smoothly spun yarns from a slick storyteller about his life with unusual animals. Mannix began bringing 'em back alive in early childhood -- two wild skunks to his Grandparents' Philadelphia Main Line mansion. He went on to a 'gator in their swimming pool before falling in love with falconry. After catching and training his first hawk, the author trained and flew a bald eagle, and then a golden agle. These are much the best chapters in the book, containing hard information as well as half-tamed, nostalgia. Aided and egged on by a wife who shared his assion on for wildlife, Mannix acquired a cheetah, raised a python with his son and vidently loved every minute of it. His daughter's debut featured elephants in the cow pasture and monkeys at the cocktail table. Reliable, entertaining reading for the armchair naturalist.