|"I'm learning so much today! I feel like I'm becoming a real part of my Clan."|
|— Alderpaw's thoughts on his first tour of the territory in The Apprentice's Quest, page 24|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter two of The Apprentice's Quest. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 2 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 18-36
- Alderpaw has trouble sleeping, finding himself being kept awake and only being able to drift off to sleep from being caught by the events of the previous day. Although Sparkpaw manages to sleep with ease, Alderpaw finds it difficult to do so, and thinks that the apprentices' den is awfully empty just with he and his sister. His thoughts are soon interrupted by a ginger face, and it turns out to be Cherryfall, Sparkpaw's mentor. She tells Alderpaw to give Sparkpaw a prod, because it's time for their first tour of ThunderClan's territory.
- Alderpaw asks if he is to come along too, and Cherryfall says yes and tells Alderpaw that Molewhisker is waiting outside. Alderpaw wakes his sister, and Sparkpaw scrambles out of the den, happy that they finally get to tour the territory. Alderpaw follows, and sees Cloudtail, Bumblestripe, and Rosepetal emerge from the warriors' den. With Cloudtail in the lead, the three cats set off, and Molewhisker explains that they are part of the dawn patrol. Molewhisker says that they should give the group a little bit of time before setting off, and sends the two apprentices to eat some prey.
- After eating their food, Alderpaw and Sparkpaw rejoin Molewhisker and Cherryfall, and the four cats head out. Alderpaw tingles with anticipation as he makes his way through the narrow space marking the entrance to ThunderClan's camp and finally goes into the forest for the first time. Unable to find words to express his excitement, Alderpaw stays silent and takes in the surroundings. Sparkpaw breaks the silence, and asks Cherryfall if they can hunt. She says maybe later, and explains that their first thing to do is to explore the territory. She tells Alderpaw and Sparkpaw that by the time they're warriors, they will need to know every pawstep. Nodding, Molewhisker says that they will have to know every tree, every rock, and every stream that lies in ThunderClan's territory.
- Their tour starts by heading towards ShadowClan territory. Sparkpaw asks about ShadowClan, and wants to know what would happen if they meet them. Molewhisker sternly meows that nothing would happen, and that each Clan is to stay on their side of the border. Soon, they reach a path that is surrounded by grass and plants on both sides, and Alderpaw asks why the plans do that. Molewhisker says that Alderpaw has asked a good question, and says that the path leads to an old Twoleg den, and he explains that the den is where Leafpool and Jayfeather keep their herbs. The four cats continue on, and their next stop is the lake, and both Sparkpaw and Alderpaw are in awe at its size.
- Alderpaw believes that there is no end to the lake, due to the size, and Molewhisker corrects him saying that some cats have even traveled around the entire thing. He points with his tail to the opposite side, and explains that RiverClan makes their home there. Cherryfall adds to what her brother says, saying that RiverClan cats love the lake, and they often swim in it and catch fish as their source of nourishment. Sparkpaw asks if she can catch fish, and splashes around in the lake. Molewhisker sighs, and says that she won't if she keeps splashing around, and that prancing around making all kinds of noise will scare away the prey.
- They finally make their way towards the border with ShadowClan, and Sparkpaw and Alderpaw are disgusted at what they can smell. Wanting to know what the smell is, Sparkpaw seems outraged that it could even be cat scent, and Molewhisker says that what they are smelling is ShadowClan. He goes on to say that it only smells that way because the ThunderClan cats aren't used to smelling it, and says that ThunderClan probably smells just as bad to them. Cherryfall tells Sparkpaw and Alderpaw that each Clan marks their borders with their scent, and says that it is to remind each cat to stay off of territory that does not belong to them. Molewhisker says that they will teach Alderpaw and Sparkpaw how to set those borders, and before long, the two apprentices will be doing it as part of a patrol.
- Keeping up with their tour, Molewhisker and Cherryfall take Sparkpaw and Alderpaw to a large hazel thicket and asks them to stay quiet. She points out the clearing, which has many little dens made of strange green pelts. Molewhisker says that during greenleaf, the Twolegs live in the little dens. Alderpaw asks if the Twolegs are there now, and Cherryfall mews that they're probably still sleeping, calling them lazy. She says that since it's in ShadowClan territory, the problem isn't theirs to deal with, and they make their way on. Soon, they stop, and Cherryfall asks the apprentices what they are able to smell.
- Concentrating, Alderpaw has a rough time being able to make out the many different scents, but Sparkpaw is able to instantly scent a mouse, and asks again if they are able to hunt. Cherryfall ignores Sparkpaw's pleading, and wants to know if the young cats can smell anything else. Ignoring his hunger, Alderpaw asks if what he can scent belongs to another Clan. Molewhisker and Cherryfall look at one another, and then back at Alderpaw, asking if he is able to identify which Clan he can smell. He guesses WindClan, and Cherryfall praises him. The cats walk closer to the border, following the bank of the stream. She points to the steep hill, saying that WindClan makes their home there. Molewhisker says that they don't live in the woods, and their camp is surrounded by gorse bushes. They are interrupted by a noise, and they turn and see a thin tabby chasing after a rabbit. Molewhisker comments on their speed, and Sparkpaw says that she could eat a rabbit.
- Cherryfall says that they can head back to camp, but Sparkpaw protests, saying that she thought they were going to practice hunting. Alderpaw would rather go home, however, and hopes that his mentor would tell him no. Much to his dismay, Molewhisker says that they can practice hunting, but explains that they cannot eat what they catch, as the Clan must be fed first. They lead the apprentices to a huge oak tree, and the two apprentices soon scent a shrew. Cherryfall tells the two to try catching it, and briefly demonstrates the hunter's crouch. She warns the apprentices to keep low and set their paws down lightly on the ground. Molewhisker also tells Sparkpaw and Alderpaw to watch their tails.
- After their brief lesson, it is Sparkpaw's turn to try hunting first. Keeping her paws tucked in close to her body, she leaps forward and disappears into the undergrowth. She soon reappears with a shrew dangling from her jaws. Cherryfall is impressed, and both she and Molewhisker say they haven't heard of an apprentice catching prey on her first time out. Alderpaw's turn follows, but not before they move to a different location. Alderpaw is concerned that he will mess up, and his belly churns in anticipation of his first chance at prey. Molewhisker asks the apprentices to show him their crouches again, and they attempt to help the apprentices perfect their moves. Sparkpaw tells Alderpaw that he can't have his paws sticking out if he wants to pounce well, and she is reprimanded by Molewhisker, who tries to comfort an anxious Alderpaw.
- Alderpaw is sent to hunt by Molewhisker, and he narrows his eyes in an attempt to concentrate. He soon scents a vole, and tells Molewhisker. His mentor nods in approval, and tells Alderpaw to go after it. Alderpaw tries, but hesitates and is unable to move. This is seen by Molewhisker, who hisses in impatience. He takes too long, however, and the vole escapes into the water. He makes his way back to Molewhisker, who tells him that a good hunter does not hesitate. Although Molewhisker is kind to Alderpaw, the apprentice can't help but feel that he has let his mentor down.
- Suddenly, Sparkpaw darts off into the bushes, and it startles Alderpaw. She emerges a moment later, swinging the tail of a mouse in her jaws. Cherryfall is impressed and praises her apprentice, while Molewhisker mutters that she made a good catch, and his tail twitches in annoyance. Alderpaw thinks that he has let Molewhisker down again, and all he wanted was to make Molewhisker proud of him. Molewhisker tells Alderpaw that he shouldn't worry, and that he'll learn.
- They soon meet a patrol consisting of Ivypool, Birchfall, and Sorrelstripe. Cherryfall remarks that they must have had good hunting, seeing the amount of prey they caught. Ivypool looks over, and says that Cherryfall's group must have too, and the ginger she-cat says that Sparkpaw caught the prey on her first day out of camp. Sorrelstripe is amazed, and praises Sparkpaw, while Birchfall says that Sparkpaw is a good apprentice. Sparkpaw mews that it is because Cherryfall is a good hunter. None of the cats on the patrol take notice of Alderpaw, however.
- When they return to camp, they are met by Bramblestar, who wants to know about his kin's progress. Sparkpaw happily announces that she caught a shrew and a mouse, and Bramblestar praises her. The ThunderClan leader asks about Alderpaw's progress, and Sparkpaw says that he really listened to Molewhisker and learned about the territory. Molewhisker backs her up, say that that he is sure Alderpaw will get the hang of hunting, and that he's trying hard. Bramblestar dismisses Molewhisker, Cherryfall, and Sparkpaw, and takes Alderpaw by his side.
- Alderpaw explains to his father that he tried, and Bramblestar knows that he did. Bramblestar says that it was only Alderpaw's first day out of camp, and that he is very proud to hear that he is listening to his mentor and doing his best to learn about being a warrior. When Alderpaw doesn't reply, Bramblestar asks if he ever told Alderpaw about his own days as an apprentice. Alderpaw mews that he knew that Firestar was Bramblestar's mentor, and that Firestar must have thought he was pretty great if he mentored Bramblestar himself.
- Sighing, Bramblestar confesses that he thought that Firestar only wanted to keep en eye on Bramblestar, due to his father being Tigerstar. He tells Alderpaw that it took a long time for Firestar to trust him, and his voice grows tight, as if he doesn't want to think about Tigerstar and what he had done. After a brief moment of relaxation, Bramblestar continues his story, telling Alderpaw about his first time hunting. He says that he wanted to impress Firestar so badly with his skills. He ran after a squirrel too fast, slipping on leaves, and went nose over paws into a tree. Bramblestar says that he was sure that Firestar had to stop himself from laughing, and Alderpaw wonders if it really happened. Bramblestar confirms it, and Alderpaw has a burst of confidence, vowing to himself that he will get better and make ThunderClan proud of him.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 18
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 19
- ↑ Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 27
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 32
- ↑ Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 33
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 21
- ↑ Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 25
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, page 35
|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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