. Love is silent.
Love does not make a lot of noise. Love does not have to act either. Love just knows when to appear and disappear, like White. Like when White began his tours of other farms and spoke to his animals mostly through foreign animals whose questions he was glad to answer. Like when the most crucial of his decisions and inner thoughts become known when he visits other farms and gets asked questions about his farm. Like when they asked him about the hardship animals were facing in making trips outside the farm and he said, “Well, they need to learn to live within their means, sit their behinds down and work for my farm.”
Even when they reminded him of his young pups that were living on other farms in relative luxury, he said, “Well, some of us can afford it. Those who want to afford it should become farm managers like me. Some people are meant to suffer in this life and some are meant to enjoy. I love destiny. I try very hard not to mess with destiny because I believe all the animal gods have plans for us animals. Some were born to suffer. Some were born to die. Some were born to be ridden. Some were born to be cuddled. I may be a perfect wolf, but I am not a god. I will advise those animals whose lot in life is never to afford what I can afford for my pups to be humble and learn patience.”
Mostly though, White is silent at home. And it is thus that we see this rule come true: love is silent. We can see it in the way White walks through the farm, arms behind his back, silent, except where a foreign animal asks him a question. Tough love. Silent love.
Silent love even when, in the middle of the farm, hundreds of animals get hacked to death in a wolf invasion. Because one can love even the bodies of animals killed by wolves.
2. Love is stubborn
Some people wrongly assume that love yields. Love does not yield. Like White. White does what White wants even if it makes no economic sense, mostly because White is love and what White can see on four legs, bats cannot see with wings flying around. That is why they end up being massacred by people like Dick-Tai, White’s farm hand. (You may argue that bats are naturally blind but that is not the point. The point is that White knows stuff.)
White is love. And it is this love that makes him ignore any pleas to take actions that would help the flow of food in the farm. Like when White stubbornly pegged the exchange rate for yams at one yam to one bag of grain, making it difficult to do food exchanges in the farm because in the parallel food market, the real value was very very different. White knows however that heading a farm is a bit like an operation to take out the nail from an animal’s hooves. While the nail is being pulled out, the animal would squeal loudly. But the end justifies the means. And if there is extreme pain, in the words of White: “So be it.”
3. Love says what love wants
Love cannot be chained. Love will make stupid remarks but only because love is passionate and free and wild. Like White who, when he speaks, speaks first and thinks later. The important thing is the intention. White intends always to be helpful. Even when White calls animals who do not like what he has said “bigots”. Because that is what a bigot is. One who will see the holy intentions of a farm manager like White and do a radical thing like ask questions. Because questions show disloyalty especially when you are questioning a perfect creature like White who can do no wrong. And what is an animal’s life worth if that animal questions the good and perfect will of their farm manager?
4. When all things fail, love knows where to put the blame.
Love never takes responsibility. Because that would be admitting to failure. And White does not fail. If animals are to queue for water, White has not failed. If the exchange rate for yams is disastrous for trade, White has not failed. If a great famine sweeps through the land, then animals must ask themselves before complaining: “Did I complain when Goodhead and his cronies were in charge of the farm for over a decade? Did I complain?”
5. Love is never stagnant
Love moves. It may be away for long, but it moves. Here today, there the next, renewing the soul, rejuvenating the spirit. Like White. White who went from farm to farm, showing nothing but love to his animals.
In conclusion, s/he who does not worship White does not know love. Because White is love.