|"And then I saw Briarkit—well, she's Briarlight now—and she's lost the use of her hind legs! She was dragging herself on her belly across the clearing. Maybe the tree fell on her. I should have been there to help!"|
|— Hollyleaf admitting her guilt of leaving her Clanmates in Hollyleaf's Story, chapter 8|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter eight of Hollyleaf's Story. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 8 (of 10)
- Page Numbers: 70-78
- After the next quarter moon, Fallen Leaves guides Hollyleaf to a tunnel leading to ThunderClan territory. He turns away and disappears before she has the chance to thank him. Hollyleaf moves herself up the tunnel and drinks in the scent of her former home and makes sure her scent is hidden. Checking for any sign of cats, the black feline crosses a trail along the cliff. The sound of an owl frightens Hollyleaf and she dashes into a clump of brambles. The former ThunderClan cat reaches the cliff and notices the hollow is somehow different. The sun breaks over the horizon and shows her a big tree lying across the hollow. Hollyleaf frets, thinking it may have crushed cats underneath it. The loner wonders why StarClan haven't told her about this, then believes they probably disowned her. She sees two cats stepping out from under the tree and recognizes Purdy and Mousefur. The brown she-cat grumbles to her denmate she could go to the dirtplace by herself. The old tom tells her there isn't any harm in having company. Mousefur mutters about this as Hollyleaf fills up with joy at seeing her Clanmates again. She hears her brother's, Jayfeather, voice from inside the medicine den offering to fetch prey for a cat named Briarlight. The cat insists she could do it herself and drags herself out of the den. The black cat is shocked to it is Briarkit all grown up and now has her two hind legs not working.
- Millie intervenes and scolds her daughter for not resting. Briarlight avoids her and hisses at her mother she couldn't do everything for her. Millie answers back by licking her ears and tells her daughter she wish she could. Hollyleaf blames herself for the young cat's injury and by her movement, dislodges a few pebbles. Brambleclaw emerges from the tree-den, and looks up toward where the loner is hiding. He calls for Cinderheart, Lionblaze, and their apprentices to investigate the clifftop. Ivypaw wonders if the ThunderClan deputy heard any foxes, to which Dovepaw doesn't think so. The golden tabby tom leads his group to the entrance barrier, which causes Hollyleaf to leave. The black feline hopes she smells like ThunderClan enough so she won't have a chance of being tracked to the tunnels. The former warrior pushes through cold, wet ferns, and hears the patrol behind her. Ivypaw cries out there aren't any sign of foxes. Hollyleaf stops and hopes for them to find her and bring her back. But she is reminded of the events leading to her departure of her Clan and knows they would be better off without her. The loner lets out a sigh and continues on her way.
- Hollyleaf excitedly tells her ginger-and-white companion about seeing her Clanmates again. She also adds she should have been there to help. The gloomy light shines above them as Fallen Leaves points out there wasn't anything she could do to stop the tree from falling. Hollyleaf admits she didn't tell her friend everything and murmurs she killed a cat called Ashfur for finding out the secret of her birth. Fallen Leaves doesn't speak for a while, then asks if the Clan sent her away because of what she had done. The black she-cat tells him only Leafpool and her brothers know her secret and thinks the Clan doesn't need her anymore. Fallen Leaves lifts his gaze and say she could go back, as her secret will always stay safe with her family. Hollyleaf wails in protest, but the loner tom counters it by stating how important she was to her kin. The ginger-and-white tom walks away, saying her Clan will always need her.
- Three quarter moons pass before Hollyleaf goes back to the top of the hollow. She crouches in the sparkling snow and shivers, watching the Clan beginning to stir. She is startled by how thin the cats look and searches for a prey-pile. Hollyleaf catches movement over at the nursery and spots Molekit and Cherrykit. Poppyfrost calls after her daughter to come back and orders her son to stop her. Molekit halts in front of his sister and tells her she can't be outside today because of her cough. Poppyfrost walks up to her and the ginger she-kit asks if Jayfeather could give her medicine. The tortoiseshell queen mentions he has run out of yarrow, but will collect some today. Hollyleaf decides to help Cherrykit and remembers the patch of yarrow by one of the tunnel entrances. She races back underground and finally reaches the growth of yarrow. She nips off as many stalks as she can and quickly backtracks to the ThunderClan camp. She takes the time to smell the air, which tells her a patrol has passed by, before continuing.
- Hollyleaf knows she can leave the herbs right by the entrance as her heart pounds loudly. Not taking another moment to change her mind, Hollyleaf dashes down and nearly crashes into the dirtplace. A voice from within growls at her to wait her turn. She bites back an apology and drops the herbs next to the path leading inside. She hears a cat exiting the camp and Hollyleaf rushes away, knowing the herbs would be found. The cats would wonder who had delivered them and Hollyleaf thinks to herself not all secrets were terrible.
Notes and references
|Hollyleaf's Story chapters|
|Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10|
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