I must work harder was Boxer's motto. Here in Animal Farm they were free, free from the oppression of human beings. He could barely remember Jones, but the pigs talked about how awful life was when he was in charge.
Boxer had to do his best for Animal Farm – the only farm run entirely by animals. After all, he was lucky. They were all lucky.
That was why he had to work his hardest; they were so lucky, and to sit around sleeping all day would be selfish. They may have been free, but they had to work. Some days it was hard, and the food was sometimes scarce, but that didn't matter. To work to the best of his ability was important.
But one day, Boxer hurt his hoof. For a while he could do nothing. He couldn't help the animals to clear by the mess that Mr Frederick had caused; he was relying on the generosity of the other animals to feed him. That was hard.
Boxer was glad when Napoleon sent for the vet; it meant that he could get better and do his fair share of work again. Yet as he was driving away from the farm, he felt that something was wrong. He could hear the other animals shouting, telling him to get out. Why would he get out when he was being taken away to be treated? Nevertheless there was desperation in their voices, and Boxer tried to kick down the door.
Yet it was in vain. His muscles, not what they used to be, could not penetrate the walls of the van. There was something wrong, but what was it? Boxer couldn't think of anything. So he tried to calm down; maybe there wasn't anything wrong after all. He would have his hoof fixed then come back to the farm.
He would work harder once he came back; to make up for the time he had missed. The other animals deserved it, for paying for him to be treated. The pigs must really have cared for him, one of their most loyal workers. No, that wasn't it; any animal that would fall ill would be treated with such great kindness.
After all, on Animal Farm, all animals were equal.
Boxer thought perhaps there was something wrong when the van was opened. The humans there didn't treat him with kindness. The men pulled him out of the van and towards a building; a building that certainly didn't look like a vet's surgery. On the other hand, how was Boxer to know what one looked like? He'd never been to one before. He thought, with a smile, that Mr Jones would never have cared for his animals so much.
Boxer wasn't there when the pigs started carrying whips, invited Frederick and Pilkington around for tea and changed the commandments.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others