An overblown and curiously old-fashioned tale of an eerie little being -- an undersized six-year-old boy -- who is adopted, for gawd's sake, by a badger (oversized). Benjy's parents, the homesteading MacDonalds (c. 1870) settled near Winnipeg and were baffled not only by Benjy's tiny stature (he looked three) but by his withdrawn ways and uncanny rapport with animals. When Benjy first sees the female badger he is frightened but his chirping cajolery brings the beast around. Then Benjy is lost in the wilds and the badger, having just lost her babies to a human killer, adopts Benjy and feeds him field mice and yech. . . Benjy is rescued and Mother Badger comes to live in. It all ends with a furry deathbed scene. Were it not for Mr. Eckert's natural history credentials one might think he had been sniffing too much meadow grass.