A little bit, a little bit, a little bit won't hurt."" This fallacious reasoning, expressed by every villager who steals a nibble from the huge communal pie, is something that small children can relate to; and so, of course, is the offense. The implications can be stretched as far as anyone wants to take them. Levitin starts with a lollyberry tree in the center of a distant town. ""Was it magic? you will want to know. I will have to answer no, not magic in the way of granting wishes or producing ice-cream cones instead of flowers. But it was a very' good tree."" She takes us through the villagers' annual ritual of picking the lollyberries and baking the tremendous pie, which then waits on a platform for the night's big celebration. And she has us witness helplessly as first a bird, then a cat, then one baker, another baker, and finally countless people from far and near, each following the previous one's example, sneaks a bit of the pie. Krahn takes a delightfully dim view of them all, from the mayor on down. We end up without much pie, but with an entertaining, tangy fable that sticks to the ribs.