Dixie Lee can't hep' herse'f. She keeps bringing home critters from Hokey Pokey Swamp: an alligator, a snake, an owl, pets she intends to keep to ward off churn turners stealing buttermilk stored in the well, a bogeyman set on taking some dentures, and the mist sisters who leave bad luck wherever they go. Mama has her reservations, but the creatures prove their worth and Dixie Lee's bestiary takes a place in their home. Gobbets of the deep, swampy South find a comfortable niche in this tale--buttermilk churns and gomper jars and watery phantoms; there's no question that the great dismal harbors things both creepy and friendlike--while the southern crawl to the narrative brings Dixieland alive. The sing- song spirit of the wording, along with flurries of rhymes--sets the stage for an atmospheric read-aloud. Moser's dexterous watercolor images are trademark--just this side of sentimentality, with moody ethereal interpretations alternating with formal, minutely observed still lifes. An uptempo regional tale; you may not want a snake protecting your gompers, but it's better than the bogeyman wearing them around.