Hardcover: 308 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books; 1st edition (January 1, 2003)
Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (425 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #898,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #297 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Pets & Animal Care > Birds #738 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Pets & Animal Care > Essays #23871 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs
Bob Tarte's Enslaved By Ducks is a laugh-out-loud funny, beautiful, and insightful book about how he and his wife Linda live with and care for their vast menagerie of animals in rural Michigan. This book was in the Staff Picks section of the bookstore and I'm so glad I plunked down the hardcover price. The entertaining and often touching tales of Bob's life with a seemingly endless number of animals brought lots of smiles to my face and even had me afraid to read this book in public. You never know when you're going to bust out laughing with this one, but I'd estimate that once on every page is a fairly good guess. If you've ever toyed with the idea of starting your own Noah's Ark, here's your reality slam. Don't get that third, fifth, or tenth pet without reading this book first!It started innocently enough with a bunny named Binky. Being a bunny slave to two angelic/demonic lagomorphs myself, I found it perfectly fitting that his story should start with a bunny rabbit. Rabbits hypnotize their owners into believing that they must acquire more rabbits, and where it stops no one can say. There are animal tales aplenty here with a strong emphasis on the avian variety. Parrots, ducks, turkeys, geese, starlings, you name it. If birds are your fancy, you definitely don't want to miss this read.Individuals who struggle with depression will also find a kindred spirit here, as Bob openly shares his experiences with depression and how the daily routine of caring for all his animals affected him for the better.Every side of being a devoted pet owner is represented here, including the sadness and grief when a special pet dies or when pets suddenly abandon their posh digs for the call of the wild.
Do you ever read a book and find yourself saying over and over again, 'I wish I wish I wish I had written this.' I wish I had written "Enslaved by Ducks" (well, I'd have to call it 'Enslaved by Cats.') It is both hilarious and touching: a sort of "Ring of Bright Water" as authored by Dave Barry; except it's not about otters. It stars the eponymous ducks, along with surly parrots, turkicidal turkeys, parrotophobic cats, starving baby starlings, duck-eating raccoons, woodwork-munching rabbits, and the occasional long-suffering veterinarian--I love the way this author lists all of his vets by name at the front of the book, along with hints about their practice: "prescriber of questionable ointments;" "doesn't do turkeys;" "'So you've been bad-mouthing our practice.'"Author, Bob Tarte never meant to end up with a menagerie, but when he and his valiant wife, Linda moved to an old farmhouse near Lowell, Michigan (hold up your right hand and point vaguely at that sort of sinkhole in your palm, way beneath your ring finger), the inevitable occurred. Linda was an animal lover, and they now had lots of property and a barn.Binky, the Dutch rabbit with no social skills was first. "Wouldn't it be fun to have a little animal hopping around the house," asked Linda, and after a long and futile (and funny) argument from the not-so-animal-loving Bob, in hopped their first tenant--and not into the drafty barn.I used to think rabbits would be a cinch to own, until a friend of mine ended up with two from the local animal shelter. Bob made the same belated discovery, but by then his wife was on a roll.
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