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Enslaved by ducks
Tarte, Bob.
Adult Nonfiction SF416 .T37 2003

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Knowing little about animals, Tarte and his wife na?vely acquire Binky, an impish bunny, at an Easter bunny fair, little suspecting that it will soon dominate their lives and lead to a brigade of other winged and furred beasts. After Binky, they get a canary, then Ollie, an orange-chin pocket parrot, whom they return because he flings his water-logged food all over their floor and accosts them with calls and bites. Then they buy a more docile gray-cheek parakeet, which makes the Tartes realize they miss their raucous friend Ollie, whom they retrieve. Gluttons for punishment, the Tartes acquire a gender-confused African gray parrot named Stanley Sue, followed by ducks, geese, turkeys, parrots, starlings, more rabbits and cats. Every day brings an adventure or a tragedy (Ollie escapes; a duck gets eaten by a raccoon) to their Michigan country house. With dead-on character portraits, Tarte keeps readers laughing about unreliable pet store proprietors, a duck named Hector who doesn't like water, an amorous dove named Howard, a foster-mother goose, patient veterinarians and increasingly bewildered friends. Tarte has an ordinary-Joe voice that makes each chapter a true pleasure, while revealing a sophisticated vision of animals and their relationship to humans. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Tarte spent the first 38 years of his life as a city slicker and worked as a columnist for a reggae and world-music magazine. A move to the country and his wife's growing collection of indoor and outdoor animals soon changed Tarte's column into a collection of stories about the menagerie that was taking over his life. In his words: "Our animals have provided me with the only subject besides music that I've ever felt impassioned to write about." This book is Tarte's attempt to explain how his life came to be controlled by the wants and needs of bunnies, cats, and a variety of birds ranging from parrots to ducks, geese, and turkeys. With the good humor and positive outlook that can come only from having infinite patience and understanding, Tarte recounts some of his trials and tribulations, beginning with the arrival of Binky, a dwarf Dutch rabbit with destructive gnawing habits. Tarte misses the lesson on the folly of impulse buying and soon acquires a parrot named Ollie, who is so cantankerous that Tarte must return him after only three days. Not only did the author and his wife relent and reclaim Ollie but they even acquired other parrots, with equally disturbing results. This light and witty diversion is highly recommended for those who appreciate the value of good humor and a positive outlook on life.-Edell Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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