Slender at the price, but ingratiating anyhow. Schulberg and his wife, Geraldine Brooks, have spent the last few years maintaining ""swan watch"" at their Long Island home, where a pair of mute swans (a European species, not all that mute but to be distinguished from the American whistling and trumpeting swans) reign over the neighboring inlet. Once you forgive the Schulbergs for christening the unfortunate creatures Loll and Grin, it's hard not to enjoy the sequence of friendly overtures on the part of the humans and growing trust on the part of the swans. The Schulbergs learned to feed Lob and Grin by hand, harmlessly outbluff their occasional outbursts of temper, and interpret voices and movements. The first season of swan watch was a triumph--Loh and Grin hatched and successfully raised seven cygnets. Sadly, the next year saw the bloodthirsty advent of gulls--a large, predatory Canadian species which has now happily settled down in the Schulbergs' swan territory and leaves the survival of any future cygnets in doubt. Geraldine Brooks' color photographs contribute notably to the charm of what could have been a superb magazine article.