The gullible peasant whose property declined in value with each succeeding trade has his counterpart in Nora the lioness who made deals with shepherd Howie to release him in exchange for two sheep, with the sheep in exchange for four dogs, with the dogs for eight cats, with the cats for sixteen rats (actually fifteen plus ""one accidental mouse""), with the rats for thirty-two lizards, with the lizards for sixty-four of their specialty--Ctenocephalides felis. ""'Ooowww,' moaned the king and queen of the beasts as a swarm of hungry insects flew at them. 'Fleas!'"" If you changed Howie's name and cut out some other Syd Hoff clowning, this could well be told aloud, so nimbly does it multiply the lioness' mistake. Whereas the design of the book--pictures and text separately framed by a petal pattern--is counter-active. The illustrations per se veer between tongue-in-cheek and tee-hee. Altogether a toss-up.