So recently, I’ve been in interested in animals. There is a reason that most of our folktales tell lessons — stories about animals. Deep in the heart of all our favorite and even hated animals, is a reflection of the heart and the soul of man. Our ancestors were not stupid when they told children about the tortoise and the lion. And I have no intention of breaking from this tradition. The only difference will be that my story is strictly about animals and has no connection to real life.
There was a farm. A huge, animal farm whose cattle had produced the best milk and meat in the area. Export quality. The farm was run by a wolf, whose fur was famously white – earning him the name White. White had acquired the farm after its reckless previous owner, Goodhead, was thrown out by the animals on the farm on account of cows going missing at an alarming rate.
The farm had three groups of animals. The first group still supported the old, reckless Goodhead, turning a blind eye to the loss of cattle and claiming that, in spite of the farm’s depleted resources and cattle, Goodhead was the best farm manager they had ever known. This group of animals, mostly goats and sheep, viewed every action by White as an affront on their beloved Goodhead.
The second group of animals were mostly animals that supported the takeover by White. This group was made up of all sorts of animals — including hawks, vultures, and wild pigs who had previously enjoyed generous servings of stolen cow meat under the provision of Goodhead, as well as animals who pretended to support Goodhead’s farm management, but only took stolen cows, sold them, and donated the proceeds to help White purchase the farm. Of course, there was the minority group of vegetarian animals, White supporters, who had never liked or supported Goodhead or anyone who ate meat for that matter.
The third and final group of animals were nicknamed the Swiss Guard on account of their refusal to support either Goodhead or White – neutral like the Swiss. Several months into White’s farm management, and even after White had promised to bring sanity to the farm, animals still trekked long distances to get drinking water. The first pro-Goodhead group of animals mocked White, asking him if this was the definition of bringing sanity to the farm, reminding him, also, that even in the final days of Goodhead, they never got such blisters walking long distances to get water. White supporters, on the other hand, while walking and treating blisters on their way to look for water, called supporters of Goodhead disgruntled animals, and at some point, refused to talk about it altogether, pretending that they were on a leisure stroll, and not desperately thirsty. Once the Swiss Guard spoke of water scarcity, however, White supporters harassed them, calling them ungrateful and accusing them of being closet supporters of Goodhead. And even when members of the Swiss Guard would point at their blisters and ask if they really enjoyed this torturous search for drinking water, they would shrug their shoulders and just continue walking. One prominent White supporter said, “You’re either for White or against White!”
And all the while, White walked the farm, hands behind his back, observing, saying nothing, sometimes walking out, going from farm to farm to take a look.
White was silent when animals accused some farm hands that he had selected, of possessing meat stolen when Goodhead was farm manager. White was silent as the animals went in search of drinking water. Even when the horses were selecting their spokesperson, and there were candidates from each of the three groups of animals, and people accused the candidate loyal to White of having so much stolen meat that he could pass for a Goodhead supporter, White was quiet. And because most horses didn’t want to fall out of favor with White, they chose the horse most loyal to him and ignored how fat and oily the horse had become from being around so much stolen, fried meat. Even other farm owners, who had such great hopes for the farm after White had taken over, began to wonder what plans White had to sanitize his farm.
And all the while, White was silent. And the Swiss Guard expressed much worry that the farm was not much different from the way it had been under Goodhead. They had no intention of joining issues with White’s fierce and blind supporters. Not that they longed for Goodhead either: They were clear about the fact that Goodhead had to go. But they were tired of not having enough wood for the fireplaces in the farm. They were tired of being cold. They were tired of walking long distances and getting blisters in search of water. They were tired.
And all the while, White walked through the farm, hands behind his back, silent.