In order to replace a dead pet (a groundhog), in order to use up what must be terrific amount of energy, and to introduce her young neighbors at home as well as the youngsters at her library to the beauty and responsibility of owning a wild pet, the author and her husband acquired Okee, the otter. Hers is not the detached observer's role assumed by Gavin Maxwell in Ring of Bright Water; her otter was to be a member of the household and a pet in the fullest sense. For anyone exposed to Maxwell's book who came away convinced that life without an otter was insupportable, this book is the specific deterrent. Requiring all her thought, time and constant active care, Okee become the central member of the Wisbeski's existence. The book leaves no doubt that they enjoyed it. That very few people would be willing to turn over their homes to a wet, destructive, albeit cuddly, conversation piece, is also beyond question. For those who still persist, Mrs. Wisbeski's book is equally useful for its anecdotal record of the ""special madness"" shared by otter owners and full of hints on how to keep an otter alive in this part of the world.