Warriors: Leafpaw's Path

Venture with Leaf into the forest, to learn the ways of a clan cat.

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2. Into the Wild

 

Leaf slowly opened her vibrant, viridian eyes to the bright sunlight filtering through the window. It was her first day at her new home and she already felt claustrophobic. She slowly stretched her legs, and felt her brown pelt brush against her soft, furry bed. She slowly got to her paws, "Another boring day in another Twoleg's nest," she said to herself, knowing there was no one to hear her. Her upwalker was still fast asleep, and she was bored of eating pellets for food, and sitting around all day. She wanted to explore the world, and see what was behind the fence and in the forest!

 

Leaf decided to try to wake her upwalker, so she could get out. She has never been in a Twolegsplace so close to a forest. She started to prod the hairless arm of the upwalker until she heard a groan. "What do you want Leaf?" said the upwalker sleepily. Leaf slowly indicated to the window with her long, slender tail.

"Oh, so you want to go outside?" The upwalker said, "Ok." The old, frail upwalker walked to the window and slowly opened it up. Leaf was overjoyed and immediately jumped out of the window on to a tall oak tree. Convenient, she thought, finally I have a chance to explore beyond the fence!

 

Leaf made her way through the lush, leaf-filled branches of the tree to the edge of her upwalker's house. "Finally," she whispered, taking a deep breath. Leaf jumped over the fence and landed heavily on her feet. Ow, she thought wincing, and gingerly rubbing her front paw. "Well, that hurt more than I thought it would," she said to herself. She slowly started to look around taking in all of her surroundings. There are huge, lush trees standing over Leaf, going on for as far as she can see. Her fence stands far over her head, never to let her back into her warm, safe home. She breathed out slowly, knowing there's no going back.

 

Leaf started to pad into the trees, her paws feeling the soft dirt of the forest grounds. She gazed forward only seeing trees, trees, and more trees. "What are doing in our territory!?" Leaf suddenly heard a growl coming from above her. She lifted her head to see a large, spotted face with piercing yellow eyes looking down her with his teeth bared. She started to shrink back, with her ears flattened. "Be more gentle, Spottedpelt," said an orange tabby she-cat with blue eyes,"What are you doing here little one?"

"Um... I'm lost, I jumped over my fence to see what was out here.." Leaf whispered trying here best not to stutter,"I'm so sorry guys..." The she-cat looked down at Leaf in pity,"Poor little scrap, so you have no where to go," she said, "Come with me you can live in TreeClan." Spottedpelt growled in response to this statement," Absolutely not, Orangefur," he growled,"What would Shinestar say?"

"Shinestar would never let a small kit die in the forest," Orangefur responded,"There are foxes, badgers, and dogs that can easily kill her." Leaf shivered at the though of any of those animals near her. Maybe I can go with them, she thought, at least Orangefur seems nice. "What is your name little scrap?" Orangefur question, looking directly at Leaf. "My name is Leaf," she whispered slowly, "You guys would let me come live you?" Spottedpelt was about to object, but Orangefur slapped her tail against his mouth, silencing him. "Yes, little Leaf," she said softly, "Follow me." She started to walk farther into the forest, Spottedpelt followed, after looking at Leaf in disgust. Leaf's ears drooped, but she slowly padded after them.

They walked a long way, through endless trees, but finally they stopped. Orangefur and Spottedpelt stopped right in front of her, causing her to bump into Spottedpelt. "Watch it scrap," he growled, causing her to shrink back. Orangefur wasn't paying attention them though, she was prodding at the bramble wall in front of them. "Here Leaf, come over here," said Orangefur. Leaf padded to Orangefur, who moved a bit of bramble, to create pathway. Orangefur and Spottedpelt squeezed through the gap, Leaf followed wearily. She gasped at what she saw, there was a huge clearing in front of her, completely surrounded by a bramble wall, with a huge pile of dead squirrels, birds, and rabbits. There were two dens made from grasses, branches that were near the back of this clearing. A small cave was to the right dens followed by a huge tree stump with an opening in it, more than big enough for a cat the enter. Also to the left of the grass, and branch dens is a another cave which is bigger than the other. Finally to the far right of Leaf was a huge tree with small branches pretending its trunk, making it possible for cats to climb up easily. At the very top of this tree is a small hole in the tree with curtains of vine covering the entrance. "Wow," Leaf whispered,"This place is huge, but why are there dead animals in the middle?" Orangefur answered,"That is the fresh-kill pile, it is what we eat. Leaf nodded in understanding. At least it's not pellets, she thought.

 

Leaf was too busy looking at her surroundings, and thinking to herself, that she didn't notice all the cats looking at her. Her ear tips quickly warmed in embarrassment, and she shrunk back in fear. Suddenly a huge cat, with a bright, shiny, silver pelt, and piercing blue eyes walked up to her, Orangefur, and Spottedpelt. "Who is this," The huge cat questioned.

"This is Leaf, Shinestar," Orangefur answered," We found her in the forest by the twoleg's nests, by herself." Shinestar nodded, deep in thought. "Yes, she was tresspassing," Spottedpelt added, eyes boring into Leaf. Leaf tried to ignore Spottedpelt, and instead looked at Shinestar. "Where are you from, little one," Shinestar asked. Leaf looked up at him,"I used to live with an old twoleg, as you call them, my mom died when I was born, and I never met my dad." She answered. "Hm..I see," said Shinestar, "would you like to say in TreeClan?"

"Yes please," exclaimed Leaf, in a sudden outburst of excitement,"I am SO bored of sitting around all day." Shinestar chuckled,"Just know it will be a lot of work to train as an apprentice, you will have to learn how to hunt, fight, and care for others," he said,"Are you sure you want to stay here?" Leaf nodded her head vigorously. At this Shinestar said,"All cats old enough to catch their own prey gather under the Great Tree." "Follow me," Orangefur said, padding to the area under the Great Tree. Leaf followed, she noticed everyone was gathering under the Great Tree. Many of them were also looking at her, some with curious eyes, some with accusing glares. She nervously sat down beside Orangefur, and noticed all the cats whispering to each other. They must be talking about me... She thought, and decided to look up at the top of the Great Tree where Shinestar stands. "Everyone as you probably have seen, we have a newcomer," Shinestar states,"Her name is Leaf,and she wishes to train as a warrior of TreeClan." Many howls of disaproval come from the crowd, making Leaf even more nervous than she already was.

"Silence," Shinestar said with much authority,"Give her a chance. Leaf, please come to the front of the Great Tree." Leaf quickly made her way there and stopped, then turned around to face the crowd. Leaf saw everyone's eyes trained on her. Wow she thought, everyone is so serious and scary. Being only six moons old, Leaf was way smaller than most of  the other cats. "I, Shinestar, leader of TreeClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on this cat. She wishes to join TreeClan as an apprentice." Shinestar's voice took Leaf by suprise and made her shiver. "Leaf," Shinestar continued,"from this moment on you will be know as Leafpaw. Orangefur you will be mentor to Leafpaw. Pass on your loyalty and compassion to her." Orangefur stepped out of the crowd of cats and whispered," Touch noses with me." Leafpaw quickly touched noses with her, and they both turned to face the rest of the clan. A few cats mewed quiet congratulations, but other than that there was an eerie silence. Shinestar breaks the minute long silence,"You are all dismissed," he said then walked into his den. Leafpaw sighed, I guess it will be harder than I thought to be accepted. "Don't worry," Orangefur said, as if reading her mind,"they will warm up to you eventually." Leafpaw nodded absentmindedly, I hope.

"You've had a long day," Orangefur says,"why don't you go meet the other apprentices, they can help you get some moss for a nest." "Nest," echoed Leafpaw, as the two she-cats walked toward one of the dens made up of leaves and branches,"is that like a bed?"

"Yes," Orangefur said with a chuckle,"we're here, remember that the smaller den with branches and leaves is the apprentice den. I'll give you a tour of the camp and territory tomorrow starting at dawn." "Ok," Leafpaw said with a yawn, she starts to walk toward the apprentice den to meet the other apprentices. Orangefur watches her apprentice with worried eyes, then turns to walk to the warriors den.

Leafpaw walks into the apprentice den to see five cats staring her. "Hi," she says nervously,"I'm Leafpaw." The gray apprentice with lighter gray stripes, and blue eyes growls," We know who you are, and you shouldn't be here." With that he pointedly turns around, and curls up into his mossy nest. "Ignore him," says a white she-cat with orange spots on her fur,"Graypaw is always grumpy." "Yes he is," a black tom says,"he's a pain to train with." The other she-cat with golden fur nods,"Yes listen to Petalpaw," she says,"by the way I'm Sunpaw, and beside me is my brother Scarletpaw, and the black tom that didn't introduce himself is Nightpaw." The red furred tom nods,"Hi." While Nightpaw mumbles,"Well sorry." Wow everyone is not as mean as I thought, except for Graypaw, Leafpaw thought, you can't really tell that Scarletpaw and Sunpaw are littermates, the only thing they share are those yellow eyes. Petalpaw seems very gentle, while Nightpaw is funny. "Hi, nice to meet you all," Leafpaw says with a small laugh," is there anyway I can get moss for a nest?" "Yes I can take you," says Nightpaw," we have extra moss in the medicine cat den."

"Ok," says Leafpaw, and both apprentices leave toward the smaller cave.

"What are you two doing outside, it's getting late." Says a tom that looks almost identical to Sunpaw. "We are going to get moss from the medicine cat den," responds Nightpaw. "Ahh for the newcomer," the tom says, while looking at Leafpaw with bright yellow eyes," my name is Goldfur, I am clan deputy, remember that." Goldfur slowly stalks of toward the warriors den. "Wow he seems stern," whispers Leafpaw, making sure Goldfur was out of earshot. "Sometimes he just likes to be mysterious I guess," responds Nightpaw with a shrug. "Well what is clan deputy anyways," Leafpaw ask while the two apprentices continue walking to the medicine cats den. "A clan deputy is the second in command of a clan, they organize patrols," Nightpaw says. "Patrols?" "Yes we have border patrols which check our borders to make sure no enemy clan is trying to steal our territory. There are also hunting patrols which hunt for fresh-kill, obviously." Leafpaw nods taking in all the information.

The two apprentices finally get to the medicine den, where Leafpaw meets Glowpelt who is the medicine cat. "What does a medicine cat do," questions Leafpaw. "Medicine cats heal cats with injuries and sicknesses with many different types of herbs," responds Glowpelt. Leafpaw nods and sniffs to smell many different aromas swirling through the air. Nightpaw is shuffling his paws impatiently,"Can we please have some moss, for Leafpaw's nest." he asks. "Of course," the medicine cat quickly grabs some moss to give to the two apprentices. "Thanks," says Nightpaw while dragging out Leafpaw. "Hey," Leafpaw exclaims," why are we in such a hurry?!" "I'm tired," Nightpaw complains," I have to wake up early for dawn patrol." Oh, Leafpaw thinks, as she is dragged all the way back to the apprentice den.

When Leafpaw and Nightpaw arrived back at the apprentice den, everyone was alseep, except Petalpaw who achknowledged them with a flick of her tail. "Where should I make my nest," Leafpaw whispered to Nightpaw. Nightpaw walked over to a spot near his nest,"Make it here," he said. Leafpaw nodded slowly, and together they finished her nest. By time they were done, they both were extremely tired, and both went to sleep right away.

Leafpaw opened her eyes. Am I awake? She thought looking around to see flat plains as far as the eye can see. Mist is collected at the horizons making it harder to see. Suddenly a brown furred tom with leaf green eyes started to walk out of the mist. "Wh-o are you," Leafpaw questioned in wonder and fear. "Peace little one," the tom said, his pelt sparkling as if he was covered in stars," This is StarClan, the warrior ancestors that all clans believe in." Leafpaw let go of the breathe she was holding in relief. "I am here to tell you that you made the right choice in coming into the forest," the tom said with a chuckle,"you will save the clans." "H-how," stuttered Leafpaw," What can I do, I'm just an apprentice barely!" "Not now dear one," mused the tom,"soon." The brown furred tom started to fade. "Wa-wait," Leafpaw exclaimed,"Who are you? What's your name?" He was gone, and Leafpaw was frustrated, what did he mean!

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