The Eighth Page

Save The Seals

The last memory I have of my father is in a one engine Cessna flying over the Everglades. He was wearing a leather jacket with patches all over it and was flying the plane dangerously close to the water and reeds. The last thing I remember hearing was, “we’re running on fumes son, we’re running on fumes…” and then something made a bang, and there was silence. I woke up lying in tall grass outside a shack built on stilts in the middle of the Everglades. A man named Earl took me into his house and raised me like his own son. While his wife never really liked me, she did feed me scraps under the table and sometimes let me out of my cage for walks through their marshy land. The only other animal in the house was a Chihuahua named Phillip who sometimes accepted me as a brother. I was probably nine when I decided to leave my adoptive family and venture on into the real world. I snuck food scraps into a burlap sack hidden in my cage for about a week. The night before I left, I made moccasins out of Phillip for walking through the marshes. When Earl let me out for my morning walk, I never returned. I figure I was running through marshes for about a week before I came to the first sign of civilization: a large yellow M in the sky. The closer I got to the M, the more I realized how much bigger the world was than a log cabin in the middle of the Everglades. I saw what I would learn to call “cars,” “buildings,” and “civilization.” I was so overwhelmed with this alien land I fainted on the sidewalk, and woke up with change and a couple dollars in my hand. I walked over to the McDonalds and ordered a Big Mac, as if by instinct. I worked for a small business in the town for about two years, washing the windows and sweeping the floors. I was paid in nickels and dimes, which I kept hidden in the back room, under the desk where I also slept. I was taught English every night in candle light by Fransisco duPont, a lively man who also worked in the shop. After I had enough money saved, I hitched a ride to Miami, and started my own business of delivering packages. After my experience in the Everglades where I wrestled alligators and scurried up weeping willows, making money in Miami proved to be easier than I might have imagined. I was hired to take large packages, wrapped in brown bags and tied with nylon stringing, from one place to another. As my business grew larger, I started transferring the money into real estate, and soon became a real-estate tycoon. Once I found out that the packages I was carrying were actually the back-bone of a multi-billion dollar drug empire, I pulled out, and started an alligator wrestling attraction. People would come from miles around to watch me wrestle alligators-they did not realize that I had been doing this since I was about five. Unfortunately, I did lose my left leg during one of the wrestling matches, and so devoted my time to developing stem-cells in a lab. After finding the gene in a stem-cell, or lack there-of, that would re-grow a limb I received the Nobel Peace Prize, but refused to accept it after discovering the metal in the actual award was mined by underage children in Zimbabwe. During this time I also wrote my first novel, Growing up like an Animal, in which I described the struggles of being raised as an inferior to a Chihuahua. After my first novel was on The New York Times bestselling list for 12 consecutive weeks, and the proceeds had already raised 135 million dollars to help save seals in Antarctica, I felt it was time to take on a personal challenge that had been brewing in my soul for over a month: climbing K2. While most people only dream of such a task, I smiled in its face, and soon started practicing for the challenge. After a week of strenuous climbing drills, I flew to K2, and reached the summit in a third of the time of every previous climber. My unfortunate sherpa named Cronan could not keep up with my climbing, so with him on by back, and the oxygen tanks left behind, I discovered an extra little challenge. I believe the next time I try for the summit I will go barefoot, for the moccasins made out of Phillip’s hide were much too warn by the end of the journey, and I do not support shoe manufacturers in America today and their taking advantage of poor workers. Overall, as a child raised as an animal, author, scientist, and explorer, I feel that I am the perfect match for Harvard. Although I have been given almost everything on a silver platter, I feel that the Harvard community would greatly benefit from my experiences. John was summarily rejected from Harvard for a lack of extracurricular activities and alumni connections.