15

Hmm

It was down on Ferguson’s Farm that the banal act of a pig falling in the mud was to set in motion a chain of events that would have humanity questioning its place in the universe and the true nature of reality.

Percival, the farm’s largest pig, always seemed to enjoy wallowing in the thick mud that clung to his skin and hardened into a shield against flies and heat. That day, however, the farmer noticed that Percival’s mud-plastered body was emitting an unusual ripple, almost invisible but clearly perceptible. Going closer, he noticed that whenever Percival grunted or squealed, the nearby mud seemed to react, forming temporary peaks and crests as if in response to the pig’s sound waves.

Shaken by the surreal sight, Ferguson informed local scientists about this inexplicable phenomenon. Squabbling together, they examined Percival in his muddy glory and the wavy pattern his sounds seemed to be creating in the mud. It was soon realized that Percival was altering the very state of matter with his rudimentary grunts. Suddenly, science fiction had become science fact. A pig was indeed governing matter itself, albeit unintentionally.

Leaning on Arthur’s C. Clarke’s third law – that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic – the scientists struggled to explain Percival’s effect. Some proposed that Percival’s sounds, channeling through the mud, were generating vibrational patterns intricate enough to manipulate matter. Others argued that Percival represented proof of a hitherto unfathomable science, where consciousness could directly influence reality.

World news and social networks went abuzz with the delicately nicknamed “Pig Power.” The world watched the live feeds, engrossed as brilliant minds stumbled and grappled to decipher the enigma of the mud-loving pig. Meanwhile, Percival continued his wallowing lifestyle, oblivious to his newfound fame and impact.

Every government laid claim to Ferguson’s pig, declaring the phenomenon as a vital national interest. International tension brewed and bubbled as scientists tried to analyze and, more importantly, attempt to replicate the phenomenon. No pig, mud, or combination of both could reproduce Percival’s singular ability, however. The key lay with Percival and, infuriatingly, he was not sharing.

Martial law descended upon Ferguson’s Farm to protect Percival from abductors or attackers. In this escalated climate, the pig at the center of it all continued his simple life: eat, sleep, wallow, repeat. The grand enigma of the cosmos manifested in an unassuming pig had become the paradox of the century.

As humanity teetered on the brink of chaos and revelation, an ethereal message gently slipped into the minds of all on Earth: “Hmm.”

One word, universal in its perception. An utterance so simple, yet so enigmatic. It was immediately ascribed to Percival. The world held its collective breath, speculating, debating, and wondering about the implications of Percival’s telepathic message. Was it the beginning of a grand dialogue, or the end of the pig’s mysterious contribution to science?

What did ‘Hmm’ mean? Was it a key to this new power, or just Percival’s reflection on his mud-soaked existence?

Perhaps only time would reveal the mystery of Percival’s power and his monosyllabic message. For now, humanity could only watch, ponder, and wait, as the pig wallowed in the mud and quietly observed them back… with a simple, mirthful ‘Hmm’.

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What happens next?

Mild to Wild

1 = Keep it simple10 = Let's get wild

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