1 No animal in England knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he is a year old.
2 All the animals were now present except Moses, the tame raven, who slept on a perch behind the back door.
3 As soon as the light in the bedroom went out there was a stirring and a fluttering all through the farm buildings.
4 Clover was a stout motherly mare approaching middle life, who had never quite got her figure back after her fourth foal.
5 Clover made a sort of wall round them with her great foreleg, and the ducklings nestled down inside it and promptly fell asleep.
6 She took a place near the front and began flirting her white mane, hoping to draw attention to the red ribbons it was plaited with.
7 At the last moment Mollie, the foolish, pretty white mare who drew Mr. Jones's trap, came mincing daintily in, chewing at a lump of sugar.
8 At one end of the big barn, on a sort of raised platform, Major was already ensconced on his bed of straw, under a lantern which hung from a beam.
9 Word had gone round during the day that old Major, the prize Middle White boar, had had a strange dream on the previous night and wished to communicate it to the other animals.
10 This single farm of ours would support a dozen horses, twenty cows, hundreds of sheep--and all of them living in a comfort and a dignity that are now almost beyond our imagining.
11 I have had a long life, I have had much time for thought as I lay alone in my stall, and I think I may say that I understand the nature of life on this earth as well as any animal now living.
12 He was twelve years old and had lately grown rather stout, but he was still a majestic-looking pig, with a wise and benevolent appearance in spite of the fact that his tushes had never been cut.
13 The two horses had just lain down when a brood of ducklings, which had lost their mother, filed into the barn, cheeping feebly and wandering from side to side to find some place where they would not be trodden on.
14 A white stripe down his nose gave him a somewhat stupid appearance, and in fact he was not of first-rate intelligence, but he was universally respected for his steadiness of character and tremendous powers of work.
15 He seldom talked, and when he did, it was usually to make some cynical remark--for instance, he would say that God had given him a tail to keep the flies off, but that he would sooner have had no tail and no flies.
16 Last of all came the cat, who looked round, as usual, for the warmest place, and finally squeezed herself in between Boxer and Clover; there she purred contentedly throughout Major's speech without listening to a word of what he was saying.
17 With the ring of light from his lantern dancing from side to side, he lurched across the yard, kicked off his boots at the back door, drew himself a last glass of beer from the barrel in the scullery, and made his way up to bed, where Mrs. Jones was already snoring.
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