|"In leaf-bare, you said that the tunnels were too dangerous. Now you say a kit likes the wind in his fur. What excuse will you use next time you give the moor runners an apprentice?"|
|— Hickorynose to Heatherstar during Tallpaw's ceremony in Tallstar's Revenge, page 53|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter five of Tallstar's Revenge. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 5 (of 45)
- Page Numbers: 50-60
- Heatherstar summons the Clan from where she stands on Tallrock. Beyond WindClan's leader, the distant moor is wide and green, rippled with heather. Tallkit is seated at the edge of the Meeting hollow, a breeze tugging at his pelt. The kit's Clanmates move around him, heading into the sandy dip. It was a plentful greenleaf, and prey had come rich, and WindClan's warriors were plump and sleek.
- Tallkit glances over to the tunnelers, who are clustered together. Woollytail's eyes are bright, and Hickorynose paces impatiently. Plumclaw's tail-tip flicks with excitement. Hawkheart and Reedfeather sit as still as stone at the foot of Tallrock, and the rest of the tunnelers fill the hollow.
- Flicking his tail, Cloudrunner beckons Stagpaw, while Doepaw waits with Aspenfall and Ryepaw. As the elders join their gathered Clanmates, Flailfoot meows that this is a ceremony he's been looking forward to. Tallkit's heart pounds and Sandgorse asks if he's ready. Tallkit affirms he is, and glances at his mother, noticing how her usual dull eyes now look bright.
- Barkpaw dashes from the medicine den, taking his place beside Hawkheart. Tallkit catches Shrewpaw's eye and guesses he's thinking how he will be Wormpaw now. Heatherstar crosses the hollow and stops, surveying the Clan before resting her eyes on Tallkit, and calls him forward. Palebird nudges him, and Tallkit makes his way over to his leader. Heatherstar meows that it is rare that she gives an apprentice name to only one cat, and to let them remember Finchkit. She says that the Clan mourns her loss, but she is at peace in StarClan. Tallkit wonders if his sister is watching the ceremony and if she would be jealous she never got the chance to get her own name.
- Heatherstar calls him by his new name, Tallpaw, and mews that she has thought long about who should mentor him. He hears the excited murmurs from the tunnelers, and hears Plumclaw's quiet hiss that Heatherstar will surely choose Woollytail. With unwavering eyes, Heatherstar announces that she has chosen Dawnstripe, and calls the moor runner forward. The ground seems to sway beneath Tallpaw. He looks at Sandgorse, who's eyes spark with outrage. As Dawnstripe approaches, Tallpaw is relieved he won't be going underground.
- Woollytail's sharp voice cuts across the hollow as he says Heatherstar promised them a tunneler. Hearing the thump of paws behind him, Tallpaw spins around with his heart lurching to see Sandgorse has leaped into the clearing. The ginger tom tells Heatherstar that she has made a mistake. The WindClan leader shakes her head, certain of her decision. Sandgorse reasons that both of Tallpaw's parents are tunnelers and they want him to follow in their pawsteps.
- Heatherstar quietly meows she knows, but she has watched Tallpaw and noticed that he doesn't have the nature or physique of a tunneler. Sandgorse snaps that isn't true, pointing out his long tail, which would make it easy to pull him out of a cave-in, then notes his short fur and strong paws. Holding his gaze, Heatherstar mews that Tallpaw runs like the wind and leaps like a hare, and chases imaginary prey when he thinks no one is watching. Palebird joins Sandgorse, hissing that he can chase real prey in the tunnels. Unflinching, Heatherstar says that when the wind is up, it gets into his fur so he can't sit still, he needs to be true to his nature and be above ground.
- Woollytail echoes her and asks what kit doesn't run and jump. Hickorynose meows that in leaf-bare she said the tunnels were too dangerous, and now says that a kit likes to have the wind in his fur. He wonders what the next excuse will be to not give the tunnelers an apprentice.
- Taking a step closer to Heatherstar with a bristling pelt, Sandgorse growls that tunneling is in Tallpaw's nature, pointing out that his kin have been tunnelers for moons. Heatherstar says that if Tallpaw wants to train as a tunneler later on he can, but she wants him to train as a moor runner first. Tallpaw flinches when he sees his mother's tail droop and she climbs out of the hollow with her head hanging low. Tallpaw desperately looks from Heatherstar to Sandgorse, wondering if he should say he wants to be a tunneler's apprentice.
- Sandgorse snarls that Tallpaw is his son, he will decide his future. Stiffening, Heatherstar mews that she decides the future of her warriors, then turns to Dawnstripe, telling her to share her speed and courage with the young cat and make him a warrior WindClan can be proud of. Tallpaw's heart hammers, noting how Dawnstripe is one of the Clan's fastest warriors and has never backed down from a fight. He silently vows he will make WindClan proud. As Dawnstripe touches her muzzle to his head, he fights to stop himself from trembling. He pricks his ears, listening for cheers, but no one calls his apprentice name. Tallpaw nervously looks over his shoulder to see his father has turned his back to the ceremony and the tunnelers watch in silence.
- Cloudrunner starts the chant and his Clanmates follow quickly. Dawnstripe nudges Tallpaw to Stagpaw and Doepaw, telling him to greet his new denmates. Barkpaw joins them and he congratulates his friend. Tallpaw is unsure how to feel, he had wanted to be a moor runner, but not if it made his parents angry. He turns to Hawkheart's gruff voice as the medicine cat tells him he may think he's been given an easier path, but it's one that leads him away from his kin and warns him to be careful not to lose his way. Tallpaw promises he won't, with Barkpaw backing him up.
- Shrewpaw joins them and says Heatherstar must be crazy, mewing that he should be underground. Larksplash meows that it'll be good to have a new apprentice. While glancing warmly at Ryepaw, she says that a certain litter isn't good at being ready for the dawn patrol. Purring, Aspenfall weaves past his Clanmate and bets Tallpaw is an early riser, if he's anything like Sandgorse. He glances at the ginger tom, who sits with his back to the hollow. Heart twisting, Tallpaw thanks them and says he needs to speak with his father. He makes his way over and stops in front of him, asking if he wants him to tell Heatherstar that he would rather be a tunneler.
- Sandgorse asks if that is what he wants, and Tallpaw quietly says no. Sandgorse snaps then don't, and Tallpaw apologizes and meows that if Heatherstar had made him a tunneler he would have trained just as hard. His eyes drifting to the nursery where Palebird was hiding, Sandgorse murmurs he had such plans. Guilt twists Tallpaw's heart and he says he knows, but he promises that even though he's not training as a tunneler, he's going to be the best warrior he can be. Sandgorse gives Heatherstar an angry look as he meows that Tallpaw was born to be a tunneler and he can't change that, no matter what anyone tells him. He stomps away with his tail lashing, while Tallpaw watches him with grief.
- Dawnstripe joins him and says there's nothing he can do and to leave him, he will get used to it. She nods to the camp entrance and leads Tallpaw outside. He takes in the view of WindClan's territory and feels the urge to race into the heather, but fear of getting lost keeps him from doing it. Dawnstripe points to some lapwings that are defending their young from what she guesses is a weasel. Dawnstripe warns him to stay clear of them until he has learned some battle moves.
- Shrewpaw explodes from the tunnel and asks Tallpaw if he's looking for rabbit holes to burrow in. The rest of the apprentices and their mentors flood out to join them. Cloudrunner asks where Dawnstripe will be taking him first, and Stagpaw interrupts that they're going to practice battle moves, which receives a stern remark from Cloudrunner. Purring, Dawnstripe mews that he's just excited to have a new denmate, then glances at her apprentice and asks if he is ready. Tallpaw nods and sees the dense trees of ThunderClan in the distance, and Dawnstripe tells him not to worry, they won't be visiting them.
- Larksplash paces and meows that she is taking Ryepaw to the RiverClan border to refresh the scent line, and asks if they shall travel together. Dawnstripe agrees and Tallpaw hurries after them. Ryepaw tells him to just wait until he gets to the Outlook Rock, they can see the end of the world from there. Tallpaw avoids stepping on sheep dirt and feels alarmed that they were on the moor. He asks Ryepaw if she has ever seen a sheep up close, and the older apprentice purrs that she has and adds that they're harmless.
- The ground begins to give way to grass flattened by the wind and Tallpaw focuses on all of the scents, when he hears a yowl of warning.
|Tallpaw's Apprentice Ceremony|
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 • Manga|
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