Once upon a time, two hundred years ago, some lions decided to set up a farm. They sent out a notice to invite all the animals of the land to come and settle at the farm.
When the lions came, there were already some chickens on the land. The lions were tempted to eat them but it decided that it needed workers on its farm, and it needed to attract other animals to the farm, so it decided to keep the chickens.
The lion signed a treaty with the chickens that it would not eat the chickens as long as the chickens would give a portion of the eggs they lay to the lions for food.
Soon, foxes from the neighbouring towns of Macca and Penan also came to the farm to work.
The foxes were sly and quick-witted. The foxes were bright red in colour and they travelled in red junk boats to the farm. They brought with them red poppy and wanted to grow poppy farms.
They started growing poppy in a small corner of the farm but soon, more foxes were coming to the farm and the poppy business became lucrative. The lions who ruled the farm saw how money could be made and started collecting rent from the foxes on where the red poppies grow.
The foxes were unhappy but they grudging paid. But the foxes knew that if they did not want to pay, then they had to do something.
One day, the most influential fox went up the the head lion and told the lion that the foxes could help the lion control the chickens. Both the lions and foxes ate only meat and the chickens were afraid of them. The lions thought that it was a brilliant plan and made the foxes commissioners to set rules on the farm.
Very soon, the foxes grew very rich. They had many chickens working on their poppy fields. Horses, pigs and sheep from far and wide also came to work at the farm. The wolves and dogs also came.
The foxes also found some precious metals in the ground and realised they could make rubber from trees. With the new discovery, they wanted to expand their business to also ship the red poppy, metal and rubber to the other farms.
But the foxes needed more money and went to the lions for help. The lions were operating banks but they did not trust the foxes and would not lend money to the foxes to help them.
Spurred, the foxes decided that they had to set up their own banks. The foxes set up one bank, then another, and another. The banks were bringing in money. Seeing how successful the foxes were, the wolves and dogs also set up their own banks but theirs never grew as big as the foxes’.
But one day, drought hit the farm. The lions and foxes lost money as the farm could not produce enough things to sell. The foxes decided to merge their banks into one and they survived.
All was well for a while. The foxes continued to vy for power and expand their businesses.
Word soon came that the foxes in a nearby farm were fighting the elephants. The elephants had invaded that farm. The foxes in the lion’s farm started raising funds to support the foxes in the other farm in their fight. This made the elephants unhappy and they held a grudge.
So one day, the elephants also came to the lion’s farm. They started trampling all over the farm. The elephants were too big. They ran into the lion’s den and used their tusks to haul the lions up and throw them into the mud ditch. The lions were stuck and were held prisoners.
The elephants then turned against the foxes and started crushing the foxes beneath their feet. They also pushed some of the foxes to the mud ditch. Some of the foxes died. This scared the other foxes very much.
A group of foxes went to the elephants and told them that the foxes would do anything the elephants wanted, in exchange for their lives. The elephants also needed money so they agreed and let these foxes continue to operate their banks.
A few years later, the tide turned and the river washed away the mud. The lions were freed and chased the elephants away.
Meanwhile, the foxes decided that they were doing alright by themselves and decided that they did not need the lions to support them. The foxes in the other farms had also started taking over their farms.
The lions knew what was coming and decided that the wise thing to do was to slowly let the foxes take over and leave.
In the neighbouring farm, there were some tigers which continued to live with the foxes. The lion’s farm – now the foxes’ farm – wanted to merge with the foxes in the neighbouring farm so that they can expand their banks and business.
But the tiger was too smart for them. It kicked the foxes out.
That was 50 years ago.
The head fox felt that since he could not rule the tiger’s farm anyway, he was more than happy to be ruler of his own farm. He pretended that he was sad to leave and shed crocodile tears. But truth was, the head fox was overjoyed – the sly and willy one.
But he had a smart fox wife – whose extended family was controlling the banks. Without the fox wife, the head fox would be nothing.
He knew he had to do something.
When the head fox first ruled the farm, he had gotten the dogs on his side, so that he could convince the other animals to support him.
He said that all animals would be equal.
But the dogs knew the foxes were sly and would never keep to their word, so they decided to split from the foxes. The dogs wanted the animals to choose between the foxes and the dogs to rule the farm.
But the head fox was having none of it. He threw the dogs into the mud ditch. He also took some wolves, chickens, horses and pigs and threw them inside, to set an example.
But what did we do?, the animals shouted in unison.
The head fox barked at them – you are conspirators!
The animals were stunned. They did not know what they did to invite such anger. Didn’t the fox said that all animals would be equal under his rule?
But unbeknownst to the animals, it was power and control that the head fox wanted. He was not going to let go of it so easily. So he kept them in the mud ditch until they decided to do his bidding.
But it wouldn’t be the first time he sent the animals to the mud ditch. Everytime he became insecure with his power, he would fabricate stories t find a reason to throw the animals into the mud ditch.
Later, the head fox set up his own bank and made his friends the owners of the bank. He was afraid that the bank of his fox wife’s family would not support him. And wanted to set up his own to have control.
He then set up two holding banks and made all the animals on the farm give their produce to his banks to own. The animals had no choice. They would otherwise be eaten up.
But the head fox was still wary of the wolves and dogs who had their own banks. So the head fox went up to the wolves. Without a word, the wolves bowed to the head fox and said they would do anything he wanted.
And the head fox went to the dogs. But the dogs barked and chased him away. Angered, the head fox decided to use his own bank to buy over the dogs’ bank.
But the dogs would not go down without a fight. They ran to the wolves and begged the wolves to take them in. Taking pity on them, the wolves took over the dogs’ bank instead.
The head fox let it go on the account of the wolves’ loyalty to it. But he stripped some dogs of their residency. Without a place to stay, some dogs had to leave.
With everything in his control, the head fox started asking all the animals to give him 50 percent of their produce into his Central Produce Farm.
Again, the animals had no choice. They were too scared to do anything. They did not want to be thrown into the mud ditch.
But the head fox was not satisfied. To secure his foothold on the farm, he decided that he had to bring his son into the fold. The head fox put his own relatives into key positions of power and made his son the deputy head fox.
The head fox then made the animals give more of their produce to him so that he could pay higher salaries to the fox ministers.
There was to be no end in sight for the animals.
Disgusted, one animal asked, “where is our money?” And in one blow, the head fox put the sledgehammer down and took the animal’s money all away. And then another animal. And another.
That will teach him to speak up, the head fox thought to himself.
But the foxes’ desire to make more money got into their heads. They controlled the banks. They ruled the land.
They also controlled the rents. They decided to make the animals pay more for the land. And the barn the land sat on.
But the foxes were still not contended. They wanted to earn more profits. They decided that they could bring in rats to work on the farm. The rats were known to be cheap and fast. So the foxes brought them in.
But the rats started stealing the animals’ produce. They took the chicken’s eggs. And they razed the grass the horses ate.
Sensing their livelihoods at stake, the animals protested to the foxes.
But the foxes turned a blind eye and continued to drink their red wine and played golf on the side.
The son of the head fox which has since taken over – the new head fox – told the animals that they needed to learn to be as hungry as the rats, or else their food will be stolen away.
To show he means business, the new head fox sent more money to the rats to bring them into the farm.
All this while, the new head fox (and his father) told the animals to learn to be self-reliant.
But even as the foxes told the animals to rely on themselves, they continue to take the produce from the animals for themselves and lived lavishly.
The chickens were angered. Their eggs were stolen. And so were their land. They kept quiet in frustration. They were the smallest animals on the land, after the rats, and they felt they could not do anything to change the situation.
The horses decided that they would continue working hard because the foxes told them that if the horses worked hard, one day they would become the foxes and live a life of luxury. The horses believed the foxes, not realising that horses can never become foxes.
The pigs continued to roll in their mud. They were becoming complacent and apathetic. The pigs thought to themselves, that if they did not disturb the foxes, the foxes would not disturb them and they could roll quietly all day long.
Meanwhile, the wolves kept to themselves, not willing to rock the boat since they were doing quite well on their own. The dogs were scared stiff by the foxes and they did not dare to speak up. But they felt more and more suppressed and started barking at one another.
Soon, all the animals were started to feel the pressure and started barking at one another, even the rats.
The sheep, well, they remained sheep.
After a while, many of the horses grew weak and tired. They had worked hard all their lives and decided that it was time to rest. The horses went to the foxes and asked to retire.
But the foxes told them that there was no money. What about their Central Produce Farm, which they could feed on to retire? But lo and behold, there wasn’t enough.
So the horses had to continue to work. One by one, they worked until they all died.
Next, it was the pigs’ turn. The pigs went to the foxes. They have been rolling in the mud too long and they were getting rashes on their bums. They needed to see the doctor to get healed.
But the foxes told them that there was no money. What about their Central Produce Farm, to see the doctor with? But lo and behold, there wasn’t enough.
So the pigs could not see the doctor. One by one, they fell sick until they all died.
The wolves were the first to see the sign of trouble. They had made enough money to leave the farm, so one by one, they packed their bags and left.
The dogs were too scared to do anything still. And they got scared to death.
The chickens were still on the farm. They revolted and threw their eggs at the foxes. So the foxes killed the chickens and ate them for breakfast. Some of the chickens escaped to the neighouring farm.
But the foxes were still hungry. So they ate the sheep for lunch. But the sheep remained oblivious even as they were being eaten alive.
There were still some rats left on the farm. The smart ones had already ran away. Without the chickens to lay the eggs, the foxes ate the rats for dinner.
With no more animals, the foxes had no more Central Produce Farm to feed on. Their banks closed down. So did their holding banks.
With no food, the foxes preyed on one another and engulfed each other until almost no one was alive.
Then, the tigers strolled in from the neighbouring farm and ate the rest for supper.