Although teetering dangerously close to a Milne-like whimsey at times (""What is wrong, Owl?"") this unusual miniature of a domesticated bird, raised from an orphaned fledgling-hood, has a surprisingly fresh appeal. Mr. Service's Owl is not at all like Pooh's professorial acquaintance. To the author's everlasting credit, Owl, from his arrival (""fuzzball, beaky and glare-eyed"") is simply an owl, or more correctly owl-dom. Owl pulls off some magnificent maneuvers--best of all is a steady march up and down a visitor's mound of ice cream--but deep inside Owl is merely doing owl things in un-owl surroundings, and the author thinks it's all funny and marvelous. The reader will, too. A P.S. tells us that Owl is no more, and his ""trivial emphatic presence"" is missed. A delight for all those who give more than a hoot about small creatures.