Rumblings were heard all over the farm from the quarters of animals who were hinting at their intention to replace White as farm leader. Dissatisfaction was spreading quickly and the worshippers of White were finding it difficult to defend White for every catastrophe that happened. They however adopted a stance of blaming everything around White without ever blaming White. Sometimes they would blame a farm hand for making White look bad. Like the farm hand who was in charge of storing all the grain in a central location, a baboon called Amen Pele. Amen Pele was a disaster and tried to impose rules that would make criminalize the ownership of foreign grains by animals. He made it hard to get grains from outside the farm and many animals needed this in order to have a balanced diet and in order to produce different types of meals. Amen Pele often walked into Whitist worship services to lead prayers himself. When White had a pain in his anus he would bring balm to soothe it and would follow him around driving flies away from his body. Amen Pele managed the central granary so bad that the whole farm was facing a crisis. But of course, worshippers of White were glad that they had someone who could take the heat for the crumbling central granary. Some Whitist priests even called for the sack of Amen Pele while affirming the perfection of White.
Also, no one blamed White for the massacres around the farm carried out by White’s genocidal farm hand Dick Tai. Even though Dick Tai ultimately answered to White, whenever he went out on his killing sprees, either hunting down and killing bats or slaughtering protesting animals in the east of the farm, no one made the connection to White.
Meanwhile another of White’s farm hands, a blind mouse called Dan Daudu had declared that although he had promised a bumper harvest of grain, there was in fact evidence to show that in the coming year, animals were going to starve. Everyone was angry at this farm hand and made fun of his half shut eye but no one made the connection to White. Instead animals who could began making preparations for an eventual period of starvation.
All of this made it possible for White to still retain some popularity in spite of the farm crumbling. He was still the messiah who saved the farm from Goodhead and his reckless friends who were about to set the farm ablaze. White was still god and Master, Lord and Savior.
The leader of the crocodile swamp, the temperamental crocodile with short legs called Sir Na, had observed the mood of the farm and the fact that animals, crocodiles inclusive, were still fond of White and it would be foolish to try to kick him out of power. He thus began to scale back his plans to take over from White so that when White had finished his term he could comfortably slip in and try to become farm manager.
One animal, a snake called Teku was trying to take advantage of the fact that the farm was in disarray. He was moving from one animal quarters to the other reminding them that he was in the running for farm manager. Some claimed he was a thief, especially Sir Na who disliked him deeply. Even though Sir Na had rolled on the floor and kissed Teku’s tail when he was deputy farm manager many years ago. Then, Sir Na would go on his knees to say hello to Teku. But he was always in the camp of animals who never wanted Teku to become farm manager. He said that Teku was a thief. That Teku was a wanted animal in many farms. That Teku was hungry for power. Teku on the hand retaliated, saying Sir Na too wanted to run the farm and he he was just being a hypocrite. None of them could see how much they looked like each other. How much their crawling resembled each other. How in the end they both — snake and crocodile — moved on their stomachs. They both tried to recruit animals to shout on each side.
And food became more and more scarce.
And darkness continued to spread throughout the farm.
And the farm hands of White continued to be killed by wild dogs even though White swore he had defeated them.
And the animals continued to ignore the bodies of the dead bats massacred by the genocidal Dick Tai.
And Teku began to recruit people to fulfill his ambition to take over as farm manager.
And White was mostly silent, preferring to speak to animals outside his farm.
And White continued to manage the pain in his side while trying to prevent the whole farm from crumbling.
And all the while the worshippers of White, now fewer in number, continued to shout their prayers loudly:
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?