|"You're going to spend your life wriggling underground like a worm, aren't you? That's where you should be now, under the rocks, not on them."|
|— Shrewkit mocking Tallkit in Tallstar's Revenge, page 12|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter one of Tallstar's Revenge. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 1 (of 45)
- Page Numbers: 6-18
- Tallkit is anxiously told by his mother Palebird, to be careful. He assures his mother that he will be okay. Tallkit suddenly shivers, but his paws prick with excitement, since it is his second sunrise outside of the nursery. The light dusting of leaf-bare snow turns the camp white, and the freezing air stings the kit's nose, causing him to fluff up his fur. Purring with amusement, Tallkit thinks that his white markings make it easier for him to hide in the snow.
- Shrewkit makes his debut, suggesting to Barkkit that they should show him the Hunting Stones. After surveying his denmates and knowing the age and size difference, Tallkit protests that he thought they would climb the Tallrock again, claiming that he knows he'll make it. Tallkit's eyes sting, still adjusting to the light as he only opened them a few sunrises ago. Blinking up at the high slab of granite, he had been told by Barkkit that Heatherstar stood on it to address the Clan. Tallkit identifies the stone and crater just below as the Meeting Hollow. He spots Heatherstar, Reedfeather, and Hawkheart speaking to each other besides the Tallrock.
- Hawkheart notices him and tells him to stay under cover since the small kits attract buzzards. Reedfeather scolds the medicine cat for scaring Tallkit and asks Shrewkit what he was showing the younger tom that day. He replies they were exploring Hunting Stones, and Heatherstar warns them to he careful, while Hawkheart tells them not to come to him with a sprained paw. The three cats duck into the shelter of Heatherstar's den to finish their conversation while Barkkit and Shrewkit begin play-fighting. Tallkit watches them and wishes he had a littermate, and that Finchkit hadn't died. Shrewkit comments that he's blinking like a kit that had just opened his eyes, and Tallkit protests that he just isn't used to the snow.
- As he looks out across the camp at the heather coated in frost, Tallkit wonders what the moor looks like in deep snow. He recalls a story his mother had told him, how WindClan was closer to the Silverpelt than any other Clan, therefore was watched by StarClan the most. Tallkit askes her if they tunnel to hide from the dead warriors of other Clans, but she tells him it was because they were stronger and more clever than any of the other Clans. Meanwhile, Barkkit and Shrewkit argue on where to play. Tallkit enjoys the cold feeling under his paws, but almost runs into Cloudrunner and Aspenfall. The two toms are moor runners, and are just returning from a hunting trip.
- Woollytail, a tunneler, exchanges a conversation about the two cats' catch. When his tunnelmate Hickorynose comments about the gorge tunnel, Cloudrunner and Aspenfall criticize it since it's too unstable to hunt in safely. Woollytail retorts and they fall silent, however, it's soon broken as Heatherstar approaches. Tallkit wonders if she ever patrols underground while she asks Woollytail when the tunnel they're working on will be finished.
- Barkkit tells him to hurry up, as he and his brother are already at the Hunting Stones. Shrewkit leaps onto the highest stone and announces himself the leader of the stones, followed by Barkkit who calls himself the deputy. Tallkit attempts to jump beside them but fails; as he slides back onto the ground, Shrewkit taunts him, calling him Wormkit and tells him he isn't a moor runner like them. Tallkit protests, while confused, but Shrewkit doesn't listen, continuing to tease the younger kit.
- Tallkit frowns at the suggestion that he should be under the rocks, not on top, just like his parents. However, Barkkit says to ignore Shrewkit and to try again. Tallkit heaves for his denmate's paw and scrambles against the snow, eventually flinging himself up. He thanks Barkkit and sits up. As he's scanning the camp, Whiteberry emerges from the elders' den, and asks what they are doing, Lilywhisker follows close behind. It's noted that she's the youngest elder in the Clan, and that she retired due to getting a lame leg from a cave-in. Tallkit listens to them as they vanish into the heather tunnel, and immediately recognizes his father, Sandgorse as he entered the clearing.
- He calls to Woollytail that he left a stack of sticks at the tunnel entrance, to which his tunnelmate replies with enthusiasm, since they can start the shoring up of the roof this afternoon. Sandgorse tells him they won't be taking part, and heads towards Tallkit - he wants to show his son something.
- Tallkit rushes to his father, excited, thinking that he wants to show him the moor. Unfortunately, however, Sandgorse announces that he wants Tallkit to begin learning how to dig. Tallkit immediately becomes disappointed. Shrewkit calls to him that Tallkit will go worming, and after he retorts, Barkkit tells him to ignore his littermate. Sandgorse snorts, noting how much of a typical moor-kit Shrewkit is, scaring of getting sand in his eyes.
- The two cats head for the tunnelers' bracken patch, and Tallkit ducks beneath Sandgorse's belly as they stop by Woollytail's nest. He calls to the tunneler, wondering if the sticks will be strong enough to support and hold up the roof. When Woollytail comments on how they aren't far from clay now and there'll be fewer cave-ins, Tallkit supposes Sandgorse thinks about Lilywhisker when he glances towards the elders' den. Sandgorse suggests exploring the rabbit warrens higher up, but Woollytail isn't fond of the idea, since they made so much progress during leaf-bare already.
- During the conversation, Tallkit notices how wide and toned Woollytail's shoulders were, almost like Sandgorse's. He looks at Cloudrunner and Aspenfall, thinking how they were built more for speed rather than strength, given they are much sleeker. Tallkit shudders at the thought of being squashed underground, mud filling his eyes and nose.
- After Sandgorse drags him back to reality, Tallkit follows him towards the nests of the moor runners. They pass the stalks to a patch of bare earth behind the Tallrock. Sandgorse explains that digging is good here - he learned how to in this place first. Tallkit asks if he ever gets bored of just digging, to which his father starts rambling about tunneling, and eventually mentions Shattered Ice. Tallkit already knows the legend, since it was one of the first nursery stories Palebird told him. Sandgorse continues to talk about Shattered Ice, and Tallkit easily gets bored. Yawning, he mentally guesses what his father will say next, and amusingly, Sandgorse repeats the same sentence word to word.
- When Sandgorse mentions how WindClan would have went preyless for many moons, Tallkit feels guilty for wanting to be a moor runner. He should be proud that his Clan will need him someday and that he should be proud to follow in his father's paw steps. With that mindset, he starts to scrape at the earth, only to be stopped by Sandgorse. He instructs him how to do it properly, and Tallkit copies the way his father expertly dug.
- Feeling Sandgorse's gaze on him, filled with pride, he starts to dig faster, squeaking happily. When Sandgorse warns him, it's too late - Tallkit bumps into his dig-pile and soil washes his face. Sneezing, he sits up, and the tunneler explains it's important to keep his pile compact. Concentrating even harder than before, Tallkit determinedly resumes digging. By the time Sandgorse praises him, the kitten's hind legs ache with the effort of reaching down to haul earth up.
- Sandgorse warns him again. Tallkit protests that he's fine, but before he can finish his sentence, his hind paws give away from under him and he falls into the hole. His paws painfully twist the wrong way and he starts to panic when he feels like he's being buried alive, the earth choking him. His father pulls him back to safety by his long tail, and asks Tallkit if he's okay. The frightened kitten wails that he can't do this and doesn't want to be a tunneler, and he races towards the nursery while calling his mother's name.
Notes and references
|Tallstar's Revenge chapters|
|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 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29 • Chapter 30 • Chapter 31 • Chapter 32 • Chapter 33 • Chapter 34 • Chapter 35 • Chapter 36 • Chapter 37 • Chapter 38 • Chapter 39 • Chapter 40 • Chapter 41 • Chapter 42 • Chapter 43 • Chapter 44 • Chapter 45 • Graphic novel|
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