The Architect's Essence, The Diary of Sunrise

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Undated Entry

I would just like to add a note about Wonky, the strange lopsided creature who was so fond of Blancmange’s stew and Cloud’s excellent petting. When the resources had become available to me, I had attempted to discover exactly what Wonky and his two stew-guzzling friends had been. I’m am sorry to say that up to yet I have not found a satisfactory answer. I did however find the following in, Dr. Kohlrabi’s Encyclopaedia of Life whilst I was searching for the identity of the riders masked scorpion-tailed steed. Though it is not entirely accurate, the following is the closest I have come to finding a documented description of Wonky’s species.

Sidehill Lopers

Plural noun – Ripple. And there around the hillside came a ripple of sidehill lopers.

Sidehill lopers are herbivorous creatures that are reputed to originate from the mountains and foothills of a frozen region known as Brookgust which lies far beyond the Western Frontier. They make their homes in burrows and are quite adept at living on steep, rocky hillsides, aided by their disproportionately sized legs, having two long legs on one side of their body and two short legs on the other. Though this lop-sided arrangement of limbs gives the sidehill loper a perfect footing upon a hillside it also prevents it from walking on level ground and means that it can only travel around its chosen hill or mountain in one direction. They have long faces, short tufted ears and strong, sturdy tails. They stand roughly 6ft long by 2ft tall on their taller side and 1ft tall on their shorter side.

Sidehill lopers come in two varieties; clockwise lopers which have their long legs on the left-hand side of their bodies and their short on the right and thusly can only travel around their hill in a clockwise direction and anticlockwise lopers which have the opposite arrangement of legs and can only travel in an anticlockwise direction.

Sidehill lopers give birth to live young and as a clockwise loper always gives birth to an anticlockwise pup and vice versa, the young have to be self-sufficient from birth as they are forced to travel in the opposite direction to their mother.

Due to the freezing conditions of the Brookgust Region the lopers grow a thick coat of wool not dissimilar to that of a sheep or woolly echidna.

Though I have never witnessed this behaviour for myself I have heard that on rare occasions a clockwise loper and an anticlockwise loper will form an alliance and journey to a new hill. They are said to do this by entwining the fingers of the paws on their shortest legs and leaning against one another in order to use their longer legs to walk on level ground. The problem is that the clockwise loper often wants to travel to the right and the anticlockwise loper always wants to travel to the left so these unions often end in squabbles.

As you can see, sidehill lopers closely match the anatomy of Wonky but also have thick woolly fleeces and tufted ears, coverings which Wonky did not possess. From this I have surmised that the forest we had become stranded in may well have been quite close to the Brookgust Region, possibly a more temperate neighbouring region where the sidehill lopers do not require their woolly coats. Unfortunately, the lands beyond the Western Frontier and largely unexplored and I have been unable to find any maps of Brookgust and its surrounding lands which might help me pinpoint exactly where the forest had taken us.

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