Books: Buried Instincts

RED WOLVES & BLACK BEARS: NINETEEN ESSAYS

by EDWARD HOAGLAND 273 pages. Random House. $8.95.

Most parents regard TV's Sesame Street as a benevolent baby sitter, but Viewer Edward Hoagland, 43, has noticed something more. Animals, he suggests, are now an endangered species in the realm of make-believe. The Muppets are perky humanoids or cuddly monsters; Big Bird is barely the simulacrum of an ostrich. For that matter, Hoagland notes, Bugs Bunny was less obviously a member of the genus Lepus than were such precursors as Peter and Br'er Rabbit.

From these small clues, Hoagland...

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