|"At the Gathering tomorrow night, I'll suggest we add a new part to the warrior code: that all new warriors must spend one night in silent vigil so they understand how much their Clan needs them now."|
|— Troutstar's proposal for a new law in Code of the Clans, pages 65-66|
- Below contains in-depth information for code six of Code of the Clans. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Leafpool explains that being a warrior isn't just about hunting and fighting rival Clans, but also being part of a tradition that stretches back moons and moons. A RiverClan medicine cat learns that a cat realizes this most when they are first given their warrior name and are responsible for the survival of their Clan.
- A voice calls for Meadowpelt, and he puts down the willow stick he's been shredding and pads outside onto the dusty greenleaf ground. The reeds rattle as a small black tom bursts out and yowls that Snaketooth is hurt. Troutstar demands to know what happened just as two more cats appear with a third, his head lolling and his legs trailing behind him. The RiverClan leader orders the medicine cat to take over and Meadowpelt runs forward to look at his patient. This isn't first injury he's treated with these young warriors. Molewhisker ripped out one of his claws trying the jump across the river, and Lightningpelt nearly poked out her eye chasing through the thickest reeds. These warriors seem to come up with contest after contest to discover who's the fastest, strongest, or most mouse-brained.
- Lightningpelt and Nettlepad lay their friend down, and he walks up to the injured tom and studies the twisted leg, how the bone juts out beneath the skin. Snaketooth could be stuck walking with a limp. Sighing, Meadowpelt asks what happened this time, and his patient mutters that they were climbing one of Great Oaks. He won, and Lightningpelt exclaims that he practically climbed onto a cloud. The disgruntled medicine cat retorts that if he had saw the tom he wouldn't have let him climb at all. He asks when will they learn to stop showing off and being mouse-brains, because by leaf-bare there won't be any warriors left. Looking around he sees Oatpaw, whom he's thinking of taking as an apprentice. He tells Oatpaw to get some poppy seeds, and the apprentice happily obliges. The medicine cat orders Snaketooth to eat the poppy seeds, then instructs Oatpaw to help him carry the tom to his den. He'll stay there overnight.
- As the night wears on, Snaketooth's friends sneak into the medicine cat's den and Molewhisker loudly whispers to ask how he's doing. Meadowpelt replies that it's up to StarClan now; he's done all that he can do. He tells them to go back to their dens but then the dark tom stirs and greets his friends. Nettlepad asks how his leg's doing; the last time he saw it the leg looked gross. Meadowpelt relents to letting them stay for a little bit, but for no more than a few moments. The three warriors nod and the medicine cat weaves his way back to his nest, yet he can still hear the warriors chatting with Snaketooth, even in his old age.
- Someone whispers that the injured tom has got to get better soon; they're going to jump into the gorge on the full moon. Nettlepad meows that he dared Snaketooth to do it, so if it isn't done, he wins. Lightningpelt hisses for them to keep their voices down, as the old cats never want them to have fun. Molewhisker replies that they wish they be young again so they could jump into the gorge, but they were never brave enough to try. The she-cat whispers that Meadowpelt's gone to sleep and they pad out of the den. The medicine cat is bristling at the warriors' stupidity, and he has trouble sleeping.
- He asks to speak with his leader, and Troutstar wakes from his nap. The gray tom asks if Snaketooth is all right, and Meadowpelt grunts that he'll live, but he has zero sense in him. Both of them don't know why the warriors keep doing mouse-brained activities. The medicine cat suggests that he go to the Moonstone and ask StarClan for help. Surprised Troutstar asks if their ancestors really need to be involved. Meadowpelt is firm because their warriors only want to have fun. RiverClan doesn't have enough apprentices for them to mentor so they're wasting time doing stupid, dangerous things. All of them have gotten hurt, but that doesn't stop them or their enthusiasm. He asks his leader if he knows the warriors are planning to jump into the gorge on the full moon. The gray tom replies no, he didn't. He sends Meadowpelt off and hopes StarClan will give them answers.
- As Meadowpelt winds his way down the tunnel, he clears his mind. A glowing Moonstone awaits him at the bottom, lighting up the cavern. He presses his nose to the cold rock and asks StarClan to help him to show the warriors that they can't goof around and that their Clan depends on them. When he closes his eyes, he hears the river rushing on the stones and opens his eyes. Cats around him are preparing for the night. Shocked, Meadowpelt realizes he doesn't recognize any of these cats, or rather, he can't see them clearly enough, and can't distinguish their scents or voices. One cat reports that they've tracked a fox to the border, and it shouldn't be coming back soon. Another replies that they're on dawn patrol tomorrow, so they'll look out for the creature. Yet another cat meows that the elders are convinced the fox will come back; they said a fox will check out a place twice before deciding to settle there. This cat thinks they should be prepared to chase it out again. Someone asks someone else if they can do a hunting patrol in their place, since the former promised to take the apprentices out for a fishing lesson.
- The latter agrees, saying the fresh-kill pile needs to be full with the kits coming any day now. They asks if the others have seen how much the queens eat while nursing, and everyone purrs with amusement. Meadowpelt purrs with them, and thinks that these are warriors his Clan can be proud of, warriors that understand their importance within their Clan. Light rouses him from his sleep and he wonders if that was it. He'd spent the night in RiverClan listening to unknown cats talk about their lives and doesn't know how that'll help. The medicine cat thinks about his night of listening, but wonders if that will stop the mouse-brained acts. He doesn't know what to tell his leader, and thinks about listening, to cats who cared about their Clan and who understood their duties. Wondering if that is what these warriors need, he races off to tell Troutstar.
- He sounds unconvinced, and Meadowpelt wonders if this is a great idea. Knowing the warriors, he figures they'll just come up with stupid games to play. However, he casts aside his doubts. The full moon is very close, and maybe this night of listening will make the warriors too tired to carry out their plan to jump into the gorge. All the young cats look startled when their leader explains the plan. He adds that not only do they have to watch, they also have to listen. As Meadowpelt heads for his den, he spots the warriors in the center of the camp, looking uncertain. He can't blame them; he's not sure if he heard StarClan correctly in the first place. He slides into his nest and into a deep sleep before he hears someone crying about a fox. Before his eyes are fully open he races into the clearing where Nettlepad is, his fur on end. He gasps that they heard a fox, creeping on the nursery. Molewhisker and Lightningpelt have chased it off.
- Troutstar orders a couple of senior warriors to help them, as they don't want a confrontation with the fox. A white she-cat with ginger and her kits pad up to Nettlepad; the queen exclaims that he saved their lives. One of the kits squeaks that he didn't even hear the fox coming. Meadowpelt agrees with the queen, Sunspots. He tells the warrior that he should be proud; he saved Sunspots' life and her kits'. The tom replies it's because they were being quiet, otherwise they would have never heard that fox. Meadowpelt explains they wouldn't have heard the fox either if they were jumping into the gorge, climbing the Great Oaks, or chasing each other through the reeds. Embarrassed, Nettlepad agrees that it was pretty mouse-brained.
- Just then, Lightningpelt and Molewhisker arrive back at camp and announce they chased the fox to the border. Lightningpelt declares it won't come back in a hurry. Fernleaf, an elder, rasps that they shouldn't be so certain, because foxes usually come back before they decide to settle down. They should be prepared to meet the fox again. Molewhisker promises that it'll be no problem, and Lightningpelt spots a group of apprentices. She asks if they would like to learn some fishing techniques, and Nettlepad offers to do her hunting patrol for her. The tabby she-cat thanks him, and Meadowpelt sees his vision unfolding around him. These cats had become warriors RiverClan could be proud of after one night of listening.
- Troutstar murmurs his thanks to the medicine cat and the tom shrugs and says the leader should thank StarClan. The gray tom says he'll propose a new law for the warrior code: that all new warriors must spend a night of silent vigil to understand their importance to the Clan. Meadowpelt feels pride swelling inside of him and is satisfied.
- Leafpool introduces her sister to give some tips in case they have to sit vigil sometime soon, if they're a ThunderClan warrior.
- Squirrelflight explains that sitting vigil is the proudest and scariest night of any warrior's life, at least for her. Spending a night guarding the Clan, trying not to fall asleep and jumping at the slightest movement in case it's an enemy is enough to send anybody back to the nursery. She's going to give tips on how to sit vigil, so they'll be prepared when the time comes.
- She suggests not sleeping near the warriors den, otherwise the snoring will either put the warrior to sleep or deafen them. If they're feeling tired, then should jump onto Highledge, without waking Firestar up of course. Cats other than the leader aren't supposed to go up there, but it'll give them a boost of energy to get through the night. Back when Squirrelflight sat vigil she climbed onto Highrock and the camp looked tiny from her perspective. She thought about how it would feel to summon the cats, and scolds the warrior for thinking she'd actually do it. The tabby recommends stretching once in a while, otherwise they'll feel stiff or like they've turned into stone. A game of mouse-chase won't offend StarClan if it gets extremely cold, but she warns them not to send it too close to the nursery, or it'll wake the kits. They can hear a game going on, and the queens won't thank them for that.
- If they hear or see anything suspicious, ask who's there. Even if it's something harmless, it's better to be safe than sorry. The safety of the Clan depends on the cat who's sitting vigil, and Squirrelflight apologizes for possibly frightening them. She hopes nothing really happens, because they're not supposed to make noise during the vigil. Unless there's a raid, in which they should wake Firestar first, and then the warriors. They shouldn't do anything by themselves; it would be too risky. Vigil-sitters are allowed to call for help if they need it, and they can drink but they can't eat. Their old mentor will tell them when the vigil's over, after the sun is up. She asks if she's scared them, and wishes the cats luck.
- Squirrelflight is mentioned to have sat vigil in ThunderClan's old camp, when in fact she did not sit vigil at all.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 57
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 66
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 58
- ↑ Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 59
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 64
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 65
- ↑ Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 67
|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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