|"This was not your time to die. For as long as I live, I will honor the warrior code and not train another kit who should still be at his mother's belly. Go now, little one, and walk with warriors."|
|— Flintfang to Badgerfang in Code of the Clans, page 56|
- Below contains in-depth information for code five of Code of the Clans. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Leafpool says it seems obvious that kits should not be fighting until they are trained and strong enough to take on fully grown warriors. However, it wasn't always like this, and it took the love of a mother to stop the deaths of fragile lives.
- A voice calls out different commands, and as his apprentice tries to follow them, the apprentice falls. His mother winces as he scrambles to his paws and pants. Specklepaw looks dazed and blood is welling on the tip of his ear. His mentor, Slatepelt, nudges him towards the other apprentice, Adderpaw, and gently tells him to try again. Daisytail cannot bear to watch as her son launches himself at the older apprentice. It seemed like only a moon ago that she was suckling the freckled tom at her belly. Adderpaw had been training for several moons longer and looked fully grown next to the younger tom, who barely reached the former's shoulder. A thud sounds next to the brown-and-ginger she-cat, and she has to bite her tongue so she doesn't scream. Specklepaw asks if she saw how he pushed Adderpaw over, and Daisytail turns to her son and forces herself to purr.
- The queen can tell from the look between Adderpaw and Slatepelt that the older apprentice let the brown tom win. She congratulates the young tom and longs to lick flat a tuft of fur that is sticking up on his head. The queen says he'll be a warrior before he knows it, and silently adds before her milk has dried up. Slatepelt nods and tells Daisytail this is good, because they'll have to be fighting ShadowClan again. ShadowClan has been stealing rabbits in plain sight, and Hazelstar won't permit them to do so any longer. The brown-and-ginger she-cat doesn't respond, as her kit is too small to take part in an actual battle. Specklepaw can't even take on his own Clanmate, who holds back from ripping his pelt or clawing his ears. A voice shakes the queen out of her thoughts and she sees Hawkfoot, who is looking outside the entrance to the nursery. Her three kits are a half-moon younger than Specklepaw and will be made apprentices soon.
- Daisytail bursts out another battle with ShadowClan will be taking place, and she can't let her son fight. The other queen points out she doesn't have a choice; because the brown tom is an apprentice, he's going have to do what he's been trained to do. Specklepaw's mother asks that if Hawkfoot would let her kits go to battle, knowing they'll be facing much more experienced warriors. The dark brown she-cat replies it's their duty to birth kits, to supply their Clan with new warriors. The gray she-cat challenges and asks if it is their duty to see those warriors die before they should. She stalked off, telling the queen she's going to end this once and for all.
- As the sun stretches across the horizon and turns the sky to pink and cream, Hazelstar announces that ShadowClan has stolen from them too many times, and they will teach them that WindClan borders are strong and the prey within them will be protected. His Clanmates yowl in support; in response, another yowl sounds from the trees on the other side of the border. A line of ShadowClan warriors step out, with their leader, Blizzardstar. He sneers that some of the WindClan warriors are smaller than usual, and his gaze locks on the apprentices, who look even smaller next to the warriors. Hazelstar replies they are evenly matched, and glances at the ShadowClan cats, some of whom still have kit fur. Blizzardstar orders his cats to attack, until Daisytail leaps onto a rock she's been hiding behind with Hawkfoot and yells for them to stop. The white ShadowClan tom asks if all Hazelstar's cats are scared of combat.
- A reply tells the tom it's not fear, and a ShadowClan she-cat steps into the open. Her leader demands to know what she is doing, and Daisytail jumps down to meet Oakleaf. She announces to everyone in the clearing that they are stopping this battle, because some of the apprentices are barely off their mothers' milk. They are too young to be treated as and act like full-grown cats, and are too young to die. Oakleaf pads up next to her, and says Daisytail and Hawkfoot met her two sunrises ago, and the former told the ShadowClan she-cat that she didn't want to let her kit go into battle so young. She also asked Oakleaf if she would let her own kit die in such a way. After Blizzardstar lets out a questioning grunt, she explains she met the WindClan queen at a Gathering when they both had just found out they were expecting. Daisytail remembered Oakleaf and knew the latter would also not want her kit to fight any more than the former did.
- Hazelstar turns to his Clanmate and confusedly asks her if she wants to stop all battles, and if she thinks that's how the Clans work. She shakes her head and elaborates, saying she knows fighting is a way of life, but warriors should only fight when they are old enough to have a chance at winning. There is no point in training kits that are too young and that will only die when in battle. The ginger-and-gray she-cat spots her son ducking behind Adderpaw, embarrassed. She gives an amused purr and thinks to herself that one day he will understand why his mother did this. Oakleaf stands by Daisytail and Hawkfoot, and tells her leader that they are united, nodding toward the line as other she-cats pad out to join them. The WindClan queen knows some of them are too old to have kits who are as young as Specklepaw, but she knows they feel the same thing: kits should not be expected to fight.
- She turns to look at her leader, and wonders if they'll order their cats to fight, and if she'll have to watch her son fall at the paws of a rival warrior. Blizzardstar stares hard at his rival leader, and asks if they should still engage in battle. Hazelstar's gaze rests on the she-cats before responding that there is no sense in losing their future when if they let their future warriors grow stronger, they'll have a better chance of winning. Daisytail almost purrs, as the ginger tom managed to make this sound like a threat to the opposing Clan. Blizzardstar nods and agrees to take out his youngest cats from battle as well, because they do not want to be accused of being unfair. Hazelstar murmurs he would never accuse them of such a thing.
- He turns to the ginger she-cat and asks what she proposes to make sure Clans do not send kits into battle. She is nervous at the thought of being consulted, but replies that there should be an addition to the warrior code: that kits should be six moons old before they are allowed to train. While speaking to her leader she glances at which cat seemed big enough to face off against a full-grown warrior. Oakleaf adds that until then, kits must stay inside camp, where the queens will take care of them. Hazelstar nods, thanking both Daisytail and Oakleaf. He asks Blizzardstar if there is an agreement, and the tom acknowledges that there is, and this will be brought up at the next Gathering. As the WindClan queen glances at her son, he looks ready to burst with frustration. She thinks fondly that there will be more battles for Specklepaw, but not until he's ready.
- Leafpool says only the darkest leader would break this code and send kits into battle. However, Brokenstar was such a leader.
- A WindClan warrior springs at a tiny black-and-white tom with his claws unsheathed and the tom falls to the ground silently. Flintfang shakes off the she-cat on his tail and rushes over to Badgerpaw, snarling for the tom who attacked him to go away. He grabs the tom by his scruff, his fur still soft and fluffy, to the edge of the WindClan camp. Screeches and thuds echo where WindClan once made its home, but no more. Brokenstar was right, as this battle would drive the cats off the moor and ShadowClan could use it to feed their cats. However, Badgerpaw won't be able to. His breathing is shallow and a sour smell is coming from him. The gray tom shakes his head angrily. He had trained his apprentice well and made sure he could duck, roll, and slash just as well as any of the other apprentices. Unfortunately for Badgerpaw, he is only three moons old, and is too small to do anything in battle. The warrior asks himself what he could do when he was forced to mentor a kit.
- The warrior code states that kits must be six moons old before they can begin training, but that doesn't worry the ShadowClan tom as much as Brokenstar does. He knows he failed his leader, and the brown tabby will make sure every one of his Clanmates knows. He is ready to abandon his apprentice to chase after the WindClan warrior when Badgerpaw's eyes flicker open and he asks if the gray tom is Flintfang. He replies yes, it's him, and the kit asks if he was good enough. He tried to remember everything the warrior taught him. A bead of blood appears at the corner of his lip and Flintfang stares at his tiny little body. Badgerpaw never stood a chance since the battle began. The tiny black-and-white tom continues and hopes that his leader is proud of him, and his mother as well. Flintfang worries what he will tell Fernshade, if he should tell her that her kit was always going to die because he was too small and weak to face older and more experienced warriors. He meows that his mother will be very proud of him.
- His apprentice asks if the gray tom is proud of him as well, and the warrior strokes the kit's eyes closed again. Badgerpaw fretfully asks if Flintfang will be all right without him. Blood that has been trickling from his ear is now spilling out faster. His mentor replies they'll do their best, and they'll remember how brave he was. The black-and-white tom's chest swells with pride, and he wonders if StarClan will make him a warrior. The gray tom tells him they will; the dying tom's faint voice asks what his name will be. Flintfang answers that they'll probably let him choose his own name. A lump in his throat is making it hard to speak. Badgerpaw responds that he'd like to be called Badgerfang, after his great mentor. His mentor rests his head on top of the kit's, and says it's a great honor and Badgerfang is a great name for a warrior.
- Badgerpaw's breaths come quicker, his flank hardly rising as Flintfang tells him he'll watch over them from StarClan for many moons. His apprentice lets out a sigh as his flank stops moving. The tom straightens and announces that it was not the tiny black-and-white tom's time to die. For as long as he lives, he will follow the warrior code and not train a kit who should still be drinking milk. He tells Badgerpaw to go and walk with warriors.
Notes and references
|Code of the Clans chapters|
|The Dawn of the Clans • The Warrior Code • Code 1 • Code 2 • Code 3 • Code 4 • Code 5 • Code 6 • Code 7 • Code 8 • Code 9 • Code 10 • Code 11 • Code 12 • Code 13 • Code 14 • Code 15 • Rules That Did Not Become Part of the Code • Epilogue|
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