Retelling an old ""Story of Survival"", that of Noah's Ark, the author has appropriated its framework to charming effect with no implications about contemporary possibilities. Through the eyes and experiences of Fan and Niss, twin girls, the Biblical fairytale becomes very-real as they stow away among the animals disguised as monkeys. Weeks of the discomforts of shipboard life follow with shortages of fodder and the small details of animal husbandry-and housekeeping. Noah, ""an unremarkable man with bad habits"", and Mrs. Noah fussing over her geraniums are present along with their two grandsons who, with the two girls, are destined to repopulate the world. The alternate version is a pleasure to read, ranging as it does from the precise and practical to the playful and fanciful.