Dovewing curled her tail around her kits. Silverkit, Spottedkit and Bluekit nuzzled her belly, while Kinkkit grumbled his way out of the nursery, just as Tigerheart came in to fetch a squirrel for his mate. “You can go out of the nursery by yourself when you’re an apprentice.”
“But that’s in like,”Kinkkit thought about it, twitching his kinked tail, “a whole, half, moon!”
“I bet that I’ll be a better apprentice than you.” Bluekit flexed her claws, and dropped into a hunter’s crouch.
“No you won’t! I was the one whose tail was run over by a monster, and lived.” Kinkkit motioned to his dark tabby tail that was broken. Then he launched into a powerful spring towards all of the she-kits.
“Hey!” Spottedkit squealed. “I was in the middle of grooming mama’s ears!” So she pretended to slink back and launched a surprise attack, tumbling into a play-fight. She batted his ears while Kinkkit poked her ribs quickly. She prepared her special attack and – “Hey, I was winning!” Sandstorm had picked Spottedkit up by her scruff. Kinkkit made a dash to hide behind the fresh-kill pile, and nibbled on a chunk of torn mouse. He slowly padded toward a secret bramble exit, then made a dash for the clearing. He was so captivated by the beauty of the forest that he tumbled down into the Riverclan stream border.
“HELP!HELP!” he spluttered. Mothwing and Willowshine appeared at the border, picking tansy, marigold, cobwebs, and borage leaves.
“Oh! A Thunderclan kit! Willowshine, see if you can get the border patrol. I’ll help this scrap.”
She watched helplessly as the kit drifted into unconsciousness.
Reedwhisker had plunged into the roaring waters and hauled the soggy kit out of the water. “Sorry little scrap.” he roughly pushed Kinkkit towards willowshine’s tabby figurine. “Maybe if we tell Mistystar, we can get something in exchange for this kit.”
“Now what would a warrior be doing, doing a shameful thing like that?”
Mistystar appeared, her kits tumbling around her, and Beetlenose padding up from the patrol group to nuzzle his mate and kits. “Yes, that’s right, it wouldn’t be very warrior-like if we traded prey for a kit. Come, Willowshine, Let’s wake this kit and then return it back to it’s home.”
“Can we help? Can we? Can we?”
“No, Streamkit, you, leafkit, and fernkit are too small. How about a game or moss-ball?”
At sunhigh, Kinkkit was safely returned to the nursery. Bramblestar padded onto high rock and yowled, “Let all cats old enough to hunt gather here! Lilypaw, Seedpaw, do you, as apprentices take your duties seriously, and listen to Starclan as intently as Jayfeather?” “I do.” “I do.”
“Then Lilypaw, I now pronounce you as Lilystem. May Starclan watch over you.” Bramblestar set his chin on top of Lilystem’s head, and she licked his shoulder. “Lilystem! Lilystem!”
“Seedpaw, you are now, Seedwhisker.” The Ritual performed again and the new warriors’ new names whisked about the clan. They were all going to resume eating fresh-kill when Bramblestar padded over Dovewing and tigerheart. “Dovewing, May I see you?”
“Actually, Bramblestar, I can’t really move.”
“Then I will tell you here. Wait a moment. Seedwhisker! Could you distract these kits? How about moss-ball?” The kits bounced up excitedly and bounded towards Seedwhisker. “Dovewing, I had an omen from Starclan. Jayfeather went through my mind and told me what it meant. He said that a mysterious striped she-cat said an omen.”
“Are you sure that she wasn’t a tabby?” Tigerheart looked curious.
“Yes. I remember now. She was light brown with darker stripes across her face. She said, ‘Bring back the sixth clan.’ Does she mean that I should go on a quest? Like Firestar?”
“I think so. I’ve had prophesied dreams, and each night they tell me something different. I wasn’t born yet, so i’m not the expert. You should wait for another omen.”
“Mama? Mama! Dad! Silverkit got hurt! we were playing moss-ball by the Sunning Rocks, then a possum came out of the cracks and bit her and scratched her and….. Will Silverkit die?” Spottedkit was whimpering now.
“Is she in Jayfeather’s den yet?” Tigerheart was crouched, as if he were ready to spring.
“No, Kinkkit fell asleep while we were trying to drag her and bluekit got mad at him, and they fighted. I mean foughted.”
Dovewing didn’t have time to reply before her mate bounded out to help Silverkit. She heard a squeal of pain as tigerheart hauled her by the scruff. As she was grunting to get up, Bramblestar reassured her. “I see to the kit.”
Daisy was woken from her sleep. “Oh! a Possum! Here Dovewing, I’ll help you get up to the medicine cat den.” Dovewing staggered heavily and leaned on Daisy’s shoulder as they slowly made it to the medicine cat den.
Voices could be heard. “I don’t know, Tigerheart. These injuries are pretty serious. I don’t if she’ll make it without being blind.”
“No! This can’t happen!” Tigerheart growled.
What? My kit is blind? Dovewing collapsed.
“DOVEWING!” Daisy yowled. “Help! Tigerheart! I think she’s collapsed!”
Birchfall darted over just in time to catch his daughter falling. “Urgh… Cloudtail, I need to carry her to Jayfeather’s den.”
Cloudtail dropped his vole and hauled dove wing by her scruff, while Birchfall nudged her rump into the medicine cat’s den. “No! Jayfeather! Its Dovewing!”
Briarlight said calmly, “I think she’s fine. I need to let her sleep. I hope she wakes.”
“Ugh…, mama? Mama? Mmamaa??” Silverkit was squealing all over the dark place. “Where am I?” she wailed.
“Hush, my dear. You’ll be alright.” A beautiful silver she-cat appeared and gave Silverkit a few comforting licks.
“Where am I?” Silverkit demanded, gathering up her courage to huff it out. She pulled away from the glittering she cat’s pelt.
“You are in Starclan now.” The little kit relaxed slightly. But continued to ramble on. “Where’s Dad? Where’s mama? Are they coming? Who are you?”
“They soon will be, dear. I am Silverstream. Now. Are you hungry? I’m sure the other Starclan warriors will welcome you…”
Silverstream soothed the nervous kit as they padded slowly towards the Starclan camp.
“Hello? Hello?” Dovewing was padding through a familiar forest, sparkling fir trees, and well-structured oak trees loomed over the lush undergrowth.
“Are you looking for something, Dovewing?” A beautiful tortoiseshell she-cat appeared, weaving through tall heather. Spottedleaf!
“Hi,” Dovewing mewed, “I need to tell you something.”
“You can tell me anything. Oh! Is it about those visions Bramblestar has been having?” Dovewing was shocked. “How do you know?”
“Long story. There were once 6 clans. Sky, Thunder, Shadow, River, Wind, and Earth. One day Earth Clan came to a gathering, about to tell the others that they were moving camp, due to Twolegs. Then when the rest were told, they turned their tails on them. Even when it was full moon.”
“Really, do you think-“
“Mama!” Silverkit came bounding through the beautiful forest. Dovewing stuttered, “Little one, I- How, How did you get here?” Silverstream stood behind Silverkit, her head bowed. Dovewing understood.
“Oh, Little One, I can’t play with you or see you during the day, but mama will come as often as possible at night.”
“Mama, mama! I have a new friend here! Her name is Mosskit! I she’s really nice and……”
“Tigerheart. Wake up,” Dovewing prodded his side with a stick.
“Hrmm?” He rolled over, eyes still closed. “Our daughter, Silverkit, she’s in Starclan.”
“What?!” Dovewing nodded. “I saw her.”
“What do you mean? She was still breathing at moonhi-“
Lilystem came rocketing into the warriors’ den, gasping. “You, *gasp* have to go to the nursery. *Gasp* Icecloud’s kits, *gasp* are so cute and- Hey! Dovewing, you’re not in the nursery any more.”
“Oh, I needed to tell something important about Silverkit. She’s in Starclan.”
Lilystem ceased gasping. She stared at Dovewing with her unusually purple eyes. When she got hold of herself, she quietly stalked out of the den. “I’ll be sitting vigil tonight.”
“So will I.”
“me as well.”
Toadstep, Foxleap, and Brackenfur were bowing their heads. “Well- I- You- I- I appreciate it.” she mewed at last.
“Dovewing! I need to ask you something. Important.”
“It’s the vision. It came.”
“Again?” Tigerheart was practically yowling with frustration.
“It was different. Silverkit was leading me somewhere. She was greeting me, and skipping around like a fox in a fit. And she showed me two cats, then….”
“Hi Bramblestar! It’s me, Silverkit! Thanks for visiting me.”
“Hi, I- Wait. Something is moving in that heather over there. I’ll-“
“Ha! That’s my friend, Mosskit. and this is her mama, Stripestar. Isn’t that cool? They have stripes instead of tabby patterns like me and dad. Hi Mosskit! Hi Stripestar! This is Bramblestar, the Thunderclan lead- Hey!”
Mosskit sprang up and landed in a tackle fight, pawing at Silverkit’s exposed belly. Then Stripestar, the beautiful tan striped cat bowed her head momentarily. “You cannot rescue the betrayed Clan. It can only be accomplished with the heart of a tiger, and the wings of a dove, and the young but powerful morning dew.”
“……..and that was it.”
” Do you think that-“
Lilystem was by the leader’s den again, only more careful. “Um, Bramblestar? Squirrelflight and Briarlight are kitting in a moment. Would you like to come wait?”
Bramblestar immediately bounded towards the nursery. “My, my, so many kits.” he grumbled under his breath.
By the next sunhigh, the kits were born. “Oh my, Briarlight! Yours are so small! Have you named them yet? Jayfeather will be so proud.” Then she paused for a moment, thinking about the emotions when Jayfeather found out about the broken warrior code of Leafpool. “Mine’s grasskit, Jaykit, lionkit, and dewkit.” All of the she-kits were wailing and rolling in the nest, Dewkit. She looked like a ready kit, five moons old. She curiously looked around with her mist-colored eyes, then groomed her striped fur.
Wow! She’s opened her eyes already. And she has stripes…. Dovewing thought as she entered the nursery to peek around. Dewkit confidently marched to the fresh-kill pile, selected a fat squirrel, and carried it towards the nursery, wobbling on her skinny legs. Briarlight was still drowsy from poppyseeds when jayfeather came in to lick his kits. He heard Dewkit rambling about the camp while her sisters suckled for mother’s milk. Turning his sightless gaze on Dovewing, he said, “she’s the one you’re looking for.”
“Dewkit. She’s going to save the sixth clan. The Earth Clan.”