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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Enslaved by Ducks

 Enslaved by Ducks  by Bob Tarte


Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books (October 1, 2004)
ISBN-10: 1565124502

From Publishers Weekly
Knowing 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.

To say that Bob Tarte has a sense of humor about raising birds of all kinds, is like saying water is wet.  But then you either have a really good sense of humor, or you might wind up pulling your hair out or banging your fingers building yet another cage.

If you think  children don't listen or that children give you grief or great worries (and great joys) .. you need to read this book to know children aren't the only ones  to dole out such pleasures.  And surely they are pleasures or the Tarte's would not continually have their family of animals grow in such leaps and bounds! 

This book covers several years of the Tarte's accumulating their animals and their trials and tribulations of raising a multitude of different birds.  From parrots to ducks to turkey's, toss in a dove and some parakeets and a rabbit here and there just to spice things up.

Linda, Bob's wife, trained him well.  It didn't take her long before he knew if she said anything like "oh look, isn't he cute" that he didn't stand a snowballs chance in hell of walking away without buying a new addition to their home.  (gotta love a lady like that!) 

This was an enjoyable read.  Not everything went smoothly as their family grew, and there were even times of sadness when they'd loose one of their birds, but the book was written with great humor and plenty of smiles for you to enjoy.   Of course, it probably helps if you are in some way or another an animal person, but if you aren't... you still might enjoy the read.

So, I guess I can thank Chris for being the person who write such a good review that it made me want to read this book.  Thanks Chris!


Off the subject of ducks...

One of those freaky things happened to me this morning.  As you can see on my side bar I am now reading The Christopher PLummer Memoirs... I'm not very far into it but in the last chapter I read last night it mentions another very fine actor who helped bring Mr Plummer to first appear in America after he worked with him in Bermuda.  His name?  Edward Everett Horton.

And what do I see this morning as I turn my tv on for company ?  On TCM is the ending of Arsenic and Old Lace with Cary Grant... and who walks into the scene but Edward Everett Horton!

Sometimes it's creepy to me when things like that happen!

(I wish I had woke earlier to see the whole movie I love Arsenic and Old Lace! It's been so long since I've seen it I actually had forgotten that Boris Karloff and Peter Lorrie are in it! lol.. I'm laughing even though I am only seeing the ending! Funny movie! One worth a review but I won't cheat because I didn't see the entire movie)

One more note on Edward Everett Horton (and I hear my young readers going: who the hell is he?)  If you are not among the very young you remember a cartoon show called Rocky and Bullwinkle.. in the show they did a thing called Aesops Fables, and who voiced that part?  Edward Everett Horton.


Blogger Nymeth said...

First Chris and now you...I really suspect I'll be getting this before long. BAD BLOGGERS :P

8:53 AM  
Blogger animewookie said...

Wow! This sounds like somthing I'd really enjoy reading :D
I love Arsenic and Old Lace. I havent seen it in many years, but it's definitely one I'd like to introduce my children to.

10:10 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Nymeth: it is a good read if you like true humorous stories!

Animewookie: yeah, I wish I had seen it all then I could have done a whole post on it! Love that movie.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

I've had my fair share of animals growing up (we had five different kinds of birds at one time). K, you talked me into it! I'll have to see if my library has a copy.

I haven't seen Arsenic and Old Lace but Edward Everett Horton and his face certainly look familiar... Oh! He was in in The Gay Divorcee, Top Hat, and the 1933 Alice in Wonderland! I loved those movies!

11:17 PM  
Blogger ANovelMenagerie said...

I need your feed address so that I can set up an automatic feed to your blog. Do you know it?

3:10 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Tink: He was one of those really good character actors He and Sterling Holloway wound up doing cartoon voices. Horton on Rocky and Bullwinkle and Holloway was the voice of Winnie the Pooh.

Sheri: I have no idea what a feed address is lol.. sorry 'bout that.

5:00 AM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

That is creepy when things like that happen, although I do enjoy the phenomenon as well.

Arsenic and Old Lace is one of my favorites. We pull out the DVD every year during the Halloween season to enjoy it and it never loses its charm.

11:46 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

carl: it IS creepy! think on it!! reading about Christopher Plummer and keep seeing Edward Everett Horton's name (a name that you rarely hear of anymore) and whammo! next you know he's in front of your eyes on tv!! (hearing the twilight music in my head lol)
yep, I love Arsenic and old Lace too!

5:55 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

Sterling has been my favorite voice actor for years. He was also Kaa the snake in Jungle Book, Roqefort the mouse in The Aristocats, and the voice over on several short cartoons for Disney as well.

6:07 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Tink: you are the only one who could mention Sterlings name and it doesn't surprise me! lol.. I have an old photo of him I bought years ago because I've always like Sterling also!

6:10 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Yay! So glad you enjoyed it Pat! I really want to get his second book, Fowl Weather now. I'll try my best to add that one to your wishlist too ;) And I love Arsenic and Old Lace! It's one of my favorite old movies. I had no idea that Karloff was in it! Had totally forgotten that!

8:38 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

I don't think I knew that about Aesops Fables. I learn a lot here!

3:00 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Chris: I think true stories are always well written. They can't help but be well written. This one is especially enjoyable because of Bobs humor. humor is not always easy to write but he does it well.

Pamela: LOL don't know why I remember that except that he has a voice you don't forget.

6:14 AM  

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