|"Right now, I don't know what I'm going to do. But I'm not sure if the Clans can survive leaf-bare. I cannot let my Clan suffer if there's anything I can do to prevent it. We cannot ignore this message, however it came to is. It may be our only hope of survival. If there is a sign, I want to see it for myself."|
|— Firestar in Dawn, page 62|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter four of Dawn (book). If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 4 (of 25)
- Page Numbers: 43-62
- As Cinderpelt makes her way through the bracken, she informs Squirrelpaw, Brambleclaw, and Stormfur that Sunningrocks was the safest place for ThunderClan to hide. Shocked, as Sunningrocks is a broad treeless stone slope without much undergrowth, Squirrelpaw remarks that there is very little shelter there. Conscious of Stormfur close behind her, Squirrelpaw lowers her voice to ask if Firestar feared RiverClan attacking and trying to claim Sunningrocks as theirs. Cinderpelt responds that RiverClan hasn't been threatening. The medicine cat comments that Sunningrocks is the farthest place in their territory from the Twolegs and their monsters, and close to the small amount of prey left in the woods.
- The medicine cat quickly leads the trio through the forest in spite of her wounded leg, but her thin flanks heave with the effort, which is noted by Squirrelpaw. She sees that Brambleclaw is also looking at Cinderpelt, his gaze anxious. Squirrelpaw murmurs that she and Brambleclaw are in much better shape than the medicine cat. Brambleclaw agrees, remarking that their journey had strengthened them. Squirrelpaw is guilty that their long quest had kept them better fed and more protected than their Clanmates back in the forest.
- The sun is sinking in a cloudless blue sky, and a cold breeze sways some branches above the cats, pulling at the last remaining leaves. Squirrelpaw hears the angry hum of Twoleg monsters and nothing else except for a couple birds singing. The monsters' foul smell hovers in the air and clings to her pelt. Squirrelpaw registers that the forest to which she had returned no longer sounded like or carried the scent of her home. The forest had changed into a place where cats could not live, and Squirrelpaw knows that Midnight's prophecy is already coming true. She notices the gray shape of Sunningrocks and the forms of cats moving over it.
- Squirrelpaw is surprised by a yowl and a flash of white and ginger fur. Sorreltail and Brackenfur appear from the bushes in front of her, and Sorreltail gasps that she thought she smelled a scent she knew. Squirrelpaw notes that they look as gaunt as Cinderpelt. Brambleclaw is shocked as he sights the two cats' disheveled bodies. Brackenfur remarks that they didn't think the questing cats were returning; at this, Squirrelpaw proclaims that she and the others were definitely coming back. Brackenfur then asks where they have been, and Stormfur replies that it is very far away, farther than any cat has ever been. Brackenfur glowers at Stormfur suspiciously, asking if he was going home. Stormfur answers that he has to speak with Graystripe. Brackenfur hesitates, and Cinderpelt tells him to let him come, informing him that the cats have much to tell ThunderClan. Brackenfur is still suspicious but lowers his head and starts to lead the way to Sunningrocks. Sorreltail follows, encouraging the others on, as the rest of ThunderClan will want to see them.
- As Squirrelpaw walks beside Sorreltail, she is worried that Midnight's warning had not come in time to aid the Clans and their quest might have been in vain. She hopes that the sign of the dying warrior is enough to save the Clans. She looks briefly at Sorreltail, noticing that the warrior's tail was down and she was looking anxiously down at the ground. Squirrelpaw informs her that Cinderpelt told her about Leafpaw. Sorreltail comments flatly that she could do nothing to help. Sorreltail didn't know where Leafpaw was taken, and she wanted to search, but ThunderClan relocated their camp immediately the next day, and she hasn't had a chance. She looks hopefully at Squirrelpaw, inquiring if she had seen Leafpaw or knows where she is, but Squirrelpaw sadly answers no.
- Squirrelpaw smells ThunderClan and yearns to run forward to meet her Clanmates, but her instinct advises her to approach them cautiously. She is motionless for a second and hopes that no cat can hear her beating heart. She observes the even stone hill of Sunningrocks, bordered on one side by trees and sloping sharply downward on the other. Squirrelpaw notices treetops following the stream as far as the area whee Fourtrees had once stood. She notes that Sunningrocks, blasted by chilly gusts, was a cold camping place for ThunderClan. Glancing at Sorreltail's paws, Squirrelpaw notices dried blood stains and recalls how the rocks in the mountain home of the Tribe had scraped her own paws.
- It is said that unlike the ravine, Sunningrocks has no central clearing for cats to assemble. Because of this, cats are gathered in small clusters. Squirrelpaw sights Mousefur and her mentor, Dustpelt, under an overhang. She notes Dustpelt's thin, bony condition and that he appears smaller than before her journey. Two elders, Speckletail and Frostfur, cower in the deepest gully; Squirrelpaw notices the disheveled state of their pelts. Farther down, Ferncloud can be seen hunched over her two remaining kits. Cinderpelt explains that it's more sheltered down there, but the queens still feel very exposed. She also points out where the apprentices nest, in a hollow among a dip in the rocks. Squirrelpaw can see Shrewpaw fluffed up against the cold. She glances at Brambleclaw, who gives her a nod despite the anxiety in his eyes.
- When they pass Ferncloud her eyes darken with anger, and Squirrelpaw wonders if the Clan blamed them for what happened. Thornclaw heaves himself out of a gully near the edge of the slope with flattened ears, hissing at them, and Rainwhisker's eyes gleam when he sees them, no warmth or welcome in the action. Stormfur scans the rocks for Graystripe but cannot find him, or Firestar. Squirrelpaw fights back the urge to flee back into the forest as she whispers miserably to Brambleclaw that the cats don't want them here. He promises her that they'll understand once they explain, and Squirrelpaw hopes he's right. Ashfur bounds towards them, skidding to a halt in front of Squirrlpaw, holding his tail high. He touches his muzzle to hers as he exclaims that they came back, Squirrelpaw feeling a rush of relief that at least one cat seemed glad they were back.
- Shrewpaw scrambles out of his hollow and races towards them, Whitepaw just behind him. Squirrelpaw asks how their training was going, and Shrewpaw tells her they've been working hard. Whitepaw is about to say that they would've seen their first Gathering if the Twolegs hadn't destroyed Fourtrees, but Ashfur silences her, telling her the journeying cats wouldn't have known about that. Brambleclaw tells them it's okay, as Webfoot already told them. Ashfur narrows his eyes, asking if they'd been on WindClan's territory, Squirrelpaw explaining that they traveled back that way. Shrewpaw asks where they came back from, but Squirrelpaw doesn't answer. Dustpelt and Mousefur emerge from their makeshift den while Sootfur creeps out from a hollow beside them. All the warriors move closer, and Squirrelpaw backs away and brushes against Brambleclaw's pelt. Frostfur growls at them, demanding to know where they had been, Squirrelpaw noting that she had lost a lot of the sleekness from her snow-white pelt. Brambleclaw begins by saying they had been on a long journey. Ferncloud interrupts, saying they don't look like they have, as they look better fed than the Clan does. Squirrelpaw tries to apologise about the death of Larchkit, but Ferncloud doesn't listen, going on to say that they might have decided to desert them just because they couldn't face a hungry leaf-bare with the rest of them. Mousefur and Thornclaw mew in agreement, and Squirrelpaw demands to know how they could think such a thing.
- Mousefur gestures to Stormfur, growling that their loyalties clearly lie outside ThunderClan. Brambleclaw replies that their loyalty has always been to the Clan and that was the reason they left. Dustpelt demands to know why a RiverClan warrior is with them, and Brambleclaw explains that Stormfur has news for Graystripe and that he'll leave as soon as they've spoken. Mousefur hisses that he needs to leave now, pacing forward. Cinderpelt steps between them and tells Brambleclaw to tell them about the prophecy. Their Clanmates stare at them, wanting to know what StarClan has said, before Squirrelpaw mews that Firestar must be the first to know. Sandstorm appears, revealing that the leader is out hunting. Squirrelpaw is breathless, both joyful and anxious as her mother walks towards her. She states the obvious; that they're back, and Sandstorm echoes her. Brambleclaw defends Squirrelpaw, saying that they had to leave as StarClan gave them no choice. Squirrelpaw almost wants to admit that she hadn't been sent any dreams, just that she insisted she come along, but keeps quiet out of fear.
- Sandstorm's whiskers quiver before she bounds forward and rubs her cheek against Squirrelpaw, mewing that one of her kits has returned. Squirrelpaw feels a rush of relief as she tries to apologise for leaving without notice, but Sandstorm interrupts her and says that all she cares about is that she is back, as she was worried she would never see her again. Dustpelt comments that he has his apprentice back, and it's noted that he is very gaunt, but he holds a warmth in his eyes. He remarks that wherever they were they ate well, eyes widening as he looks over Squirrelpaw's sturdy muscles and glossy coat. Brambleclaw tells them that they were lucky, as where they traveled had a lot of fresh-kill. Dustpelt mews that if they have found a good place to hunt the a Clan should know, but Brambleclaw warns that it's a long way away. Dustpelt flicks his ears and says it's not for them, as they've made their home there and won't let the Twolegs drive them out again, and the other cats agree. Squirrelpaw stares at them, horrified that they don't want to leave. She thinks about what Midnight told them, and wonders why ThunderClan being driven out of their camp hadn't made persuading them to leave any easier.
- Then she sees a figure on top of the rock, and calls out her father's name as she recognises Firestar. He greets her as well, bounding down the rock before halting in front of her and licking her ear. She purrs, briefly forgetting about the horror in the forest. Firestar steps back and demands to know where she went, and she answers that they have much to tell him. Firestar asks if Brambleclaw is with her, and the brown tom pushes his way through the cats to stand beside Squirrelpaw, dipping his head. The Clan waits silently, and even the wind seems to drop off as the forest seems to hold its breath. Firestar gives him a welcome, and Squirrelpaw think she sees a guarded look in her father's eyes, feeling a child run through her.
- Graystripe appears, skidding to a halt next to Firestar. He purrs that fire and tiger have returned, Firestar murmuring that there's time to tell them about that later when Squirelpaw questions it. Graystripe asks if they have seen his two kits, and Squirrelpaw nods, explaining that they went with them. Stormfur pushes his way towards his father. Graystripe is very pleased to see Stormfur, greeting him with purrs as Squirrelpaw's heart tightens. Graystripe asks where Feathertail is! and Squirrelpaw stares at her paws while Stormfur tells him she is dead. Firestar lifts his chin and tells the Clan that Graystripe and Stormfur should be left to grieve in peace. With that, he leads the cats up the slope, and Squirrelpaw presses close to Brambleclaw.
- Stormfur tells Graystripe that they couldn't have saved her, nudging his father's shoulder with his nose. He swings his head towards Brambleclaw, saying he never should have taken her away, eyes gleaming with anger. Squirrelpaw flicks her tail and tells Graystripe it isn't Brambleclaw's fault, as StarClan chose Feathertail to go, not him. He closes his eyes, shoulders sagging. He apologises, murmuring that it's just so unfair because of how alike she was to Silverstream, his deceased mate and Stormfur and Feathertail's mother. His voice trails away while Stormfur lays his muzzle against his father's flank. He tells him that Feathertail died a noble death, worthy of the greatest warrior. Stormfur explains that she was chosen to go on the journey by StarClan, but then by the Tribe of Endless Hunting to fulfil another prophecy. Graystripe asks about the Tribe.
- The Clan's murmuring grows louder until Firestar silences them, telling them that Squirrelpaw and Brambleclaw shall tell him of their journey first, and promising to share everything with them later. Dustpelt growls, wanting to know why his apprentice left, and Mousefur demands to know about the prophecy they mentioned. Brambleclaw puts his muzzle against Squirrelpaw's ear and says they better join them, and asking Stormfur if he is coming too. He thanks him for the offer, but says he would like to go home. He tells Graystripe that Squirrelpaw and Brambleclaw will tell him about the journey, and that he just wanted to tell him about Feathertail and that he should be proud. He turns to Squirrelpaw and Brambleclaw, murmuring that he knows it'll be difficult but they have to keep going with what they know to be right, that they need to remember what Midnight told them, and that they're doing this for all the Clans. Brambleclaw dips his head while Sauirrelpaw presses her muzzle against Stormfur's cheek, whispering that she'll see him tomorrow at Fourtrees. Stormfur pads down the slope, Squirrelpaw noticing how Mousefur and Thornclaw watch him reproachfully. She knows that her affection for the a RiverClan warrior must appear disloyal, but is too sad and too tired to explain what their journey meant for the six cats that left and the five who made it home.
- Firestar meows that senior warriors shall join them to hear what Squirrelpaw and Brambleclaw have to say, as well as a Cinderpelt. He gestures to the overhang where Dustpelt and Mousefur had previously been, making that the meeting place. Mousefur snorts, turning and beginning the climb up the slope, Graystripe and Dustpelt following. Firestar, Cinderpelt, and Sandstorm head up as well, while Squirrelpaw stops, letting the breeze ripple her fur, thinking about being home. Suddenly, she hears Thornclaw hiss, turning around to find Stormfur standing at the foot of the rocky slope with a big, plump fish in his jaws. Thornclaw snarls at him before Stormfur drops the fish at his paws, saying it is a gift from RiverClan. Frostfur spits that they don't need their gifts, but Firestar appears and, with a warning tone in his voice, says it was kindly met and thanks Stormfur. He doesn't reply, simply looking up at the leader with sadness, then at Squirrelpaw, before dipping his head and disappearing in the reeds, back to RiverClan. Squirrelpaw's belly growls, having not eaten since they left the Twoleg territory on the far side of the moor.
- Firestar meows that she'll have to wait until later if she wants to see if she can track down a mouse or two, reminding her that Ferncloud and the elders must be fed first and that she'll have to get used to hungry now that they're back in the a Clan. Squirrelpaw nods, having become used to hunting whenever she was hungry and sharing only with her friends. Firestar calls down to Thornclaw to divide the fish between the elders and Ferncloud, before returning to the overhang. Squirrelpaw follows him, realizing that the rock overhang reaches back further than she had expected, but finding it's still very cold. Dustpelt tells her that all the warriors share this den, and that there aren't as many suitable sleeping places here. Squirrelpaw looks around the hollow with rage as she thinks about how the Twolegs had driven her Clan to this. Sandstorm mutters that at least there's a little bit of shelter, fluffed up against the chill. Firestar sits at the back of the hollow, Sandstorm and Graystripe on either side of him, the deputy hunched over in misery. Cinderpelt is beside the leader. Squirrelpaw feels their eyes burn into her pelt, and Brambleclaw sweeps his tail along her flank.
- Brambleclaw begins explaining that StarClan visited him in a dream and told him to go to the sun-drown-place. At first he had been unsure whether to believe it at first, but StarClan sent the same dream to a cat from each of the other Clans; Crowpaw of WindClan, Feathertail of RiverClan, and Tawnypelt of ShadowClan. Firestar tips his head as he goes on, telling them they needed to make the journey to hear what Midnight told them. Dustpelt thinks he is saying midnight. Firestar asks Squirrelpaw if she had the same dream, but she confesses that she didn't, and that she just wanted to go with them, not wanting to tell her father that she wanted to leave because of their quarrel. Brambleclaw bursts out that he is glad she came, as she was equal to any of the warriors. Firestar tells Brambleclaw to continue, so he continues his story. He says that with Ravenpaw's help they headed towards the sun-drown-place, the loner knowing about it from passing rogue. Squirrelpaw puts in that it was such a long way and they believe they were lost many times.
- Brambleclaw goes on, explaining that Ravenpaw told them what direction to go in but they didn't know exactly how to get there, but they went on because StarClan sent them. He digs his claws into the ground, murmuring that they were only doing their duty to the Clan. Squirrelpaw goes on and says that a loner helped them through Twolegplace, and she remembers Purdy's erratic sense of direction. Brambleclaw mews that eventually they came to sun-drown-place, and that it was nothing they'd seen before, describing the sandy cliffs and caves and dark blue water for as far as any cat could see. Squirrelpaw cuts in that Brambleclaw fell in, and then they found Midnight in a cave. Dustpelt demands to know what they mean by finding midnight, and Brambleclaw explains that she is a badger that was able to tell them what StarClan wanted to tell them. Firestar asks what she told them, and Squirrelpaw tells of the destruction of the forest and that Twolegs would leave them to starve, her heart hammering as fast as when she heard the badger's warning. Brambleclaw adds that she told them to lead the Clans away from the forest and find a new home. Sandstorm stares at him in disbelief, Dustpelt seeming unsure as well. Squirrelpaw closes her eyes, nervous that ThunderClan would ignore Midnight's warning and that their journey and Feathertail's death would be for nothing. Graystripe asks if Midnight told them where to find their new home, and Squirrelpaw repeats the dying warrior message.
- Firestar asks if they had been to the Great Rock to look for the sign, and Brambleclaw shakes his head, telling him they were going their tomorrow with the other cats that had been on the journey, and that they would bring their leaders if they could persuade them. Mousefur flattens her ears and asks Firestar if he will go, and he replies that nothing would keep him away. Dustpelt stares at him with wide eyes, not believing that he would think to take the Clans away from the forest. Firestar admits that they do not currently know what they will do, but he isn't sure the Clans will survive leaf-bare. His eyes flash as he says he cannot let his Clan suffer if he can prevent it, and that they can't ignore this message however it may have came to them, as it may be their only hope of survival. He looks at Brambleclaw, saying that tomorrow he will go with them to Fourtrees.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in Dawn, page 43
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in Dawn, page 44
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Revealed in Dawn, page 46
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Revealed in Dawn, page 47
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Revealed in Dawn, page 48
- ↑ Revealed in Dawn, page 49
- ↑ Revealed in Dawn, page 50
- ↑ Revealed in Dawn, page 52
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Revealed in Dawn, page 53
- ↑ Revealed in Dawn, page 45
- ↑ Revealed in Dawn, page 54
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Revealed in Dawn, page 59
- ↑ Revealed in Dawn, page 60
|Dawn (book) chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25|
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