Adult Nonfiction SF416 .T37 2003
Summary: When Bob Tarte left the city and bought a house in rural Michigan, he was counting on a tranquil life. At first, it was a little disorienting: Songbirds in the morning. Vultures sailing overhead by day. Raccoons prowling the property at night. But at least that was all outside, and he was (safely) inside. Then, Bob married Linda. She wanted a rabbit, which seemed, at the time, innocuous enough -- until the bunny chewed through their electrical wiring and then hid inside the wall, just beyond Bob's reach. But that was just the beginning. Wouldn't a parrot be fun? Linda said. Bob suddenly found himself constructing pens, cages, barriers; buying feed, scooping poop, spoonfeeding at mealtime. One day he realized that he no longer had a life of quiet serenity but had become a servant to a relentlessly demanding family: Stanley Sue, a gender-switching African grey parrot; Hector, a cantankerous shoulder-sitting Muscovy duck; Howard, an amorous ringneck dove; and a motley crew of others. Somehow, against every instinct in him, Bob had unwittingly become their slave. Bob Tarte's witty account reveals the truth of animal ownership: who really owns whom, the complicated logistics of accommodating many species under one roof, the intricate routines that evolve, and the distinct personalities of every animal in and around the house. Surprised by the way animals -- even cranky ones -- can wend their way into one's heart, Bob Tarte becomes, at last, a doting and proud animal lover. Book jacket.
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