It is the middle of leafbare, and though there is still no snow to be seen, the river is frozen solid: forcing the RiverClan cats to hunt in the woodland stretch of their territory for the first time. Cloverpaw, a RiverClan apprentice, has always imagined having her warrior ceremony with her sister Flowerpaw at her side. But Flowerpaw's naming ceremony comes and goes-without Cloverpaw. Cloverpaw's mentor, the Clan deputy Mapletail, tells her that maybe she isn't fit to be a warrior, but a medicine cat. Cloverpaw used to want more than anything to become a warrior, but now, she finds herself realizing new things about herself-and her future. When the Clan gets back from a Gathering and Cloverpaw finds that her mother was murdered, Cloverpaw will have to make a choice.
Eclipsestar-Dark gray tom with a bluish tint and white paws and muzzle, and blue eyes
Mapletail-Dark red she-cat with deep green eyes (Mentor to Cloverpaw)
Honeyblossom-Pale ginger she-cat with darker patches and dark blue eyes
Mossleap-Tortoiseshell she-cat with dark yellow eyes
Graystorm-Gray tom with amber eyes (Mentor to Streampaw)
Oakfall-Brown tabby tom with yellow eyes
Mirewind-White and gray she-cat with green eyes (Mentor to Leopardpaw)
Goldwind-Gold tabby she-cat with green eyes (Mother to Hawkpaw and Leopardpaw)
Aspencall-Ginger she-cat with green eyes and thick fur Mahoganyshade-Light brown tom with green eyes (Father to Primrosepetal and Rosemarylight; former mate to Leafwhisker)
Leafwhisker-Black she-cat with gray paws and blue eyes (Mother to Cloverpaw and Flowerpaw)
Primrosepetal-White, fluffy, yellow eyed she-cat (Sister to Rosemarylight; mentor to Flowerpaw)
Rosemarylight-White she-cat with brown tabby patches and green eyes (Sister to Primrosepetal; mentor to Hawkpaw)
Runningpool-Dark brown she-cat with ice blue eyes
Lightstep-Pale gray and white tabbytom (Father to Hawkpaw and Leopardpaw)
Fernbounce-Brown and white tabby tom with green eyes
Creekfall-Pale gray and white tabby tom with blue eyes (Streampaw's older brother from an earlier litter)
Pinesplash-Brown and gray patched she-cat with amber eyes, mother to Oakfall's kits: Wolfkit(a gray she-kit with a white muzzle, chest, paws, and a white tail tip and ear tips), Robinkit (a gray tabby she-kit), and Troutpaw (a light gray and white tom) Cindertail-Gray tabby she-cat with blue eyes, expecting Graystorm's kits Pebblekit (a gray she-kit), and Flashkit (a gray tabby tomkit)
Cloverpaw-White she-cat with ginger patches, black speckles, and blue eyes
Flowerpaw-Black and white she-cat with yellow eyes
Streampaw-Pale gray tabby she-cat with white paws and muzzle, and blue eyes
Leopardpaw-Yellow she-cat with darker paws and amber eyes
Hawkpaw-Yellow tom tabby with amber eyes
Stemstripe-Brown tabby tom with yellow eyes
Dappledust-White she-cat with a black tail, ears, and spots, and amber eyes
Leader: Applestar-Russet colored she-cat with brown eyes and torn ears
Astralfur-Ginger tom with yellow eyes
Frostheart-Fluffy, long furred white ragdoll she-cat with a gray face, paws, and ears, and
blue eyes (Duskpaw's mentor)
Ferncreek-Tortoiseshell and white she-cat with stunning leafy green eyes (Jaypaw's mentor)
Loonriddle-Gray tom with darker speckles and green eyes
Aquafeather-Short haired blue gray tom with watery blue eyes
Brambleshine-Yellow tom with green eyes
Perchbranch-Black tom with brown eyes
Pinewhisker-Russet colored tom with green eyes (Foxpaw's mentor)
Breezeheart-White siberian she-cat with long, plumy fur (Brightstorm's sister)
Brightstorm-White siberian she-cat with long, plumy fur and a gray tail (Breezeheart's sister)
Tigercloud-Large brown she-cat with white paws and yellow eyes
Skunktail-Black she-cat with a white stripe on her tail and baby blue eyes
Sprucecloud-Small pale brown tabby she-cat with green eyes
Littlewatcher-Ginger and white tabby tom with blue eyes (Moorpaw's mentor)
Jaypaw-White tom with blue eyes (Moorpaw's brother)
Duskpaw-Ginger tom with green eyes (Medicine cat apprentice)
Moorpaw-White she-cat with yellow eyes (Jaypaw's sister)
Foxpaw-Dark ginger tom with blue eyes
Dawnbreeze-Tortoiseshell she-cat with green eyes (Pregnant with Pinewhisker's kits) Softwhisker-Amber eyed white she-cat with pale gray and pale ginger patches, mother to Perchbranch's kits: Tinykit (a very small pale gray and white she-kit), Lavenderkit (a pale ginger tabby she-kit), Sunkit (a ginger and white tabby tomkit), and Fallingkit (black and white tuxedo tomkit)
Meadowpad-Old black she-cat with white ears
Rapidwater-Light brown she-cat with amber eyes
Milkstem-White tom with brown legs and tail and green eyes
ThunderClan: Leader: Acornstar-Yellow eyed white tom
Deerwater-Black she-cat with brown eyes
Gingersplash-Ginger she-cat with white paws and white tipped tail and ears, and blue eyes
Fawnpetal-Light brown she-cat with white spots on her back and leaf green eyes
Hailfall-Gray tom with black stripes and amber
Willowsong-Pale gray tabby she-cat
Springsplash-Light brown and black she-cat
Flowerdream-Calico she-cat with green eyes
Heavysmoke-Dark gray almost black tom
Vinesnap-Tall, slim black tom with green eyes
Birdsky-Light brown she-cat with blue eyes
Ripplepelt-Ginger, long-furred tom
Tunnelnose-Brown she-cat with a white splash on her nose
Ashwind-Light brown she-cat with blue eyes and darker speckles
Amberdawn-Pale tortoiseshell she-cat
Minnowwhisker-Long-legged black she-cat with green eyes
Honeypaw-Calico she-cat with a short tail
Creampaw-Cream furred she-cat with amber eyes
Silverpaw-Silver tabby tom
Raindance-Blue-eyed, long furred white she-cat with naturally curled ears (Expecting Ripplepelt’s kits)
Birchsong-Light ginger tom with darker legs Blackstream-Old black she-cat with gray paws
Waterstar-Dark gray tom with ice blue eyes and torn ears
Darkpelt-Black pelted tom with amber eyes
Archdrop-White she-cat with brown tabby patches and blue eyes
Coldgaze-White tom with pale gray tabby paws and pale blue eyes (Mentor to Curlpaw)
Gorsetooth-Ginger and white tabby she-cat with yellow eyes
Sorrelcrest-Gray she-cat with green eyes
Barkmask-Pale brown tom with darker rings around his eyes and muzzle
Podstream-Black she-cat with amber eyes
Buzzardslip-Yellow tom with blue eyes
Larktail-Ginger tom with white paws
Grassspeck-Green eyed gray she-cat
Antlertail-Brown and white tabby tom with brown eyes
Runningspots-Spotted ginger tom
Mallowflake-Purplish gray she-cat with deep blue eyes (Mentor to Rainpaw)
Cedarleap-Pale gray she-cat with white splotches and yellow eyes
Sagefur-Black tom with olive greeneyes
Moongaze-White long furred she-cat with one blue eye and one green eye
Sunnytail-Yellow tabby tom with yellow eyes (Mentor to Crowpaw)
Rootface-Brown tom with a black tail
Crowpaw-White she-cat with a black muzzle (Rainpaw and Curlpaw's sister)
Rainpaw-Black and white tuxedo tom (Curlpaw and Crowpaw's brother)
Curlpaw-Black tom with a white tail tip (Crowpaw and Rainpaw's brother)
Pricklestream-Light gray blue eyed she-cat, expecting Larktail's kits) Embersnout-Gray tabby she-cat with green eyes, mother to Sunnytail's kits: Dewkit (A gray tomkit) and Foxkit (A ginger tabby tomkit)
Hazelbreeze-Pale gingerish yellow she- cat with green eyes
Smokepelt-Dark gray tom with a long scar down his back
Drizzlesong-Gray she-cat with one green eye
"Cloverpaw! Cloverpaw!" A black and white patched she-cat barrelled towards me. "Primrosepetal says I can do my assessment today!"
A purr rumbled in my throat, my thick furred tail curling in delight. I smoothed my ruffling fur. Just be happy for her! She's your sister. It's fine. I told myself, forcing a smile. "That's amazing, Flowerpaw!" I meowed. "You're going to be a warrior." You. Not me.
Flowerpaw's face fell and her eyes grew wide worriedly. "Don't worry! I'm sure Mapletail will give you your assessment, soon, Clove!" she responded encouragingly. Flowerpaw always knew how I felt, even when I did my best to hide it.
"Yeah. Me too," I said, forcing my growl to sound cheerful. "But I don't mind, Flow. Once you're a warrior you'll be able to be a mentor! And lead patrols! And hunt food for your clan without your mentor looking over your shoulder..." I trailed off despondently.
Flowerpaw sighed, her ears flattening. I'm just as good at hunting and fighting as her! Mapletail is just stubborn. I told myself bitterly, but in seeing my sister's claws dig into the soft earth in disheartened guilt, shame crept into my fur.
"I'm sorry, Flow. I'm happy for you, truly. I'm so glad you're going to be a warrior! It's just, I always imagined you and I would become warriors together." I lashed my tail. And we should be made warriors together! But it's not like I can tell that to Mapletail. The Clan deputy would probably just put her on dung-clearing duty just for mentioning it.
Flowerpaw gave a sad smile. "I know, Clove. I really do understand how you feel. I wish you could be a warrior, too! Honestly, I thought you should've become a warrior last moon, with Aspenpaw and Creekpaw."
Aspenpaw-recently made into Aspencall-and another apprentice, Creekpaw, had both been made into warriors a moon ago; Creekpaw had had to leave behind his own sister, Streampaw, Cloverpaw's good friend.
Cloverpaw grinned, bending her head down to give her chest fur a few embarrassed licks. "Well, Flowerpaw, that's kind of you. Tomorrow after your assessment, you're going to be made the best warrior ever!" she exclaimed, fur prickling in excitement. I'm upset we won't be made warriors together, but Flow doesn't need to feel bad about her success.
"I wonder what my warrior name will be!" Flowerpaw purred, wheat colored eyes lighting up once more.
The possibilities flashed in my mind. "Flowerpetal, Flowershine, Flowerclaw!"
Flowerpaw paused, a pained expression crossing her gaze. "Not Flowerclaw."
I froze. Stupid Cloverpaw! I scolded myself. How could I forget? Clawbelly just died three moons ago! Obviously his death is still raw in her mind. "Of course not." There was a long, awkward pause, Flowerpaw staring somberly at her feet. "Maybe Flowerfur?" I suggested hesitantly.
Flowerpaw's sad gaze met mine, and she meowed a monotonous reply. "Maybe." She turned and I followed her gaze to our den, where Streampaw, Leopardpaw, and Hawkpaw- the other three apprentices- were sharing tongues at the bramble entrance. "I'm going to go head to bed," she said dully, padding away, her plume of a tail dragging behind her.
I stared after her in dismay. Flowerpaw was the brightest, happiest cat you'd ever meet-unless you mentioned her dead best friend. Clawbelly would have been her mate some day, I knew. But after that WindClan cat killed him, it ruined everything. And it's my fault.
"Loonriddle! Help!" The WindClan warrior yowled to his clanmate. Loonriddle raced to where her friend was pinned beneath Clawbelly and leaped at the Riverclan cat. I was too frozen to move, my paws seemingly rooted to the ground. I knew I had a clear path to my Clanmate-only a few paw steps and I could bowl over Loonriddle and release Clawbelly. But I didn't move.
Flowerpaw's wail snapped me out of my trance as Loonriddle clamped her jaws around Clawbelly's throat. Crimson liquid oozed out of the wound when she lifted her head. Clawbelly's eyes began to glaze over, and his ruffled fur began to smooth as he fell limp beneath Loonriddle.
My sister's best friend and future mate had died in that battle. That petty, stupid, territory battle that should never have even happened.
And it was my fault.
I lifted my muzzle, scenting the air apprehensively, and opened my jaws, letting the smell of the forest bathe my scent glands. Mouse. I glanced around and angled my ears toward where I could hear little squeaks coming from the roots of a large oak tree. I dropped into an awkward crouch.
I'm not meant for forest hunting! I thought in exasperation. But it was the middle of leaf-bare, and though it had not snowed yet, the river had frozen over, forcing RiverClan to use the stretch of woodland territory along the border with the twolegplace.
I padded uncertainty towards the tree, careful not to step on any of the crunchy fallen leaves that littered the forest floor. "Put your weight into your haunches. Mice will feel you coming before they hear you, so even if you don't make a sound they can feel your pawsteps through the vibrations in the ground." Mapletail's voice echoed in my mind.
Stupid Mapletail! I thought bitterly, lashing my tail. I deserve to be a warrior! I froze. The mouse had bolted up and was glancing around fearfully, letting out scared little squeaks. No, no, no! I thought angrily. I need to catch this! The mouse began to creep nearer towards the roots of a tree. Oh no you don't!
I raced towards the tree, skidding on the dead leaves. Unable to stop in time, I barrelled right over the roots of the oak and stumbled to a crashing halt in front of a pair of creamy red paws. I groaned inwardly. Of course it had to be her that saw me. I lifted my head slowly, already dreading whatever horrible punishment or nasty words she had for me this time.
Sure enough, Mapletail's disapproving green glare bore down on me, making my pelt prickle indignantly.
And to make things worse, a freshly killed mouse was dangling from her jaws.
"You missed this mouse, Cloverpaw," my mentor meowed.
As if I didn't know that! I thought angrily. Mapletail always treated me like a kit!
"You wouldn't have missed it if you hadn't moved your tail," the deputy went on. "I told you to always keep your tail straight when hunting in the forest, especially in leaf-bare or leaf-fall, when there are dry leaves around that will easily disturb your prey."
She fixed me with a familiar stern look, and I braced myself for the scolding that was sure to come next. "Why did you lash your tail, Cloverpaw?" I was taken aback.
"Uh...What?" No 'You're on tick duty for the rest of the day,'? No 'You don't get to eat until you catch something for your Clan,'?
Mapletail rolled her eyes, but her gaze grew surprisingly soft. "I'm sure your sister told you by now about Prim giving her her assessment today," she meowed, shifting her paws.
I looked at my feet and dug my claws uncomfortably into the soil. The dead leaves surrounding me suddenly seemed much more interesting.
I felt Mapletail's gaze studying me for a long time, and I wished that then and there the ground would open me up and swallow me whole. At last, the deputy spoke.
"Cloverpaw, I understand you must be feeling upset. You were obviously expecting to graduate with your sister. But every cat learns at their own pace. And some cats are just..." she paused once more, "...not meant to be warriors."
I froze, my fur rising in alarm. My ears flattened. What does she mean? 'Some cats aren't meant to be warriors'? Does she think I'm not meant to be a warrior?! What else would I be? Another thought hit me. What if she's going to tell Eclipsestar to exile me from RiverClan? Panic was beginning to bubble up inside of me.
Mapletail must have seen my face, as she added hastily, "I don't mean you can't be in RiverClan. But...Mossleap trained as a warrior before she became a medicine cat, you know."
Um, that's cool. For a moment I wondered blankly why she was telling me this. Then I realized what she was trying to say. She thinks I'm not fit to be a warrior! She wants me to become a medicine cat!
I was unable to speak, shock choking me.
But Mapletail wasn't finished.
"I'm going to speak to Eclipsestar when we get back to camp and tell him about what happened today-really, what's always happened. And then I'm going to speak to Honeyblossom and Mossleap about transferring your training to the medicine cats' den."
IF YOU'D LIKE TO CONTINUE READING, PLEASE CHECK OUT MY WATTPAD ACCOUNT @_CLOVERSPLASH_, WHERE YOU WILL FIND THE COMPLETED BOOKS ONE AND TWO OF THE DAWNING SNOW SERIES, AND BOOK THREE WHICH IS IN PROGRESS!