Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man
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
differences could be bridged, but too often they only divide. We talked about where we each had been, where we were now, and where we might be headed. We talked as the light from the tall windows grew pale and the room grew cool. The contrasts kept flashing in my brain, vividly so, as if on a giant LED sign—my city life and her suburbia, my independence and her massive family responsibilities, my relative lack of any relationship baggage and her soon-to-be ex-husband. In the end, as she headed
had to be me. So there we were at Sierra’s, having just toured several more uninspiring houses. “Yeah, evidently, their father got them this prepackaged hatching set,” Pam said. “It comes with an incubator that slowly heats and turns the eggs, as if there was a mother hen sitting on top of them.” She always sounded enthusiastic when she talked about any kind of animal, even more when the topic turned to the unusual things they do in the name of their young, in this case rotate the eggs at least
blocky midsection. I didn’t know then, couldn’t know then, just how amazing the whole thing would be, but I already knew I would love it. I knew he wasn’t a child. I knew he wasn’t my own likeness, carrying my blood, my genes, my hopes. But he was what I had, what I’d always wanted to have, and in that moment, in many future moments, he was what I needed. I cradled the pup in my arms, Tony grabbed his small crate, and we made for the door amid a flurry of good-byes and good wishes. “You two be
road a day before the plan. And when I arrived, for that one night and for some nights after, it couldn’t have been better. So we never had that talk. We never confronted what needed to be confronted. And that was a mistake. Inevitably we sank back into what we had become, which was a shadow of what we should have been, and we kept sinking until a Saturday morning in June when there was no place lower to go. We had been in Caracas the week before, at the wedding of a college friend of mine and
the identical plan at the same time, which was a little more than a little scary. Of course, he didn’t make it easy on me. He never made it easy on me. When I slid the window open, he cawed and pecked until I was finally able to turn him around with a beach towel, grab him from the side, and twist his body through the window. None of this was normal, but when I placed him on his desk for the night and called Pam with the good news, it was one of the most triumphant moments of my life. Buddy and