You ALMOST know how it must have been."" Two natives of the Southwest -- the author of One Small Blue Bead and the artist researcher of Southwestern Indian Arts and Crafts -- have made the motifs of prehistoric Indian rock paintings into dramatis personae without destroying their totemic nature. Thus, amusingly, ""Goats. Goats. More goats... The click of sharp hoofs must have wrung as 'those goats jumped from rock to rock -- and then jumped back where they had been before"" (with goats and kids disposed on the pages so that they seem to be doing just that); then, a propos of ""a wandering path of the tracks of men"" -- ""Did pictures bring strength to the hunters? Did they bring luck? Was there some magic in the artist's hand?"" The motifs -- birds and deer and skunk, tracks and stars, men and masked figures ""no longer men"" -- are silhouetted against a rich, rough bark paper, light brown against dark, dark brown against light; the telling is terse, energetic, empathic; the layout lets the two react against each other. The book communicates -- that which is long gone becomes immediate and vital.