Puzzlepaw padded obediently out of camp after Sharptail. Excitement coursed through him. This was his first time out of camp.
"Hey! Are you listening? Some apprentices don't have all day!" Ascotpaw cuffed his denmate round the ear, but there was a purr in his mew.
Puzzlepaw was jerked out of his thoughts. "I'm fine,"
Sharptail glared at the two apprentices.
"You'll want to be careful from now on," he warned,"We don't want any accidents, the gorge is a dangerous place."
Ascotpaw purred. "We'll be fine! I'm just excited to explore a new part of the territory!"
"It's dangerous, you could die here!" snapped Foxfur,"Why do you always think you know best?"
Sharptail turned on Foxfur. "Leave him alone!"
"No! It's deadly! You don't want your kit to fall, do you?"
Sharptail shut his jaws, but his tail was flicking in annoyance.
When they reached the gorge, Sharptail drew his tail around Puzzlepaw, keeping him from the edge, and Foxfur did the same to Ascotpaw.
"Here is the gorge. Not many battles are fought here, and it's pretty useless when it comes to hunting, so we don't really go here much," Foxfur explained.
"Wow!" yelped Ascotpaw,"It's so big!" with that, Ascotpaw ran over to the edge and placed a paw on the stone. "And it's cold!"
"Get back here, Ascotpaw!" yelled Foxfur, grabbing him by the scruff and pulling him away from the edge.
"Don't ever scare me like that again!" hissed Foxfur once they were safe,"You could have been KILLED!"
Puzzlepaw had never seen Foxfur that mad.
"Why is Foxfur mad?" he whispered to Sharptail, whose fur was on end.
"He was too close to the edge. Another paw step and he would have fallen."
Puzzlepaw was silent. Now he understood how much danger his friend had been in.
"I'm fine!" hissed Ascotpaw to Foxfur,"I'm not a kit!"
Foxfur flicked his tail. "Let's go teach them how to swim. Unless of course Ascotpaw decides to try and drown too,"
Ascotpaw hissed at this last remark, but Foxfur just ignored him.
They got to the river, and Angelpaw was waiting with Brickfur.
"Oh!" she mewed,"Are Puzzlepaw and Ascotpaw going to train with us?"
Brickfur looked uncertain.
"I thought you were meant to be at the gorge today?"
Foxfur sniffed. "We were. But Ascotpaw decided to nearly fall off it, so we came here,"
Ascotpaw stood beside Foxfur, his pelt fluffed up in fright. Angelpaw sat beside him and began to lick his pelt, smoothing it.
"Thanks," muttered Ascotpaw,"I love you,"
"Love you too," muttered Angelpaw in-between licks," Even though you're a mousebrain!"
"I'll show you mousebrain!" mewed Ascotpaw, cuffing her round the ear. "I found the best secret ever. A cave beside the gorge. Let's sneak out of camp tonight.It'll be fun!"
Angelpaw looked unsure. "Isn't that dangerous?"
"Yeah," Mewed Ascotpaw,"But it's worth it!"
Angelpaw shook her head. "I'm not going. Sorry, Ascotpaw,"
Ascotpaw flicked his tail."That's okay! I guess it's just me and you, Puzzlepaw!"
"Alright!" Puzzlepaw meowed,"I can't wait!"
Foxfur padded up to them.
"Ascotpaw, you first." he flicked his tail towards the water,"In."
Ascotpaw swallowed. "O...Okay.."
He cautiously padded up to the waters edge and walked in, churning his front and hind legs. Soon, he was moving gracefully through the water.
"Perfect!" yelled Foxfur, their argument forgotten.
"Hey!" yelped Ascotpaw as Angelpaw flew into the water beside him.
Puzzlepaw didn't jump in like Angelpaw, no, he wasn't given the choice. Ascotpaw grabbed him with front paws and pulled him in.
"W..what!" yelped Puzzlepaw as he plunged into cold water, his friend purred.
"You'll soon get the hang of it!"
Puzzlepaw concentrated, and eventually he was moving with ease.
"Alright!" mewed Foxfur,"That's enough, everybody out!"
Puzzlepaw swam out and shook his fur, but Ascotpaw and Angelpaw didn't. Instead, they sat down and began to lick each other pelt.
Puzzlepaw padded wearily back to his nest. His first day as an apprentice had been great, but exhausting. Curling his tail over his nose, he drifted into sleep. He wanted to be awake in time to meet Ascotpaw to go to the cave.