Animal Farm
(Coup de grâce)

Let's run this film backwards. Start at the end.

BOXER (sole hero of the piece) stands foursquare
in the glue-cart pondering.
‘At the next bend’
Squealer asserts ‘is heaven-haven [bespoke pasture].

The air
[no need tomorrow to work harder] is richer than the grass
& will quickly mend broken wind & tired limb.

For it's you, dear horse [it's not the pigs, alas!]
has ploughed the field, built the windmill, endured grimly
frost & thunder: hail, ice, bolt & spear
of misfortune!’

BOXER - behind bars - starts to grin,
expose his gums, hunch crippled legs to kick or rear:
Suddenly remembers ‘Sheep certainly are out - pigs in!’


This begins with a flash to the end of the story.

Here the honest old hardworking horse - no longer useful to them - is being disposed of by the pigs. The pious hypocrite Squealer gets under Boxer’s skin, but the ancient horse stifles his rage when he sees the hopelessness of the situation.