From the Journal of Aframos Longjourney, Pilgrim
With notes by Avos Torr, Scholar of Rheve Library
Chroday, Seventeenth Cycle, Seventh Year, 81st Turn
Thirty-Fourth Day in the Trees
Torne thinks we were attacked today. I am less sure.
We were walking between tall needle-trees, and it had been three hours past noon. Torne was skipping around me, nattering away as usual. I ignored him as best he could; he did not seem to notice I gave no answer.
Then there was a crashing among the branches above us, and a furry creature with a broad, strong body landed in front of us. It was nearly as long as I am tall, and was possessed of long teeth and all-too-prominant claws. It was a bit like a jackal in its face, but its body was more like a cat's. Its tail was long and bushy1.
It moved towards us, making no sound, but keeping its body low to the ground as it moved, ready to jump. The hair along its back rose like the sail on a lazy sun dragon.
Souja crawled up on top of my shoulder and hissed at the creature. Torne and I raised our hands to defend ourselves, and then the creature stopped, staring at us. It moved forward a bit, looking from Torne's hands to my own. Then it backed away, not turning around until it was well out of reach. It jumped, then, climbing up one of the enormous, twisting trees, and we soon heard it moving away through the treetops.
Torne believes it was hunting us, and had been about to pounce, when it seemed to see something about us it didn't like. Perhaps when we raised our hands, he thinks, we may have seemed more formidible.
I do not know. With that thick body and its ability to climb, it seems that it would have been better served by attacking us directly, rather than jumping near, and giving us time to react. A sporting hunter is a hungry hunter. Was it simply curious, perhaps?
Torne was nervous about meeting another, and because of this, it was long before we found a campsite. We ended up camping on the top of a hill. Though it was already dark, he took the time to put brambles around it, searching around and piling them up. He had stripped to the waist to do it, and is sorely scratched for his troubles. Still, he means well, and he has been right several times already. More caution will not harm us.
I notice he's wearing the beads around his wrist. I would comment on it, but I now see that I am wearing mine as well. Strange. I don't remember putting them on.