|"I'm no tunneler. I don't have partners. Not aboveground. Not belowground. I was lucky I made it out. There was no way I could have helped Sandgorse. He's the one with all the skills. He shouldn't have taken me down there. He should have known it was too dangerous."|
|— Sparrow to Tallpaw about Sandgorse in the tunnel cave-in in Tallstar's Revenge, page 197|
He is one of the five rogues who spend greenleaf with WindClan. Sparrow shows great interest in tunneling and often talks to Sandgorse about tunneling. Eventually, he asked Sandgorse to show him the tunnels, but a cave-in occured, resulting in Sandgorse’s death. Tallpaw is furious, and is openly angry at the rogue for killing his father. He leaves with his friends later, and Talltail goes to find Sparrow and get revenge for killing his father. Far away from the clans, Talltail and he hunt together. Talltail tries to push Sparrow off a cliff, but changes his mind and saves Sparrow. The rogues don’t come back the greenleaf afterwards.
In the Super Editions
- Sparrow enters the WindClan camp, along with the other rogues, and is seen glancing around curiously. He wanders over to the Hunting Stones, watching the Clan in silence next to Mole. Aspenfall approaches Sparrow and greets him briskly and in the same tone, Sparrow replies. When the WindClan cats are sharing their dens with the rogues, Redclaw says that there was a spare spot for Sparrow and Algernon. Sparrow thanks Redclaw, and follows Algernon.
- Sparrow spots Tallpaw at Outlook Rock. Sparrow asks if Tallpaw should be out here all by himself. Tallpaw replies that he probably shouldn't. Sparrow queries if he could join Tallpaw, jumping up onto the rock and sitting beside Tallpaw. Tallpaw asks Sparrow if he wondered what it was like to fly. Sparrow says he would think it was hard work, and that if you stopped flapping you would fall. He then says he's more comfortable feeling the earth beneath his paws. Tallpaw asks Sparrow if he liked being rogue, and why he had come to WindClan. Sparrow meows that this was where his friends wanted to come, and asks Tallpaw why he was outside all alone. Tallpaw says he couldn't sleep, and that something was bothering him. Tallpaw mentions that his father, Sandgorse, hated him, and that Sandgorse wanted him to be a tunneler, but Tallpaw admits he hates tunneling. Tallpaw tells Sparrow about the flood that happened in the tunnels, and how Heatherstar banned all the tunnels.
- Tallpaw says that Sandgorse thinks it's his fault because he was a coward. Sparrow asks if he was a coward and Tallpaw denies it quickly. Tallpaw confides to Sparrow that he was scared and Sparrow agrees with him. Tallpaw points out that Sandgorse wasn't scared, but Sparrow tells him that Sandgorse had been facing floods for moons. Tallpaw sighs and asks if he should be a tunneler. Sparrow queries if that is what Tallpaw wants. Tallpaw replies that it's what his father wants, but Sparrow asks again if that's what he wanted. Tallpaw says that what he wanted didn't seem important. Sparrow says it didn't seem important to Sandgorse, but it was important to Tallpaw. Sparrow also tells Tallpaw that he should focus more on what he wanted more than what Sandgorse wanted. Tallpaw agrees with him. Sparrow then runs back to the moor to see what night prey was like, and says that the elders would like waking up to a full prey heap. Tallpaw thanks Sparrow. Sparrow asks what for, but then runs off without an answer.
- When ShadowClan attacks the WindClan camp, Sparrow is seen crouching in front of the elders' den with Redclaw. When one of the ShadowClan warriors mocks Redclaw, sneering that he needed rogues to defend him. Sparrow lashes out a paw and sends the ShadowClan warrior flying. When the Clan starts to argue, Sparrow appears at Tallpaw's side when the tunnelers and moor runners are arguing with each other. He tells Tallpaw that these were tough times. Not long after, Sandgorse growls about the gorge tunnel, saying that they had to abandon it. Sparrow seems interested and asks why. Sandgorse replies that there was a flood that scared one of the apprentices, which was Tallpaw. Sparrow asks why they built a tunnel there in the first place and Sandgorse said the purpose was to give them a secret route to the river.
- Sparrow is seen talking again with Sandgorse about the tunnels. Sparrow asks if it was true that Heatherstar banned cats from going down in the tunnels, and Sandgorse says yes. Sparrow says it was a waste, and Sandgorse agrees with the rogue. Sparrow notices that Sandgorse is proud of that tunnel and Sandgorse states that he knows the tunnel better than his own pelt. Sparrow asks if Sandgorse is allowed to go in the tunnels, because he knows them so well. Sandgorse states proudly that he built every step of it. Sparrow then goes off with Sandgorse.
- When Tallpaw, Dawnstripe and Algernon are out hunting, Sparrow bursts out from a rabbit hole covered in mud. Tallpaw asks him where Sandgorse was and Sparrow replies weakly that he lost him. Tallpaw is angry and asks why he left him. Sparrow says there was too much water and mud. Tallpaw tells him he couldn't leave a cat underground. Algernon and Dawnstripe rush over to Sparrow's side, and Algernon asks if Sparrow was okay. Tallpaw then shouts that he had to find his father and he dives into the tunnel, trying to dig to his father, who was dead beneath the thick layers of mud.
- After Woollytail drags Tallpaw out of the tunnel, Sparrow is seen lying on his side, still covered in mud. When Plumclaw says that Sandgorse probably died in the tunnels, Tallpaw doesn't believe her and asks Sparrow where he had seen Sandgorse last. When Dawnstripe tells Tallpaw that Sandgorse had joined StarClan, Tallpaw is very angry at Sparrow and asks once again why he left Sandgorse. Sparrow says he wasn't a tunneler, and that he was lucky he saved himself. He then says that he couldn't help Sandgorse and that he was the one with all the skills. Sparrow adds that Sandgorse shouldn't have taken him down in the tunnels and that he should have known it was too dangerous.
- When they return to the WindClan camp, Bess asks if Sparrow was alright, and he says he's fine. Hawkheart says all Sparrow needs is a good wash. Tallpaw blames Sparrow for his father's death and Sparrow says he is sorry for what happened. But Tallpaw won't forgive him. The next morning, Sparrow is seen watching the nursery, where Meadowslip's new kits are playing while Hareflight and Redclaw pace excitedly beside him. Hareflight says that the kits being born was the first good thing to happen in moons. Redclaw agrees, saying that the rogues have brought good luck to WindClan.
- Two moons after Sandgorse’s death, it is the end of Greenleaf so it’s time for the rogues to leave. Tallpaw notes he could hardly look at them. Flamepelt says goodbye to Sparrow, and wishes him good hunting. Heatherstar turns to Sparrow and promises they'll see a more united Clan if they come again. Tallpaw waits for Sparrow answer, and wonders if he'll mention Sandgorse, acknowledge the cat that died so he could look at the tunnels, but Sparrow dips his head and wishes the Clan well. He follows Bess downslope, and exits the Clan. Lilywhisker says Sparrow was a great hunter, and that he always made sure the elders were never hungry.
- Tallpaw never forgets about the tom though, constantly thinking of the rogue, even after he was made a warrior. Finally, Talltail finally leaves the Clan to find the rogue. Talltail finds other rogues of the group and they take him to their current camp.
- Sparrow recognizes him as Tallpaw. Talltail greets him and informs him that it's Talltail now. A vision flashes in Talltail's mind of him pinning the tom down and slashing his throat. Sparrow notices that Talltail is trembling, and asks if he is alright. Talltail tells he was nearly squashed by monsters. Bess informs Sparrow Talltail wants to travel with them, and Sparrow asks what about WindClan. Talltail says he is tired of the duties, and wants to know what it's like to be free like Sparrow. Sparrow queries about the kittypet, his gaze shifting between the kittypet Jake and Talltail, and Talltail informs him he's been helping him track them down. When Bess starts to tell Reena to fetch moss, Talltail immediately goes to get some and Jake follows. They discuss about Sparrow. Jake is concerned since he looks tough, and dangerous. Talltail reveals as revenge, he wants to kill him. He asks what it's his plan. Talltail plans to make Sparrow admit he killed Sandgorse, and is confident he can fight against the rogue. He thinks they better get back so that the rogues don’t have as long to question his sudden appearance. He suspects that Sparrow has already done that, his cold glare was not welcoming.
- When they return, the rogues are discussing about feeding more mouths. Sparrow mentions that the pigeon he caught before is one of many, they gather at a place Twolegs scatter grain. Soon, Reena talks to Talltail about his attitude towards the rogues. Reena mentions it must have been hard, since Sandgorse died and Sparrow survived. Talltail thinks she is dangerously close to the truth, and must convince her he doesn't hold Sparrow responsible. He responds that it wasn't Sparrow's fault, he was lucky to get out. When Bess offers Talltail a pigeon, Talltail refuses but Sparrow calls from the other side of the clearing he can have it, since WindClan fed them throughout Greenleaf. As Talltail gives Algernon a pigeon wing, he is aware of Sparrow's gaze, and knows why he is there. When the group settles for the night, Sparrow circles down into a thick pile of leaves in a shadowy corner of the camp. Talltail watches him as he stirred in his nest, no more than a shape in the darkness. Talltail thinks to himself Sparrow killed his father, now he will kill him.
- The next morning, Talltail thinks sleeping so close to Sparrow has knotted his muscles. He reveals he spent the night wondering on how to take revenge on Sparrow. He could not think of one, but he is sure he has to gain Sparrow's trust enough to get him alone. Talltail wonders if he trusts him already, since it was hard to tell what Sparrow is thinking. His pale stare gives nothing away, and Talltail doesn't even know if Sparrow realizes he has caused Sandgorse's death. As Talltail hunts, he hurries to catch a rabbit, so he carry it back to the rogues to earn Sparrow's trust. He thinks if only the brown rogue would choke on it. Talltail nearly falls over a cliff, but realizes that this is the way he will kill Sparrow. Lure him there, and one push and the rogue would plunge to the paws of a monster. Talltail promises to his father Sparrow will never harm another cat again. Talltail dreams of his father, and promises that Sparrow will pay for what he did. He wakes up and tries to go back asleep, but he sees a shadow move from Sparrow’s nest. He wonders where the rogue is going, so watches him go out hunting. He tries to follow, but Reena notices him. Talltail explains he saw Sparrow, and wants to go join him for hunting. Reena warns that Sparrow doesn’t like company when he goes out early. Talltail states he might like his, but Reena tells him she wouldn’t risk it.
- Talltail went back to his nest and waits for Sparrow to return. Finally, the rogue pads in carrying a fat pigeon. He asks Talltail if he has just woken up, and the short-furred tom lies that he has. The black-and-white cat comments another pigeon, and Sparrow reminds him that the Twolegs leave food for them in the field. Talltail asks what he means, and Sparrow explains it’s near the Thunderpath. He pads to a pool of snowmelt in a crook of twisted root and begins to drink. Talltail wonders if he can persuade him to take him there. The other rogues come to eat the still warm pigeon, and the WindClan tom takes the chance to ask if he can take him there. Sparrow asks where, and Talltail replies where the pigeons come. Sparrow shrugs and says okay. The black-and-white cat feels a need to explain, so he tells him that he wants to hunt for him, as thanks for letting them stay. Jake asks who's letting them stay, and Sparrow gazes impassively at Jake. He meows no one's letting anyone stay. He licks water from his lips and says they’re just sharing the camp for now. Talltail dips his head and meows of course. Algernon asks who caught the pigeon, and Bess responds Sparrow did. Talltail takes Jake away from the group to talk to them.
- Talltail tells Jake that Sparrow is taking him hunting beside the cliff. Jake starts to ask his not thinking of, but Talltail cuts in he will, that's why he is there. No fighting or explanations. He just needs to push Sparrow at the right time. Jake asks if that's onto the Thunderpath. Talltail insists it's perfect, Sparrow will pay for Sandgorse's death beneath the paws of a monster. Jake begs for Talltail not to do it. Talltail is too convinced, so Jake begs him to talk to Sparrow, make him understand how Sandgorse's death hurt him, and how he feels Sparrow’s responsible. Talltail says he tried that, but Sparrow wouldn't admit it. He told him to his whiskers he killed Sparrow, but he shrugs it off like he shrugs everything off. Talltail thinks he doesn’t care about anything, so he is going to make him care about this. Jake asks by killing him. The long-tailed tom insists he has to pay. If no one pays for Sandgorse's death, then it's not fair. He storms off, thinking he came for revenge and he’s going to get it.
- Back at camp, Talltail asks Sparrow to go hunting now. Sparrow looks up from his nest and states there is fresh-kill under the holly bush. Talltail presses what about the pigeon. Sparrow warns that they'll be wary this morning, and to wait until tomorrow. They don’t want to scare them off for good. Later that day, Talltail stares at Sparrow while the rogue calmly washes in his nest. Talltail thinks it's happening tomorrow, and imagines Sparrow hurtling into the gorge and a monster racing towards him as lands on hard stone. As soon as the sun’s rays start to appear, Talltail meows into Sparrow's ear to go hunting. Sparrow lifts his head and asks now. He glances at the sky and notes the sun’s not even up. Talltail states he thought he likes early hunting, and explains that they can find a good hiding spot before the pigeons wake up. Sparrow narrows his eyes and meows he sounds like a warrior planning a patrol, and he thought Talltail left the Clan to get away from the rules and duties. Talltail mutters hunting isn't a duty, it's fun. Sparrow yawns and climbs out his nest, and says come on then and heads to the forest. On the way, Talltail thinks Sparrow is prey to him now, more deserving of death than any mouse or pigeon. Talltail wonders if Sparrow's tail-tip was the last thing Sandgorse has ever seen.
- As they reach the field, Sparrow slows down and points out where the seeds are. Talltail asks to check the Thunderpath first. Sparrow calls what for while trotting after him. Talltail points out crows would pick fresh-kill from the Thunderpath. Sparrow falls in behind the tom and asks what good is that to them, who eats crow-food, or crows. The cliff's too steep to climb down anyway. Talltail asks innocently if it is. Sparrow meows come on as he veers towards the field where the food is scattered and states for them to wait for a pigeon. Talltail insists to look at the Thunderpath, and wonders if Sparrow was going to make this impossible. Sparrow finally agrees, shrugging and saying if that's what he wants. Talltail is relieved to see the rogue following him to the cliff. At the edge, Sparrow grunts any sign of crow-food. He peers over the edge, leaning forward as he meows he can’t see anything. Talltail lifts a paw to push Sparrow, but Sparrow turns, asking Talltail what's the matter, he looks odd. Talltail hisses to look at him, he is the last cat he is ever going to see. He brought him to the cliff to kill him. Sparrow's pelt ripples as he asks why. Talltail asks doesn’t he know, and thinks couldn’t this heartless rogue even guess.
- Talltail tells him he killed his father, and Sparrow asks if it's Sandgorse. Talltail insists he made him go into the tunnel, he left him there to die. Sparrow blinks and states that’s not how it happened. Talltail hisses he saw him run from the tunnel like a frightened rabbit, he left Sandgorse behind. Sparrow tells Talltail he didn't know what to do, he was no warrior. He glances over the edge, and continues to say he had no training, and Sandgorse knew that. He gave his life so Sparrow could escape, that’s why he died, he held back the earth long enough for Sparrow to run. He reminds Talltail that Sandgorse died a hero. Talltail asks why should he believe him, and thinks he must be lying. He asks if Talltail believes that Sandgorse would give his life to save him. Sparrow turns his head to the monster that is coming on the Thunderpath as Talltail thinks he is playing with him. He thinks he waited too long and Sparrow isn't going to take it away from him. He thinks to just push him. Sparrow breaths he is going to kill him, a life for a life, and asks if that is part of the warrior code. Talltail snarls he knows nothing of the warrior code. Sparrow meows he knows courage, and Sandgorse showed that when he helped Sparrow escape. This isn't courage, killing him will not bring Sandgorse back.
- Talltail backs away from Sparrow, but the ground trembles as the monster approaches. Talltail tells Sparrow they better get away from there, but Sparrow eyes widen as he screeches for help. He jerks clumsily backwards as the cliff starts to give away beneath his paws. Sparrow screeches he is falling. Talltail reaches for the rogue, but misses. Sparrow slithers down the cliff face, showering grit as he fights to get a grip. He wails Talltail's name before he lands with a thump on the Thunderpath. Sparrow scrambles to his paws as a monster comes closer. He darts back and forth, pressing against the cliff, but there is nowhere to hide. Sparrow begs Talltail to help him, and reaches up with his front paws, trying to get a clawhold. His mew is sharp with terror, and he jumps, clinging to the sandy stone that crumbles in his claws. Sparrow tumbles back onto the Thunderpath and begs for calls for help again. Talltail thinks he has to save him, and thinks there must be a ditch they can hide in until the monster has gone past. Talltail scrambles down, and Sparrow asks what he is doing. Talltail tells him to follow him as he hares along the Thunderpath. Sparrow follows, eyes wide with fear. Talltail urges him to keep running.
- Talltail finds a ditch, but Sparrow is several tail-lengths behind. Talltail shrieks for him to hurry as the monster bears down on Sparrow. When Sparrow is near, Talltail grabs him and hauls him into the narrow ditch. The monster passes, and Sparrow lifts his head, yowling their alive. Talltail states they have to get out of there, and wonders if they can make it to the end of the gorge without meeting another monster. Sparrow seems to know what Talltail is thinking, as his gaze flickers past Talltail and he suggests what about that way. Sparrow has spotted a small tunnel that opens into a ditch. Talltail thinks it's a good idea, and beckons Sparrow with a nod. Sparrow doesn't follow though, instead, stares wide-eyed at the mouth of the tunnel, fur bristling and claws unsheathed. Talltail realizes he is afraid of the tunnels, and mews for him to come on, and promises it's perfectly safe. Sparrow takes a step forward, his fur standing on end. Talltail tells him to stay close, and reassures he'll be fine. Talltail imagines what Sparrow must be thinking and feeling, so calls that he is doing great. Sparrow thanks him, and apologizes for Sandgorse's death. He explains it was an accident, Sandgorse saved his life, and he'll never forget him.
- Sparrow says that when they don't know the truth, they invent stories to fill the gaps, and sometimes it's the only way they have to make sense of their lives. Talltail asks why he didn't tell what really happened at the time. Sandgorse confesses he didn’t think he’d believe him, Talltail was so angry, so determined that someone must be to blame. They exit the tunnel, and Sparrow points out the camp is at the distant woodland. They walk in silence across fields until they reach the trees. Talltail is happy to let Sparrow lead as he seems to know the way. Jake appears, and his eyes widen with surprize as he sees Sparrow. He breaths that Talltail didn't kill him. Talltail says no, and explains Sandgorse saved him. Talltail wonders if Sparrow didn't have time to explain, what if he pushed him. Talltail knows now that killing Sparrow wouldn't have made any difference. Jake explains that Talltail was true to himself by letting Sparrow live, and knows that Talltail's thirst for Sparrow's blood was not really him. Jake also asks if Sparrow knows that he planned to kill him. Talltail meows he knows. Jake murmurs they better leave, since they can't expect Sparrow to share food and shelter with them now, even if he did change his mind. Talltail arrives at camp to see Sparrow sitting on the far side, washing his paws.
- Bess states that Sparrow told them that he and Talltail were nearly killed by a monster, and Algernon says that Sparrow said it was pretty close. Talltail looks at Sparrow, and Sparrow stares back, his impassive gaze as unreadable as ever. Talltail announces that he and Jake are leaving, and Sparrow stops licking for a moment, insisting they must leave. Sparrow soon gets to his paws and announces they won't be visiting WindClan next greenleaf, and explains times have changed. The group need new paths to roam, old tracks grow stale. Algernon asks if his decided that right now, and Sparrow shakes his head. He explains that not right now, but he thinks it's the right decision. They have their lives, WindClan has theirs. Rogues like them do not belong in the Clans, the warrior code was not made for them, and Sparrow asks Talltail if he is right. Talltail nods. Sparrow goes back to washing his paws, and asks Talltail to give their regards to Heatherstar and Hawkheart, and tell them they wish them well. Talltail croaks that he is sure they would do the same for them. After they leave, Jake asks if Sandgorse really did save Sparrow, and Talltail says yes.
- When Talltail returns to WindClan, Heatherstar asks if he killed Sparrow, and Talltail says no. Heatherstar asks if he couldn't find him. Talltail replies he found him, but Sparrow told him that Sandgorse had given his life to save him in the tunnels. He couldn't kill him then. At Talltail's Leadership ceremony, Sandgorse tells his son that he never needed to kill Sparrow to prove he is was a great warrior. Talltail asks if he really did give his life to save Sparrow, as there was always a bit of doubt the rogue might have lied to save his own life. Sandgorse asks what if he hadn't, would Talltail still kill him. Talltail doesn’t know, but thinks he is glad he didn't kill the rogue. Sandgorse reveals he did save Sparrow, and the rogue was telling the truth.
In the Field Guides
- He appears on Tallstar's page. Sandgorse was killed in an underground collapse while showing Sparrow one of the tunnels. Even when Talltail received his warrior name, he was still restless with anger and grief. Swearing vengeance on Sparrow, he left WindClan to find him, along the way finding Jake and they journeyed together.
- Jake told Talltail he could be a better cat by not taking Sparrow's life and at the last moment, with Sparrow poised on the edge of a cliff above a Thunderpath, Talltail recalled the words and decided to not kill Sparrow. But Sparrow slipped anyway and Talltail was forced to risk his own life to save Sparrow. Sparrow told Talltail that Sandgorse died saving Sparrow's life from that collapsing tunnel. Humbled by his father, Talltail left the rogues.
- Kate Cary said that Sparrow, along with the rest of the greenleaf visitors, have an accent similar to one from the English county of Devonshire.
- "You should spend more time aiming for what you want. And less time worrying about what your father wants."
- —Sparrow to Tallpaw about Sandgorse Tallstar's Revenge, page 161
- "I'm sorry your father is dead, Tallpaw. But he told me it was safe when it wasn't. How was I supposed to know what would happen? I'm no tunneler. I believed him. When the river burst through, I didn't have time to save him. I barely saved myself."
- —Sparrow to Tallpaw about Sandgorse's death Tallstar's Revenge, page 202
- "Sparrow was a great hunter. He always made sure the elders and queens had something to eat."
- —Lilywhisker to Tallpaw and Shrewpaw Tallstar's Revenge, page 227
- Talltail: "I saw Sparrow head into the woods. I wanted to see if he was hunting so I could join him"
- Reena: "Sparrow doesn’t like company when he goes out early."
- Tallstar's Revenge, page 401
- "When we don’t know the truth, we invent stories to fill the gaps. Sometimes, it’s the only way we have to make sense of our lives."
- —Sparrow to Talltail about his need for revenge Tallstar's Revenge, page 415
References and citations
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 142
- ↑ Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 139
- ↑ Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, allegiances
- ↑ Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 392
- ↑ Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 221
- ↑ Revealed on Kate's blog
- ↑ Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 367
- ↑ Revealed in Tallstar's Revenge, page 199