Only a British dislike of overt posturing and the witty drawings of John Verney keep this animal fancy from sinking stickily into its own whimsy. Omar is a bandersnatch from an obscure family tree in a remote principality. Delivered to spinster Rose Bavistock as a fauna of the month, Omar, early on, exhibits an unusual intelligence, unmistakingly articulate and literate in a way no animal should be. Before Omar has fully revealed himself, he has caused some consternation--posing as a poltergeist, and clearly emitting four times a ripe expletive on the telly. When Omar's secret is known to Miss Bavistock and the world, however, honors pour in--a series of lecture and civic engagements, an invitation to prepare recorded lessons on Horse Conversation, a visit to Buckingham Palace. Invited to return to his home country, Omar abruptly returns to his own, leaving Miss Bavistock bereft. Months later a letter arrives describing wedded bliss and two offspring. Miss Bavistock is a diverting old prickly pear but Omar is a crashing bore. A little banter goes a long way.