Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man
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Brian McGrory thought he had it all figured out: a great job, a condo in Back Bay, and his beloved golden retriever Harry by his side. But after Harry’s death, McGrory's life as a bachelor takes quite the turn. He falls in love with Harry’s veterinarian Pam, and leaves the city for life in the suburbs with Pam’s family and their two dogs, two cats, two rabbits, and Buddy—the self-assured family rooster who hates Brian’s guts.
These things never go as easily as they should. The commute is long, the kids were wary, and Buddy was constantly poised to attack. But rather than accept defeat, Brian eventually sees that Buddy shares the kind of extraordinary relationship with Pam and the girls that he wants for himself. Funnily enough, it’s the rooster’s tenacious devotion to the family that encourages a change in Brian’s perspective, and before long, the archenemy becomes his inspiration, helping Brian evolve into a true family man
With luminous writing and expert comic timing, McGrory brings to life a classic story of love, acceptance, and change as one man’s nemesis becomes his madcap mentor.
Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content
FICTION BY BRIAN MCGRORY Strangled Dead Line The Nominee The Incumbent Copyright © 2012 by Brian McGrory All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. www.crownpublishing.com CROWN and the Crown colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data McGrory, Brian. Buddy : how a rooster made me a family man / Brian
(and myself), was never an easy undertaking. She didn’t have the freedom to move towns. I didn’t have what it took to live amid lawns and laundry rooms that were forty minutes from the nearest bistro. But my commute to see her and her kids on a virtually nightly basis was getting old, as were her attempts to shoot into Boston whenever she dropped off the kids at their father’s. The whole thing was exhausting and in too many ways lacking. Something had to change, and that something, it ended up,
the bay to pull up more traps, that the late-afternoon breeze always required a fleece, that you could walk a hundred yards into the absurdly clear—and cold—water at high tide and still be no deeper than your waist. It was a far, far cry from anything and everything I’d known as a kid, which was Nantasket Beach in Hull, Massachusetts, where Paragon Park and the 25-cent arcades were the backdrop, or Wessagusset Beach in my hometown of Weymouth, which was constantly being shut down for high fecal
feeding the unappreciative chicken. The old Brian hadn’t been wracked by guilt—guilt over not spending enough time with the kids, guilt that his dog’s life had become boring in the confines of a suburban yard, guilt because he was spending more time commuting than actually working, guilt over never getting everything done to the house that needed to be done, guilt over not being helpful enough with Pam. I was doing much more than I ever had before, and doing none of it well. Those people with
strutting around the yard, at which point they slam on the brakes, roll down the window, and shout something creative, like “Cock-a-doodle-doo.” Third, the guy took the pictures with a camera, presumably one with a telephoto lens, rather than a cell phone, which told me he meant business. This wasn’t a snapshot on his iPhone that he’d pull up at a bar one night to show his friends—look at what this crazy family has wandering around their yard! No. My house had been his destination. Amid the