The admirably unsentimental yet explicit school of nature writing which attends to the career of a female mink--kill by crunchy kill. Sylva (why must wild creatures be given playful names like Sylva, Motik, Pica, etc.!) escapes from an antiseptic mink farm into the sparsely settled wilds of England. The technique of hunting comes instinctively to the mink. She finds a mate (later killed in a trap), bears and raises a litter, meets her death at last of wounds and disease. Enriching the simple story is, the author's precise and loving concern for the infinite cycles of life and death which stir in the air and through the streams and woods. Mr. Clarkson sadly recognizes the blithe human disregard for the miraculous and massive power of the universal ""laws,"" which move through the ""white flame"" of one small life, snuffed out as inauspiciously as a May fly's birth. Although the general reader may feel along the way that he has devoured with Sylva one bloody vote too many, this is a special down-to-scale view of a terrible yet wonderful world to which human life is inextricably related. For all amateur naturalists--those who can take the fatalities with the feathers.