|"Shall we go? I never thought this would happen so soon. I don't know if I'll be half the leader she was."|
|— Pineheart about to go to the Moonstone to receive his nine lives in Pinestar's Choice, chapter 5|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter five of Pinestar's Choice. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 5 (of 10)
- Page Numbers: N/A
- Pineheart stares at Doestar's body, with Cloudberry next to the slumped figure. The medicine cat forbids anyone from going next to the dead leader, fearing that the sickness that killed Doestar might be contagious. Pineheart thinks back to his conversation with the she-cat, wondering if she knew her sister would come for her so quickly. Fortunately, Doestar was strong enough to welcome Poppydawn, Rabbitleap, and Heronwing as warriors.
- Now Cloudberry is speaking with her apprentice, Goosefeather, and from her hunched position and her dull eyes, Pineheart guessed that Goosefeather will be taking him to the Moonstone. He asks if they should go now, and is concerned that he won't be as great a leader as Doestar was. The mottled gray tom tells him that he'll do great. Pineheart starts to hope, never imagining that he and Goosefeather would have to lead ThunderClan so soon. He asks the tom if he had a vision. Goosefeather nods, but says that they have to hurry, and he exits out the gorse tunnel.
- Pineheart has made the journey to the Moonstone many times, but now it feels different. The ground underneath his paws is cold, and the Moonstone hurts his eyes. When he opens them, he is now in a sunlit forest, with Goosefeather standing off to the side. Doestar appears, trotting through the grass to meet him. She exclaims that he came, and Pineheart replies of course he did. Out the corner of his eye, he sees more cats stepping forward, and knows he will truly become the leader of ThunderClan. The cream-and-white she-cat touches her chin on Pineheart's bowed head, and gives him a life of survival. Something flows through the reddish-brown tom, filled with sunlight, forest life, and green leaves.
- Next up comes a glossy brown tom, and Pineheart's spirits lift. Oakstar purrs and says he knew his son would become leader one day. He gives Pineheart a life of judgement. The force that comes with it is sharper and more painful, making the tom's limbs stiffen. The next three cats that come forward are Pineheart's former Clanmates, Hollypelt, Harepounce, and Stagleap. He blurts out that he and the other ThunderClan cats miss them so much. They nod, and give him a life of courage, of loyalty, and of knowing when to fight and when to make peace. Pearnose is up next, giving him a life of trusting the knowledge of the closest companions of a leader. Pineheart glances at Goosefeather, who nods.
- Two more lives are given by cats so old they are practically invisible. The first is a she-cat named Hawkfoot, who gives him the strength of a queen defending her young. As the life burns through Pineheart, he thinks of the kittypet who had been willing to take on the warriors of ThunderClan to protect her kits. The next cat is a ginger tom with huge white paws. He introduces himself as Thunderstar, and tells Pineheart that leaders face difficult decisions, and that the to-be leader will have to face the toughest call. He says that whatever decision he makes, he will have to carry the burden for the rest of his life, and being able to do that will make it the right one. This life makes the tom feel as if he is spinning around and around. When he finally opens his eyes, a long-legged gray tom steps forward.
- The tom introduces himself as Morningstar, and gives him a life of compassion for weaker cats. Pinestar wakes up with his nine lives, and tells Goosefeather he is now the proper leader of ThunderClan. The speckled tom says nothing, and the new leader longs to ask him what his vision was. But the cat is now trotting away into the forest, so Pinestar is forced to follow him.
- Later, Pinestar is about to go on a patrol, when a voice teases him that he doesn't have to patrol now that he's leader. The tom pauses, and sees Squirrelwhisker relaxing outside the elders' den. She states that Mumblefoot already sent out the hunting patrols, and a border patrol, asking if they missed something. The leader shakes his head, saying he just wants to stretch his legs. Already he is restless, and yet it has been only a quarter moon. His deputy is proving himself to be excellent, despite comments about his age. The tom trusts Mumblefoot to organize patrols and is well liked by the Clan. The leader knows he can join a patrol, but he doesn't want the Clan to think he's interfering or trying to take on too many responsibilities. Pinestar offers Squirrelwhisker to go on patrol now. She declines, saying she was a warrior only a few sunrises ago, and she wants to enjoy lying in the sun, knowing that some other cat will feed her.
- The leader purrs with amusement and ducks into the gorse tunnel, losing himself in the forest scents. A patrol from Snakerocks makes him swerve to the Treecut place. He settles himself next to the Twoleg fence as he drifts off into sleep. Just as he drifting to dreamland, a ginger tom rattles the fence and Pinestar opens one eye. The tom asks what he is doing, and Pinestar grunts that he's trying to sleep. The cat leaps down from the fence, asking if he's one of the wild cats. The look of this tom stirs one of the ThunderClan cat's memories, but he can't recall it. He meows that he's from ThunderClan, but doesn't mention that he's the leader, feeling that this kittypet wouldn't be impressed. However, his mother might be. The kittypet tilts his head to the side, saying that the reddish-brown tom looks familiar. Pinestar is surprised that the tom remembers, because he couldn't have been over a half-moon when they first met. He tells the tom that they first saw each other when ThunderClan invaded Twolegplace.
- The ginger tom asks what Twolegplace is, and the leader replies that it's where the kittypet lives. The tom responds that it's weird, then asks Pinestar how come he's talking to the kittypet. Jake, although unnamed, asks if he was supposed to get his ears clawed off. The other kittypets say the ThunderClan cat does that. Pinestar can't help but feel proud of his reputation. He tells the ginger cat that he doesn't seem like much of a threat to ThunderClan. The kittypet looks indignant, and retorts that he could be, and doesn't know how good he is at catching birds and squirrels. Pinestar inquires if he is, and the tom replies no, but he did scare some rabbits. He sat on top of their cage, and didn't get up until he got hungry. He introduces himself as Jake, and Pinestar introduces himself. Jake purrs that it's a cool name, and he says his mother is Crystal, and his littermates are Ferris and Whiskers. However, the ginger tom doesn't know where they went.
- Pinestar meows that he knows Jake's mother, and that she saved his life. The kittypet's eyes stretch wide, and ask how. The leader responds that he got between a fox and her cubs, and Jake's mother gave the fox a good scare. Jake says his mother is really brave, and even though she can't see well, she can still scratch a dog if it gets too close. Pinestar purrs with amusement and comments that he can imagine the she-cat doing that. Jake says he'll tell his friends that wild cats aren't as fierce as they think, but the red tom warns him that some are, and that they should keep to their territory. Jake says they'll see about that, and vanishes over the fence.
- The ThunderClan cat doesn't understand kittypets, as they have all the skills of a Clan cat, but don't know what they are capable of. However, he still enjoyed talking to Jake, as it is different than discussing borders and patrols. Maybe he will see the kittypet again just to pass the time.
Notes and references
|Pinestar's Choice 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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