A Letter from Kate DiCamillo

Dear Friend of Mercy,

Pigs abound, so I’d like to thank you for taking the time to think about whether you possibly have room in your life for another porcine wonder.

Sadly, I can’t make a case for my pig being better than any of those other pigs. In fact, she’s worse: Mercy Watson is selfish, oblivious to others, and obsessed with the consumption of well-buttered toast. However, she is loved deeply, truly, madly by her human parents, Mr. Watson and Mrs. Watson.

Mercy Watson is not loved by Eugenia Lincoln, the elderly woman who lives next door. Eugenia loathes the pig. On the other hand, Baby Lincoln, the younger (as you might suspect), meeker, and milder sister of Eugenia, secretly harbors a deep and abiding affection for Mercy Watson.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict that when you put these elements together — a selfish pig, proud human parents of a selfish pig, and outraged neighbor, and a secretly delighted neighbor — and shake them up a bit, you will get an explosion.

An explosion was exactly what I was after. But I was surprised to discover that no matter how many explosions occur, all of them instigated by Mercy, Mr. Watson and Mrs. Watson continue to love her, continue to see her in the best possible light. I’ve come to believe that that is what love is all about: somebody insisting, mercifully, on seeing us as better than we truly are.

So these books, meant to celebrate the absurdity of life, also celebrate the amazing blessing of love. Will you be able to find room in your heart for a little love? A not-so-little pig? Will you be a friend to Mercy? I hope so.

Kate DiCamillo