Book of the Week
Enslaved by ducks / by Bob Tarte.
Bob Tarte, who wrote a music column, was recently married and new property owner in the country. His wife Linda was an animal lover and talked him into acquiring just one pet, a rabbit named Binky, who was no trouble to care for, so he was assured. Binky took over their lives with his Ã¢ÂÂdemands,Ã¢ÂÂ but when he died, Bob and Linda were bereft. They gradually acquired more and more animals until their lives were completely taken over by the demands of their eccentric menagerie.
I really loved this funny and true story about this Michigan couple for the lively and affectionate way in which the author describes how they acquired the animals and how their lives were changed with their new acquisitions.
The PublisherÃ¢ÂÂs Weekly Review describes the book well: Ã¢ÂÂKnowing little about animals, Tarte and his wife naively 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.Ã¢ÂÂ