Heathertail's Lie is a novella written by Crystie (Crystalpaw/shine), about the apprentice, Heatherpaw, who once loved a ThunderClan tom called Lionpaw more than the warrior code, is destined to rescue WindClan.
Kestrelpaw-mottled gray tom with white splotches shaped like kestrel feathers
Heatherpaw-light brown tabby she-cat with blue eyes
Breezepaw-black tom with amber eyes
Sunpaw-tortoiseshell she-cat with large white mark on her forehead
Gorsetail-very pale gray-and-white she-cat with blue eyes, mother of Thistlekit, Sedgekit, and Swallowkit
Morningflower-very old tortoiseshell queen
Webfoot-dark gray tabby tom
Firestar-ginger tom with a flame-colored pelt
Brambleclaw-dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes
Leafpool-light brown tabby she-cat with amber eyes
Squirrelflight-dark ginger she-cat with green eyes
Dustpelt-dark brown tabby tom
Sandstorm-pale ginger she-cat
Cloudtail-long-haired white tom
Brackenfur-golden brown tabby tom
Sorreltail-tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat with amber eyes
Thornclaw-golden brown tabby tom
Brightheart-white she-cat with ginger patches
Ashfur-pale gray (with darker flecks) tom, dark blue eyes
Spiderleg-long-limbed black tom with brown underbelly and amber eyes
Whitewing-white she-cat with green eyes
Birchfall-light brown tabby tom
Graystripe-long-haired gray tom
Hazeltail-small gray-and-white she-cat
Cinderpaw-gray tabby she cat
Honeypaw-light brown tabby she-cat
Lionpaw-golden tabby tom with amber eyes
Hollypaw-black she-cat with green eyes
Jaypaw-gray tabby tom with blue eyes
Foxpaw-reddish tabby tom
Ferncloud-pale gray (with darker flecks) she-cat, green eyes
Daisy-cream-colored long-furred cat from the horseplace, mother of Rosekit and Toadkit
Millie-silver tabby she-cat, former kittypet
Longtail-pale tabby tom with dark black stripes, retired early due to failing sight
Mousefur-small dusky brown she-cat
Blackstar-large white tom with huge jet-black paws
Russetfur-dark ginger she-cat
Littlecloud-very small tabby tom
Oakfur-small brown tom
Toadfoot-dark brown tom
Kinkfur-tabby she-cat, with long fur that sticks out at all angles
Ratscar-brown tom with long scar across his back
Snaketail-dark brown tom with tabby-striped tail
Whitewater-white she-cat with long fur, blind in one eye
Owlpaw-light brown tabby tom
Shrewpaw-gray she-cat with black paws
Scorchpaw-dark gray tom
Redpaw-mottled brown-and-ginger tom
Tawnypelt-tortoiseshell she-cat with green eyes, mother of Tigerkit, Flamekit, and Dawnkit
Snowbird-pure white she-cat
Cedarheart-dark gray tom
Tallpoppy-long-legged light brown tabby she-cat
Leopardstar-unusually spotted golden tabby she-cat
Mistyfoot-gray she-cat with blue eyes
Mothwing-dappled golden she-cat
Blackclaw-smoky black tom
Voletooth-small brown tabby tom
Mosspelt-tortoiseshell she-cat with blue eyes
Beechfur-light brown tom
Rippletail-dark gray tabby tom
Dawnflower-pale gray she-cat
Dapplenose-mottled gray she-cat
Mintfur-light gray tabby tom
Otterheart-dark brown she-cat
Pinefur-very short-haired tabby she-cat
Rainstorm-mottled gray-blue tom
Duskfur-brown tabby she-cat
Willowpaw-gray tabby she-cat
Minnowpaw-dark gray she-cat
Pebblepaw-mottled gray tom
Nettlepaw-dark brown tabby tom
Copperpaw-dark ginger she-cat
Graymist-pale gray tabby, mother of Sneezekit and Mallowkit
Icewing-white she-cat with blue eyes, mother of Beetlekit, Pricklekit, Petalkit, and Grasskit
Heavystep-thickset tabby tom
Swallowtail-dark tabby she-cat
Cats Outside Clans
Cream-gray-and-white tom with cream-colored paws and tail-tip
Cotton-gray tabby she-cat
Smoky-muscular gary-and-white tom
Floss-small gray-and-white she-cat
Heatherpaw bounced towards Tallrock with a loud purr in her throat. Behind her, Whitetail padded silently. The white warrior had become Heatherpaw’s temporary mentor since Crowfeather traveled to the Tribe of Rushing Water.
“Hey, Breezepaw! You’re back!” Heatherpaw exclaimed. “Did you see the mountains? What do the Tribe cats look like?”
Breezepaw turned his amber gaze to her. “I’ll tell you later. Do you know how great I am…?”
“You?” Crowfeather blurted out. “What have you done, for StarClan’s sake! Lionpaw fought better than you, is that true?”
Breezepaw glanced at his father with discontent.
Lionpaw! Heatherpaw twitched her tail. We used to love each other, but he left me for his stupid dream!
“Crowfeather, Breezepaw, you need to rest. And you, Heatherpaw.” Onestar ordered.
Thank StarClan! I can rest, finally. Heatherpaw thought. She had been hunting with Whitetail for the whole afternoon.
“Sunpaw!” Heatherpaw yowled. “Can we join you?” Sunpaw and Harespring were sharing a tiny hare. The tortoiseshell apprentice swallowed the food and nodded.
There was only a mouse left on the fresh-kill pile. Through the smell, Heatherpaw realized that Willowclaw had caught it on ThunderClan’s territory. Sheep and dogs scared away all of our prey, so my Clanmates had to hunt in the other Clan’s territory. I know it’s against the warrior code, but we have no more choice!
“Hey! Do you want to eat?” Breezepelt’s call brought her back to reality.
“No. I’ll give it to the elders.” She meowed and picked up the mouse.
“What? But what about me?” She pretended not to hear her denmate’s voice and walked towards the elder’s den.
Heatherpaw looked at the two elders in astonishment. Great StarClan! When did Morningflower and Webfoot become so thin? Their fur lose former gloss and ribs were sticking out of their pelts. They were emaciated like a rabbit in leaf-bare!
Suddenly Morningflower and Webfoot were gone, an unfamiliar cat appeared in front of Heatherpaw’s eyes. It was a pinkish-gray she-cat with starlight on her pelt.
“Hello, little one.” The StarClan cat meowed gently. “I’m Heatherstar, the WindClan leader before Onestar and Tallstar.”
Blood pounded in Heatherpaw’s ears. “We have the same name!”
“You’re right.” Heatherstar became serious. “Do something for your Clan, Heatherpaw. You see how weak Morningflower and Webfoot are. But aren’t you and your Clan the same? Fragile is not my beloved Clan! You know some secrets that make your Clan strong. Tell them, and you will be the greatest warrior.”
Then she vanished, and Heatherpaw could see two elders again.
Webfoot was chewing the mouse. “Thank you for the prey.”
“You’re better than Breezepaw and Sunpaw. They haven’t brought us food for a long time.” Morningflower muttered.
“Our food is scarce.” Heatherpaw explained. “Now, I need to find Barkface.”
“I’ve seen a StarClan cat, I’ve seen the former leader of WindClan! But what does she mean about the secrets? What does she want me to
tell my Clanmates?” On the way to the medicine cat’s den, Heatherpaw murmured.
A mottled gray tom stopped in front of her. “What are you mumbling about?”
It’s Kestrelpaw, Barkface’s apprentice.
“Something I need to tell Barkface.” Heatherpaw replied. “Is he in the den?”
“Of course!” Kestrelpaw glared at her with curiosity. “I’m going to pick some herbs.”
Barkface turned his head when Heatherpaw entered the Medicine cat’s den. “Are you hurt?” The brown tom flicked his tail
Heatherpaw knew that he was very fidget. Three days ago, Thistlekit and Sedgekit sneaked out of the nursery, saying that they were going to explore. When the sheep chased them, Thistlekit slipped and broke a leg.
“Ow! My leg hurts!” Thistlekit cried.
Heatherpaw heard Barkface sighing. “I’ll chew some comfrey roots.” He mashes it into a poultice and puts it on the kit’s wound.
“Thank you, Barkface. I feel much better.” Thistlekit squeaked.
“So why are you here?” Barkface growled at Heatherpaw.
Heatherpaw took a deep breath. “I’ve seen a StarClan cat today.”
Barkface’s eyes were shining. “Really? Thistlekit, I will send you to the nursery. Heatherpaw, wait for me, I’ll be back soon.”
Heatherpaw looked at the herbs in the den. Catmint is only a little bit left. Kestrelpaw should pick them in the tunnels. The
tunnels! The secrets that Heatherstar wanted me to tell my Clanmates is the tunnels! B…but the tunnels are the secrets between me and Lionpaw! Shall I tell them?
Barkface’s voice made her frozen. “You’ve seen a StarClan cat, right?”
“Yes.” Heatherpaw breathed. “I saw her when I brought prey for the elders. She said she is Heatherstar, the WindClan leader before Onestar and Tallstar.”
“You’ve seen Heatherstar!” Barkface opened his mouth in surprise. “I know her! It is true that she is the WindClan leader before Onestar and Tallstar. What does she look like?”
“She is a gray she-cat with blue eyes.”
“Yes! She is Heatherstar! I’ve seen her in Moonpool. What does she tell you?”
Shall I tell him the secrets of the tunnels? But I promised not to say it!
“She told me that WindClan was too fragile, that’s all.” Finally, Heatherpaw meowed. Forget it, I’ll never tell!
“It’s a vision. We need to tell Onestar about it. He went to a hunting patrol. Let’s see if they’re back.”
“The hunting patrol is back! I’m ready to eat fresh-kills!” Swallowkit squeaked beside the fresh-kill pile.
Onestar was at the front of the patrol. A rabbit and a hare were thrown on the fresh-kill pile. These were the only prey caught by the patrol.
“Onestar!” Barkface called. “Heatherpaw and I want to tell you something.”
The three WindClan cats walked behind Tallrock, so that no cat could hear their conversation.
Heatherpaw sat down slowly and told Onestar what she had just told Barkface.
Onestar clawed the ground when Heatherpaw ended the story. “My Clan is not fragile!” He hissed. “But maybe Heatherstar want to tell us
how to be strong. Barkface, I think StarClan will tell you when you go to Moonpool next time.”
Onestar would be curious why StarClan came to see me instead of Barkface. Heatherpaw thought. Although Lionpaw and I were no longer friends, I promised not to tell the secrets about the tunnels. Sorry, Heatherstar. Instead of being the greatest warrior, I choose my friendship with Lionpaw. I don’t care whether Lionpaw loves me or not, but I still love him, forever.
Sunlight shone into the nursery, Crowfeather stood outside. “Heatherpaw!” He yowled impatiently. “Stop playing with the kits, it’s time to hunt!”
Heatherpaw padded through the gorse bush. “Coming!”
Crowfeather twitched his ears. “We’ll hunt in ThunderClan today.” He announced.
What made him so nervous? Heatherpaw asked herself. We were hunting in RiverClan’s territory two days ago. Why wasn’t he so nervous then?
A smell made Heatherpaw raise her head. A pigeon was hopping on a low branch close to Crowfeather and her. Slowing her breath, she
crouched and slithered along the forest floor. With a yowl Heatherpaw jumped up and snapped its neck.
“Nice catch, Heatherpaw.” Crowfeather purred. “I saw a shrew. Can you handle it?”
Heatherpaw walked slowly towards the shrew. Suddenly she froze. A brown tabby she-cat was behind a pine tree, and her amber eyes shone
<em>Leafpool! The ThunderClan Medicine cat!
“What are you doing here?” She growled.
Great StarClan! A ThunderClan cat found me!
“Leafpool, is that you?” Crowfeather turned around and asked.
“Crowfeather?” Leafpool held her breath.
Heatherpaw was shocked by the feelings in their voice. Surprised? Sad? Disappointed? The joy of reunion?
Crowfeather broke the silence, and begged. “Leafpool, please don’t tell your Clanmates that we are hunting in ThunderClan’s territory.
There’s no prey in WindClan!”
Leafpool narrowed her eyes. “Fine.” She hissed. “Go back to your Clan, I don’t want anyone to see you.”
After the brown she-cat padded away, Crowfeather picked up the pigeon with his jaw. “Let’s go.” He murmured.
On the way back to WindClan’s camp, a small brown shape ran through a bramble bush. Heatherpaw realized it was a vole. She was going to catch it, but Crowfeather stopped her.
“No more stealing prey, Heatherpaw.” The dark gray tom sighed.
When they returned to the camp, Onestar came and broke into a purr. “Fat pigeon!”
“Can I share it with my littermates? I’m starving!” A kit squeaked behind Heatherpaw.
“Of course, Swallowkit.” Onestar meowed softly. “How is Thistlekit?”
“She’s fine.” Answered Swallowkit.
Heatherpaw looked at the dark gray she-kit and thought what Gorsetail, the mother of three kits had told her in the morning.
“Swallowkit is a lovely kit.” Gorsetail told her. “Although she’s a bit timid, she’s better than Sedgekit and Thistlekit, right? Onestar has told me that Swallowkit will be an apprentice soon. But Sedgekit and Thistlekit need to be punished for leaving the camp without permission. Their apprenticeship will be delayed.”
Wait, what is Dewspots doing? She’s looking around, as if she’s avoiding something.
“I’ll go hunting now.” Dewspots meowed. Heatherpaw felt that she was acting like nothing had happened, but she could feel her
I’m going to follow her.<em> Heatherpaw thought excitedly.
Dewspots came to the Twolegplace. When she stopped, Heatherpaw hid in a hazel bush. <em>What is a warrior doing at a Twolegplace?
“Oh, Dewspots, you’re finally here!” A pale gray-and-white tom purred warmly. What? A kittypet is talking to a warrior?
“Cream, it’s hard for me to come. I’m avoiding my Clanmates!” The kittypet’s paws and tail-tip were cream colored, so that’s why his
name is Cream. Wait, Dewspots is avoiding our Clanmates? I thought she’s a loyal warrior!
Cream twined his tail with Dewspots. “I brought my family here.”
A pale gray tabby she-cat was standing behind Cream, she walked forward and nodded with a purr. “I’m his sister, Cotton. That’s our mother, Floss. Our father Smoky is over there. Look! They are loners, but we are kittypets.”
Heatherpaw turned her head, and saw a pale gray-and-white she-cat. That should be Floss, their mother. And that muscular tom should be Smoky. He remined Heatherpaw some cat.... Mousewhisker! But why they look alike?
“Oh, Cream. I want to be a kittypet, Clanlife is too tough!” Dewpots complained.
Heatherpaw showed her teeth, anger burned in her belly. What? Dewspots wants to be a kittypet?
She couldn’t keep silence and growled. “How can you say that!”
“Who’s there?” meowed a sharp voice.
No! They’ll find me!
“Heatherpaw?” Dewspots looked surprised.
“Dewspots! I’m sorry! Really! I didn’t mean to—”
“You won’t tell Onestar, will you?” Dewspots interrupted her. “If you tell Onestar, I’ll claw your ears off!”
Heatherpaw shivered. “O…okay.”
“Now, if you promise not to say anything about Cream, let’s go home.”
A patrol rushed through the gorse bush, Heatherpaw raised her head. What happened? She asked herself. It has been two sunrises since I saw Dewspots and Cream.
“Onestar, I have some news.” Ashfoot, the WindClan deputy meowed quickly. She whispered something in Onestar’s ears, the brown tabby tom nodded with anxiety.
“Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather here for a Clan meeting!” Onestar called.
A Clan meeting? Why?
“A ThunderClan patrol has come to our territory. They want to talk about....”
When Onestar was speaking, Heatherstar appeared in front of Heatherpaw’s eyes again. This time, the former leader was beside the dead
bodies of several cats. Darkness surrounded Heatherpaw, she felt suffocated.
“Heatherpaw!” Heatherstar’s voice was sharp and cold, like a sharp claw, scratching her belly. “Why don’t you tell them about the tunnels?”
“I... didn’t find the right time.” Heatherpaw stammered.
“Just tell them now!” Heatherstar growled, and then, she disappeared.
Heatherpaw raised her head and looked at Onestar. His father was still speaking.
“WindClan is still strong. Today, I want to appoint a new apprentice!” Onestar announced. “Swallowkit!”
Swallowkit’s pelt was neat, she must have been licked by Gorsetail.
“Go on.” beckoned her forward with his tail.
“Swallowkit, you have reached the age of six moons, and it is time for you to be apprenticed. From this day forward until you earn your warrior name, you will be known as Swallowpaw. Willowclaw, you will be her mentor. Train her to be a fine warrior like you.”
Willowclaw touched the apprentice’s nose, her warm amber gaze filled with proud. This was her first apprentice.
“Swallowpaw! Swallowpaw!” The whole Clan began to call.
“Thistlekit and Sedgekit, you two will be apprentices soon.” Onestar promised. “Don’t leave the camp without permission, Okay?”
Two kits nodded.
“I have something to say.” Heatherpaw murmured. I need to tel l them, otherwise Heatherstar will be mad at me.
“What is it?” Onestar asked.
“Um,” <em>How can I say it? “I think hare is better than rabbit.” She meowed awkwardly. I can’t tell them!
“WindClan is still strong.” Onestar’s words echoed in Heatherpaw’s ears. Our Clan is still strong, so I don’t need to tell them
about the secrets. On, yes, the tunnel was blocked.
I’m loyal to my Clan, but loyal to Lionpaw, too.
A bright silver moon hung in the sky. The island was dark, filled with cats.
Heatherpaw tasted the air. ThunderClan and RiverClan cats were here. She moved to a clearing, and saw Lionpaw talking with a white she-cat. She must be Icepaw, the new ThunderClan apprentice.
Suddenly, a thought flashed through Heatherpaw’s mind. What if I go and talk with Lionpaw now? I should try.
“Hey, Lionpaw! You should be back!” A ThunderClan cat called when Heatherpaw was just about to talk to him.
After hearing the words, Lionpaw turned back and left to talk with Cinderpaw.
Heatherpaw suddenly felt her heart broken. She has never been so empty and so disappointed. Lionpaw is just a friend. She told herself. I don’t need to be upset.
“The Gathering has begun!” Onestar’s voice stopped all the cats from chatting.
“WindClan is well fed.”
“We have one new apprentice. Swallowpaw!”
The apprentice’s eyes shone with pride and happiness.
“ThunderClan is good, too. Honeyfern and Poppyfrost are warriors now.” Firestar announced. “They’ll sat vigil tonight.”
Blackstar shifted his paw. “ShadowClan is all right.”
“RiverClan’s fish are enough to eat.” Leopardstar meowed.
“Now, the Gathering is over!” Onestar yowled, he glanced at Firestar. Luckily, the flame-colored leader doesn’t say a word about
On the way back to camp, Breezepaw and Heatherpaw walked side by side. Breezepaw changed a lot after he came back from the mountains. He
seemed to hate Crowfeather and Nightcloud more, but gentler and friendlier to Heatherpaw.
“I’ve never seen so many cats before.” Swallowpaw ran towards them and squeaked. She’s still acting likes a kit. “I can’t wait to tell Sedgekit and Thistlekit!”
Heatherpaw licked her ears with a purr. Kit are kit.
“Barkface!” When they entered the camp, Kestrelpaw wailed.
“What is it?” Onestar asked, his tail twitched.
“It’s Dewspots.” Kestrelpaw breathed. “Go and see her. She’s in the nursery.”
What? Dewspots is in the nursery? Heatherpaw felt uneasy. She padded forward and squeezed into the nursery.
Two kits were beside Dewspots. They were tiny, and their eyes haven’t open.
Heatherpaw took a deep breath. Great StarClan! They must be Cream’s kit!
Onestar’s eyes widened. “Dewspots, whose kits are they?” He asked.
“Their father isn’t a Clan cat.” Dewspots murmured.
“What?” Onestar shouted. “Say it again!”
“Their father isn’t a Clan cat!” The gray she-cat meowed boldly. “He’s the kittypet who saved Sedgekit and Thistlekit, remember?”
Onestar sat down, very slowly. “Hmm... that kittypet. He’s nice and brave. But being mate with a kittypet is against the warrior code!”
“I have a plan. If Cream is a warrior, being mate with him is not against the warrior code! Please let him be a WindClan warrior!”
“I’ll talk with the kittypet first. And these kits, they will be trained like Clan cats. Did you name them?”
“Not yet. I want their father to name them.”
Onestar came out, and told Sunpaw to take Cream to the camp.
Heatherpaw stared at the kits. One of them was tortoiseshell-and-white she-kit, another was pale gray tom-kit with a white underbelly.
After a while, or a day for Heatherpaw, Sunpaw returned with Cream.
The gray-and-white tom rushed into the nursery, gasping. “Dewspots！ Are those our kits? They were wonderful!”
Dewspots nodded happily.
“Sunpaw told me that I should be a warrior. If that makes you happy, I’ll do my best.”
Onestar narrowed his eyes. “Fine.” He growled, but his voice soon became gentler, as if he welcomed Cream. “Welcome to WindClan, Cream.”
“Cream, from this moment you shall be known as Creamfoot. You have saved Sedgekit and Thistlekit, StarClan honors your courage and kindness. You haven’t been trained, but I believe you can be a fine warrior. Serve your Clan well.”
Onestar touched Cream’s head with his muzzle, and the whole Clan began to cheer.
Heatherpaw stared at Creamfoot. The new warrior was excited, and a bit nervous.
Before the ceremony, Dewspots has named the pale gray tom-kit Boulderkit after his boulder-colored fur, Creamfoot has named the tortoiseshell-and-white she-kit Moonkit because they were born in the night of a full-moon.
“He’s a kittypet!” Tornear’s voice was mixed in the cheers. “Kittypets can’t be warriors!”
“Tornear’s right.” Owlwhisker meowed.
Onestar pricked his ears.
Heatherpaw raised her head, hope that his father, Onestar could say something to defense Creamfoot, but he said nothing.
“Creamfoot is a warrior, not a kittypet!” Dewspots growled. Her pale amber eyes burned with fury, in a heartbeat Heatherpaw was afraid
Dewspots will claw Tornear into pieces.
“If he wasn’t there, Thistlekit and I would be died!” Sedgekit added loudly. Swallowpaw, Thistlekit and Gorsetail stood beside her, they
nodded while Sedgekit was speaking.
“The Clan meeting is over.” Onestar jumped down from Tallrock.
Heatherpaw step forward. The dawn patrol must leave soon.
“Hurry up, Heatherpaw. We should get going.” Crowfeather ordered. He’s leading the patrol.
Crowfeather was darting through the gorse tunnel. Heatherpaw raced after him. Willowclaw and Swallowpaw walked behind them, this was the
tiny apprentice’s first patrol.
They ran on the moorland, Heatherpaw felt pain in her legs.
She was starving.
The prey was still not enough for everyone to eat. What if I tell them about...
While she was thinking, Heatherpaw fell into a rabbit hole.
“Ow!” She cried.
“I’ll help you.” Willowclaw pulled her out.
“Why are you so careless today?” Crowfeather scolded.
“I...I didn’t eat anything.”
“I know you are hungry.” Her mentor’s voice softened. “We all are.”
While they padded away, Heatherpaw realized that they were near the border. She sniffed the cold air, and smelled a scent of... fox!
“I can smell fox!” She reported. “But it’s not fresh. The fox must leave moons ago.”
Crowfeather pointed a hole crowded with bushes and leaves with his tail. “The smell came from there. Heatherpaw, you go and check.”
Heatherpaw slowly wriggled inside the brambles, thorns stuck into her pelt. There was a tunnel inside, dark and moist. Crowfeather was
right, the fox had left here for a while.
She went deep into the tunnel. The scent of fox grew stronger, but it mixed with the smell of cats.
The smell of ThunderClan cats.
Heatherpaw suddenly became nervous.
It was Lionpaw, and his sister Hollypaw.
The dark river.
They had found another way in.
Heatherpaw’s mind filled with the memories of Lionpaw, and their secret Clan, DarkClan. She felt she was back to many moons ago, in the
time she spent with Lionpaw.
“Lionclaw!” Heatherpaw yowled, her voice echoed in the tunnel. “Lionclaw, my deputy, are you here?” Then she stopped.
What am I doing? She asked herself. Lionpaw’s not here, of course. He’s not Lionclaw, her loyal, beloved deputy
anymore. He’s just an apprentice from another Clan.
And an enemy to her.
She remembered how Lionpaw left her, for his mouse-brained dream.
“I’m a loyal warrior, loyal to my Clan!” She growled, though she knew no cat could hear her. After these days, Heatherpaw felt her
loyalty to Lionpaw was not as strong as before, she was about to say the secrets of the tunnel for several times.
“There’s nothing in there.” Heatherpaw meowed after getting out of the brambles.
“Let’s go. We are wasting time!” Crowfeather hissed. He was already running to the border.
As Heatherpaw jogging after her mentor, she couldn’t stop thinking about Lionpaw and the tunnels.
Should I betray the cat I loved?
The morning sun shone on Heatherpaw’s head through the leaves, the light brown tabby she-cat stretched with a weak purr.
I can’t remember having such a beautiful morning since leaf-bare arrived. She thought. Yesterday, Moonkit and Dewspots felt
ill and moved from the nursery to the Medicine cat’s den. Barkface had told them they caught Greencough, because Dewspots was too hungry
to fight the illness. In the morning, Kestrelpaw found that Webfoot was coughing a lot and now he was in the den with Moonkit and her
mother. The elder got Whitecough, and soon it became Greencough.
Since the other Clans added more patrols to prevent them from prey-stealing, WindClan has been the weakest Clan around the lake. The
warriors must hunt more and more, though they were also hungry and tired.
Barkface was picking catmints in the tunnel. Yet, there was no cat in WindClan except Heatherpaw know the tunnel full of herbs have the
biggest secret for the battle with ThunderClan. If she told Onestar about it, WindClan will padded through the tunnel without passing
ThunderClan’s border, and fight with them while the squirrel-eaters were sleeping. Maybe they will win a large piece of prey-rich
territory from ThunderClan.
But they were all Heatherpaw’s imagination. She can’t betray Lionpaw, her previous friend.
“No!” Suddenly she heard a wail from the clearing. “Willowclaw is sick!”
It was Weaselfur’s voice.
Willowclaw? Heatherpaw spotted the gray queen getting out from the nursery, coughing. She had moved into the nursery two days
ago, expecting Weaselfur’s kits. Her apprentice, Swallowpaw became a temporary apprentice to Owlwhisker.
Kestrelpaw was trying to comfort Willowclaw and her mate. “Don’t worry.” He soothed. “When Barkface comes back with a mouth full of
catmints, all of the sick cats will recover.”
“Heatherpaw,” Crowfeather’s bright blue eyes was staring at Swallowpaw. “Tell her to go hunting with us. Owlwhisker’s too bossy and
strict for a timid apprentice like her.”
Heatherpaw glanced at her mentor. I’m pretty sure you’re stricter than Owlwhisker!
The hunting patrol came back, with only one tiny hare hanging from Heatherpaw’s jaws.
There was nothing on the moorland.
“Ashfoot! We brought a hare back!” Swallowpaw’s meowed excitedly. “Wait, where is Ashfoot?”
Where is Ashfoot?
“Ashfoot is ill.” Onestar whispered, his dark amber gaze filled with sadness. “So is Kestrelpaw.”
Heatherpaw felt numb all over her body. The Clan deputy and the Medicine cat apprentice is sick!
Two sunrises had passed since Ashfoot and Kestrelpaw were ill. The Clan needed fresh-kill more than ever, so there was only one border
patrol left, and the rest had to go hunting.
After Furzekit, Willowclaw and Weaselfur’s daughter, was born, Barkface seemed more older and thinner. More and more sick cats wailed in
Medicine cat’s den, making the others felt pain.
Heatherpaw spent all the morning hunting with Breezepaw. The black apprentice caught a rabbit and a vole, carrying them back with joy on
his face. Heatherpaw caught only a tiny shrew, but Crowfeather wasn’t angry at all, only sighed and licked her ear.
Barkface and Onestar suddenly ran towards them. “Come, Heatherpaw.” The leader meowed gently. “Barkface has planned something for you.”
Something for me?
“Heatherpaw,” The old medicine cat began. “When you are born, I know you will be a special cat. You are the leader’s only kit. But last
night, StarClan has spoken to me. It’s Tallstar, the WindClan leader before Onestar. He said ‘only heather can save the winds’. I think
he means you, you are the heather, and WindClan cats are the winds.”
Heatherpaw’s smoky blue eyes widened.
Barkface took a deep breath. “I think StarClan want you to be WindClan’s medicine cat apprentice while Kestrelpaw is so sick.”
“But I don’t want to be a medicine cat apprentice!” Heatherpaw gasped, feeling hot. “How about my training?”
Onestar stared at her with pride for his daughter. “I know this is hard to believe, but the Clan need you. And for your training, you
can train with Crowfeather at dusk, and the other times, you need to be with Barkface.”
Heatherpaw tried to retort, but she had nothing to say. “All right.” Finally, she muttered. “Let’s go, Barkface.”
They squeezed into the den full of sick cats. Ashfoot, Webfoot, Dewspots, Moonkit, Willowclaw, Furzekit, Kestrelpaw, and Leaftail.
Heatherpaw blinked. Moonkit’s eyes were closed, it was hard to know if she was still alive.
“Heatherpaw, this is catmint for Greencough.” Barkface told her with sorrow. “Remember the smell. Though we have lots of these in the
tunnels, Moonkit’s still too weak. I’m not sure if she can survive.”
“How can you say that?” Creamfoot’s mew filled with anger and grief. “Moonkit can’t die!”
Barkface seemed not listening to the poor kit’s father. “Remember catmint’s smell, and fetch them as more as you can.”
I’m going to the tunnel! Heatherpaw felt exited, but painful. My Clanmates are going to die! Why can’t I tell them the
Quickly, she raced to the tunnel. Catmint’s smell was strong, she found them easily. This time, she didn’t even think of Lionpaw.
Heatherpaw brought the catmints back as much as she can. Back in the camp, it was quiet. No cats were sharing tongues as usual, but
She came inside her new den. “Heatherpaw!” Barkface croaked. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t save her. Moonkit is dead.”
“Moonkit?” Heatherpaw blurted out. “No! She can’t die! I promised I’ll be her mentor!”
Dewspots whispered, her voice was gentle and full of pain. “Heatherpaw, the catmints- they can’t work. Moonkit is too weak to defend
“Don’t be sad, you guys!” A tiny gray-and-white kit, Furzekit, squeaked. She sounded, happy? “Heatherpaw can be my mentor
instead of the stupid furball Moonkit!”
“Furzekit!” Willowclaw scolded angrily. “How can you say that!”
Furzekit lashed her bushy gray-and-white tail.
Heatherpaw wailed. It’s all my faught!
“Onestar, can I tell you something?”
Onestar padded towards Heatherpaw. “What is it, my dear?” He asked gently.
Heatherpaw took a deep breath. “Onestar... I need to tell you something, something I kept for too long.”
“Sit, and tell me the whole thing.” The leader stared at his daughter, the only emotion in his warm amber gaze was love.
Heatherpaw sat down nervously. Silvery light glowed on her fur, making them paler. We have to fight! She thought, her tail-tip
twitching. But... but what if Lionpaw is in the battle too? What if I met him? The memory of the golden apprentice made
Heatherpaw’s heart sank, but Moonkit’s death was much more painful than that.
“One day I went hunting.” She began. “And a mouse lead me to a tunnel.” Heatherpaw glanced at Onestar, his father’s whiskers twitched
“That’s the tunnel where Barkface picks the herbs, but he doesn’t know that there’s a dark river inside, and it will lead us to...
Onestar narrowed his eyes. “I don’t understand, Heatherpaw. What can we do with the tunnel?”
“To attack ThunderClan!” Heatherpaw blurted out, guilt filled her belly. “We’ll attack at night, when most of them are sleeping. We
don’t need to cross their border, that’s why we need the tunnel.” She paused and added. “If we win, we’ll have a piece of their prey-
Onestar called a Clan meeting at dusk. He told the whole WindClan the plan to attack ThunderClan, and who will fight.
“Heatherpaw, you’ll lead us through the tunnel, then stop at ThunderClan’s border with Crowfeather and Owlwhisker. I will lead the first
patrol, Antpelt, Tornear, Whitetail, come with me. We’ll hide outside ThunderClan’s camp, when a cat sees you, attack. Night-”
A voice interrupted him. “Onetstar, can I go with them, too? I mean, your patrol.” It was Leaftail, who lived in Barkface’s den all
these days. “It’s too boring to star in that herb-smelled den. I feel like I can run through the moor and kill some foxes or badgers!”
Sunpaw was Leaftail’s littermate, her older brother became a warrior many moons earlier than her because he got amazing battle skills.
Onestar narrowed his eyes. “Has he recovered?”
“Yes! I have, Onestar!” Leaftail meowed eagerly.
The Clan leader twitched his ears with amusement, Heatherpaw could feel his father was happy today. “I’m asking Barkface, not you!” he
“He has recovered.” Barkface replied. “Leaftail is strong.”
And it’s me who brought you so many catmints! Heatherpaw joked silently.
“Okay, then.” Onestar glanced at the cats in front of him.
“Leaftail, you’ll go with us. Nightcloud, you’ll lead the second patrol, and let Harespring go with you. You two will hide outside their
camp. After my patrol attack them, most warriors will go and check their border. You will go to attack when there are only a few
warriors guarding the camp. Weaselfur will lead the third patrol, Emberfoot and Sunpaw can go. The third patrol will stop at the forest
in ThunderClan’s territory. The warriors must pass there when they are going to check their border. Remember, WindClan is the lithest
and fastest Clan!”
“WindClan! WindClan!” The whole Clan started to cheer for their future victory.
And for me, Heatherpaw thought. Suddenly she remembered something. “Onestar! I have something to say!”
“Tell us, Heatherpaw.” Onestar blinked warmly at her. “Come on.”
“We are lithe and fast, but ThunderClan is strong. I think...Maybe when we are injured, I will ask RiverClan for help.”
“RiverClan?” Onestar hesitated. “Do you think Leopardstar will help? Yes, I think so... go to RiverClan when I tell you to get help.
Now, my Clanmates, we need to get some rest.”
Heatherpaw woke up with a yawn. Time to flight!
“Crowfeather, Owlwhisker, let’s go!” Bouncing, she purred excitedly.
Crowfeather leaned forward. “Not till Onestar-“
“WindClan, it’s time to flight!” Onestar announced.
“Heatherpaw, lead us to the tunnel!”
Wordlessly, Heatherpaw led all of the cats who were going to fight to the tunnel and went to ThunderClan’s border with her mentor and
I just have to wait for Onestar, or cats who want to cross the border. Heathepaw thought sourly. How boring this is!
Moonlight glittered on Heatherpaw’s ears. The wind was blowing slowly, making poor Owlwhisker sneeze.
“When is ThunderClan coming?” He meowed impatiently.
“Hey, look!” Heatherpaw stared at the cat who was running towards her. Closer, she could see the cat’s face- short white fur with gentle
green eyes. Whitetail! My mother!
Heatherpaw wanted to touch noses with her, or feel Whitetail’s soft warm tongue licking her ears, but she just stood there, her green
gaze filled with fear. Heatherpaw’s heart broke when she saw horrible scratches on her mother’s beautiful white pelt.
“Heatherpaw,” Whitetail gasped. “You father told me you must go to RiverClan!”
Heatherpaw froze. What?
“Go!” The white she-cat repeated.
Heatherpaw jumped, finally realized what she should do. She shifted her paws, running as fast as she can.
Like a swift brown wind on the moor, Heatherpaw crossed WindClan’s border and started to feel wet under her pads. She was so tired that
she couldn’t even feel her paws, but Heatherpaw still kept running.
The ground grew wetter, the scent of moist air and fish grew stronger. I’m already on RiverClan’s territory!
Heatherpaw tasted the air. Their camp must be there. She looked down at the stream.
How can I cross it? Rescue Gorsetail’s kits... yes! I’ll swim across the stream!
She bounced into the stream, swinging her legs quickly. I’m drowning! Help!
“Heatherpaw! Keep swimming!”
Heatherstar! She’s watching me!
“Keep swinging your legs! You’re almost there!”
Heatherpaw stretched out with a forepaw. “I did it!” she exclaimed in excitement. “I can swim, Heatherstar!”
“I know you can...” Heatherstar’s strong and gentle voice faded, but Heatherpaw could still feel the StarClan cat’s fur brushed her pelt.
Rainstorm was guarding the camp. Heatherpaw recognized his gray-blue coat from a Gathering.
“What in the name of StarClan are you doing here?” he growled, eyes wide with shock.
“Please help!” Heatherpaw begged, “My clan is fighting with ThunderClan! We need RiverClan’s help!”
There’s need to say that we started with battle.
Please say yes!
“I don’t know.” he replied, alarmed. “I’ll take you to Leopardstar.”
Heatherpaw followed him through the tunnel. RiverClan’s camp was just in it, with the smell of disgusting fish and cats
“Who’s that stinky bones of squirrel?” a kit squeaked.
A blue-eyed white queen gathered her kits together with her tail. “Hush, Petalkit.” she raised her head, and spotted Heatherpaw walking
with Rainstorm in front of her. “What on earth are you doing here near my kits?” she gasped in astonishment.
Heatherpaw ignored her and her icy tone. Leopard was now glaring at her. “Yes, what do you want?” the spotted golden she-cat hissed very
unfriendly. “Crossing the other clan’s border and going to their camp like this? Who do you think you are?”
Heatherpaw dug her claw in the soft ground, explaining that she needs help from RiverClan.
“What do you think, Mistyfoot?” Leopardstar asked her deputy.
Mistyfoot fixed her gaze on Heatherpaw. “No, Leopardstar.” she meowed with a flicker of her blue-gray tail. “we owe ThunderClan many
helps, how can we fight against them?”
A calm voice flooded over Mistyfoot’s. “I’ll go, Leopardstar.” Reedwhisker was standing beside them.
Before Leopardstar could answer, Mistyfoot opened her jaws with shock and rage. “How could you say that!” she spat. “Leafpool saved your
“I’ll go, Leopardstar.” Reedwhisker repeated quietly, with a quick glance at his mother.
“Well,” Leopardstar decided. “Reedwhisker, Mosspelt, Beechfur, Voletooth, and Minnowpaw, go with Heatherpaw and let that great
Firestar know how powerful we are!” With a challenging glare at Mistyfoot, she added, “We don’t owe ThunderClan any help.”
The RiverClan patrol went to the battle with ThunderClan, Heatherpaw came back to the place where she should be, with Crowfeather and
Before she could reach her mentor, Heatherpaw’s neck fur bristled by the scent of...
Heatherpaw couldn’t believe her nose, but when she sniffed again, fear flooded over her. I’m sure now. Lionpaw is in this
After Lionpaw broke up with her, Heatherpaw wished that she could have a chance to talk with Lionpaw, even just a word, “hi”. But now,
she was so afraid to see him, Heatherpaw hoped there was a hole to escape like a rabbit.
But I started this battle. She thought sorrowfully.
Lionpaw rushed towards her.
“Stop!” Firestar cried. “Stop now, Lionpaw!”
Lionpaw ignored his leader’s calling.
When Heatherpaw finally arrived to WindClan’s patrol where her mentor had waited, the enemy patrol came after her.
Ashfur knocked Owlwhisker to the ground, the brown tabby tom’s head was bleeding. Firestar flung himself at Crowfeather. To Heatherpaw’s
relief, her mentor fight back. Lionpaw showed his sharp claws at two WindClan apprentices- Breezepaw and Sunpaw, who came to help,
shoving them aside.
He wants me! Heatherpaw couldn’t breathe, fear made her froze. Lionpaw is going to kill me!
She wailed as Lionpaw dragged her through a wall of ferns and flung her to the ground. His claws pricked her skin, it was more painful
than Heatherpaw thought- her heart was bleeding too.
“You told them about the tunnels!” he hissed. “I can’t believe you betray me. I thought I could trust you to keep your mouth shut.”
What can I do? Tell him the truth? Never!
“It wasn’t me!” she lied.
She can feel that Lionpaw was burning with fury. “So why is my forest filled with your Clan?”
Heatherpaw tried to escape, but Lionpaw’s forelegs were like two hard tree trunks. She twisted her head and bit on his strong paws.
What should I say? She asked herself. “I don’t lie,” she growled to Lionpaw. But this is a lie. “It wasn’t me!”
Great StarClan! What did I just say? Heatherpaw couldn’t believe she growled out the words. Lie.
Heatherpaw closed her eyes painfully. “It was Sedgekit!” she lied boldly.
Sedgekit, I’m sorry. But you and your littermates are the only WindClan cats who know about the tunnels except Breezepaw and I.
“Why would he do that? I saved his life!”
He? Sedgekit is a she-cat! Heatherpaw gasped. All right then, I’ll copy you.
“He was boasting to Weaselfur about the tunnels he found, and then every cat in the Clan knew.”
“I don’t believe you.” Lionpaw’s amber gaze wasn’t gentle anymore, it was cold and burning with anger. “You’ve never forgiven me for
wanting to be a loyal Clan warrior.” He leaned closer as Heatherpaw tried to turn away from his hot breath. “I’ll never forgive this,
Heatherpaw. I will be your enemy forever.
His last word pricked Heatherpaw’s heart. She raised her head, blackness flashed in front of her. Crowfeather!
Suddenly, Heatherpaw felt pain in her shoulder. Ashfur was attacking her. She yowled as the gray tom flung his claw at her. Sunpaw came
to help, her ears stuck with blood- half hers, half her enemy’s.
When Ashfur leaped away, Crowfeather and Lionpaw was gone.
Heatherpaw ran forward. Lionpaw was clawing her mentor, bright red blood bubbling from Crowfeather’s throat.
He’s going to die!
Heatherpaw sank her teeth in Lionpaw’s shoulder and dug her claw in his flank. “Stop it!” she shrieked. “What are you doing?” she
crouched over her mentor. “Crowfeather!” she yowled with sorrow.
“I’m okay.” Crowfeather whispered. He lifted his head, fear and rage sparkled in his eyes.
The light changed suddenly. The golden sun was disappearing, swallowed by a black circle. Dawn turned to dusk. Screaming sounds of the
battle fell silent in a sudden.
“What’s happening?” Heatherpaw couldn’t believe her eyes. The sun was gone.
“StarClan’s killing the sun!” Owlwhisker squealed. Instead of fighting, WindClan cats started to run back to their territory. The
word “retreat” echoed in Heatherpaw’s mind. She didn’t care who said it; what she only cared about was....
“I will never forget you.” Lionpaw hissed in her ears.