The Blossoming Birch tree - Part 1

By Sorrelflower.

Chapter 1

Blossomdew wriggled her haunches, her amber eyes focused on the squirrel, which had it's head in a hole in the ground. It rose with half a nut in it's mouth; it's eyes were confused for a moment, and then they became full of fear. She sank her teeth into it's neck; it wriggled, and then died.

"Nice catch." said a voice.

"Whitebirch!" she gasped. "You startled me." Blossomdew saw the tom cat crouched in a tree above, his grey eyes glistening. He was white in colour, short fur and very light brown and grey markings, much like those of birch tree bark. He jumped down the tree, a coal tit in his jaws.

"Want to go back to camp?"

"Sure." Blossomdew and Whitebirch padded back to the gorge, their prey in their jaws. Blossomdew was a tortoisehell and white she-cat, with amber eyes and long, fluffy fur. She lived in SkyClan, which was under rule of Leafstar. In the camp, Frecklewish's tail was flicking from the medicine cat den, and Sandfur was talking to Harrynose and Fireflower. They put their catches on the fresh-kill pile, and Blossomdew padded away to her parents, Mintfur and Harveymoon, who were eating a squirrel together.

"Good morning, Blossomdew." Mintfur purred after swallowing a piece of squirrel. Harveymoon tried to speak, but his speech was muffled by squirrel fluff. He teased it from his teeth and greeted her. Harveymoon had once been a kittypet and daylight warrior, but he was a full warrior now.

"Hello mother, father." she mewed.

"I saw you walk in with Whitebirch." remarked Mintfur. "Handsome, fine young tom, really - strong, brave..." she exchanged an amused glance with Harveymoon.

"For the thousandth time, he is not my mate."

"Are you sure?" Harveymoon made a mrrow of amusment.

"Positive. I'm going to see Vixenwhisker." Blossomdew made her way up the cliff, and into the nursery.

"Hi, Blossomdew."

"Hi, Vixenwhisker, how are the kits coming along?" Vixenwhisker was just like a vixen - auburn fur, black ears, a paler muzzle, sandy whiskers, amber eyes, a thick, white tipped tail.

"I'm sure they're fine." Vixenwhisker was curled up in her mossy nest in the nursery, her belly swollen with kits.

"So, where's the father?"

"Voletail? He's on border patrol. Where's your mate?"

"He isn't my mate."

"Oh, sure." she purred.

Chapter 2

Blossomdew was curled up on the tree stump. This was her favourite place in the territory. The tree stump was covered almost completly with soft, springy moss, and it stood in a small clearing with a stream running through it. Patches of mint, lavender, and even some poppies grew at the edges. The sunlight dappled her pelt through the trees, and she sighed happily.

"Mind if I join you?"

"Whitebirch!" she jumped when the white tom leapt up onto the tree stump beside her. "Er, sure." Blossomdew curled back up, and Whitebirch sat there too.

"Kits would love playing here." he remarked, and Blossomdew felt his skin go hot with embarrassment.

"Yes, they would." she murmured. Whitebirch relaxed beside her, and his skin cooled. He began to groom her pelt, teasing some scraps of fern out.

"You know, I've heard cats asking me about you. They keep thinking that we're mates." Blossomdew knew where he as going with this. "And I realized that I really enjoy spending time with you, Blossomdew. I... I'd like you to be my mate." he paused, looking deeply into her eyes. She gazed back, thinking deeply.

"I... I'd like you to be mine too." As she said that, Whitebirch let out loud purring, and began to lick her ears, purring with happiness.

Chapter 3

Blossomdew returned with Whitebirch, her tail entwined with his. She noticed her mother and father a few fox-lengths away, looking happy as they spotted her and Whitebirch. From the nursery, Voletail was pacing, and she noticed that Frecklewish and her appprentice, Smokepaw, were no where to be seen. She saw Cherrytail and Sharpclaw gazing up at the nursery, looking anxious; after all, Vixenwhisker was their daughter. Whitebirch was also their son, making him Vixenwhisker's brother. Blossomdew and Whitebirch walked faster.

"Vixenwhisker 's having her kits." Cherrytail mewed when they came over.

"How is she, Voletail?" Sharpclaw yowled up to Vixenwhisker's mate. The brown, short tailed tom looked down at them, his yellow eyes wide and anxious.

"Smokepaw says she's doing fine." he replied, and disappeared a moment later when she heard Frecklewish mew something. Several moments later, Smokepaw appeared, and went toward the medicine cat den.

"Have they been born yet, Smokepaw?" Whitebirch asked the smoke coloured apprentice, who turned her bright blue eyes toward him.

"Two kits, both toms!" Smokepaw replied cheerfully. "They're so cute!" she whisked into the medicine cat den, and reappeared, with some herbs in her jaws. Blossomdew recognised borage and a spiky leafed one. As an apprentice, she had broken her leg (which had healed, thankfully) and in her time in the medicine cat den, she had learned a bit about some herbs.

"Raspberry leaves?" she asked, anxiously. "Is she bleeding?"

"A little; they were born a bit early, but it's not very serious. She'll recover in no time."

Blossomdew waited. There was a small queue of cats, waiting to get a glimpse of the new kits. Vixenwhisker was still tired from kitting, so only two cats at a time was allowed to visit her. Cherrytail and Sharpclaw came out.

"They're beautiful!" Cherrytail purred to Blossomdew and Whitebirch.

"Next." Frecklewish called. Blossomdew and Whitebirch padded into the nursery. Clovertail dozed on the other side of the nursery. In a soft nest of moss and bracken, Vixenwhisker lay, her tail curled around two tom kits, one ginger tabby and one black.

"Aww, they're cute!" Whitebirch whispered, as not to wake the sleeping kits.

"Do they have names yet?" Blossomdew asked.

"The ginger tabby is Foxkit, and the black is Nightkit." Vixenwhisker murmured sleepily.

Chapter 4

Foxkit and Nightkit played happily, sqeauking with delight as  Blossomdew flicked her tail to and fro, dancing it out of reach whenever one of them pounced onto it. Vixenwhisker was washing herself. Whitebirch was out on border patrol with Tinycloud, Sandyfoot, Ebonyclaw and Cherrytail. Apparently, a badger had been scented inside the territory, and they were going to investigate. Fireflower padded up to Leafstar, and mewed about the possibility of a badger attack.

"Don't be ridiculous. Why would a bunch of badgers come here?" but Leafstar had a haunted look in her eyes - she was nervous. Blossomdew then remembered Echosong, the former medicine cat. There had been badger scent on the ground where Echosong's scent had stopped adruptly. There had been a bit of blood, and Echosong had not been seen since that fateful day several moons ago. Whether Echosong was still alive, she had no idea at all.

She almost jumped out of her pelt when Vixenwhisker padded up to her.

"You look... tired, Blossomdew." She meowed. "Are you feeling alright?"

"Fine, Vixenwhisker... absolutly fine." but her friend looked doubtful as she gazed at her. Whitebirch and the patrol had been gone an awfully long time.

Chapter 5

The whole clan was obviously worried, with the patrol being gone for so long. So Leafstar organised three patrols which would each search a part of SkyClan territory. But Blossomdew was tired of waiting. She knew that something had happened. So she had headed into the forest with the only cat that wasn't busy - Smokepaw. She would have asked Vixenwhisker, but of course the young queen was tending to her kits.

"Shouldn't we head back?" Smokepaw mewed. "It's almost night time - we'll be missed."

"Smokepaw, you are quite a wanderer yourself. You tend to wander off at random times - StarClan knows where. Watch that root, Smokepaw." too late. Smokepaw gave a startled sqeauk as she tripped. She hauled the apprentice to her paws, and they carried on.

"Come on, we should climb the trees. We'll get a better view of the forest." Blossomdew leapt onto an oak tree, and began to climb. Smokepaw followed, her white tail tip standing out against her pelt and the bark of the tree. They leapt from tree to tree, looking down and around for the missing patrol.

"Wouldn't we hear Ebonyclaw's collar?"

"And hedgehogs might fly, Smokepaw; you know she stuffs moss under it to keep it quiet. I think we should go back to the ground, now." they made their way down the tree, and to the ground. And then they heard a yowl - a yowl of distress.

Chapter 6

Blossomdew froze as she heard the screech. She knew who it was.

"That's Tinycloud!" she gasped.

"We have to get to her!" yowled Smokepaw, and she began to run toward the sound. Blossomdew raced after the apprentice, who was Tinycloud's daughter.

"Wait, Smokepaw! It might not be safe!" Blossomdew tried to catch up to her, but Smokepaw's smaller size gave her the advantag, and she got through the undergrowth faster then her. Blossomdew willed herself to run faster. Finally, she exploded out of some bushes, skidding to a stop. Ebonyclaw had her claws sank into an overhang. She raced over, and pulled the daylight warrior away from the roaring water - but then she saw Whitebirch clinging to a rock, his birch-bark patterned pelt soaking wet.

"Blossomdew!" he cried.

"Whitebirch!" she left Ebonyclaw panting for breath on the grass, and flung herself into the river, swimming towards him. But then there was a dark shape. A massive pile up of logs, branches, and river debris loomed above them. Smokepaw and Tinycloud were drapped on one branch, both unconcious. Sandyfoot was still concious, his claws sunken into a log. The pile hit her and Whitebirch, and everything was going dark. Ebonyclaw was on the overhang, yowling for help, and trying to reach them, to no avail. The last thing she heard was a yowl, of Cherrytail and Ebonyclaw.

Chapter 7

Her head felt like it had been rammed into a stone wall. She was lying on a sandy river bank, the water gently washing up the shore. Her legs felt wobbly as she staggered to her paws.

"Blossomdew. Are you alright?" there was a small voice. Cherrytail was there, supporting her.

"Whitebirch...Smokepaw... where is everyone?"

"I don't know." whispered Cherrytail.

"We have to find them - and Sandyfoot and Tinycloud. They can't be that far."

"Cherrytail, Blossompaw? Is it really you?" they whipped round. A silver shape was in the bushes - one that neither of them had seen for moons. Only one would call her Blossompaw, as she had disappeared just before she had recieved her warrior name.


Chapter 8

"Where have you been?" spluttered Cherrytail.

"It's a long story..." Echosong sighed. "Alright, I was wounded by a badger, as you may know. I was so... so dizzy, so confused. I could barely know where I was going. I remember falling into a river, and being swept down it... and I ended up a long, long way from here. I've been travelling for moons. How in StarClan did you get here?"

"Well, me and Smokepaw went out to find a missing patrol, and somehow we all ended up in the river... and that's it. We've got to find them all!" Blossomdew mewed, looking around.

"Firstly, who is Smokepaw?"

"Tinycloud's daughter - gray with white paws and tail tip, blue eyes."

"I saw a young cat like that at dawn - but she ran off at the sight of me." Echosong's face then creased into a frown of concerntration. "Let's split up. Who are we looking for?"

"Whitebirch - you'll know him as Whitepaw. And Tinycloud and Sandyfoot." Cherrytail turned to some pine trees, and looked back. "We'll meet back here at sun-high with anyone we find."

Chapter 9

Blossomdew was still shocked as she padded toward some ferns. She hadn't seen Echosong for so long! Leafstar and Frecklewish would be delighted to see her.

"Whitebirch, Smokepaw?" she called. "Sandyfoot, Tinycloud? Are you here?" she listened for a reply, to hear nothing. She sighed, and went back toward the shore, toward some rocks. Maybe a cat had been caught there? Just then, A dark ginger leg poked out, followed by the pale ginger body.

"Sandyfoot!" she sprang forward, and pulled him out.

"What happened?" he asked in a dazed voice. "Where are we?"

"I don't know, just help me look for the others, okay? I'll explain when we get back." together, they headed back into the forest.

"Tinycloud, Smokepaw?" Sandyfoot called.

"Whitebirch?" Blossomdew yowled. Suddenly, they froze, hearing a cry through the trees.

Chapter 10

"Help us!" they both knew the voice. They began to run, and then they bursted into a clearing. Smokepaw lay with her eyes closed, her ear torn and bleeding. Tinycloud shielded her from the fox, which now had a triumphant gleam in its eyes. As it plucked Tinycloud from the ground and tossed her aside, throwing her against a tree, Sandyfoot yowled, and threw himself onto the fox to defend his half sister and her kit.

"Get Smokepaw into that tree!" screeched Blossomdew to Tinycloud, who had staggered to her paws. "I'll take care of the fox with Sandyfoot!" as the white she-cat grasped her daughter's scruff and began to haul herself and the unconcious Smokepaw up a pine tree, Blossomdew leapt into battle, into the whirlwind of fur. The fox snapped and snarled as she and Sandyfoot fought, and then, together, they pushed up with their hindpaws, sending it flying into a bramble bush. As it tried to tear itself free, she and Sandyfoot clawed their way up the pine tree to Tinycloud and Smokepaw. Blossomdew suddenly lost her footing, and she hung there by her front paws, yowling in panic. The fox had freed itself, and was leaping, trying to snap at her dangling paws and tail. But then with her flailing hindpaws, she lashed at one of its eyes, and it howled, its eye now bleeding and swollen. Tinycloud and Sandyfoot locked their teeth in her scruff, and hauled her up to safety.

Chapter 11

Smokepaw groaned, and her blue eyes fluttered open. Tinycloud let out a squeak of relief, and nuzzled the gray she-cat's cheek. Echosong had applied some marigold to her ear, as well as Tinycloud's, Blossomdew's and Sandyfoot's injuries from the fox. Echosong had not found anyone, but Cherrytail had not yet returned - and where was Whitebirch? It was well past sun-high. Whilst the found cats fretted over their injuries, she took a step back toward the forest, and slunk off. They were so concerned by Smokepaw that they wouldn't notice her gone for a while; she was going to find Cherrytail and her mate herself.

"Whitebirch!" she called. A few birds fluttered up from the trees. "Cherrytail! Where are you?" Blossomdew plodded through the woods, trying to find any of them - she wasn't going back empty pawed. Suddenly, a familar scent tickled her scent glands; she was relieved. Whitebirch! She began to follow the trail through the forest. Soon she found tracks. But she became increasingly concerned.The tracks were uneven. Only three tracks, not four. That meant he was walking on three legs! And then, she caught the salty tang of blood. 

"Whitebirch!" she yowled, failing to notice the gorge in front of her.

"Blossomdew!" screeched Cherrytail, barreling into her.

"Cherrytail! There you are!" she gasped. "What -"

"It's Whitebirch!" wailed Cherrytail. "I saw him on a ledge, down there!" Blossomdew peered over the edge. There was Whitebirch, unconcious, lying on the edge. His front left paw was matted and red with blood.

"Oh no!" Blossomdew whispered. How on earth were they going to get him out?

"I'll go back to get Echosong and anyone you've found!" Cherrytail mewed, and turned, running back the way they came. "We'll figure something out, and get him out of there, I promise!"

Chapter 12

"Whitebirch! Can you hear me, Whitebirch?" she yowled. He didn't respond. She began to pace. How would they get him out? He was too far down to reach, and his injury meant he wouldn't be able to climb up. But then, she heard a soft moan.

"Whitebirch?" she called down to him. "Are you alright?" her mate moved slightly, and then rolled onto his back to look at her.

"Blossomdew..." he groaned. "Help.... me." his head sank onto the moss, and his eyes closed, but he was still breathing.

"I will, Whitebirch! I will, I promise! I need to figure out something, though!" but then she heard paw steps. "The others are here, all of them, but I think Ebonyclaw got to safety back home! Even Echosong, Whitebirch! She's alive!"

"Is he awake?" Echosong mewed.

"He was a minute ago, but he's injured, badly! He can only walk on three legs, and he's bleeding!" Blossomdew could see that the mossy ledge Whitebirch lay on was already dark with his blood. Smokepaw had seen it too, and was looking at several bushes, trying to see any medicine herbs.

"How will we get him?" mewed Smokepaw peering over. "It's so steep!"

"Any bright ideas?" Tinycloud asked. They stood in silence, but then Sandyfoot spoke up.

"Willow vines!"

"What? Willow vines?" Cherrytail turned to him, confusion swimming in her green gaze. Blossomdew glanced at a nearby willow tree, and then her eyes widened.

"You're a genius, Sandyfoot!"

"I have my moments." purred the tom.

Chapter 13

Echosong was hidden by the willow vines, but they saw her fluffy tail swish downwards, as she nipped off too long vines. Tinycloud rushed forward, and grabbed them before they could fall into the gorge. The small white she-cat dragged them back, and dropped them on the ground.

"Who's going down?" she asked. Smokepaw stepped forward.

"I'll go, Ma. I'm the lightest of us all." Tinycloud parted her jaws to protest, but Blossomdew reasoned with her; it was true. They all worked together to tie it securingly around her, and then, they started to lower her down. Blossomdew was nervous not the snap the willow vine in her jaws, and stiffened when the weight disappeared, but then she let out a sigh of relief when Smokepaw yowled,

"I'm on it! I'll tie it onto him." She felt the vine tug in her teeth. "Now!" all cats started to pull. The weight was heavier, and harder to stand. But then she saw a pair of white ears, followed by a bloodied paw. She let go, and helped Whitebirch to safety. She pressed her muzzle into his fur, breathing in his scent. Smokepaw appeared, hauling herself over the edge. They were safe! Both safe!

"Thank you." she whispered to Smokepaw.

Chapter 14

Blossomdew saw the crystal gray eyes open slowly. His paw had gone from red to green and yellow from the mixture of herbs.

"Blossomdew." murmured Whitebirch, his uninjured paw stretching out toward her. She put her paw atop of his, and nuzzled him like he was a kit.

"How are you, Whitebirch?" Smokepaw had entered the bush which they were in.

"My... my leg is hurting."

"Okay, I'll find some dandelion leaves to ease the pain." Smokepaw returned a few minutes later, and she gave some dandelion leaves to Whitebirch, which he chewed. He gave a small sigh of relief. As he began to drift into a doze, she looked up at Smokepaw.

"I'm just wondering, but what did you and Echosong give to him?"

"Goldenrod, horsetail and cobwebs for his wound. He had a wrenched claw too, to which we added comfery."

"Smokepaw?" they heard Tinycloud's mew. "Where are you?"

"Oh - got to go now. Call me or Echosong if something goes wrong." the gray she-cat whisked out of the bush, and Blossomdew curled up beside Whitebirch, closing her eyes.

Chapter 15

The plan was to follow the river, and hopefully find SkyClan. Whitebirch was well enough to walk now, and they were to set off the next day.

Blossomdew leapt from the heartwood tree toward another, as high as she could. She did a somersault in the air, and sank her claws into the branch of the other tree, scrambling up. This was one of her skills; acorobatic moves in trees and air. She leapt from tree to tree, ebony to oak, ash to spruce, yew to beech, doing all sorts of twists and flips, until she reached a part fo the forest was full of pine trees.

But I have to hunt. We must get our strength. But as Blossomdew leapt to the forest floor, she heard a voice, a snarl.

Chapter 16

"Having fun, mange-pelt?" Her fur rose on her spine, and she turned. She was surrounded. A cream coloured she-cat, a dark tabby tom, a ginger tom, and a young cat that looked like an apprentice.

"Who - who are you?" she asked, trying not to quiver with fright. All of them were large and well muscled, all flexing long claws and baring sharp teeth. The cream she-cat thrusted her muzzle into Blossomdew's face.

"What are you doing on ShadowClan territory?" she hissed.

Clan? ShadowClan? Where have I heard that before?

"Yeah. Are you stealing prey?" the ginger tom spat.

"Dawnpelt, Starlingwing, I think we need to take this... this stranger back to camp." mewed the dark tabby. "Don't you think so, Adderpaw?"

"I agree, Tigerheart."

They've all got clan names! Mother told me all the other four clans that cat called Firestar told us about! This must be one of them! Suddenly, she was driven by fear as she remembered her mother's words.

"Firestar told us of all four clans that lived far down the river. ShadowClan was the most ferocious, it was said that their hearts were chilled by the north wind."

Chapter 17

So frightened, she leapt toward the nearest; Dawnpelt, the cream she-cat. She had picked the wrong opponent. Dawnpelt was huge, much bigger then her, and she was pinned in seconds.

"Bad mistake." she spat, and then Starlingwing and Tigerheart hauled her roughly to her paws.

"You don't understand!" she protested, ignoring Adderpaw, who was giving her tail a few nips when she tried to back out of the two toms, who were pressed on either side of her. "I'm from SkyClan!"

"SkyClan?" snorted Tigerheart. "Nice try. The other clans are ThunderClan, WindClan and RiverClan."

"Wait! Take me to ThunderClan! Firestar and Sandstorm know where I'm from!" suddenly, all the ShadowClan cats halted.

"Firestar died a few moons ago, after the Dark Forest battle." said Starlingwing. Blossomdew stared.

How can he be dead? Impossible!

"What about Sandstorm?" she prompted. Please, she had to be alive! Her life could depend on it.

"She's alive, yes. Fine. We'll escort you there."

"But Tigerheart -"

"No, Dawnpelt. This sky-what-sit clan probably dosen't exist, but we'll check first." They steered her round, and headed her back toward the forest with less pine trees.

Chapter 18

A brown and white tabby she-cat padded out, and stared, gaping at them. Her soft fur smelled of sweet herbs.

"We're not here to fight, Leafpool." mewed Starlingwing. "We've taken this cat to ask Sandstorm a question. She claims of something called 'SkyClan'."

"Well... come on." Leafpool turned, taking them into the tunnel. They emerged in a large stone hollow, and the scents of dozens of cats filled her nostrils.Curious cats poked their noses out dens. Four kits tumbled out of the nursery, one lilac, one blue-gray, one black and white and one gray.

"Hi!" sqeauked the blue-gray she-kit. "I'm Moonkit! Who are you?"

"Kits! Get back here!" a smoky gray she-cat came out, the sweet scent of milk on her fur. "You!" she hissed, and she swept the four kits back with her fluffy tail.

"Nice to see you too, Dovewing." meowed Tigerheart. His eyes were swimming with memories.

"Dovewing? Are you and the kits alright - ShadowClan!" a large gray tom with black stripes appeared by Dovewing's side. His ears flattened, and he hissed at the cats.

Chapter 19

"Calm down, Bumblestripe." said a voice. A large tabby tom padded over, a ginger she-cat close behind.

"Sorry, Bramblestar." muttered Bumblestripe. Dovewing had turned away, marching her kits toward the nursery. The black and white kit looked over his shoulder.

"I'm Barleykit!" Dovewing seized his scruff when he started to run back, and took him into the nursery.

"What do you want?" spat the ginger she-cat, her fur fluffed up.

"They said one of them wants to talk to Sandstorm." Leafpool said to her.

"Why?" asked Bramblestar.

"She'll know when I tell her." said Blossomdew.

"I don't recognise that scent." mewed an old brown tabby with a graying muzzle, sniffing her tail, which was swishing on the ground. "I know the reek of ShadowClan, but not that."

"Purdy!" hissed a voice. Blossomdew was shocked when she saw a brown she-cat drag herself over. Her back legs were splayed out behind her, wasted and thin, the fur dull.

"Twas' only stating the truth, Briarlight." purred Purdy, obviously ignoring the ShadowClan cat's enraged faces.

"You may leave now, ShadowClan. Millie, Dustpelt, Seedpaw, Cinderheart and Lionblaze, escort them out of the terriotory. " said Bramblestar. the patrol hesitated, and then stalked out, flanked by other ThunderClan cats.

Chapter 20

"Where is Sandstorm?" asked a ginger and white she-cat with one side of her face horribly scarred. Blossomdew learned that her name was Brightheart, and Dovewing's other two kits were called Lavenderkit and Flintkit.

"She's on patrol." said the clan's second blind medicine cat, Jayfeather, the main medicine cat being Leafpool. Something about him was very creepy - it wasn't just the eyes. The way he stared, it was like he could actually see her - into her mind. Blossomdew glanced at a silver tabby and white she-cat with sliced ears. Her belly was heavy with kits, and a reddish tabby, her mate, was fretting over her.

"Foxleap, I'm fine." she assured him, her tail tip twitching with annoyance.

"Can you at least stop going out so much alone, Ivypool?" he begged. "Please?"

Ivypool rolled her eyes. "Fine. I'll go into the nursery to have a nap, alright? Or I'll go have some fresh-kill."

"Yes, please - thank you." She'd heard that the two bickered sometimes, but there was a deep sense of love. Dovewing and Bumblestripe were trying to get their kits under control, as they were everywhere - Blossomdew almost purred. Mischievous kits, they were. She almost jumped out fo her fur when an apprentice, called Hollypaw, came up.

"Hi! Sandstorm's here!" the fluffy black she-cat bounced away to two cats called Cinderheart and Lionblaze and another apprentice, a silver she-cat with fern-shaped patches of black named Fernpaw. All four cats bore a resemblance, and she had a feeling that they were parents and kits.

"You wished to see me?" said a voice. She looked up, to see a pale ginger she-cat. This was Sandstorm, then?

"Yes. Do you remember SkyClan?" she mewed. Sandstorm's eyes widened.

"Yes... yes, I do. Why?"

"I come from SkyClan. In a storm, me and some other cats were washed down here - oh no, I forgot about them!" Blossomdew suddenly remembered. How could she have forgotten?

"Are they all alright?" asked Sandstorm. "Do you want me to ask Bramblestar to send a patrol down?"

"Yes, please! They're by a giant oak tree. Please hurry, or they might go into ShadowClan territory!"

Chapter 21

Blossomdew raced up to Whitebirch, nuzzling him.

"We've been searching for you!" Whitebirch's voice was full of relief. They were distracted by Cherrytail, Tinycloud and Echosong, who padded up to Sandstorm and touched noses with her. Much of ThunderClan were looking baffled by all these strange cats. Leafpool and Jayfeather were going toward Echosong and Smokepaw, obviously scenting the herbs on their pelts. Bramblestar padded up to Sandstorm.

"I think you should come up to the highledge and explain to the clan." he mewed. Sandstorm nodded as Bramblestar leapt up to a large rock that overlooked the camp, and called the clan together.

"Cats of ThunderClan, as you have noticed, we have visitors. Sandstorm has encountered some of these visitors before, so she will explain to you all." He stood back as the ginger she-cat went up the rock steps to the highledge.

"Long ago, not long after the battle with BloodClan in the old territories, Firestar discovered a secret, hidden by StarClan for many moons - there is a long lost clan, called SkyClan!" immeditatly whispering broke out, with astonished and curious looks. The apprentices started talking loudly, until Cherryflower and Moleclaw told them to be quiet. It took a while for Sandstorm to fully explain, and a long time for her to answer questions. When she had finished, cats came to the SkyClan cats to question them even more.

To Be Continued...

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