During the week Noel Perrin is an English professor at Dartmouth; on the weekends he is a Vermont farmer. In between he manages to be a superb writer of essays. ''Second Person Rural,'' a second book by the author, casts an unromantic eye on the realities of country life; there is little about trout streams and a good deal about chain saws. There is a lot about animal and human behavior.
''The Rural Immigration Law'' tells about what happens when a typical couple leaves suburbia to take up residence in the country. Instead of leaving their suburban life style behind, the ''immigrants'' often take it with them. There ought to be a law, Perrin says, that requires new residents to go before a board ''composed entirely of native farmers, loggers, and road-crew men'' to show evidence that they have adopted rural values.
For those of us who have no particular desire to pick up and move to the country, these essays are an excellent way to get a taste of what it's all about.