Memoir, Non-Fiction, Tarte-Bob

#703 Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte

Enslaved by Ducks by Bob TarteEnslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte

Bob has a lot of animals, let’s just go ahead and get that out of the way. There’s a dining room full of birds, a yard full of birds, plus rabbits, and cats and things. Bob’s life wasn’t always this way. Bob used to have just a cat. Then he married Linda. They got a rabbit, which was different in ways that Bob wasn’t expecting. He didn’t expect a rabbit to be such a handful, but he also didn’t expect a rabbit to be so complex.

After the rabbit was gone, Linda and Bob decided to get a parrot, which turned out to be a huge adventure. It turns out that parrots can be kind of mean. Then more birds started to appear on the scene. There were parakeets. There was a dove. There was an African Grey parrot. There were ducks, turkeys, and geese. There were more rabbits. Bob’s life soon became regimented not only by work and by being married, but also by caring for so many animals.

Animals were lost along the way, sometimes in brutal or very sad manners, but Bob and Linda kept getting animals. They even became animal rehabilitators, specializing in birds. Bob’s life did become enslaved by ducks, but being enslaved in such a manner also added flavor to Bob’s life.

What I liked

I like memoirs. I like homesteading books. I like animals. So, it stands to reason that I would like this book, which I do. I’ve never had a bird myself and Bob certainly explains why it can be so complicated. I’ve thought about having chickens, or maybe some guineas, in the past. I currently do not live in a place where I can have animals like that, but who knows, maybe someday. Bob’s book is helpful in the sense that the reader can see how complicated and also how easy it can be, at times, to raise birds.

Bob and Linda just raise birds out of the goodness of their hearts. They don’t do it for meat or money. I think it’s nice to raise so many animals and do it right, which I think Bob and Linda are certainly doing.

Bob’s writing of his rabbits with personality is true. Rabbits have a lot more personality than you give them credit for. I’ve had two rabbits. One I found in the backyard. Seriously, I saw a rabbit in the backyard and went outside and caught it. Somebody had let it go or he broke loose. I took care of him for over a month until I could find him a home with a family. He would get out of his cage and chase my cat around the house. I would wake up sometimes in the night, only to find that a rabbit had scampered into my room and he would scurry off like mad when I rose up out of bed.

What I didn’t like

Some of the things Bob says seem rather dickish. Hopefully he’s just joking. If Bob actually says some of the things he supposedly says to his wife, I don’t know that I would want to continue being his wife, if it were me, but I also get the feeling that Bob is perhaps one of those crusty on the outside, big softy on the inside kind of guys. When I Googled the book, all of Bob’s pictures seem to be of him frowning, but I kind of feel as if it’s for show. I think Bob tries to make a trademark, in a way, by putting off a crotchety air.

This book took me a long time to read and I don’t know why. It wasn’t even that long. Generally, when that’s the case, it’s because of the writing style, but I could not readily discern reasons why Bob’s writing style may have slowed my reading down.


Ducks, ruling the world–a duck, with a Donald Trump toupee…think about it.

Weigh In

Would you keep a pet duck?

What animal have, you had as a pet, that people don’t give enough credit to?


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