February 21, 2008
Dear Miss Williams,
We are saddened (as we are sure you are, too) at the tragic loss of our longtime mammal keeper Jaime Von Busselstieffer on Valentine’s Day. You probably want to know more specific details about her early death, but the lawyers here at the zoo, have ask us not to relay any information other than the fact that Jaime was a hapless victim of interspecies aggression involving parakeets and tapirs. We can, however, report that the tapir is recovering nicely and will soon have most of his fur back.
Jaime, unbeknownst to us, had no family and had been secretly living in the hay loft in the elephant house. She left the zoo every day with the other keepers, but apparently returned each night to the zoo. We found her complete 37 year subscription to National Geographic, her uniforms, and a jar of artichoke hearts in her makeshift hay cave. In the June 1972 issue of National Geographic, we discovered a handwritten last will and testament where she left this zoo jacket to you. While it is technically zoo property, we felt that (under the circumstances) the rules should be bent a bit. We would also like to invite you to a special candlelight memorial service tomorrow evening honoring Jaime and the 730 dead parakeets that the poor tapir bravely fought off until Jaime arrived to break up the disturbance. The remaining 6,920 parakeets are being sent to renowned animal trainer Wanda Pillars for retraining. We expect no similar incidents in the future and are rethinking the need to house over 7,000 parakeets at our facility.
H.J. “Happy” Brown