From the Journal of Aframos Longjourney, Pilgrim
With notes by Avos Torr, Scholar of Rheve Library
Marday, 15th Cycle, Seventh Year, 81st Turn
Eleventh Day in the Trees
For the first time since entering the woods, I met another person. I think.
It was a small creature, only slightly larger than Rising-Whistle-Two-Clicks had been. It had a long, tubelike body, with six long, attenuated limbs ending in three "fingers." It moved as though it had no bones. It had two eyes, with large black pupils, and two dark spots above them that might have been another pair of eyes. Its mouth was just a slash across the oval head. It had no nose. I would have taken it for an animal, if it had not covered itself in old, graying rags1.
It was shambling forward on four of its limbs when I came across it. It stopped short when it noticed me, and raised itself up on two limbs, keeping four free.
We regarded each other for a moment, and then I said, "Hello."
It fell backwards, catching itself on its "arms," and then scrambled away as fast as it could, backwards and upside down. It was in the bushes in a trice, and I could hear it moving up the trees.
I wonder why it was so afraid of me? Perhaps it simply didn't understand me.
I also saw an interesting creature, if only for a moment. Souja and I were bending down to a stream to drink, when we saw a small furry shape leave the water momentarily. Its short fur was a dark brown, and it had short, stout limbs ending in webbed feet. Its tail was flat, and like a paddle. I might have supposed it was a relative of the otter, save that it had a beak instead of a snout! It was a broad, flat beak, like a waterbird's2. Before I could get a closer look at it, it suddenly dashed back into the water, and swam away before I could see anymore of it.
What a curious place this is.