The Scratching Log

Blog for Ratha series home-page website. Posted by author Clare Bell.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ratha's Creatures - Treelings

What are the treelings?

In Clan Ground, the herding teacher Thakur (pronounced Ta-KOOR, since it is a Bengali word meaning “teacher”) literally runs across a small furry creature and accidentally injures it. His first thought is to eat it (he is a cat, after all), but he becomes intrigued by the little fur-ball. He calls it, Aree, based on the sound it makes, and decides to keep it as amusement and as a companion. Aree has hand instead of paws or claws, and uses them to climb trees, pick fruit, throw things, and pick ticks out of Thakur’s coat. Thakur discovers that Aree can do many other things, including some that influence the clan’s use of the Red Tongue (fire).

Once he convinces the clan that Aree is more useful than tasty, Ratha and the others accept Thakur’s odd little pet, letting the treeling groom them. When Aree turns out to be female and has babies, Ratha and other clan members adopt little treeling companions.

What kind of prehistoric creature is Aree? Readers have made many guesses, including monkey, ape, squirrel, raccoon, lemur, tarsier (bush baby), other type of primate, other type of rodent, other member of the raccoon family and totally made up by author.

Here’s a hint. I made one mistake in describing Aree, enabling her to do something that the real prehistoric species probably couldn’t.

Any ideas? Many readers already know, but I’d like to hear some guesses.

Next up in the Ratha series guessing game. What is Shongshar, the clever tyrant who uses the worship of fire to take over clan leadership?


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