What Liberty Means to Me
Jackie, Age 11, Greenville, SC

If you think about it, it’s easy to define liberty. Liberty means freedom. There are many signs of liberty in the United States. For example, the Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania or the Statue of Liberty in New York. Though you might be surprised I found a sign of liberty right at the public library!

It was a normal day, like any other. I was at the library, searching for a book on their computer.  I typed “s” for subject, then “animal rights”, to see what might come up. I had originally been looking up vegetarian items, but I couldn’t find anything.

I was scrolling down the list when I stumbled across a book called Stray. I found the call number and started searching among the many shelves packed with books. After about 15 minutes, I found it.

It was a pretty thick book, battered from many previous readers. STRAY, it read with bold white letters. Underneath that was a scraggy looking cat with part of its left ear torn off. I ended up checking out that book with many others about vets, medicine, and animal classics.

A few weeks later I returned to the library to drop off my books. As I shoved Stray into the return box, I suddenly wished I hadn’t. The book was sweet and very emotional. It was about a cat that was sold to a pet store, then an old lady bought him and his brother. When the old lady died, her niece and her niece’s husband took care of them. They thought they were taking care of them, but they were really abusing them. When they were on vacation, their babysitter threw them out a car. His brother was killed, and he was badly hurt. A nun saved him, and when he was better he left. Then he joined a band of feral cats and lived with them until a laboratory took the band for testing there. The laboratory treated them badly, did awful experiments, and killed the cats they couldn’t use. Then a raid at the laboratory set him free, and lived happily ever after as a stray.

This book reminded about liberty because there are people like myself and many organizations that work hard and want animals to have liberty just like people.  Liberty is a great achievement that America’s people have made.


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