There are those who find drama and poetry in the lymph glands of larva. To some the egg sacs of the Bolas Spider are objects of boundless curiosity. Interest in John Kieran's book will certainly be generated in such readers. Happily, however, the authors assembled here have appeal as well to non-icthy-orni -zoo-ologists. While things that slither and molt abound here, they do not prevail. Izaak Walton, Donald Culross Peattie, Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Burroughs, Brooks Atkinson, Rachel Carson, Charles Darwin and John James Audubon are among the sixty authors and poets musing on weather, trees, birds, vipers and vertebrates. Thomas Barbour in The Glory Hole gives a Rabelasian dissertation on why laymen look down their noses at museum curators. His candid description of the glory holes of most museums, those catch-alls where pickled this-and-thats accumulate dust and veneration, is a capricious bit of drollery. And Dallas Lore Sharp's recap of the forty mile ride in horse-and-chaise to deliver turtle eggs no more than three hours old to Louis Agassiz pulls the rug out from under the gravity of natural science. Definite possibilities for the gift market.