Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports on the return of the keeper and Phyllis from their 2,600-mile sojourn to visit Phyllis’s family in Saskatchewan. Once before when the keeper experienced a long absence from home, teenagers occupied his house, drank all his beer, ate his frozen pizza after slicing it on his counter top with his electric knife which left permanent marks, and they also slept in his bed and confiscated a pair of red silk shorts that the keeper had set aside for special occasions. This time during his absence it was only a bird that apparently came in through a deck door that had blown open. Obvious signs were that the bird—a male fox sparrow, had been in the house for some time but apparently could not tolerate the stifling confinement, and was found dead in front of the microwave. A sad end, and the keeper theorizes that the bird expired from frustration when it could not get the freezer door open to access the pizza. The bird marks are easier to deal with than the ones left by the teenagers. So there is that. The keeper and Phyllis agree that it is nice to be home.