|"I hope I can make you proud of me. I'm going to try my hardest!"|
|— Alderpaw's thoughts in The Apprentice's Quest, page 12|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter one of The Apprentice's Quest. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 1 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 8-17
- Alderkit stands in front of the nursery, nervously shifting his paws. Digging his claws into the ground, he wonders what the process of becoming a ThunderClan apprentice consists of. Alderkit worries that he might have to take an assessment before he can finally train to be a warrior. His belly churns with anxiety as he recalls the assessments for Hollytuft, Sorrelstripe, and Fernsong, and thinks that he isn't anywhere near ready to become an apprentice.
- His sister, Sparkkit, sneaks up behind him, and nudges him. Alderkit, who was deep in his own thoughts, hadn't seen his sister coming, and turns around to see Sparkkit's tabby fur bushing out in excitement as she asks Alderkit if he's excited for the ceremony too. Sparkkit wonders who their mentors will be, and says that she wants someone fun. She rules out Whitewing and Berrynose, saying that the two elder cats are too bossy, and Whitewing probably mutters the warrior code in her sleep. Alderkit and Sparkkit's mother, Squirrelflight, hears this and reprimands her daughter, saying that both cats are excellent choices.
- Alderkit knows that his mother means no harm when she speaks, but she's only looking out for her children, especially after the deaths of Alderkit and Sparkkit's two siblings. Alderkit sadly recalls his two lost littermates, thinking about Juniperkit, who hadn't even a chance to live, and Dandelionkit, who was weak from birth, and eventually died two moons after she was born. Alderkit knows that he and Sparkkit need to be the best they can be for their parents. Sparkkit shows no fear at being scolded by her mother, and becomes cheerful as their ceremony draws closer. Alderkit glances around camp and sees more warriors that could possibly be his mentor, including Lionblaze, Ivypool, and Blossomfall. Alderkit thinks that it probably wouldn't be Blossomfall, though, and he recalls that she, along with Brackenfur and Rosepetal had just finished their training with Hollytuft, Sorrelstripe, and Fernsong in the previous moons.
- Sparkkit nudges Alderkit out of his thoughts, and tells him that their ceremony is about to start. Alderkit looks up and sees his father, Bramblestar, emerge from his den, and call the Clan together for a meeting. He watches his father lightly make his way down the Highledge, passing former Clan deputy Graystripe along the way, and take his place in the center of the gathered cats. Bramblestar says that it is a good day in ThunderClan, as they now have two new apprentices.
- Bramblestar beckons Sparkkit forward, and gives the young cat her apprentice name, Sparkpaw. The newly named apprentice has been given Cherryfall as her mentor, and the two cats touch noses. Soon, it is Alderkit's turn to come forward, and Bramblestar tries to encourage his son forward. Alderkit approaches his father, and is soon given the name Alderpaw. The new apprentice is given Molewhisker as his mentor, and Alderpaw pads forward to join his new teacher.
- After the ceremony, Squirrelflight and Bramblestar join their two kits, saying how proud they are of them. Squirrelflight licks both Alderpaw and Sparkpaw on their heads, and says that the two young cats will make fine warriors. Bramblestar tells Alderpaw and Sparkpaw to listen to their mentors, and says that he is looking forward to hearing about the progress the two are making. Bramblestar and Squirrelflight walk away soon after, leaving Alderpaw and Sparkpaw with their new mentors. Sparkpaw eagerly asks if they can learn how to hunt, but Molewhisker tells them no, and there are other ways to learn how to care for their Clanmates. Alderpaw asks what their tasks are, and notices the guilty look on Cherryfall's face as she tells them that their new task is to check the elders for ticks. Molewhisker says to go and ask Jayfeather and Leafpool for mouse bile, and to learn how to use it. Alderpaw groans and says that if this is what being an apprentice does, he won't like it.
- Alderpaw begins his task by searching Graystripe's pelt for ticks, although he doesn't like having to do so, and would rather be curled up and asleep. Sparkpaw also helps check for ticks, and cleans Purdy's pelt, while Sandstorm and Millie wait their turns. Sparkpaw finds a large tick on Purdy, picks up the mouse bile that Jayfeather had given her, and drops some on the tick. Sparkpaw complains about the smell, and wants to know how the elders can stand it. Purdy says that there wasn't an apprentice who hadn't done the same task, including Firestar and Bramblestar. Graystripe says that he and Firestar trained together, and he lost track of how many ticks the pair had found. Distracted, Alderpaw accidentally digs his claws into Graystripe's pelt, and the elder scolds the apprentice, telling him to watch what he's doing.
- After deciding there are worse things he could be doing, he settles back down and continues to search Graystripe for ticks. Alderpaw looks up and finds himself meeting Sandstorm's green gaze as she looks on fondly at he and his sister. She tells Alderpaw that she remembers when Squirrelflight was an apprentice, and recalls that her mentor, Dustpelt, had once threatened her with clawing her pelt off to intimidate the foxes that lived in the area. She tells Alderpaw and Sparkpaw that Dustpelt wouldn't have ever done that, but she knew that Dustpelt had to be tough with her, because he saw the potential that she carried within her, and knew that she wouldn't ever live up to that if she didn't discipline herself properly. Graystripe interrupts Sandstorm's story, asking about the rest of his ticks, and Millie agrees, saying that they've been waiting moons for it.
- Alderpaw apologizes and resumes checking Graystripe's pelt for ticks. Almost at once, he comes across a very large tick, and wonders how Graystripe deals with it. Dabbing some bile onto the tick, he manages to get the tick off. Glancing up as he does so, he sees Leafpool and Jayfeather, the Clan's two medicine cats, talking intensely with each other. The two shift their gaze towards him, making eye contact. Alderpaw's belly grows uneasy as he wonders if he's already messed something up on his first day of apprenticeship.
|Alderpaw's Apprentice Ceremony|
|Sparkpaw's Apprentice Ceremony|
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 8
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 9
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 10
- ↑ Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 11
- ↑ Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 12
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 15
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 17
- ↑ Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 16
|The Apprentice's Quest 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 • Bonus Scene|
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