Fowl Weather: How Thirty-Nine Animals and One Sock Monkey Took Over My Lifeby Bob Tarte
In Bob Tarte's home, pandemonium is the order of the day, and animals literally rule the roost—thirty-nine of them at last count. Whether it's the knot-tying African grey parrot, or the overweight cat who's trained Bob to hold her water bowl just above the floor, or the nightmarish duck who challenges him to a shoving match, this menagerie, along with his
In Bob Tarte's home, pandemonium is the order of the day, and animals literally rule the roost—thirty-nine of them at last count. Whether it's the knot-tying African grey parrot, or the overweight cat who's trained Bob to hold her water bowl just above the floor, or the nightmarish duck who challenges him to a shoving match, this menagerie, along with his endlessly optimistic wife, Linda, provides daily lessons on the chaos inherent in our lives. But not until this modern-day Noah's Ark hits stormy weather—and Bob's world spins out of control—does he realize that this exuberant gaggle of animals provides his spiritual anchor. It is their alien presence, their sense of humor, and their impulsive behavior that both drive Bob crazy and paradoxically return him to sanity.
With the same sly humor and dead-on character portraits that made Enslaved by Ducks such a rousing success, Tarte proves that life with animals offers a wholly different perspective on the world.
This follow-up to Tarte's popular Enslaved by Ducks, which introduced the somewhat neurotic writer; his supportive wife, Linda; and their animals—first a bunny and then an expanding menagerie of parrots, ducks, turkeys, cats and more bunnies—has a somewhat darker undertone, but should still delight readers with its humorous "Dave Barry on a farm" sensibility. Tarte begins with an admission that his life of caring for 30-odd animals had become pretty run-of-the-mill, and that he "longed for the unexpected, and that was always a mistake." What he gets, over the next five years, includes his father's death, his mother's diagnosis with Alzheimer's, a garden pest control/philosopher who doesn't really know anything about gardening, and the sudden deaths of some of his favorite pets. Despite the many wacky barnyard moments, Tarte doesn't play it safe: he deftly explores his concern that "dark undercurrents had risen to the top like worms after a rain, and the worms were now in charge." But with the help of family, friends and a new parrot named Bella, he overcomes his setbacks and sees that the "mixture of wildness and comfort" created by his beloved animals "was life itself in miniature." (Mar. 16)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.60(w) x 8.76(h) x 1.17(d)
What People are saying about this
"More than just a hilarious and raucous romp (which it is), Fowl Weather shows how a parrot, or a rabbit, or a duck, or a cat, can teach us more about ourselves and about the chaos of the world than any therapist or philosopher. Bob Tarte is clearly a man after my own heart." - Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
Meet the Author
Bob Tarte wrote for The Beat magazine for twenty years. He has also written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Miami New Times, the Whole Earth Review, and other publications. He hosts the What Were You Thinking? podcast for petliferadio.com. He and his wife Linda live in Lowell, Michigan, and currently serve the whims of parrots, ducks, geese, parakeets, a rabbit, doves, hens, one turkey, and way too many cats.
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