by Megan Organist
It was a quiet morning. Shining Cloud, a white she-cat, was having her first litter of kits. Little did she know this was the worst time to have them. The Birch Clan was hiding in the bushes on either side of Dust Clans camp. Suddenly, DappleTail, one of patrols, smelled the Birch Clan and let out a loud yowl. Shining Star, Dust Cans leader rushed out of her den and ran to his side. Now she too smelled Bercha dn yowled for the howl clan to wake up. All of a sudden, Birch Clan jumped out of the bushes! Then the cans jumped into action. Little Paw, one of the apprentices, fell to the found with a thud. A silver tabby had leapt on him. They tumbled until Little Paw was pinned to the ground. The silver tabby named Fang Heat was Beach Clans was Beach Clans deputy! “Apprentices are no match for warriors,” spat Fang Heat as he nipped Little Stream in the neck. Little Paw ran into the bushes. Back at the nursery, Willow Pelt, a Birch Clan warrior, was invading it! Shining Cloud, was fighting furiously to protect his kits. Finally, the last of the Birch Clan was driven out. Hawk’s Shadow, Little Paw’s mentor, was furious with him.
“You forgot all the skills I taught you! If you ever want to be a warrior, you have to remember the skills I taught you. You mouse brain!”
Shining Star stepped onto higher rock and yowled. “Everyone who can hunt for themselves, join,” thought Little Paw.
“As you know, this was an uncalled for battle,” meowed Shining Star.
“They better have a good explanation for this,” hissed Speckled Leaf, the medicine cat. “They made off with a lot of my healing herbs.”
“Don’t worry,” meowed Shining Star. “The gathering is tomorrow. Now, Queens, repair the nursery, Warriors, patch the holes they made, Elders, dig holes for us to put our kill in, and Apprentices, go hunting.”
With that, she went back to her den have word with her deputy. Then everyone fell into order.
“Sounds a little dangerous,” meowed Mist Paw, an apprentice.
“Shining Star’s orders,” meowed Little Paw. “We’d better get started. We’ll probably be at it all day.”
Sun Paw saw a flash of grey. She went down on her horses, pounced and quickly killed and buried it. Just then, she spotted something tan in the bushes.
“Maybe it’s a Dust Clan patrol!” she thought.
She crept over to the bushes and pounced. The cat yowled with a shake as Sun Paw dug her claws into her back. The tan cat was a young loner she-cat named Mitsy. Mitsy turned under Sun Paw’s grip and tore part of her ear. They both stopped.
“Who are you? And where do you come from?” he said looking at Mitsy.
“I’m Mitsy and I’m a loner,” she mewed. “Last night, Star Clan gave me a message. Take the loner prisoner. She has a secret that will help your clan.”
With that, One Ear and Sun Paw walked on either side of Mitsy back to camp. Mitsy felt so embarrassed when every cat in the hole stopped what they were doing and stared at her. Shining Star stepped High Rock, but she didn’t need to address the clan. They were already there.
“It seems One Ear has brought home a prisoner,” she meowed looking at Mitsy.
“This is Mitsy. She is a loner,” mewed One Ear. “I got a message last night that told me to take the loner prisoner because she has a secret that can save our whole clan.”
Shining Star called to her deputy, Snow Pelt, to have a few words with him. Finally she spoke.
“We need as many warriors as we can get so we will be ready for another attack. So I will make Mitsy an apprentice if that’s okay with her.”
Everybody looked at Mitsy as she excitedly accepted the offer.
“From this day on, until Mitsy earns her warrior name, she will be called Leaf Paw. I will be her mentor.”
Then she jumped down from High Rock. Little Paw walked over to Leaf Paw.
“That is a great honor to be Shining Star’s apprentice.”
“How come?” Leaf Paw asked.
“Because she is the leader of the clan!” “Come on. I’ll show you around camp.”
An apprentice named Blizzard Paw poked her head out of the den and looked at Leaf Paw with disgust.
“What’s wrong?” said Little Paw.
“What’s wrong?! I’ll tell you what’s wrong. How was I supposed to know I’d be sleeping and living with a loner, a non clan born,” she spat.
Leaf Paw looked challengingly back into her eyes. “C’mon,” Leaf Paw mewed nervously. Leaf Paw woke up with a startle. It took a little while to remember where she was. She had a dream. In her dream, a beautiful, shining, silver she-cat said to her, ”Leaf Paw, the secret. You must reveal the secret. Beware the warrior who knows the secret.”
As the days went on, Leaf Paw was still puzzled over her dream. She now knew that it was a message from Star Clan. Messages from Star Clan were very important.
“Rock Clan’s warriors have been sent by white bark tree,” Crow Flight reported. “We followed their scent until we came to a pile of prey bones. We think there were about twelve of them. Shining Star said we must prepare for attack.”
At Moon High, Moss Pelt, one of the queens, smelled something strange.
“It smells like Rock Clan,” she mewed.
By now Berry Tail was wide awake. “Shining Star, go now!” Berry Tail went to wake the warrior elders, queens, and apprentices. Leaf Paw got scared when she heard the news. Blizzard Paw took it as his chance to become a warrior. As they came out into the clearing and waited for Rock Clan to come out, Leaf Paw whispered to Shining Star who was now sitting next to her.
“Shining Star, there is something I need to tell you. Before I came into the clan, I saw a fiery orange cat kill a grey cat. They had the Rock Clan stench on them.
Then Rock Clan jumped out of the bushes. Leaf Paw found herself face to face with the orange warrior that killed the other warrior. Leaf Paw jumped into the air and made it look like she was aiming for his back but was really aiming for his neck. She successfully pinned his belly and scratched him. He went running into the bushes.
After the battle was over, Shining Star mewed, “Two of our apprentices showed great bravery today. Blizzard Paw and Leaf Paw. Blizzard Paw, you will now be known as Blizzard Claw. Leaf Paw, you will now be known as Leaf Heart. Leaf Heart, Blizzard Claw, go now and begin your vigil.”
Though it was cold, Blizzard Claw and Leaf Heart began their vigil proudly gazing up at Star Clan.