Contrast between the impulsive antics of the Cantelli family and the taut suspense of danger in a lion's cage add zest to a droll genre story told with finesse by Elizabeth Hubbard Lansing, who wrote shoot For A Mule, Lulu Herself, etc. Niki's Papa owned the Small Circus. As he announced the circus, Niki slipped into the cage of Big Ben- ""the fiercest lion in captivity""- to rouse the lion from his chronic stupor. If the lion lacked temperament, Bignora Cantelli, their lion tamer, more than compensated for him. She dreamed of past glories, gestured, postured and strutted for the circus audiences. The earthy, folksy foibles of the Cantelli family add good humor and caprice to the main story line as Niki achieves her hopes for a home and lasting friendship.