As to Freedom, They Know Better


C. J. Anderson-Wu



“Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than just ribbons?”

                                              — George Owell, Animal Farm




One-year-old fugitive Humboldt Penguin No.337 was reported

having scaled a wall and slipped through the fence of Sea Life Park

It was one of the 135 penguins kept in the Park

Before being recaptured

No.337 enjoyed several carefree hours in a nearby river


Quite a few of the world’s top fashion and sports brands

use cotton produced by forced labor for their expensive products

And the world turns a blind eye

to the concentration camps where the cotton is sourced


Rusty the Red Panda once ran away from the National Zoo

by climbing over the tree canopy of his enclosure

He spent another nine years in captivity before passing away

The freedom of a couple of days was the most precious time in his life


The dictator’s soprano friend was invited to perform in an arts festival

despite the protests of the exiled dissidents and the boycott

of the performers from the country he invaded


After an extensive search and being at large for two weeks

a baboon escapee was shot and killed on a mountain

while attempting to steal food from a household

Rather than being kept in a zoo and fed regularly

it lost its life in pursuit of freedom

Its name remains unknown


A bunch of liberal scholars pleaded for peace talks

between two countries at war

without acknowledging the fact that the negotiations are

sacrificing the autonomy of marginalized peoples or territories


“Those ribbons that you are so devoted to are the badge of slavery”

says Snowball the Pig

As to freedom, they know better









C. J. Anderson-Wu is a Taiwanese writer.  In 2017 she published Impossible to Swallow—A Collection of Short Stories About The White Terror in Taiwan and in 2021 The Surveillance—Tales of White Terror in Taiwan.  Based on true characters and real incidents, her works look into the political oppression in Taiwanese society during the period of Martial Law (1949-1987), and the traumas resulting from the state’s brutal violation of human rights.  Currently she is working on her third book Endangered Youth— To Hong Kong.  C. J. Anderson-Wu’s Facebook page is /cjandersonwu1



 ē·                                                        <  ē·  >