81st Turn, Seventh Year, Fourteenth Cycle, Byrday
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From the Journal of Aframos Longjourney, Pilgrim

With notes by Avos Torr, Scholar of Rheve Library

Byrday, 14th Cycle, Seventh Year, 81st Turn

Sixth Day In the Trees

The kittens are hungry. I'm sure of it. But they won't eat. I've tried everything I can find, but they won't eat any of it. I'm certain that they're meat-eaters, with those sharp little teeth. Why then won't they eat the birds or small animals I've caught for them? What did their mother feed them, if not these1? I've even tried feeding them plants, for all the good it did.

They are already less energetic than they were yesterday. They no longer climb on me, nor do they explore the campsite with the same interest. They mewl loudly, and I worry about how long they can last without food.

They've already begun to attract predators. This evening, after I'd made camp, I heard something nearby, in the bushes. On the edge of the firelight, I saw a strange creature. It walked on two legs, but it had a head like a jackal's, and it wore no clothing2. Its body was covered with coarse, brown hair. It was not carrying any weapons, but when it opened its mouth, I could see long, sharp teeth. I could hear other things moving around us; presumably others like it. I stood up, and I opened my mouth, showing my own teeth, and looking it in the eye. As we stared at each other, I let my robes drop, covering the kittens, and puffed up, making myself look larger than I am. After a moment, it turned and left, and I heard the others move away too.

I built the fire up after that, but it will be a long time before I am able to sleep.

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