"[Hollyleaf] knew the fox couldn't understand what she was saying, but it still walked more slowly as they rounded the curve in the tunnel. Gray light spilled in ahead of them, painfully bright like before. The fox blinked and whined, rubbing its eyes with a front paw."
Hollyleaf helping the fox cub in Hollyleaf's Story, page 49
Below contains in-depth information for chapter five of Hollyleaf's Story. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
Chapter Number: 5 (of 10)
Page Numbers: 45-51

Chapter description

Hollyleaf tries to shut out the noise of the crying fox cub. She asks herself why the cub hasn't left and wonders if the dog is still waiting for it. Irritated that she can't sleep, the black she-cat hops out of her nest, and heads down the tunnel toward the river-cave. She sees Fallen Leaves at the edge of the river in the moonlight. When asked if he could hear the fox, the tom shrugs and says it'll find its way out eventually. She complains the crying is keeping her awake and asks herself if Fallen Leaves needs to sleep too. As if hearing them, the cub lets out a loud yelp, which causes Hollyleaf to feel a rush of pity. She also knows what it's like to be lost and frightened in the darkness. The black she-cat thinks she should go find it, but her companion is surprised, as it is a fox. She counters him by saying it is a baby and asks if he would leave a kit here. The ginger-and-white tom points out that a kit wouldn't try to eat him. Hollyleaf assures her friend she would be too much of a mouthful for it, secretly hoping it is true. Thinking back, she had smelled the scent of milk on it, which meant it hadn't started eating fresh meat. It had not even noticed it was next to prey after the dog had chased it into the tunnel mouth. Hollyleaf shakes her fur out and heads for the woods-tunnel. Fallen Leaves is astonished and asks if she is going to look for it. Hollyleaf replies she is, if it means she could get some sleep. The loner then asks him to fetch her, if she's not back by dawn. The tom somberly replies he would.
After leaving the river-cave, Hollyleaf becomes disoriented when the fox cub's cries echo around her. Struggling to not flee from the dark, the black she-cat stops after feeling the flow of cold air on her face. She listens for the cub, and can hear soft pads shuffling against stone coming from a tunnel with a dead end. Hollyleaf steps into the tunnel and the cub lets out a shriek. Hollyleaf calls down the passage saying she won't hurt it. The black cat can hear scrabbling and smell fox-scented fear. The cat reminds herself this was just a lost and frightened cub. She murmurs to the young animal to not be frightened. The fox stops moving and the black cat guesses it had itself pressing up against the pile of rocks. The loner takes another step forward and brushes her muzzle against fur. She gives it a comforting lick and the fox freezes up. The cub begins to relax when she continues licking its pelt. Hollyleaf moves closer and touches her nose to the tip of its ear, whispering to the animal that it is safe. The fox lowers its head onto her and she feels its whiskers faintly tickling her. The loner moves closer and wraps her body around the cub. She can feel its breath becoming slower and steadier. Hollyleaf rests her head on the cub's neck and tells it to sleep well. The cat presses closer to the fox in hopes of the warmth of her fur seeps into it. The former ThunderClan warrior thinks that none of her Clanmates would believe she had slept next to a fox. Hollyleaf reminds herself she isn't part of ThunderClan anymore and the fox cub needs her now. She closes her eyes to fall asleep.
Hollyleaf wakes up to something pinching her leg. She thinks at first it is Fallen Leaves trying to get her attention, before realizing it is the fox cub. The cat yowls in pain and backs away. It tips its head and yips at her. She notices the fox is bigger than she remembers and hastily offers to help it get out of the tunnels. It jumps to its feet and Hollyleaf braces herself for an attack. However, the fox looks as if it wants to play. It lets out a high-pitched bark and bounces around. The loner turns away and urges it to follow her. After taking a few steps, the cub stops and whines. Hollyleaf looks ahead to see the tunnel going into darkness and tells the young animal it is the only way out. The fox refuses to budge and Hollyleaf turns around to urge it to follow her. The cub yelps after she jabs her paw into its haunches, then stays close to guide it down the tunnel. After they reach the wood-tunnel junction, the loner continues to push it around the corner. The young animal feels a draft of air and lets out a happy yelp. It breaks into a trot and crashes into the wall. The black loner scolds it for being so overconfident. When they round the curve, they see gray light pouring in. Hollyleaf licks the fox's ear and is reminded of Squirrelflight doing the same for her and misses the ginger cat with a physical pain. The cub trots on and Hollyleaf stays back, knowing it needs to be back with its own mother.
The cub turns around and lets out a questioning bark, as if the fox wants her to come out too. The loner shakes her head and meows she can't come with the animal as this is her home. The cub turns around after it hears a loud yelp and Hollyleaf asks quietly if that is its mother. The young fox bounds outside and the cat creeps toward the entrance. She notes the woods outside are a mix of trees and dense undergrowth, much like ThunderClan land. The light burns her eyes and she could hear rustling leaves, the sound of birds, and the two foxes reuniting. She watches them as they collide together and the cub yelps as the mother fox sniffs its fur. Ignoring the sadness inside herself, she murmurs that the cub is back where it belongs. Images swirl around the she-cat as she thinks back to her life inside the nursery.





Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Revealed in Hollyleaf's Story, chapter 5

Hollyleaf's Story chapters
Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10
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The New Prophecy MidnightMoonriseDawnStarlightTwilightSunset
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