SACRIFICIAL ANIMAL FARM BY DANIEL BEAUREGARD



They gave the name of the deities or celebrants. I am twelve years old and my voice is hoarse. But I have had no reason for thinking that it is the other sows who used to sing an old spelling book which had belonged to Mr. Jones’s trap.

Cato says it was usually tied by a swift dash for their holes; the farmhouse should be some small animal concealed several nights a week, when clover was in season—all the cult of Ceres.

In the context of the victims the dogs had suddenly caught sight of them, rejected, and the Roman people—Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus—outlined the terms to the Sibylline oracle.

The singing of this song drew the animals out, destroyed everything that they could be of: Incense and Liquids. The Hindu seeks justification in the barn on a sort of wall round them in the kitchen where they were taken out for burial; the meeting broke up hurriedly.

I do not need sugar.

During the next three months the pigs sent for pots of black and white paint, led the way down to the pasture together. The next moment, he and his four men were in full flight down the stairs when Mollie was discovered; the others reproached her sharply, subjected a deity and another citizen and the last atom of strength, the produce of plants like flour and cakes.

Animals—mostly cattle, sheep and cows—lay down behind the pigs as their teachers, absorbed in everything that reminded them of Mr. Jones. These two had great difficulty in thinking anything out for burial, but do not grumble, for I am twelve years old and Napoleon was a fox in the best of bedrooms.

The new emperor was used to thrashing and maltreating, expounding the principles of anything from Animalism to the Seven Commandments. Mr. Jones, although a hard master, had been lashed out in all directions, communicating to make quite sure there was a Saturday until eventually he was expelled and the Manor Farm was theirs.

Once uttered they had taught themselves to read and write from an old song on a sort of raised platform. Major was already snoring and Snowball read it aloud for the benefit of the Mantra ceremonies—with long exposition and meaning—and they went back to the hayfield to begin the
ritual.

The backs of cattle and pigs, some goats and a Jew; red ribbons tied by a swift dash for their holes; the milk disappeared, the action with the Imperial cult, supplication extended to the fire with the empire’s news. Hens perched themselves on the window-sills, the pigeons fluttered up to bed, where Mrs. Jones looked out of my mind.

Such is the other religions—they that spill the blood occasionally caught in a few grains of wheat and drops of water on the farm—as though in Sugarcandy Mountain it was Jupiter, Janus and Vesta.

I do not think that I myself, comrades, wish to speak above a whisper, gazing with a wise and benevolent appearance in spite of the city; wives and children supplicate the gods honoured by the Senate.

So the animals settled down, the sacrificial knife along their spine, then they filed back to the altar so that future generations could carry on the rubbish fire burning in Merciful Nature.

A Christian and a Jew refer to the altar of the victim from human to divine property. Soon, there were five buckets of frothing creamy milk; an attempted immolation of Abraham’s son by his own sleeping-palace.

Celebrant burned a few hairs plucked from the barrel in the scullery, stove in with a wise and benevolent appearance in spite of the plain truth; the prosperity of the orchard. Celebrant was assisted by attendants and slaves responsible for lump sugar and linseed cake.

There were dozens of ways of sacrificing correctly depending on the type of sacrifice. Celebrant holds that the rats saved their lives. The animals being given drugged fodder before the ritual was crucial: wine, milk, honey, oil plants, the labour stolen from us by human beings.

Get rid of Man and the ritual of deuotio runs the sacrificial fire in the clear morning light. If asked why, he would sooner have had over four hundred children. Before Major had reached the end, they hadn’t been milked for twenty-four hours and their udders were almost bursting.

I am twelve years old and my voice is hoarse, but when I was little I thought the pigs absorbed everything, becoming blurred in the context of the gods. Major on his bed of straw, Celebrant under a lantern hung from a beam; their most faithful disciples the cause of offerings, dedications, sacrifices and games.

With the ring of light from his lantern dancing from side to side to side and never speaking. I was old and had taken a piece of blue ribbon from Mrs. Jones’s dressing-table, and was celebrated from 399 B.C. onwards by recommendation of a pig.

Among us animals let there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the fields, what have you laid in this fiendish practice? It is about this that I wish to speak above a whisper and gazing with a kind of awe at the foot of the blood of the animals; they contain the details of the World over his face, so that future generations shall carry on the farm buildings to wipe out the last traces of Jones’s hated reign, for I myself need no sugar.

God hath given him a tail to keep the flies out of their wits; the Hindu seeks justification in the fields. What have you laid in this last year, and how many eggs have you laid in this miserable condition?

He does not lay eggs, he is a year old.

The age of the temple closes to the last traces of Jones’s hated reign. The best known among them was a fox in the ritual. The pigs had succeeded in reducing the principles of Animalism to the rubbish fire, which was burning in the barn, Major already snoring.

The last atom of our labour is stolen from us by human beings, a stirring and fluttering all through the ritual annulled, the Deity celebrated on a particular date in the clear morning light.

No animal shall sleep in a house, or sleep in a single word: Man.

The hens perched themselves on the sacred altar.

Jones was asleep, they held secret meetings in the scullery, and made his way up to the fire of hell; their own lifetime read from texts, Mithraic feasts of the internal layout of the word of God and all that was offered to the Celebrant.




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Daniel Beauregard lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ligeia, The Nervous Breakdown, New South, Burning House Press, tragickal, Heavy Feather Review, Alwayscrashing, sleepingfish, The Fanzine and elsewhere. His poetry chapbook Total Darkness Means No Notifications is forthcoming from Anstruther Press in 2021 and he has previously published two chapbooks of poetry, HELLO MY MEAT (Lame House Press) and Before You Were Born (421 Atlanta). Daniel is also a co-founder of OOMPH!, a small press devoted to the publication of poetry and prose in translation. He recently finished a collection of short stories titled Funeralopolis and is currently working on a novel titled Lord of Chaos and can be reached @666ICECREAM .

*Image credit: Gustave Dore, The Companions of Ulysses, illustration from Fables by La Fontaine, 1868.