Fowl Weather

By Bob Tarte
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Hardcover, 9781565125025, 305pp.)

Publication Date: March 2007

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In his hilarious debut, Enslaved by Ducks, Bob Tarte won legions of fans by telling the story of how he, once resistant even to having a dog, was convinced by this wife to take in animal after animal. In his newest tell-all tale, Bob reveals how things have gotten truly chaotic. Not only has the Tarte menagerie of parrots, doves, cockatiels, rabbits, ducks, geese, and cats continued to grow, but they're now joined by other uninvited guests, both human and animal.There's a family of mice, a spider who requires hand-feeding, Bob's grade school classmate who's now a grade A nuisance, the pet sitter applicant who never met an animal he didn't want to butcher, the master gardener who tramples every rare plant in his path. And the everpresent sock monkey.
Yet, no matter how much his life is overrun by the demands of fauna-- and family-- Bob discovers that it is the animals that can show him how to handle everything unexpected in life by relinquishing some control, by diving in and just dealing with it. And what he gets in return, as Bob learns in the middle of a shoving match with a duck, is perspective-- an understanding of how much can actually be gained by accepting the unpredictable endless chaos in our lives.
With some sly humor and straight-up character portraits that made Enslaved by Ducks irresistible, Tarte shows us that life with animals offers us a wholly different view of the world-- a glimpse of something larger, more enduring, and more grounded in the simplicity of love.

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