No rain today. A little cooler. Very yellow moon.

Today in among the orange trees they were ploughing with 1 donkey. They have a small light plough, no wheel but share as in Europe & quite sharp, made in Czechoslovakia & probably costing £1 – £2. It is hard work but evidently not too much for a strong donkey, & he can plough up a fair-sized patch (this was about 25 yards by 5 yards of ground that had more or less gone back to grass) at one go.


The oranges practically ripe now. We had a few of them (tangerine type) the other day.

Fresh barley today, about 30lb. For Frs. 17.50 or a little less that 1d a lb. This is less than I paid before. In an old stone tank near the house found the decayed head of what may be a dog but I think is a jackal. There are said to be some in this country. In either case a very complete skull, so have put it up on a stick for the insects to get it clean.

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20 Responses to 7.11.38

  1. Jordi Fibla says:

    So he puts the insects to work, maybe in order to get a nice jackal or dog skull paperweight. Could be this a signal? Are we at last approaching the trade for which we all admire and enjoy him? I doubt it. I’m afraid we’ll be as yet regaled with lots of donkeys, ploughs, water tortoises, goats, dates and so on. But let’s be patient. One of these days we could have the gift of asn Orwellian thought about what’s happening in the world or even in his innermost self. And then, what a surprise!

  2. Riz says:

    Yesterday, two eggs. Today no eggs, but a head on a stick. Interesting.

  3. dave says:

    Very yellow moon…nice

    Something about him cleaning up a dog head (and in a clever way) makes him more appealing to me…A bit of Charles Darwin etc in him.

    Now if he’d made soup out of it………

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  5. Ed Webb says:

    Gifts of the desert:
    Oranges and yellow moon,
    Grinning jackal skull

  6. I saw the drawing in my RSS feeds and my first thought was “xkcd is sort of weak today.”

  7. Brandon says:

    But how many eggs???

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  9. Kyle says:

    Yeah, I’m dissappointed that there’s no mention of eggs.

    But it’s interesting that Orwell was doing the agrarian thing in Morocco. I suppose the diaries will get more political and interesting in 1939.

  10. itwasntme says:

    Jackal’s head. He recognizes treasure when he sees it. How many would have pulled it out and thrown it away, or just ignored the disgusting thing?

    My tangerines are also becoming very good just now. I wander out back every day and eat the small ones, skin and all. So sweet. I pick carefully to even out the number growing on each branch. Too many on one stalk means they bend down so the squirrels can reach them: those little wastrels take one or two bites from each one, then leave them to rot.

  11. mike c says:

    His drawings, particularly the ones of animals, always put me in mind of the cave paintings at Lascaux.

    Re: his handwriting under the illustration – I make it “kind with(?) wheel is obtainable, but is heavier”. Do others agree? Since nothing resembling that text is in today’s entry, is it purely the caption for the picture?

    (unrelated note: I just finished reading “Homage to Catalonia” — it makes it even more interesting to read these diaries as a kind of continuation of his life’s narrative)

  12. Jake says:

    Putting a head on a stick . . . very revealing, I would say. Is it a way of saying “Keep away!” Or does it reveal some inner state or torment we know nothing about. Certainly not clever. Clever would be to dress it up with ribbons, or to use it as bait to trap other jackals, ones that have been worrying his chickens perhaps, or stealing his eggs.

  13. Amazingly passionate and fluid rendering, George. The Jackal Skull would have looked nice in the foreground.

    [I suspect “Very complete” is code for something]

    I think I’ll go read a 1973 Frederick Forsyth novel.

  14. dave says:

    Jake-no Lord of the Flies here!

    I saw a good TV show (Dirty Jobs) that involved skull cleaning for museums,using bugs…(ex;for medical schools)

    May I put in a plug for a pretty funny show…So I’me sticking with clever,as opposed to posting some “keep away” totem.I mean I’me the first (only ?) one to suspect George is a bit “off” but he hasn’t gone postal on us (yet)

  15. dave says:

    Addendum; I wouldn’t want to be the one caught stealing Georges eggs!!!

  16. How did the plough shares get from Czechoslovakia to Marrakesh? Were they ordered from a catalog? Did a Czechoslovakian plough share salesman cruise through on the Road to Casablanca on a good day?

    George Orwell sitting in the shade of a tree with a Jackal Skull next to him on a stick. Various forms of transportation carrying varied goods and varied travelers; some pointing, some averting their eyes. Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony sets the mood as a nearby donkey (the half-starved, thieving one?) strolls jauntily up and down a garden plot with a struggling human tied to each end.

    I suggest he put the Jackal Skull on a stick simply to enhance scrutinization with the added benefit of freaking people out. It’s exactly what I would have done, and I’m not mad.

  17. dave says:

    JL3; 21/10/06 “have I gone mad?” (I had to go back to check on that..)

    Czech’s were Europes steelmakers-think of Skoda Works,Krupp gun manufactures. Not much steel made in Morroco,or Tunisia etc.

    After WW2 Skoda switched to making cheap Commie cars and went right out of the crematoria/machine gun buisness.

    It was a dog skull I’me convinced-No Day of the Jackal…

  18. Yes, dave, I am obsessed with my proximity to madness.

    I will concede that it may have been a Dog Skull on a stick, but that image isn’t nearly as [cough] impressive as a Jackal Skull swarmed by insects, bacteria and fungi.

    Thanks for reminding me of the Škoda Works (Škodovy závody), by the way, as a part of the beauty of this log of his Atlas rehab period—I presume from the bullet in his neck that he was [at least somewhat] passionate in his misanthropic[?] study of human cause and effect and we are watching what’s coming around the bend as Eric Blair coaxes eggs from his hens, milks his goat dry and sends coded messages.


    What are those drawings? I mean, really? Hm? Maps? Schematics?

  19. Natalie says:

    @Rob T. Firefly


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