A pleasing and discreet collection of appreciations and perceptions--of moments, a memory, a vista, the amusing-to-awesome reflection of human emotions and stances in the natural world of rural Quebec Killdeers alternately cry havoc and sound all clear: ""I heard fear and happiness, dread and trust. . . these birds with the wavering hearts."" Roy is diverted by the random gathering of plants, ""like people. . . . The moment a group is happily settled somewhere, everyone wants to move in."" She sketches out the gestures of crows; cows ""at ease""; a bullfrog vocalist (""playing the guitar under water""); horses inhabited by the shadow of sorrow; and lots about cats--dancing in the flicker of a candle flame, teasing daisies, or elegantly walking on rails. The most moving piece concerns an old woman's last dabble in the river of her childhood: ""like those pilgrims of the Ganges in Benares. . . frighteningly thin but their faces illuminated with fervor."" Roy, one of Canada's ""cultural celebrities,"" evades the looming threat of sentimentality which hounds most meditations of this order with a cool craft and blessed economy. An agreeable country companion.