An Obsession Called Pheasant: The True Story of a Pursuit of the Elusive
Pheasant Tale Productions (2011)
Reviewed by Chandler Dixon (age 13) for Reader Views (12/11)
This true story began with a boy named Dan who loved anything to do with the outdoors. He was a happy, carefree child who had brown eyes, black curly hair and a bright smile.
From a young age Dan was enthralled with anything to do with nature; one time, he captured a hummingbird, using a tiny net, only to admire the hummingbird before releasing it back into the wild.
Dan’s family moved to the Washington countryside in 1972 when Dan was in the fourth grade. They had neighbors, but none of them lived very near to Dan’s family. Dan got to know and frequently visited a mink farmer who lived within bike-riding distance of Dan’s home. After a while, the mink farmer mentioned that his son raised pheasants and offered Dan a couple of pheasants; Dan eagerly agreed to take them. It took the pheasants a few weeks to arrive (which felt like months to Dan) but when they did arrive, he was overjoyed. Dan had been expecting to see Chinese Ringneck Pheasants like he had seen at the mink farm. Instead, he got two Golden Pheasants, a male and a female, which were covered in vibrant colors and were much more beautiful than the Chinese Ringneck Pheasants.
Many types of pheasants are easy to raise and Dan had success with his Golden Pheasants. As he got older he was able to find and buy more types of birds, including peacocks.
“An Obsession Called Pheasant: the True Story of a Pursuit of the Elusive” goes on to describe Dan’s adult life working with birds. His fascination with birds, especially pheasants, leads him to take jobs caring for birds and breeding some very rare pheasants.
This is a book for anybody wanting to learn a bit more about pheasants or is interested in the natural world and has the patience to deal with lots of detours and unnecessary details in the story. (I would have given the book a higher rating if it had been more direct in the presentation of the story.)
“An Obsession Called Pheasant” inspired me to be more interested in pheasants. When the book ends, Dan has received his share of money from breeding and raising numerous pheasants and decides to travel to Borneo in search of the Bornean Peacock Pheasant. The next book by this author is called “Adventure in Borneo: The True Story of One Man’s Quest to find the Bornean Peacock Pheasant.” It is about Dan’s trip to Borneo and I would like to read it.