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This is a short story about an apprentice who's days turn into lessons for his life, but it also shows that some lessons need to be followed.

This cat has autism, which means he can't really commute his emotions and other's feelings.

Lessons

Today was bright, long and hot. Green-leaf once more had rolled in and each cat was enjoying it.

My name is Goldenpaw, I am a bright golden tom with orange eyes.

I am normal, shy, quiet. Not a cat who is very good at fighting, I do well at hunting though. My only friend is Brightpaw, a brown she-cat with blue eyes. She's normal like me too, except she is a great fighter and hunter.

We went hunting earlier, since I'm WindClan I caught a rabbit...But she caught a crow that was lifting into flight.

When we got back to camp the crow fed more than my rabbit.

Learn to hunt birds better, it will feed your Clan more than a rabbit.


Brightpaw taught me how to catch a small looking bird, it was blue, I think she called it a blue-jay, but it didn't matter. She made me feel warm inside.

I complemented her on her hunting, even though it was tiny words she still looked pleased. I felt warm again.

When I brought the 'jay back to camp, it fed two elders, Fernflower and Rabbiteyes. They seemed pleased in me but I didn't really talk to them.

Act less embarrassed when elder's compliment your hunting...And do more things to make you feel warm.


Our leader keeps telling us that ThunderClan is acting weirdly, mostly at the gathering we went to yesterday. I didn't mind, I mostly ignored him.

Brightpaw seemed worried, I don't understand though, she has nothing to be scared about. Her family is safe in the camp, her mother and father are star warriors.

My parents died in a battle, one was drowned when she fell into a river during a battle with RiverClan. My father died from blood loss, other warriors say I am brave not to be sad at this.

Why should I be sad?

Understand sadness, even though it confuses you so much.


Our leader is getting more and more on edge, so is Brightpaw. I don't really understand though....But then I realize lots of warriors have their neck fur prickled at the scent of ThunderClan even close to our border.

Soon one of our warriors dissapeared, I think his name was Whitepelt, but he looked like a big fluffy cloud in my eyes. Brightpaw was awefully sad at this, I think she was her father's brother....Not sure.

I tried to comfort her, but I didn't know how. My tail waved across the ground in great dis-comfort as she blurted out her feeling's to me.

Feelings?

Try to feel what Brightpaw is feeling...But what is she feeling?


The warm feeling I get around Brightpaw fades each day, she seems to avoid me....She says that her emotions can't handle my emptiness. She looked mad when she said it to me.

Should I feel shame? Sadness? Pain? I have no idea.

Another gathering came up again, ThunderClan was very hostile toward's WindClan. Threats don't bother me, but when we got back to camp our leader was very afraid.

So was everyone else.

How come everyone I see is feeling fear of another Clan who hasn't done anything to us yet?


A few warriors came back with wounds, they said that a ThunderClan patrol attacked them, declaring war on WindClan.

One of the warriors was Brightpaw's father, she seemed frightened and rushed to his aid.

She's been ignoring me more than ever, mostly since yesterday when I told her I didn't understand how her fear was a trouble.

The next day Brightpaw's father passed on from his wounds bleeding too much overnight....I actually felt something....

Not fear, not pain...But grief. Why? He wasn't my father, but my father has passed away from the same concept.

Brightpaw finally seemed to notice me again....

Grief shows relief in Brightpaw....Or that's what I think.


Brightpaw enjoys spending time with me, we keep close since we can't leave camp often. Our leader says it's too dangerous.

Whenever we are able to leave, she teaches me fighting skills, I teach her how to watch the birds sing in the trees. She says that was a great lesson since she usually hunts and doesn't watch.

"Goldenpaw," She began a question. "Do you....Love me?"

"Love?" I commented back.

I didn't understand 'love', what was that? Was that the feeling of when my mother died? Or was it when my father nuzzled me for the last time?

"Oh...I see..." Brightpaw turned away, she opened her mouth to say something else but slipped away into the moors.

What is love..?


I was nice today, mostly because it was the first day in a moon a patrol wasn't attacked and at least one cat wasn't injured.

Happiness? I guess I felt that.

Brightpaw is avoiding me in an awkward way, well at least I feel awkward. She sort of smiles at me and her pelt turns hot whenever I come near.

Do I have something in my teeth?

But our leader had a strange outburst of fear, he began talking rubbish to us...What's happening?

Understand the pain of your leader better, or just try to understand what he's saying.


Our leader talked about battle earlier, a battle with ThunderClan.

Brightpaw is now showing full emotion, anger, fright and sadness. All at once! Can you believe it?

She told me, but again...Did I understand? Nope. This angered her again.

Should I laugh? No....I at least have common sense.

I took a walk through the forest earlier, the bird's chirping made me smile, I suppose....

The day grew on and I scented ThunderClan, I felt confused to I went back to camp and told our leader.

He was frightened.

Don't tell leader about scents, they over-react too much.


Brightpaw stayed beside me....The whole day she whispered things about how she scented them coming.

Then it all went wrong...ThunderClan burst through the moor. Cats swarmed in by the dozens, beginning their attack instantly on us.

Brightpaw made me get up to fight, she led me over towards an apprentice, he looked vicious and I was tempted to back out.

The apprentice lept onto me, slashing me with thorn sharp claws. What do I do?! I was scared...Scare? I was never scared before....

Brightpaw shoved him off and looked to me with a surprised, and utterly shocked expression.

"You....Aren't normal Goldenpaw..." She meowed and went to attack the cat.

Normal...? The medicine cat told me that once....

The apprentice was sent running at Brightpaw's fighting talents, but then...The worst of all happened.

I was knocked to the ground, it was by a warrior, so much bigger than me....

Brightpaw helped me fight him, but he unsheathed his claws, hunger and a wild expression held deep in his eyes. He let out a bloodstained grin and pierced the long white thorns into my neck.

I coughed, coughed up blood onto the ground. The weight from my body was lifted and I couldn't scent the tom anymore.

Brightpaw had rushed to my side, my vision was fuzzy but I saw a huge gash on the side of her head. She look feint, I also felt the same...

She collapsed at my flank. "Goldenpaw...." She sobbed. "No, no, no...."

I sputtered out more blood and it felt sticky near my neck. Sticky, painful and my neck felt as if it was on fire.

Brightpaw's wound gushed blood, I turned my aching head away, it was even more painful seeing her wound.

"Brightpaw..." I whimpered.

She looked towards me, the scent of ThunderClan seemed to be fading. But the scent of blood was fresh.

"I know what love is..." I whispered.

Brightpaw's smile quivered and hot tears hit my fur and she nuzzled my cheek. "You...Love is you...." Her head lay on my chest.

My eyes slowly were closing, and my flank was slowing...I could see the same thing was happening to her. We'd be going to the same place....But I wanted it to happen.

I felt the brush of Brightpaw's whiskers as she gave me one last nuzzle before my eyes closed.

Forever.

I know what feelings mean now...Even if I have no life to live to show them.

My favorite feeling is love, she taught it to me.

Love is Brightpaw.

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