Crookedpaw is out training with Cedarpelt. Snow sparkles beneath them in the small clearing where they've been practicing battle moves all afternoon. Cedarpelt tells him to puff out his fur, but Crookedpaw remembers how Mapleshade tells him to slick his fur down to make him look weaker than he really is. Crookedpaw complains that fur never hurt anyone, but Cedarpelt insists that he do it. Crookedpaw grudgingly obliges, only to hear a purr of laughter from Cedarpelt, who tells his apprentice that he looks like a pinecone. Crookedpaw's irritation disappears, and he flattens his fur again as he tells his mentor to make up his mind.
Crookedpaw and Cedarpelt hear a sound and see Piketooth bounding up the slope toward them. Beetlenose isn't far behind, and he calls to Crookedpaw, asking if he's getting the hang of his training. Crookedpaw scowls, thinking that Beetlenose is acting as though he's been made deputy instead of a warrior. He's glad to have the black tom move out of the apprentices' den, but misses Petaldust and Voleclaw, and is grateful that he still has Oakpaw. Piketooth tells Cedarpelt that he and Beetlenose were at the WindClanborder, where they ran into the deputy Reedfeather. Cedarpelt asks about the kits, and Piketooth says that they're doing well before revealing that ThunderClan attacked WindClan's camp. Crookedpaw gasps and asks if they attacked the nursery, but Piketooth says that they were looking to raid WindClan's herbs. Cedarpelt asks if anyone was hurt, and Piketooth replies that ThunderClan lost one of their warriors; Moonflower. Crookedpaw asks Piketooth if he's warned Hailstar, and Piketooth says that the leader was with them, and went back to camp to warn Brambleberry. Beetlenose confidently mews that ThunderClan doesn't have the guts to cross the river to attack RiverClan even when the river is frozen.
Cedarpelt asks Beetlenose if he'll practice some battle moves with Crookedpaw. Crookedpaw rolls his eyes, but Beetlenose flattens his ears, ready for a fight. Piketooth tells them to act like Clanmates and tells Crookedpaw that he might learn something, to which Cedarpelt says that his apprentice thinks he already knows everything. Beetlenose crouches down and taunts Crookedpaw, and Crookedpaw fluffs out his fur and ducks down. Digging in his hind claws, Crookedpaw rears up and wraps his tail around his legs, and Beetlenose leans back in response. Crookedpaw swipes at Beetlenose, and blinks in surprise when the black tom drops and darts behind him.
Crookedpaw turns to see Beetlenose's jaws snapping at where his tail should be. Satisfied, Crookedpaw slams down on the warrior. Beetlenose yelps in pain and wriggles out from underneath Crookedpaw, rubbing at his chin. Cedarpelt scorns Crookedpaw for hurting Beetlenose, but he protests that he had his claws sheathed, and that Beetlenose went for his tail even though they were supposed to be practicing a front paw swipe. Beetlenose and Crookedpaw argue, and Beetlenose brings up that Crookedpaw hid his tail. Cedarpelt quietly mews that that's a ThunderClan tactic, and asks Crookedpaw where he learned it. Crookedpaw is proud of the move he learned from Mapleshade, but Cedarpelt says that it isn't honorable to use tricks. Crookedpaw protests that he just taught Beetlenose a new move, but Cedarpelt tells him to respect Beetlenose as a warrior. Beetlenose hisses that Crookedpaw thinks he's better than any other RiverClan cat before Cedarpelt growls that they should get back to camp.
Crookedpaw watches Cedarpelt leave and wonders why he has to hide all that he knows. The RiverClan cats trek back to the snow-covered camp, and Cedarpelt heads straight for Hailstar's den, much to Crookedpaw's dismay. Beetlenose barges past him to the fresh-kill pile, where Echomist and Petaldust already are. Piketooth tells Crookedpaw not to worry before rushing over to touch noses with his mateShimmerpelt, who sits with Brightsky and Mudfur. Cedarpelt emerges from Hailstar's den and tells Crookedpaw that the leader wants to talk to him. Crookedpaw tries to apologize as he pads over, but Cedarpelt cuts him off and walks away.
Crookedpaw turns toward Hailstar and tries to explain how he didn't hit Beetlenose on purpose, but Hailstar stops him, saying that he's sure the black tom is fine. He begins to say that he knows Crookedpaw is in a hurry to finish his training, but Crookedpaw protests that he's trying to be patient before realizing that he just interrupted his leader. Crookedpaw hurriedly apologizes, and Hailstar begins again, telling the apprentice to take his time. Crookedpaw silently itches with frustration as Hailstar goes on. He begins to tell the apprentice to enjoy his training before the distant shrieking of Twoleg kits interrupts him.
Mudfur darts out of the hollow to check the channel. Brightsky follows him and asks what he can see, while the rest of the Clan watches. Mudfur reports that a Twolegkit has fallen through the ice upstream. Echomist wails that it will drown, but Mudfur says that grown Twolegs are pulling it out. Suddenly, pawsteps sound from outside the camp, and Shellheart bursts through the reed tunnel followed by Oakpaw, Owlfur, and Softwing. Skidding to a halt, Softwing excitedly says that Oakpaw saved them. Hailstar asks what happened, and Shellheart reports that they were attacked by a dog. Softwing adds that they were patrolling near the Twolegplace when the dog charged straight for them. Brambleberry asks if there were any injuries, but Shellheart says that Oakpaw was too fast. Rainflower shoves past Softwing to Oakpaw's side, asking if he's sure he's not hurt. Oakpaw ducks away and says that he's fine.
Owlfur, Softwing, Shellheart and Oakpaw explain how the dog nearly got Softwing, but Oakpaw reared up just in time and slashed it across the muzzle. After that, while the dog was whimpering and howling, the cats had time to escape up a tree. Rainflower praises Oakpaw, but the apprentice says that any warrior could have done it. Hailstar tells Oakpaw that he did well, and calls a Clan meeting. Crookedpaw congratulates his brother, and Shellheart and Rainflower praise him as well, while Brambleberry murmurs that courage must run in the family. Troutclaw and Birdsong emerge from the elders' den asking about the dog, and Softwing and Owlfur explain how Oakpaw fought it off. Fallowtail slides out of the warrior's den and asked if the dog followed the patrol home, but Echomist assures her that they're safe.
Hailstar pads into the clearing and announces that Oakpaw has earned his warrior name. Oakpaw gasps, and Crookedpaw stares at his brother in astonishment, wondering if he'll become leader before him. Shellheart nudges Oakpaw toward Hailstar, who grants the apprentice the warrior name of Oakheart, praising him for his courage and quick wit. Crookedpaw feels a surge of pride as the Clan cheers Oakheart's new name, and although he's proud for his brother, he feels a sting as he wonders why Oakheart has it so easy. Crookedpaw pushes the thought away and tells himself that they'll be warriors together soon, and then it won't matter.
Oakheart pads to Crookedpaw's side and happily says that he didn't think it would feel this good. Shellheart and Rainflower congratulate their son, and Oakheart tells Crookedpaw that it'll be his turn next. Rainflower murmurs that Crookedpaw will never be as good as his brother. Shellheart glares at his former mate and frustratedly asks why she can't keep her thoughts to herself. Crookedpaw angrily wonders why she had to spoil the moment. Oakheart steers Crookedpaw away and tells him to ignore her, distracting him by mentioning the full moon. Crookedpaw realizes that his first Gathering as an apprentice is coming up, and wonders if Hailstar will let him go. Oakheart assures him that now that he's a warrior and Crookedpaw is an apprentice, only a frog-brain would stop them going from going to the Gathering that night.