Addressing the Fallout From Mr. Sprinkles’ Visit

Good morning Mr. Pua’a. Let me start out by expressing my regret about the tone of our interactions over the past few months. I take my job here at SSHAM very seriously and I’m proud to run the breeding and nursing facility. I agree with your vision of the future and the important part that the shrigs have to play. I understand how much money the company has put into their development, I consider protecting their well being to be my primary goal. That’s why I was so shocked that you had decided to give Mr. Abramo and his daughter Mrs. Essen a tour of the facility. Given the secret nature of our work here it seemed a strange move. When I saw that his daughter had brought her pet pig, I had to speak up. I apologize about our exchange in front of them, but I felt strongly at the time that the introduction of another animal would have an impact on the egg laying cycle. Now it appears I was right, but not in the way I had expected.

I believe Building S is the most advanced animal husbandry facility in the world and I’m very proud of it. When I started working here we had one crazy idea: combine a shrimp and a pig to create an animal that would have little environmental impact and would be easy to raise anywhere there was access to water. Today we have a thriving population of shrigs. Unfortunately, because of the nature of their existence and the public’s opinion on genetically modified foods, we have to ensure the secrecy of the program. I could not understand why you would allow strangers and another animal in without giving us a warning, or discussing it with me first.

Of course I had heard of Mr. Sprinkles before. I had watched him in the news visiting the hospital on Molokai, helping to raise the spirits of patients there. I even vaguely remembered that Mr. Abramo’s daughter had become his owner and had used him as the ring bearer in her wedding. What I wasn’t prepared for was just how shiny he was in real life and his energy level. He was like living glitter and was zipping around everywhere making me concerned about the shrig’s reaction.

I tried to personally keep an eye on him, but Mr. Abramo’s passion for what we are doing here sucked me in. We must have been discussing the shrig life-cycle for almost an hour when I heard the squeals, shrieks, and a horrible sloshing sound coming from the main holding area.

I thought that my concerns had come true and I’d find bits of sparkly skin stuck in the slots of the fencing where the shrigs had pulled Sprinkles through. Instead, I found that the little pig had somehow leapt the fence and was running about the pen while the shrigs squealed. It looked like they were playing. Brandi apologized and some of our technicians removed Sprinkles, but it was clear to everyone that it was time to go. We scrubbed the fencing and quarantined the animals Sprinkles had contact with, just in case he had brought in a pathogen but all seemed well. 94 days later we learned that Sprinkles wasn’t just playing in that pen.

The first hatchling with an iridescent pattern was brought to me immediately. By the end of the day we had 23 shimmering little shrigs, all from sows that had been in the pen where we found Mr. Sprinkles. By the end of the week the number had grown to 54. They averaged 15% smaller than the usual shriglet and didn’t seem to be able to filter feed like a purebred of their kind. All I could think of was the millions of dollars wasted and whether or not the mothers would still be viable since their breeding has been so difficult for us. While the little things were beautiful to look at, we’re creating a food for the future here, not boutique pets. Then it occurred to me. We had 54 hatchlings from 7 mothers. Even though they were a bit smaller, that was an incredible insemination rate. He may be small and glossy, but that little pig is packing something powerful.

I think it would be in our best interest if you reached out to Mr. Abramo and Mrs. Essen to discuss the possibility of using Mr. Sprinkles services again. Of course this time we would conduct the coupling in a more controlled environment. We need to determine if there is something special physically that he is doing, or if his amazing fertility is a result from his extensive genetic manipulation. I have no idea what an appropriate stud fee would be since obviously this is a unique case. Perhaps Mr. Abramo would be amenable to signing a confidentiality agreement and we could provide him with one of our older nonbreeding sows. Clackers hasn’t laid a viable clutch in months, so losing her wouldn’t be a major loss to the program. Everyone knows how obsessed he is with eating, the man created a museum dedicated to meat after all. I think if he discovers how delicious shrig shumai is, we should have no problem setting up an arrangement. Judging from the noises coming from the pen that day, I don’t think Mr. Sprinkles would complain either.