Mr. and Mrs. Milne, known throughout as ""the naturalist"" and the ""the naturalist's wife,"" describe the impact of a swan's surprise arrival in their cozy New Hampshire town. They name the great bird Alice, and her coming changes everybody's life, adding a bit of beauty to daily routines, inspiring a committee to protect her, grade school teachers to assign drawings of her, and high school profs to lecture on the swan in literature and music. Exiled royalty and the winter freeze threaten Alice, but the town won't let her go; they find her a house for the winter and a mate for the spring. The plot, slight but sufficient, imparts a lot of historical and biological fact in a graceful way. A nature-lover's quiet little neec.