White stumbled about, looking for the pills the foreign veterinarian gave him recently. He had woken up earlier than usual because one of his farm hands had knocked on his door in the middle of the night to tell him about an ambush on a team of foreign volunteers by wild dogs in the North east of the farm. The foreign volunteers were helping to feed the emaciated animals there who were victims of the wild dogs, displaced and forced to live in camps with little food or water or health care. Animals were reported to be dying of malnutrition and hunger in the camps while friends of White in the centre of the farm were living large and coating their fur and wings with expensive oils. In the centre of the farm, officials in farm management had hardship allowances paid to them for having to drag their bodies and bellies bloated from excess food to and from work every day.
“It is not easy to drag a well fed animal body to make laws for the farm,” one member of the animal committee in charge of checking White’s power declared. “There is a certain hardship about interrupting the process of nutrition and refreshment to discuss animals, most of whom are ungrateful anyway. So I think we deserve our hardship allowance. And I see no contradiction in having a hardship allowance while animals starve in the North-eastern end of the farm. First, no one asked them to go and live there. It is out in the middle of nowhere and they endanger all of us by being there in the first place. Second, we cannot question what the animal gods have destined to happen. It is what creates balance. Imagine if everyone had exactly the same resources. Meaning no one would need anyone else. No one would need to do anything. Is that the kind of farm we want?”
As White swallowed his pills and winced in pain (his anus had still not healed), the leader of the settlement of crocodiles, a feisty old crocodile with short legs and a red mouth called Sir Na was watching him with binoculars. He observed everything about White. He sent out flies and bees to feel the air and the mood of animals and whether they were starting to get tired of White. And what they would feel about him taking over. As he did that he told the flies to carry with them news of his performance in the crocodile swamp.
“Tell them I am a great leader of the crocodiles,” he said. “I may have short legs, but I have cleaned up the algae-infested pools and made sure that there is no discrimination between alligators and crocodiles. I have even employed non-crocodiles to work in the swamp. In fact, there are animals that used to be on the menu for crocodiles who are now safely working in the crocodile swamp. I have done wonders in the swamp and so I can do wonders in the farm.”
And the flies felt the air across the farm for a readiness to change farm managers. And they spread the word about Sir Na’s suitability to become farm manager in place of White. But Sir Na did it discreetly so as not to clash openly with White whom he worshipped in public spaces. White also accepted his worship but knew that if Sir Na had a chance, he would depose him as farm manager.
And some animals grumbled claiming that Sir Na was a crocodile supremacist and a divisive and hateful animal.
Meanwhile, animals all across the farm built up personal defences to protect them against the failures of the White management. They would find ways to make up for his inadequacies. When they fell ill, instead of attacking White and asking for veterinarians on the farm, they set up boxes across the farm with the inscriptions #Save together with the name of the animal that was ill. And animals would drop anything they had in the boxes to save the ill animal and raise enough resources to take them out to another farm that had good veterinary doctors. After doing this, they would see no contradiction is dropping by for a Whitist prayer session. In fact when White had to travel to a foreign farm to treat his anus, they defended him and gave examples of other farm managers who left their farms to seek treatment elsewhere. Because it was not White’s fault.
When the farm hand Dick-Tai gleefully did a bat genocide, it was not White’s fault.
When animals did not get the resources they required to compete in the animal farm games, it was not White’s fault but that of the farm hand in charge of sport.
When darkness still covered the face of the farm, it was not White’s fault but that of the farm hand in charge of fire.
When the value of products on the farm was falling, it was not White’s fault but that of the farm hand in charge of trade…
…for White is holy and above reproach…
And White continued to hide the pain he felt in public.
And Sir Na continued to plot to become farm manager without becoming enemies with White.
And the farm continued without any proper veterinary centres (which was not the fault of White but that of farm manager before him and his farm hand in charge of health and his enemies and all the fucking animals who refuse to be loyal to him).
And animals continued contributing for ill animals to leave the farm for treatment and praising themselves for their good work.
And the foreigners who were attacked while bringing food to the emaciated animals in the North east got afraid and suspended their food deliveries.
And farm hands and animals on the committee kept growing fat.
And Whitist priests and loyalists continued to worship White and pray:
In the name of the White father
And of the farm hands
And of the holy Whitists…
Bless us White for we have sinned
Bless our thoughts
Bless our desires
Bless our intentions
Blessed be thy name
Thy will be done in every quarter among every animal species
Teach us to love your will
Teach us to be teachable
Teach us to trust your will even when your will may not be clear
Teach us to defend your will before it becomes your will
For thine are the decisions, the thoughts and the glory
For as long as you choose to be farm leader
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You fit vex, bet abeg no curse me. You hear?