Gavin Maxwell is a rare man who finds his deepest pleasure and involvement (as well as a modest living since this is one of several successful books) with nature and animals. He has an elegant and engaging way of expressing his feelings about them. He lived for several years in a cottage on the Scottish Highland coast near the Hebrides, a place remarkably spectacular in beauty and abundant in wildlife, and his untrammeled existence is described in the book. Untrammeled, that is, except for his predilection for pet otters -- the first was a male named Mijbil who is the focal point in a series of delightful and poignant incidents. Mijbil had an uncanny appreciation of manmade devices and it was a three-ring otter circus whether travelling by plane from Basra to London, living in a London flat, or cavorting in the seas off Camusfearna. After Mijbil (who turned out to be a heretofore unknown breed of otter) was accidentally killed, the author tried wild schemes to replace him and an unusual coincidence brought him another lovable otter pet, this time a female. After such delightful reading one feels a cat or dog would seem sadly boring in lieu of such a lively amusing otter companion. For lovers of nature's wild reaches the author's visual images and observations of his animals' lives on the rocky sun-washed coast provide special joys, since his setting has its own particular nuances in vegetation, weather, sunsets and seasonal changes.