Elliot received a pig for his birthday.
It was a baby pig, born from the farm’s litter some three weeks previously, and was quite a runt. The pig had been starving, not being able to get in to feed, so Elliot’s parents had given it a bit of milk, then decided they could pass it off as a birthday present.
When Elliot opened the box, he was confused. “A pig?” he said.
“A pet pig,” his father replied. “You can look after him all on your own. Just don’t let him turn your room into a sty.”
“Okay,” Elliot said, rolling his eyes as he removing the pig from the box. “Can I name him?”
“Too late. His name is Bacon.”
“Daaaaaad,” Elliot said.
“What? We named him when he was born.”
Elliot sighed and said, “Okay then. Hello Bacon. Want to go play?” He jogged away, looking behind himself as the pig followed.
Over three years, the two grew closer and closer. Bacon followed Elliot everywhere, and Elliot played with his pet for an hour or two every day after school. Bacon grew to a normal-sized pig, but seemed to take his girth into consideration when playing with Elliot, always gentle and careful not to hurt.
And then Elliot’s Dad sent him to the butcher.
Elliot came home from school, and when he wasn’t greeted by Bacon’s squeals, he said, “Mom? Where’s Bacon?”
His mother sighed, looking away. “Go ask your father.”
Elliot was confused, and went to see his father. “Dad? Have you seen Bacon?”
“He’s out for a bit, but you should be able to see him tomorrow morning!” Elliot’s father grinned at his joke, but Elliot didn’t get it.
“Oh, is he at the vet? Is he okay?”
Elliot’s voice was filled with worry, but his father didn’t notice. “He’ll be just perfect.”
Elliot left, and spent the afternoon in his room, listlessly doing his homework. After dinner, he heard his parents arguing, so put on his stereo to drown it out. He spent the whole night thinking about Bacon.
Elliot came down the stairs early the next morning and found his mother in the kitchen, working away.
“Is Bacon back from the vet, Mom?”
His mother sighed and looked sadly at him. “Take a seat, sweetie,” she said. She spooned some eggs onto a plate, added a slice of toast, and three strips of bacon. She set this in front of Elliot, and waited until he started eating.
“Your father was supposed to tell you this yesterday, but didn’t. Bacon had to be put down, sweetie.” Elliot looked at her in shock. “You’re eating part of him now.”
Elliot dropped the slice of Bacon and spit out the bite he had taken. “What?!” he shouted. “Why? Why did he have to die? Why did you serve him to me?!”
“Your father demanded I do so. It was his idea.”
“But why?!” Tears streamed down Elliot’s face.
“I’m not sure, sweetie. Maybe…oh, there, ask him.”
Elliot’s father entered, grinning. “Hey son, pigging out on breakfast?”
Elliot stood up, threw the chair to the floor, and ran up to his room.
“Was it something I said?” Elliot’s father asked.
“What the fuck do you think, Tom? Here, eat Elliot’s breakfast.” She pushed the plate towards him in annoyance, then stomped up the stairs after Elliot.
Elliot’s father shrugged, then sat down, grabbing a slice of fresh bacon and tossing it in his mouth.