Kickass, the doorstop dog, is doing his best to help the keeper process the impact of being the remote victim of a weed thief, but it is heavy going. While weed thieves have always been common in the world of “weed,” it is incomprehensible to the keeper that one would come armed with a shovel and dig up a glorious Butterfly Weed near the bottom of the driveway at the keeper’s former residence.
Over the years, the keeper did what he could to encourage this particular plant—cutting invaders out of its territory and otherwise protecting it, and the fact that it chose this year—the one of the keeper’s departure from the premises, to erupt in orange blossoming glory, is a mystery to him. He has chosen to think that a plant thief may not be involved, and the Butterfly Weed is somehow following him on its own, botanically upset over his moving away from the prairie-plant crowd on the Mazomanie bluff.
Then when the keeper and Phyllis visited a plant store near their new Madison residence, the keeper saw a spindly Butterfly Weed specimen for sale, and he was sure the Milkweed family with its gaudy orange blossom special was doing a number on him.
All of this, of course, is the kind of no-holds-barred thinking that occupies the keeper and his aging ilk as they strive for relevance in navigating the roundabouts of their lives. If the keeper is entertained by concluding that he is being followed by a Butterfly Weed that is lonesome for him, Kickass asks, what is the harm in that?