a childless Wyoming couple transfer their affections first to a piglet, then a chicken, and finally to a sagebrush they fancy to have the appearance of a child. It is tended and protected, and even fed bones and stray scraps of meat from their dinner-table. Even after the couples’ passing, the shrub - now grown to the height of a fair-sized tree - is used to human attention, and meat. It consumes livestock, then soldiers, then a local medico, railroad men, surveyors, and most lately a botanist come to investigate its unusual height and luxuriance.
Annie Proulx, The Sagebrush Kid