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"Just as they chose" and "Took to their heels".

A piece from Animal Farm.

The situation was quite out of their control. They had never seen animals behave like this before, and this sudden uprising of creatures whom they were used to thrashing and maltreating just as they chose, frightened them almost out of their wits. After only a moment or two they gave up trying to defend themselves and took to their heels. A minute later all five of them were in full flight down the cart-track that led to the main road, with the animals pursuing them in triumph.

What do these idioms mean? "Just as they chose" and "Took to their heels".

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    "Just as they chose" means in any way and at any time they wished.

    "Took to their heels" means they ran away!

    Took to their heels means they ran away
    See this link: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/take+to+heels

    I don't think that "just as they chose" is an idiom, it means they maltreated the creatures as much as they wanted to.

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