One Sunday morning Squealer announced that the hens, who just come in

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

One Sunday morning Squealer announced that the hens, who just come in to lay again, must surrender their eggs.

(i) Why were the hens required to surrender their eggs? 

(ii) How did the hens react on receiving this information? 

(iii) The three young black Minorca pullets led the other hens in ‘something resembling a rebellion’. How exactly did they do this?

(iv) What steps did Napoleon take to put down this ‘rebellion’? 

(v) How long did the rebellion last? Describe the consequences of the rebellion.
What do you learn of Napoleon’s character from the way in which he dealt with the rebellion?


(i) • Napoleon had accepted through Whymper, a contract for 400 eggs per week.

    • The price of these would pay for enough grain and meal

    • To keep the farm going till summer came and conditions were easier.

(ii) • The hens were outraged / protested

     • They were just getting their clutches ready for the spring sitting

     • Said that taking away the eggs now would be like murder.

(iii)  The hens were determined to thwart Napoleon’s wishes.

     • They would fly up to the rafters

     • Lay their eggs up there

     • The eggs would roll off and smash to bits on the floor.

(iv) Napoleon’s response was swift and merciless

    • Ordered that the hens’ rations were to be stopped

    • Decreed that any animal giving even a grain of corn to a hen would be punished by death.

    • The dogs saw to it that the orders were carried out.

(v) • Five days – then the hens capitulated and went back to their nesting boxes.

    The consequences of the rebellion.

  • Nine hens had died of starvation – their bodies were buried in the orchard and the animals were told they died of coccidiosis.

  • Personal Response – Napoleon proved to be a harsh / ruthless / merciless ruler – did not allow dissent would crush all opposition – dictator – insist on having his own way.