October 24, 2008
By Mary Halpin, Culver, IN

Pink, plastic, and one inch tall describes the physical traits of my favorite possession, a pig-figurine affectionately named "Bacon.” He’s not a dust-collecting knickknack but my most cherished academic award, a hero on tiny brown feet, proudly raising his head and his slightly curled tail. The faded Sharpie monogram of “MH” on his right thigh marks Bacon’s most endearing trait. For me, my initials smudged onto this small figurine are more valuable than seeing my name on any other academic award or athletic trophy. One day in eighth grade I took a test, scored a 100%, and left with Bacon in tow. We’ve been inseparable ever since.
On a literal level, Bacon is a trinket I’ve kept as a reminder of my grammar school years, but he is so much more. Bacon represents every one of my achievements. He’s anything but a fair-weather friend, a mascot who cheers me on. When I look at him, a surge of energy pushes me to do better. He has stuck with me through failure and success, and sometimes I feel he knows me better than I know myself. Bacon held my hand when I left home at 16 to live and learn at Culver Academies and when I took third place at my first fencing tournament representing Culver. Bacon has seen every tear I’ve shed, heard every lame joke I’ve told, witnessed every problem with friends, soothed me after every fight with my parents. Bacon wags his tail when he sees me and never judges me.
Just as Wilbur was no ordinary pig to Fern in Charlotte’s Web, Bacon is no ordinary pig to me. His sty is a shelf on my desk, a place at eye level, so he can inspire me to do my homework. Bacon is not breakfast, not a toy, not a trophy. Bacon is my steadfast friend and I can’t imagine living without him.

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