Monday, 4 March 2013

Animal Farm Revisited

"All animals are equal", said Percy the Pig. But the animals still couldn't quite believe it. They had got rid of Mr Alfred Battery, the farmer, who had made them work like slaves, and now they were free to decide for themselves.
"We can all vote," said Jemima Puddleduck, "and we can decide for ourselves how the farm shall be run".
Plans were drawn up. Everyone was very excited. The farm was going to be run on quite different lines. But there were questions unanswered. The farm had twelve fields. Should each field have a special representative? After all, some fields had sheep, some goats, some cows, and some had free-range chickens. Some fields were used to plough and plant crops and the farm horses were looking after those. The goats and the sheep were looking after fields that needed to be fallow; the cows the fields for their grazing and milk production.
"Our fields are all quite different, and they have different needs. We need to have someone to look after our interests" said Sherman the Sheep, "Otherwise, we will have to do all the hard work farming, and the others will reap the benefits."
But the animals that lived around the farmyard thought that wasn't fair. "We need to have our say, and there are more of us," said the farm cat. And there was a rooster, crowing loudly in the farmyard by the house, the cat had a lot of kittens, and there were all the young puppies to consider. There were even some goldfish swimming in the ornamental pond. And some barn owls.
In the end, they settled on a compromise. They would all vote on how to run the farm. Attila the Hen suggested one option, that every area should have the same number of votes as farm animals, regardless of any special conditions in the fields. This was Attila's option. And Sherman the Sheep suggested that the numbers should be split two ways, one on the same number of animals, and one for the different fields, so that the smaller fields were kept as safe as the larger fields. "Otherwise we may lose sight of what makes a farm special", he said. It was called Sherman's compromise.
Everyone was excited. At last the Animal farm could decide for themselves. And the day of the vote drew nearer and nearer.
But a number of animals were worried. Attila the Hen had suggested that she would take the matter to the outside Farmer's Union if she didn't get her vote. She said that "it was the only fair vote, and if I don't get my way here, I'll get the Farmer's Union to back me. There is only one fair option, and we'll make sure this is the only one. That's democracy, Comrades. I'm going to stand up for my animal rights!"
The animals had thought they were going to decide their own future. They thought they'd have all have a say, and that would be that. They had their options to pick, and they all could decide. But they were mistaken.
"You are wrong," said Attila. "All options are equal, but some are more equal than others. We can't let the common herds decide for themselves. If they make the wrong decision, we will have to change it. But all right thinking animals will vote for our option. We can re-educate them.". The pit-bull terrier snarled encouragingly.

No comments: