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The secret world of animals and birds is rich with conversation; people only hear and see what they have always seen, but amid the barking, meowing, squeaking and squawking there's a real conversation going on. The adventures of Oscar, Billy, and Marmite offer a chance to listen in to this otherwise very private world. The first book in the series, 'A new beginning', tells of how Oscar, Billy, and Marmite... the very clever cat, came to be more than just friends, and how they started a project that changed their lives, and the lives of lots of others, for good and forever. Oscar the dog and Marmite the cat had a lovely life; their human family provided meals on time, lots of tasty treats, and lavished love on them both. In return, Oscar was happy to bark loudly and pretend to be a guard dog when necessary, and Marmite stalked the garden giving the impression she was seeking out vermin, and looking every inch of her tiny frame a miniature 'big cat'. Then, one day as if out of the blue, Billy arrived. He spoke with an accent that took a while for both Oscar and Marmite to fathom, was full of ideas about the way dogs, cats, birds and humans should interact that were as foreign to Oscar and Marmite as his accent was to theirs. And yet, what he said made perfect sense, so that in no time at all Billy's ideas started to change things in the quiet English country village he now called home. His ideas about the way animals could work to help their human friends without them knowing, in fact sometimes especially without them knowing, were an exciting revelation to all the animals and birds of their village and their closest neighbours. Billy was the inspiration, Oscar the keen supporter, and Marmite (because after all, she's the very clever cat) became the organiser and brains behind making their initiatives a success. Yet, all was not well, because watching from the grey and dusty industrial town on the other side of the dual carriageway were Jeremy the pigeon and his scheming rodent followers. They did not like what they saw. They did not approve of helping anyone, let alone humans. And as far as they were concerned they did not want Oscar, Billy, and Marmiteto succeed. They believed that people should look after people, animals should care less about anyone but themselves, take whatever they could from wherever they could get it, and do whatever they wanted to do whenever they wanted to do it. So, when Jeremy and his followers found out what Oscar, Billy, and Marmite, along with a team of village birds and animals were doing, they made it is business to try and stop them.
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