Snowball had found in the harness-room an old green tablecloth of Mrs Jones’s and had painted on it a hoof and a horn in white. The flag was green, Snowball explained, to represent the green fields of England, while the hoof and horn signified the future Republic of the Animals which would arise when the human race had been finally overthrown.
Squealer: Comrades! a most terrible thing has been discovered. Snowball was in league with Jones from the very start! He was Jones’s secret agent all the time. Did we not see for ourselves how he attempted—fortunately without success—to get us defeated and destroyed at the Battle of Cowshed?
The animals were stupefied. They all remembered, or thought they remembered, how they had seen Snowball charging ahead of them in the Battle of the Cowshed, how he had rallied and encouraged them at every turn:
he had not paused for an instant even when the pellets from Jones’s gun had wounded his back and Snowball had flung his fifteen stone against Jones’s legs.
Jones had been hurled into a pile of dung and his gun had flown out of his hands.
Boxer: I do not believe that. Snowball fought bravely at the Battle of Cowshed. I saw him myself. Did we not give him “Animal Hero, First Class”, immediately afterwards?
Squealer: That was our mistake, comrade. For we know now—it is all written down in the secret documents that we have found—that in reality he was trying to lure us to our doom.
Boxer: But he was wounded. We all saw him running with blood.
Squealer: That was part of the arrangement! Jones’s shot only grazed him. I could show you this in his own writing, if you were able to read it. The plot was for Snowball, at the critical moment, to give the signal for flight and leave the field to the enemy.
And he very nearly succeeded—I will even say, comrades, he would have succeeded if it had not been for our heroic Leader, Comrade Napoleon.
Boxer: I do not believe that Snowball was a traitor at the beginning. What he has done since is different. But I believe that at the battle of the Cowshed he was a good comrade.
Squealer: Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon, has stated categorically—categorically, comrade—that Snowball was Jones’s agent from the very beginning—yes, and from long before the Rebellion was even thought of.
Boxer: Ah, that is different! If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right.
Squealer: That is the true spirit, comrade!
He turned to go, then paused and added impressively:
Squealer: I warn every animal on this farm to keep his eyes very wide open. For we have reason to think that some of Snowball’s secret agents are lurking among us at this moment!
Boxer: Comrade Napoleon is always right. I will work harder.