Mind-boggling literal-mindedness is the essence of Robert Quackenbush's humor, so don't be surprised if the little fables he spins to explain some old sayings tell you nothing you don't already know. Mr. Cat is said to have nine lives because he nearly got killed nine times; water runs off a duck's back because it's oily; Mr. Dog's bark is worse than his bite because Dr. Rub bit pulled all his teeth just yesterday; Mrs. Horse can lead her husband to the mineral waters at the health farm, but she can't make him drink. . . . Colored in spry yellow over black and white, the animals radiate unabashed storybook cuteness; maybe it's a question of getting down to that level of artlessness but the crackerbarrel wit makes us groan.