From the publisher—
When Tim Rowland’s earlier book of his animal essays, All Pets Are Off, was published, readers immediately clamored for more. Their preference for animal stories over the political columns Tim’s also known for is understandable: animals are way more fun to read about than politicians. Especially now.
So here’s a new volume of over 75 warm and funny essays, from the introduction to the farm of bovines Cleopatra and Heifertiti, the Belted Galloway beauties, to the further antics of Hannah the English Bulldog and Juliet the tiny Siamese, along with assorted donkeys, pigs, goats, horses, chickens, geese-and of course, more of the joyful bouvier des Flandres named Opie-that’s sure to provide loads of smiles and even outright guffaws.
Books that feature animals and their antics are right up my reading alley—in fact, you might say I’m a complete pushover for them. Mention one to me and I’m all over it, maybe because they’re almost always highly entertaining and bring both laughter and tears. I’m glad to say that Tim Rowland’s Creature Features is no exception.
Mr. Rowland’s stories revolve around the small farm he and his wife had in Maryland and it’s clear this farm was just like the one I have always secretly wanted, a handful of animals that might be found on any farm. In this case, though, the farm animals are clearly part of the family, much like the pets that live in the house. I loved reading about Juliet, the long-suffering cat, and her canine companions, Hannah and Opie, but I was every bit as entertained by the antics of the trio of perpetually loud and bad-tempered geese and Magellan, the easy-to-please pig who’s probably the only really sane one of the bunch and is the answer to the question of what to do with the overwhelming homegrown crops of zucchini.
Then there’s the tyrannical miniature horse, Doodlebug, and Cappy, the very large horse who believes a paricular fruit is out to get her. A pair of very likeable heifers who view a visiting bull with disdain and a few alpacas who spend their time spitting add to the fun but I think my favorite of all is Chuckles, the rooster who came up with a very clever way of escaping the freezer.
Little Farm by the Creek is a place I would have been delighted to visit but, failing that, the author’s stories are the next best thing. This is a collection I’ll be re-reading frequently. My daughter and her two cats share my house with me and my cat; two days ago, Sassy, my daughter’s 18-year-old kitty, passed away and Tim Rowland’s Creature Features has brought a good deal of comfort at such a sad time.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, February 2013.
Tim Rowland is an award-winning columnist at Herald-Mail Media in Hagerstown, Maryland. He has written for numerous history and outdoor magazines and news syndicates nationwide.
He has also authored several books, most recentlyStrange and Obscure Stories of the Civil War and including All Pets are Off: A Collection of Hairy Columns, Petrified Fact: Stories of Bizarre Behavior that Really Happened, Mostly, Earth to Hagerstown, High Peaks: A History of Hiking the Adirondacks from Noah to Neoprene andMaryland’s Appalachian Highlands: Massacres, Moonshine & Mountaineering
Tim is also keeper and lackey for a wide assortment of mostly non-useful, freeloading critters, aided as always by his trusty (well, mostly trusty) companion Opie.
Tim Rowland’s Website: http://www.timrowlandbooks.com
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