Brightmeadow opened her mouth, searching for the warm scent of prey. A wood mouse had passed a few hours ago with her brood but much sooner a jay had been here looking for worms. Brightmeadow analsyed the scent trails.
"Prey not running Brightmeadow?"
Swiftpelt stood behind her his eyes glinting mischievously.
"I see the prey is not running into you either!" Brightmeadow snapped.
Swiftpelt smiled at her. He loved teasing cats. Sometimes Brightmeadow wondered how the annoying furball had won over Maplestar and became deputy. Maplestar was firm but fair and a very no nonsense cat.
"I'll leave you to it, but even in new-leaf we must not waste prey. Rememer, Thunderclan needs to eat!"
He bounded away. Finally. Now I can actually do some hunting. Brightmeadow made her way through the undergrowth. She was hot on the trail of a rabbbit. She found it nibbling at some moss underneath the dead oak that was about five fox-lengths from the border. She sprung and depachted with a swift bite to the neck. She buried it underneath the tree for later and continued to hunt.
Three mice, a blackbird and a frog later she had already made two trips to the fresh kill pile. She padded her way to were she had buried the rabbit. It was when she got there she scented intruders. Cats that were feeding on a recently buried rabbit. She fluffed up her fur and ran at the intruders yowling, hissing and spitting. Mouse-dung! Why does everything have to go wrong? Today of all days!
It was now she was upon them she realised it was two scrawny loners, one who was just a kit, four-five moons, maybe a little more. The cat that was facing her had obviously once been a very pretty, silver she-cat. Her long fur which had once been silky was now dull, mats up against her ribs and she had hardly any strength to lift a paw against the strong clan she-cat. Brightmeadow found her anger was ebbing into pity and cursing her soft heart she gave up the fight.
"If your hungry you could have just asked me or another Thunderclan cat. We don't harm cats who need shelter. Or queens."
The silver cat narrowed her eyes suspiciously. Her blue eyes were as hard as flint as she considered the offer. She sighed and dipped her head.
"Yes we are very hungrey. I'm not much of a hunter and neither is Vixen."
The small, fox-red kitten narrowed her amber eyes at the clan cat before turning back to ripping apart the rabbit.
"Come with me, I might just be able to get you some shelter."
Brightmeadow lead them to camp. She wondered what Maplestar would think. She found for once, she really didn't give a mousetail.
Maplestar sighed. She would have to go to Pumaclan. That loner had only been chased into Pumaclan's territory. She would have to go and warn Scarredstar. She really did not want to deal with this right now.
"You ready to go to Pumaclan?"
Swiftpelt, her mate and deputy, was standing at the entrance to her den, his tail-tip twitching with barely surpressed excietment. His dappled black and white coat shone in the sunlight sending little lights dancing around the wall of her den. She got to her paws and stretched.
"Is Brightmeadow back yet?"
"She said something about just collecting a rabbit from the dead oak. She won't be long."
"It will be her first important mission as a warrior, I want this patrol to be good."
"Lets hope it doesn't end in bloodshed."
Maplestar nodded and made her way into the clearing. The entrance tunnel quivered and Brightmeadow appeared flanked by two cats, one barely more than a kit. Hisses came from the assembled clan cats.
"Brightmeadow, why have you brought two rouges to camp. They have eaten and they could have sheltered in the brambles along the border."
Brightmeadow dipped her head respectfully.
"Maplestar, Vixen and Silver could easily become clan cats. They can hunt, admittedly badly, but they can fight. All they need is a little training."
Maplestar sighed. Today was not her day. The older she-cat stepped forward her blue eyes flashing with anger.
"You don't need to take pity on me! I may be a queen but I'm not defenceless! I can fight, try me and see!"
Her claws had unsheathed and were raking up clumps of mud. Maplestar shook her head trying not to laugh. She was amazed that a cat who knew she was outnumbered and out did by fitness and strength was challenging them. The fact that such a defeated cat could have such spirit was the fact she sighed and bounded onto Red-rock.
"Let all cat old enough to catch their own prey gather underneath the Red-rock for a clan meeting."
Silvermoon hesitantly peeped out of the nursery, her three kits tumbling over her paws.
"Are they rival clan cats? Let me get them mum, let me!"
The grey and black she-cat curled her tail around the pale ginger she-kit.
"Hush little one, I don't believe they are enemies. One is only a half-moon older than you look!"
"Brightmeadow has found two loners who contain the qualities of clan cats. They can hunt and fight we just have to advance theirs skills. So Silver, Vixen will you join Thunderclan?"
"I will!" Vixen squeaked excited.
Silver sat down serenely, curling her tail elegantly over her hind paws.
"The I, Maplestar of Thunderclan call upon my warrior ancestors, to look down onto this cat. She will train hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend her to you as a warrior in her turn. Silver, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to protect and defend your Clan, even at the cost of your life?"
"Then by the powers of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Silver, from this moment you will be known as Silverspirit. StarClan honors your bravery and determination and we welcome you as a full warrior of Thunderclan."
"Do you want to get yourself and Vixenkit settled into the nursery?"
Silverspirit nodded, coughed and padded after Brightmeadow into the nursery.
"This is Silvermoon and her three kits Dustkit, Shadowkit and Redkit."