An earnest attempt to provide a nonviolent alternative to the familiar cumulative British folk tale. The dog here ""nips"" the pig, while the ox becomes a horse to be spurred by a rider who is lassoed by the rope. Meanwhile, in Carmi's innovative illustrations, almost everything is personified with an expressive face--the stile, some quizzical flowers, a haystack that is obviously only pretending to be asleep. Well, not the rope, which the rat still bites, nor the stick, which still gets burned. Too many compromises are required: with logic, with cadence, with tradition. Sorry, guys, this one just doesn't work.