Fox eyes stare compellingly from the jacket; more eyes lurk in the dusky brush of the title page; and then--with "There was once a spy, a red fox who came to spy on the opossums"--just one eye, set in red fur, "gleams" at the sleeping animals through a hole. But the possums too, looking sly, have "one eye open"-and, throughout, your gaze will be caught not only by the fox eyes peeking and peering at--in turn--a rabbit, a squirrel, a bear, a dog, and a group of children, but also by the spooked, returning stares of the fuzzy animals he so disturbs. Each feels that the fox has somehow caught him out. . . and readers too get the eerie feeling that this all-knowing eye is ubiquitous. But it all comes to nothing when ". . . the fox just yawned. . . and went to sleep. . . . For, of course, the fox could never remember the next day what he had seen the day before." But the words and pictures have generated so much watchful apprehension that this news comes less as reassurance than as let-down. And to be further toyed with at the turn of the last page--"But no one knows that but the fox"--is merely disconcerting. A 1951 edition, with stylized illustrations by Jean Chariot, failed to take hold; Garth Williams' naturalistic, softer animals make the odd story all the more unsettling.