Animal farming without machines or even electricity: a season-by-season account of a lively first year on a farm near the edge of Kent. Helped only by his Mum and two locals (Pete and Bert), Creaton began with relatively few animals and lots of hope for upgrading the cowshed. The barnyard maneuvers are accompanied by some unusually raunchy comments but the proceedings are strictly slop-and-bucket until the arrival of Jean, the government rat catcher--""a ravishing blonde"" who soon shares his enthusiasms and distinguishes this book from most in the genre. Creaton nimbly describes the animals' reactions to snow and caroling, the appearance of each new addition, and the ordeals of calving and lambing, and Pete and Bert are properly unrefined, tending the animals and nudging the romance. At the close the farm is functioning, Mother's been apprised about his intentions, and Creaton is dressed in his best suit, ready to ask Jean the question. But the reader is left in limbo--perhaps a sequel is anticipated because it's hard to leave this genial crew with their future unrevealed.