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The main human character is Jones, the owner of Animal Farm, who is returning to try to retake the farm. He is the leader of a band of what seems to be about twenty men. Leading the animals is Snowball, who has acquainted himself with military tactics by reading a book describing Julius Caesar's campaigns that was left behind in the farmhouse when Jones vacated it. The animals attack in waves, with the geese sallying forth first, followed by Muriel and Benjamin, the donkeys. The heroes of the day are Snowball, who led a fearless charge against the humans, getting wounded by a gunshot in the process, and Boxer, the great workhorse who is described as "the most terrifying spectacle of all...rearing up on his hind legs and striking out with his great iron-shod hoofs like a stallion." Boxer even kicks a young man in the head, and believes for a time that he has killed him. One sheep dies during the battle. Napoleon is notable by his absence, though Squealer will eventually write him into the battle, even as he totally distorts Snowball's role in it. Snowball's heroic role in the battle quickly establishes him as a rival to Napoleon, a rivalry that ends with him being chased from the farm.
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