We found the ancient stone pillar announcing Razhinoch, although it’s missing the last three letters. Niahla’Sen wondered if it once marked the southern border of the village, or if it was just a marker for travelers to know what place they would next encounter by following the river. Dawn said it probably marked a graveyard, and pointed to several small mounds buried beneath the thick vegetation in the area. I think we’re still a month away from Razhinoch, so why would they bury their dead this far from the village? If I ever see Rar again, perhaps I’ll ask if he knows of any significance to this place.
Dawn pointed out an interesting flower to me. It had attractive red and yellow petals, and grew at the end of a stalk hanging down between two large leaves. I thought about picking the flower, and brushed against one of the leaves. With a movement that most animals probably wouldn’t notice, the leaves silently contracted to bare extremely sharp spines along the edges of the leaves. I certainly won’t be approaching one of those plants again. However, we were still curious, and poked the flower with a long stick. The leaves clamped shut with enough force to break the stick, and the spines would easily have skewered a large animal or person. We’ll need to make sure the horses don’t try eating these flowers. Niahla’Sen jokingly called the plant a lover’s decoy. Blinded by love for a young woman, a young man might attempt to pick her the flower at his peril. I’m not sure if Niahla’Sen was hinting at something between me and Dawn or not.
We lost one horse today, but not to one of the dangers of the jungle. It merely tripped trying to step over a log, and broke its leg, an accident that could happen in practically any land. None of us is able to care for a horse with this type of injury, so we had to euthanize the injured animal. We do have enough horses to absorb the loss of several animals, but I hope we don’t actually lose any others. The spoonfish in the river, however, enjoyed the extra food.