by Bob Tarte
After getting through the The Grail War I needed some lighter reading, so I opened Enslaved by Ducks and read it cover to cover again (the first time was a few years ago). This book tells the story of Bob Tarte and his wife Linda as they move from city to country and go from being naive first-time pet owners to part of an endlessly growing animal family. It started when they decided to get a small bunny. Binky turned out unfriendly, destructive and aggressive to other animals, but this did not dampen Linda's desire to have more pets (although it did spur them to do a bit more research on choosing them). Next they brought a canary into their household, a few cats and more rabbits. But the majority of their new friends were feathered- parakeets, a dove, parrots, ducks, geese, etc. At first the author was a very reluctant pet owner, but eventually the animals won him over (even though their behavior was often demanding and very annoying) and he spent endless hours caring for them, nursing them through illness, and trying to win over an African gray parrot who preferred his wife's company. Even when the Tartes decided they had enough animals and quit purchasing them, they could not refuse when a creature needed help, and took in parrots that needed homes, neglected turkeys, and orphaned starlings. Their amusing (and sad, at times) story of life with the birds showed me just how much personality a duck can have (I don't find birds as interesting as other animals). Sometimes I felt that the puns and self-deprecating humor were a bit too much, but overall it was an enjoyable read.
The author has a website where you can find more about his life with the animals, see photos of them, and read about his new book, Fowl Weather (which is now on my TBR!)
Rating: 3/5 ........ 308 pages, 2003
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