CHAPTER IX – BY BENJAMIN
Yeah, this is basically chapter 10, in Benjamin's (the donkey) point of view. That's the chapter where they take Boxer away. It was an english thing we had one hour in class to do, so it hasn't been edited or anything but the fact that it's on here now might motivate me to do that in the future.
Read, enjoy and please review.
Whenever the pigs made changes to the farm, it would be solely for their own benefit. The animals, however, were completely oblivious to it. It was the same thing over and over again.
At first, it was decreasing our food rations and increasing their own. How on earth could that be a good thing? Well apparently, the pigs needed good food so that their brains could keep going for the good of the farm. Who came up with that? I'm almost completely sure it was Squealer, Napoleons faithful little sidekick. Even from the start, those two were planning it all. Sure, the others can believe all that junk about Napoleon discovering Snowball's secret plans, but how would that explain the pre-trained dogs?
The pigs are definitely corrupt, and they're taking the whole farm down with them. This is what happens every time. It's called the circle – something I've analysed over and over in my long life. At first you're as enthusiastic about these prospects as everybody else. But as time goes on, you realise it's a never ending cycle. Inevitably, things go back to the way they were, or perhaps worse. You consider speaking out against it, or trying to help the animals. But again, you come to realise that this is no use. The creatures are stupid beyond repair, and there is no way of getting through to them, or stopping the cycle. Eventually, you decide not to bother. Why risk your safety for these animals that are too stupid to realise anything? It's not worth the effort.
Sometimes, I doubt myself. I feel slightly guilty for not sharing what I know. I hate these times. Usually, it makes me grouchy and unpleasant. It's like a war inside me – whether to try once again or to let it go on because I know it's no use. But a couple of days ago, something huge occurred that made me realise I'm right. It was around 12 o'clock at night, when we all heard a huge crash in the yard. All the animals rushed down to the barn, while I slowly walked behind them. There we saw Squealer, lying there in shock, with a fallen ladder, bucket of white paint and a brush beside him. Usually, this would be funny. But over the years, things had become tiring. What Squealer had been doing was so obvious, yet the animals were oblivious and confused as he was picked up and taken away. All I did was sigh and nod. It made me realise there truly was no use, and there never would be.
Then there's Boxer. As if this isn't complicate enough. I don't know what it is about Boxer, but I like him. It's plainly obvious that he is the dumbest of them all, but we're friends in a way. We don't ever talk or anything, but I enjoy his company. Maybe it's because I have known him the longest, or maybe I feel like I have to protect him. Whatever it is, I cannot deny that I care about Boxer.
Lately, this has been a problem. When he split his hoof, I was extremely saddened, but also angered at the pigs. At that moment more than ever I had wanted desperately to overpower them. There is no convincing Boxer to stop working either. Clover and I try endlessly, but he won't listen – he just keeps repeating that rant of his. It is worrying about Boxer that keeps me awake at night, wondering for the first time how to prevent something horrible from happening.
Late one evening, I hear the pigeons screaming. 'Boxer has fallen! He is lying on his side and can't get up!' Knowing that I cannot prevent anything, I don't rush, but walk behind the other animals to the knoll where the windmill stood.
There lies Boxer with his neck stretched out, unable to raise his head. His eyes are glazed, his sides are matted with sweat and I can just make out a thin stream of blood trickling out of his mouth. It's almost too much for an old ass to bear, but I must stay.
Just as I'm nearing Boxer, Clover drops to her knees at his side. 'Boxer!' she cries, 'how are you?'
Boxer replies in such a weak voice, it is hard to believe it's him speaking. He goes on about looking forward to retiring, and about how we can go on without him. 'Benjamin is growing old too, they will let him retire at the same time and be a companion to me.' He finishes with a groan.
While Clover sends the animals for help, I sit there keeping the flies off Boxer, while thinking. The pigs no longer have a use for Boxer. Why would they help him? I realise what this means, and without speaking, I continue waving the flies away.
Eventually, Squealer arrives, full of sympathy. He assures us the Boxer will be well cared for. Napoleon has arranged to send him to the hospital at Willingdon. I still don't trust them, but what can I do?
That night, Clover and I make a bed for Boxer. For the next two says, he remains in his stall. We can only be with him after work hours, but in the middle of the day, I see a van coming to take him away.
Moving closer, I see Boxer being loaded into the van. As the door closes, I realise with horror what the words on the side read: Alfred Simmons, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler.
That is it. With immense sadness, I acknowledge that Boxer is being taken away. There is nothing I can do, nobody I can count on that will be of any use. I stare at the van and the sly-looking men get inside, ready to drive off…
Suddenly, realise that I have to do something. Before I know what I'm doing, I've galloped back to the animals, yelling at the top of my voice. 'Quick! Come at once! They're taking Boxer away!' I shout helplessly at the animals, and move back to the van faster than ever.
Relieved that they're following me, I move faster. Maybe these animals will be smart just this once…
I'm wrong. They all crowd around the van, shouting their goodbyes –I'm horrified! 'Fools, fools! Look at the side of the van!' Prancing around them, I read it out.
Finally, a cry of horror bursts from the animals. At this moment, the van starts moving faster. Normally, I would lose hope, but there is still a chance. This is the first time I've actually tried. This is Boxer!
As the animals run towards the van, Clover forces her way to the front and yells at Boxer that he is being taken to his death. Just at this moment I see his face appear at the window. I see his look of understanding
I watch as Boxer struggles, pushing against the door, but to no avail. Because of the pigs, he has become a weak horse, and stands no chance. Faster and faster, the van is disappearing.
The animals try reasoning with the horses pulling the van. They even try closing the gate in front of it. But they're too late, and I watch as Boxer is taken away to his death.
Three days later, they announce that Boxer died at the hospital, despite being given all the attention a horse could get. This doesn't come as news to me – I accepted his death on the day that he left.
For once in my life, I actually did try to prevent something, but it got me nowhere. Quiet and angry, I observe the happenings at the farm. Squealer makes up some junk about Boxer's last living moments. He gives an explanation as to why the van's writing was misleading, and the animals believe him. He assures us the Boxer died happy.
Napoleon himself appears on Sunday for Boxer's memorial. Again, Boxer's death is used for the pig's benefit, telling us that we should follow his commitment to our work. He announces that the pigs shall have a banquet in his honour.
On the day of the banquet, more beer arrives, and we can hear laughs all evening, followed by a brawl towards midnight. Watching with bitterness, I realise that the cycle truly is inevitable.