It was no surprise everyone thought Butch was crazy. Opening a zoo for African wildlife on his private property. He tried to explain by saying he had the resources and time, the inclination, and when those three come together there wasn't much more you could do but go with your gut.
It was the inclination most people thought was crazy. The rest worked for them. Butch admitted it made sense, the finger pointing and names. But he couldn't explain beyond the basics. Anything else just made it worse.
During the first week of construction, he talked with a local reporter. The reporter seemed nice enough and Butch opened up, talked about the inner voice telling him to do this. It was the most truthful he’d been about the whole thing.
The reporter ran a story that made him look worse than before. The headline was sensational, the story, the quotes were hand picked to blow things out of proportion.
But weren’t they already? It was his brother who said this, just after he had the giraffes shipped in and placed. Thing is, Butch knew his brother was suspect, wanted money. Worse, needed it. He’d say anything to get him off the zoo idea in hopes his big brother would realize there were better uses for his cash.
All things combined to simply push Butch closer and closer to his project. When it was completed, he invited several of his friends and the public to visit. He hoped all would be understood once they arrived and took in the wildlife.
In the first hour, he knew this wasn't going to be the case. Butch heard the gunshot from his carport as he was walking down to meet visitors. A young man shot one a zebra. Butch had put no security measures in place and the young man, a student at the local college, entered without so much as a frisk.
After he shot the zebra, the young man fled into a nearby cropping of woods and was gone. The police located him the following day, but he never fully explained his actions. Said he didn’t even know Butch Gavin.
People called the shooter crazy and then the press made up names for him when they ran their stories. It was all familiar to Butch. He began the process of breaking down the zoo the following week. The animals went first, back onto trucks and various other vehicles.
Butch watched from his front porch, and found no inner voice keeping company with him. There were answers to it all, but he couldn't figure what they could possibly be or why any of this had happened.
He later visited the young man, now on probation and living back with his mother. The mother apologized endlessly when she opened the door. Butch saw the boy shooter sitting on the couch just above her shoulder. He called out his questions while the mother's eyes searched his own for something close to sanity.