Year 2, Day 248

I’ve always thought of herbivores as relatively harmless. Not that you want to corner or threaten one, as they generally take rather violent exception to anything that signals they might be eaten. But as a general rule they don’t go looking for trouble. Not these!

I have named them hippopotamus, though I will have to find out what Songbird’s people call them. I’ve seen them before, of course, when I was following the river downstream. They look like small, barren islands from above, and lumbering, clumsy brutes when they drag themselves out of the water where they feed.

They are not clumsy.

Especially when they see me watching them and decide that I am a threat.

They are very crowded, as the dry season has been more intense then usual this year, and they have retreated to the few deep scours of the river. I knew the tempers of the bulls were short, as I have seen several battles. In fact I was watching a battle, amazed at the gape of their jaws, the ferocity with which they attacked each other, and the obvious fear with which the cows herded their young out of the way. I had shielded against their emotions, so I had little warning when one of the rivals suddenly decided I was a threat and charged me.

I am ashamed to say that I totally forgot everything I have managed to learn about counterbalancing over the last few months and simply did a brute-force teleport to my shelter.

Needless to say, I am almost too exhausted to record this. I need to make counterbalancing automatic!

Jarn’s Journal is an ongoing feature that gives some of the back story of my science fiction universe. Jarn is a human-like alien, a R’il’nian, who was stranded on Earth, in Africa, roughly 125,000 years ago. He has made contact with a tribe of early humans, but they have left for the season, following the game herds. Jarn’s story to date is on my author website.

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