The hyena was lazy and lanky,/ he was sneaky and slinky and lean./ He was clever and crafty and cranky,/ and oh! he was ever so mean."" The tripping tongue and evil heart of Prelutsky's mean heyna are certain to delight, especially when his rhymed story is read aloud. (There's a built-in chorus the group won't need coaxing to recite.) Gloating wickedly about his cunning and craft, the hyena romps about--painting the zebra plaid, feeding the elephant sneeze powder, tying the ostrich's neck in a knot, then shaving off the lion's majestic mane. And when his four victims pounce, Hyena plays Br'er Rabbit's game: "". . . do anything you want to do./ just please please please don't tickle me."" And so they do with a vengeance--but of course the hyena loves to hugh. His audience will be tickled too.