Once a snail was on her way to the pond when she suddenly began to leave a trail of silken white lace behind." Though she doesn't try to figure out what's happening, the snail fills all requests for her delightful product on the theory that "you deserve lace as much as anyone," and ignorning any hints of ingratitude, bullying or vanity, she makes lace parachutes for the bugs, caps and such for the frog, snake and turtle, a hammock for the alligator and, for the hippopotamus, a sort of bridal veil and nosegay doily--strong for the hippopotamus' size and fine for its nature. Then just as inexplicably as it began the trail of lace stops, and the snail goes on her way, saying for the third time, "I don't know why. . . It's just the way life is I think." Besides being charming, Byars' snail is a model worth taking to heart, and the silhouette-like illustrations, green and black on white, are enough to demonstrate how her gift buoys up an otherwise mundane scene.