Animal Firm
(From The Triumph of Strife: an homage to Dante Alighieri and Percy Shelley)

Like Squealer with his brush and can of paint
He changes the commandments late at night
Anticipating logical complaint

When animals observe the rueful sight
Of pigs in pants on two legs swilling milk
And playing cards with men to start a fight

Then sleeping in a bed with sheets of silk
Napoleon sells Boxer off for glue
The animals he later plans to bilk

Of that retirement promised as their due
When memories have faded of the past
And snarling packs of dogs enforce his view

That liberties unguarded never last
And promises made glibly vanish fast

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2006