|"Dappletail is dead. And Cloudtail and Brightheart have disappeared."|
|— Cinderpelt to Leafpaw in Moonrise, page 211|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter sixteen of Moonrise. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 16 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 196-211
- A cold drop of rain splashes onto Leafpaw, and she shakes it away irritably. Above her, the wind stirs the trees, and leaf-bare is barely a moon away. Cinderpelt announces that Barkface told her that cats who have eaten rabbits have fallen ill, and that the Twolegs must have done something to the prey. Leafpaw, crouched beside the fresh-kill pile, watches anxiously as Cinderpelt tells Firestar what they saw at Highstones, and her heart twists as she sees the worry in her father’s green eyes. Firestar exclaims that now they can’t eat rabbits as well, and that they’ll all starve. Sandstorm points out that no one has died on their territory yet, and that maybe the trouble is just in WindClan. Cinderpelt says that rabbits run across the border all the time, and that they can’t risk it. Firestar says that he’ll announce to the Clan that they can’t eat rabbits anymore. Sandstorm says that they have to eat something and that she’ll organize a hunting patrol, and disappears between the branches of the warrior’s den. Cinderpelt says that they should remove all the rabbits from the fresh-kill pile. Leafpaw glances at the pitifully small fresh-kill pile and sees the single, plump rabbit sitting on it. Her mouth waters, but then her stomach clenches at the thought of what the Twolegs could have done to it. She thinks she can catch a whiff of the harsh scent that she smelled on the WindClan rabbit, but isn’t sure.
- Firestar orders the rabbit to be taken out and buried, and Cinderpelt reminds Leafpaw not to pick it up with her mouth. Leafpaw has just removed the rabbit from the fresh-kill pile when Dappletail, the oldest cat in ThunderClan, passes by and gives the rabbit an appreciative look. She says that she hopes it’s for the elders, but Cinderpelt explains the poisoned rabbit she and Leafpaw found on WindClan territory. Dappletail scoffs and says that Barkface was lying just to weaken ThunderClan. Leafpaw glances at Cinderpelt and realizes that there is no point in trying to convince the hungry elder. Firestar asserts that no more rabbits will be eaten, but Dappletail rushes forward and begins tearing hungrily into the rabbit.
- Cinderpelt shouts at Dappletail to stop, and Firestar pushes her away from the rabbit, saying that he’s ordering her not to eat it for her own good. Dappletail glares at Firestar, and Leafpaw understands her desperation, thinking that only hunger would have driven the gentlest queen to do this. Dappletail spits at Firestar that the whole Clan will starve because of him, but Cinderpelt insists that Firestar is doing the right thing by not feeding the Clan food that will kill them faster. Dappletail stalks back to the elder’s den, and Leafpaw prays to StarClan for the rabbit to be safe.
- Leafpaw is padding up the ravine beside Cinderpelt the day after their journey to Highstones and the argument with Dappletail. Cinderpelt is stocking up herbs, as the Clan is in even more danger from sickness than usual due to their hunger. Cinderpelt mews that there’s no point in going near the Twolegs monsters, and that they’ll check Sunningrocks instead. Leafpaw sees the dead leaves on the ground and thinks that she used to toss them and chase them when she was a kit, but now barely has the energy to put one paw in front of the other.
- Cinderpelt and Leafpaw reach Sunningrocks, and Cinderpelt finds a patch of chickweed and begins biting off the stems. Leafpaw looks around for more herbs, and gazes longingly at all the plants growing at the bank of the river, but knows that they’re in RiverClan territory, and has learned her lesson from being punished after the fishing lesson with Mothwing. Leafpaw hears a scrabbling noise, and sees a water vole scuttling along the base of a nearby rock. It senses her and tries to dart away, but Leafpaw leaps at it and delivers the killing bite to its neck. Her stomach growls at her to eat the prey, but Leafpaw takes it to Cinderpelt and drops it before her instead. Cinderpelt blinks at Leafpaw in gratitude, but tells her to eat it because she caught it. Leafpaw says that she can catch another, and tells Cinderpelt to eat, as ThunderClan will be at a loss if their medicine cat falls ill. Cinderpelt finally thanks Leafpaw and disposes of the vole with rapid bites.
- Leafpaw is just about to go looking for more herbs when she hears someone calling Cinderpelt’s name. Cinderpelt springs up and yells that she’s here, and Mousefur’s apprentice, Spiderpaw, bursts out of the trees. He pants that it’s Dappletail, and Cinderpelt asks what’s wrong, to which Spiderpaw replies that she’s complaining of stomachache. Cinderpelt exclaims that she knew the rabbit would be poisoned, and tells Spiderpaw to run ahead and tell the Clan that she’s coming. She turns to Leafpaw and tells her to stay and collect more herbs and bring back the chickweed. Cinderpelt turns and limps as fast as she can into the trees, and Leafpaw waits until her mentor has disappeared to turn back and collect more herbs. Leafpaw thinks about what Barkface had said about treating the sick cats. He had dosed them with yarrow, but only the strongest had pulled through, and Dappletail is old and weakened by hunger. She prays to StarClan to show them what to do before the Twolegs destroy them all.
- Leafpaw has just begun to look for more herbs when she hears a shrill wail coming from the river. She wonders if she ought to cross the RiverClan border, but when she hears the wail again, she dashes down to the riverbank without any more hesitation. The river surges along, carrying branches and other debris. Leafpaw searches the foamy water for the source of the wail. She spots the small black head of a cat clinging to a floating branch. Leafpaw tenses to leap into the river, but knows that the current is too strong and the cat is too far away. Before she leaps in, she sees another cat dart out of the reeds and jump into the river, striking out with strong paws toward the black cat. She recognizes the blue-gray cat as Mistyfoot, the RiverClan deputy.
- Mistyfoot reaches the branch and pushes it toward the bank, but before they can reach it, the branch flips over, dragging Mistyfoot under the water with it. Leafpaw gasps in horror, but sees Mistyfoot reemerge onto the bank, dragging the small black cat with her. Leafpaw asks if she can help, and Mistyfoot glances up and tells her to come over. Leafpaw starts to cross the stepping stones, but slips on the third one and falls into the river. Suddenly, she feels a warm touch at her side pushing her back onto the stone, and feels a sweet scent wreathing around her. She thinks of Spottedleaf, but can see nothing. With the presence from the Moonstone beside her, Leafpaw leaps quickly across the stones and races along the far bank toward Mistyfoot. Before she can reach him, Mothwing and Hawkfrost push their way out of the reeds to stand beside the black cat.
- Hawkfrost demands to know what happened, and Mistyfoot says that Reedpaw fell in the river and tells Hawkfrost to go fetch Mudfur. Mothwing says that he went out to collect herbs, and that she’ll go get him. She begins to head upstream, but Hawkfrost says that’ll take to long. He tells Mothwing to look at Reedpaw instead. He then notices Leafpaw, and, glaring at her icily, asks why she’s here. Mistyfoot says that she called her over to help, and Hawkfrost lets out a disgusted snort. Leafpaw crouches beside Reedpaw, and notices that he is very small and probably newly apprenticed. Water trickles out of his mouth, and there is a gash on his shoulder oozing blood.
- Mistyfoot says that he must have fallen and the branch hit him. Leafpaw bends closer to Reedpaw and breathes a sigh of relief as she sees the rise and fall of his chest. However, his breaths are growing weaker, and Leafpaw glances at Mothwing, expecting her to start treating the apprentice. Mothwing just stares. Hawkfrost tells her to get on with it, but Mothwing looks at Leafpaw with fear in her eyes, saying that she doesn’t have the right herbs and has to go back to camp. Mistyfoot rasps that there’s no time for that. Leafpaw understands Mothwing’s nervousness, and wonders where Mudfur is. Then a voice begins to speak in Leafpaw’s mind, telling her to remember Cinderpelt’s training. Leafpaw mews that she remembers now, and Hawkfrost asks if she knows what to do. Leafpaw nods, and Hawkfrost shoulders Mothwing, who is still wide-eyed and frozen, out of the way so that Leafpaw can get closer to Reedpaw. Leafpaw instructs her to go get some cobwebs, and Mothwing gives her a frightened look before dashing up the riverbank. Spottedleaf’s voice tells Leafpaw to get the water out of him, and Leafpaw lifts Reedpaw up with her shoulder so that water gushes out of his mouth. Spottedleaf encourages Leafpaw, saying that now Reedpaw can breath properly and they can deal with his wet fur. Reedpaw begins to cough feebly, and gives a cry of pain.
- Mistyfoot licks Reedpaw reassuringly and says that he’s going to be okay, and Leafpaw tells her to lick his fur the wrong way to warm him up. Mistyfoot begins licking vigorously, and Hawkfrost, after a moment’s hesitation, begins to do the same on Reedpaw’s other side. Mothwing reappears beside Leafpaw with a wad of cobwebs, and Leafpaw tells her where to put them. Leafpaw asks Reedpaw if he hurts anywhere else, and Reedpaw says that only his shoulder does. Leafpaw examines him for other injuries, but can’t find any. Hawkfrost says that he’s lucky Leafpaw was here, and berates Mothwing for not doing her job as medicine cat. Mothwing shrinks away. Leafpaw asks Reedpaw if he can stand up, and he staggers to his paws, Mistyfoot supporting him on one side. Hawkfrost asks him if he can make it back to camp, and Reedpaw nods. Reedpaw begins to thank Leafpaw, but then notices her ThunderClan scent. Leafpaw informs him that she’s Cinderpelt’s apprentice, and tells Mistyfoot to bring him straight back and have Mudfur check him and give him thyme leaves for shock. Mothwing adds poppy seeds, but Leafpaw says that it’s best if he sleeps naturally. Mothwing’s gaze drops again, and Hawkfrost shoots her a look of disapproval before heading toward the RiverClan camp upstream, Mistyfoot and Reedpaw following.
- As they leave, Leafpaw envies their strong muscles and well-fed bodies, thinking that RiverClan is the only Clan not affected by the Twolegs tearing up the forest. Leafpaw glances at Mothwing, and tells her not to feel bad and that it’s all over now. Mothwing, her voice rising, tells Leafpaw that it’s not over and that she blew her first chance to show everyone how qualified she can be as a medicine cat. Leafpaw tries to soothe her by saying that everyone makes mistakes, but Mothwing says that she didn’t. Leafpaw wants to tell her friend about Spottedleaf, but knows that she can’t share the secret. Mothwing bitterly says that she knew everything Leafpaw did, but couldn’t think straight in the moment. Leafpaw reassures her that she will next time, but Mothwing says that Hawkfrost will tell everyone how incompetent she is and that she’ll lose the respect of her Clanmates and Mudfur. Leafpaw pushes her nose into Mothwing’s fur and says that it’ll all be forgotten soon, but inside, is surprised at how sure Mothwing was that Hawkfrost would make her look bad. Mothwing bitterly mews that she knows that Leafpaw is thinking that Hawkfrost is loyal to the Clan and not her, and only cares about becoming a great warrior. This reminds Leafpaw of Tigerstar, and she shivers. Mothwing tells Leafpaw that she’s lucky she’s Clanborn, and sadly pads away upstream. Leafpaw calls to Mothwing that she’ll see her soon, but Mothwing doesn’t respond.
- Leafpaw sadly goes back to the stepping-stones and crosses carefully. Reaching the ThunderClan border, she feels better, knowing that Mothwing will have other chances and feeling pleased at her own success in saving Reedpaw’s life. She murmurs a thanks to Spottedleaf. Feeling optimistic, Leafpaw collects the chickweed and reaches the top of the ravine. However, her optimism vanishes as she hears shrill wailing from below. She sees Mousefur and Rainwhisker burst out of the gorse tunnel and run past without even noticing her. Leafpaw dashes into camp and sees Firestar, Graystripe, Sandstorm and Brackenfur clustered around the Highrock. Shrewpaw and Spiderpaw crouch outside the apprentice’s den, trying to comfort a wailing Whitepaw. Leafpaw skids to a halt and wonders why everyone is so upset. She spots Cinderpelt and darts toward her, asking what has happened. Cinderpelt sadly informs her that Dappletail is dead, and Cloudtail and Brightheart have vanished.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Revealed in Moonrise, page 196
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Revealed in Moonrise, page 199
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 197
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 198
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 203
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 209
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 210
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Revealed in Moonrise, page 211
|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 • Epilogue|
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