|"I wish that were true. But if Cinderpelt is really watching me right now, she'll know I can't do anything right for Leafpool."|
|— Hollypaw doubting her skill as a medicine cat in The Sight, page 164-165|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twelve of The Sight. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 12 (of 25)
- Page Numbers: 152-171
- A pale line like spilt milk gleams on the horizon as Hollypaw follows her Clanmates back to the hollow. The excited whispering throughout the long trek home ceases as they pad through the thorn tunnel. Moonlight bathes the clearing, but the edges of the camp were in shadow. Hollypaw’s pelt prickles with anticipation as she sees two small shapes hurrying from the apprentice’s den. Cinderpaw calls out, asking how was the Gathering. Firestar halts, Graystripe beside him, and meows that she should be asleep or else she’d be too tired.
- Cinderpaw apologizes, saying she couldn’t sleep until the cats back at camp heard about the Gathering. Graystripe’s whiskers twitch with amusement, and he reminds Firestar they would’ve done the same when they were apprentices. Cinderpaw’s eyes grow round as she asks who is the gray warrior, and Firestar tells her he was ThunderClan’s deputy before she was born. Cinderpaw guesses its Graystripe and Poppypaw excitedly echoes her. Cinderpaw asks if she can tell Cloudtail, and charges towards the warrior’s den calling her mentor’s name.
- Cloudtail appears at the den entrance, his pelt ruffled with sleep glowing in the moonlight. He asks what’s the matter and Cinderpaw announces Graystripe is back. Brackenfur pushes past Cloudtail and stands outside the den, staring across the clearing, then racing towards his old friend. Cloudtail bounds over to greet Graystripe and Stormfur and Whitewing burst from the den, mewing excitedly. Brackenfur murmurs he thought he’d never see Graystripe again, and Stormfur adds Firestar was right that he’d find his way back. Graystripe stares at his son in astonishment, and asks if he lives with ThunderClan now.
- Mousefur grumpily mews as she squeezes out of the elder’s den, asking what’s the noise about. Longtail appears behind her, his blind eyes staring blankly. He sniffs the air, and even in the dim light of the moon, Hollypaw could see the fur prickle along his spine. He meows he smells Graystripe and Mousefur scoffs Longtail’s dreaming. Firestar promises Longtail wasn’t dreaming and Graystripe pushes his way out through the knot of cats in the center of the clearing, meowing it really is him.
- Mousefur races over to Graystripe, running her tail over his flank, and asks how in Silverpelt he found them. Sandstorm steps forward and softly meows that it’s a long story that can wait until morning, because Graystripe and Millie are exhausted. Mousefur asks who Millie is, and glances at the stranger standing beside Graystripe. He explains Millie helped him make the journey, and she’s her mate now.
- Hollypaw’s belly tightens with anxiety and she wonders how Mousefur would react - warriors weren’t supposed to find mates outside of their Clan and certainly, not kittypet mates. But Mousefur only dips her head to Millie, mewing that Graystripe’s still breaking the rules. Hollypaw flicks the tip of her tail uneasily, thinking about StarClan’s opinion. She glances at Firestar. Perhaps having a leader with kittypet roots meant it was fine. The most important thing was that Millie proved herself a warrior by helping Graystripe find his way back to ThunderClan.
- A shadow by the warriors’ den catches her eye, and she notices Brook has woken up. She pads over to Stormfur and murmurs in his ear. Jaypaw emerges from the apprentice den, nose twitching, asking what’s going on. Lionpaw bounds over to him, and says that Graystripe’s back. Jaypaw turns his sightless gaze towards Graystripe and Millie and asks who’s with him, and Cinderpaw explains she’s his new mate from Twolegplace. He wrinkles his nose and tells her to let Leafpool know Millie’s got an infected wound because he could smell it from there.
- Firestar calls for Brambleclaw and tells him to find nests for Graystripe and Millie and Brambleclaw pads away with a nod. Hollypaw’s aware of a growing murmuring among the cats, Cinderpaw whispering that Graystripe’s isn’t as big as she thought and he’s small next to Brambleclaw. Jaypaw mews he smells of crow-food and Lionpaw says he must’ve been eating like a loner for moons - when he eats like a warrior again he won’t be so small.
- Whitewing uneasily looks at Squirrelflight and asks who’ll be the deputy, and her gaze flicks anxiously from Graystripe to the warriors’ den entrance, where Brambleclaw had disappeared. She says she doesn’t know and Firestar gazes steadily at his Clanmates, saying nothing will change right now and they should just be grateful Graystripe has returned. Brambleclaw reports back there’s no room for two new nests - maybe one, but nothing else. Graystripe mews it doesn’t matter where he sleeps, but he wants to stay with Millie.
- Firestar promises they will and they were going to expand the den anyway. Graystripe tells him he and Millie would rather sleep separately from the others at first - just till they get used to being around so many cats again. Brightheart suggests the alcove behind the warriors’ den with soft, grassy ground and Leafpool puts in that if they arranged brambles from clearing the medicine den the alcove would be sheltered. Firestar looks at Graystripe and asks if he’d prefer the alcove and he nods.
- Hollypaw jumps to her paws. As a medicine cat apprentice, she knows she has to take care of the new arrivals - their bedding would need to be warm and comfortable and they should have herbs to help them recover from their journey. Firestar calls for Brackenfur, Cloudtail, and Brambleclaw to start moving the brambles and Brambleclaw hurries away to the browned, brittle brambles, pushed into the shadows beside the medicine den. Brackenfur and Cloudtail follow.
- Cinderpaw asks if she can help. Brackenfur stops and turns, ready to answer, but Cinderpaw is already hurtling towards him. She careens into him and falls backwards, tumbling tail over whiskers. Cinderpaw apologises as she scrambles to her feet, her eyes filled with dismay. Brackenfur purrs at his daughter and says she’s always a tail-length ahead of herself - it reminds him of his sister when she was an apprentice. Cloudtail calls for her to help him drag bramble over to the alcove and she mews a sorry, racing over to help her mentor.
- By the time dawn breaks over the camp, spilling punks and oranges over the cloud-dappled sky, the den’s finished. With a sleepy nod of thanks, Graystripe and Millie pad inside. On the other side of the clearing, Sandstorm and Spiderleg were leading Honeypaw and Mousepaw out of camp on the dawn patrol. Brambleclaw and Cloudtail head to their den to sleep and Hollypaw stays with Leafpool outside the makeshift den, admiring their work.
- Leafpool mews the moss Hollypaw collected will keep Graystripe and Millie warm. She’d gathered a little from each of the dens, and Hollypaw helped shape it into a comfortable nest for Graystripe and Millie. Graystripe might be ThunderClan’s rightful deputy; Hollypaw wants to make the nest as cozy as possible. She offers to fetch some herbs because Jaypaw said Millie’s got an infected wound. Surprised, Leafpool asks how he’d know. Hollypaw shrugs and says he smelled it. She’s groping for the name of some leaf or seed that might help but her mind is fuzzy after the excitement of building the den.
- Leafpool tells Hollypaw that they’ll make sure they see to it come sunhigh but right now, Graystripe and Millie need rest more than anything else. Hollypaw stifles a yawn and Leafpool gazes down at her, saying she must be tired too. She admits she’s a little tired, but in fact, she was nearly numb with the exhaustion. Leafpool suggests they sleep and Hollypaw follows gratefully, looking forward to curling up in her nest and closing her eyes.
- When Hollypaw wakes up weak sunlight flows through the brambles, rippling like water on the sandy earth. Immediately she thinks of Graystripe; Firestar had told the Clan nothing would change ‘’right now’’. She asks herself if it means Brambleclaw would eventually be replaced with Graystripe and if StarClan expected Firestar to. She pads from the warm moss, scenting the chilly air. Her belly rumbles. Leafpool lays in her nest, eyes closed, but as Hollypaw stirs, she lifts her nose. Asking if she’s awake already Leafpool gets to her paws and stretches, curling her tail until it shivers. She says that she thought Hollypaw would sleep longer, and Hollypaw confesses she’s hungry.
- Scenting the air, Leafpool tells her there’s fresh-kill on the pile. Hollypaw fetches a mouse for her mentor, a vole, for herself and eats it ravenously, swallowing in a few mouthfuls before licking her paws and washing her face. She asks eagerly if they should check on Graystripe and Leafpool asks if it’s sunhigh. Hollypaw responds not yet; Leafpool tells her to let them sleep a little longer. She pads over to the piles of herbs at the back of the den and sifts through them, meowing at Hollypaw she needs her to fetch some borage - they’re running low and Graystripe or Millie may have a fever. There’s some borage lakeward, over the ridge.
- Alarm pricks at Hollypaw’s claws. She asks if Leafpool will wake them before she returns. There could be lots to learn from ThunderClan’s newest patients and she hadn’t had a sick cat to treat since she became a medicine cat. She’d tried learning the names of herbs and their uses, but she’s looking forward to actually using them. Leafpool warns she won’t as long as Hollypaw doesn’t dawdle.
- When Hollypaw promises she won’t, Leafpool turns back to her herbs, spreading poppy seeds under her paw and counting them and Hollypaw turns to leave then pauses. She asks Leafpool if the Clan sat vigil for Graystripe and Leafpool answers they did, not even looking up from sifting through a pile of feverfew. Hollypaw asks if it means he’s officially dead in the eyes of StarClan and Leafpool dryly meows she thinks StarClan will have noticed Graystripe’s with the living and not them, and Hollypaw asks if he’s officially dead according to the warrior code. Leafpool meows that he didn’t look dead last night and Hollypaw counters that if he’s not dead, then surely he’s still the deputy.
- Leafpool looks directly at her and says they are here to heal; Firestar’s problems are not theirs unless StarClan wishes them to be. Hollypaw echoes the going and Leafpool sighs it's to fetch the borage and if she’s not back by sunhigh, she’ll wake Graystripe and Millie without her. Hollypaw promised she’s going, spinning around and pushing her way out of the den.
- Up on the ridge, a cold fresh breeze blows through the trees from across the lake. Hollypaw thinks she can smell RiverClan on it. Her paws itch to go exploring but she wants to get back before Graystripe and Millie wake up. She ducks her head and begins to sniff the ground, hoping to find a scent trail to lead her to the borage. She desperately tried remembering what it smells like in the medicine den but her nose is too full of the scents of water and wind.
- Padding down the steep slope she heads for where the trees thin. The sun sparkles on the lake and she thinks about how it’s a great day for hunting but pushes the thought away because she ‘’is’’ hunting. Hunting for borage. Sniffing the ground once more she picks up a tangy scent that seems familiar. She follows it carefully, clambering over the low boulders that dimple the ground and tracks the scent into some long grass where she spots green jagged leaves growing in a clump on long, thin stems carrying the scent she’d been following. It was stronger up close and bitter and Hollypaw wonders if its borage.
- She glances up at the sun shining high above her. Leafpool would wake Graystripe and Millie soon. Quickly she nips a few stems, breaking them at the base, careful not to swallow any of the bitter sap. She pities the car who had to eat such a foul-tasting herb as she picks up the fallen stems in her jaws and hurried back to camp.
- Leafpool stares in dismay at the stems Hollypaw places in front of her. She points out it’s isn’t borage, it’s yarrow, a herb that makes cats sick. Hollypaw closes her eyes, ashamed and angry. She asks herself about why she can’t remember anything Leafpool teaches her and Leafpool encourages Hollypaw saying there’s a lot to learn.
- Hollypaw couldn’t meet her eyes and thinks she should be doing better than this. Leafpool meows briskly that they can do without borage and tells her to fetch some marigold leaves and they’ll wake Graystripe. Hollypaw knew what marigold leaves looked like and she bounds to the back of the cave, picking up a mouthful then follows Leafpool across the clearing to Graystripe and Millie’s makeshift den.
- Firestar stands outside with Sandstorm and Honeypaw. Dustpelt, Thornclaw, Poppypaw, and Hazelpaw mill around eagerly. Graystripe and Millie still ruffled from sleep, sit among them. Millie stares from face to face, ears twitching and even Graystripe looks uncomfortable like he’d forgotten what it’s like to have so many cats around him. Leafpool asks if he’s been awake long as she weaves through the others to reach Graystripe. She glances sternly at the cats clustering around him and his mate and she meows she hopes no cat woke him.
- Pulling his paws closer in and tucking his tail tighter around him, he says the sun woke him. Leafpool twitches her tail, clear she wants the others to leave and says he can catch up with everyone later. Firestar requests to know how they are when she’s finished before he leads his Clanmates away.
- Graystripe’s shoulders loosen and Millie’s relieved as the cats leave and Leafpool asks if there are any scratches. Graystripe points out Millie has a cut on her pad and gingerly Millie holds up her forepaw. Leafpool meows there’s a thorn in there and Jaypaw was right in saying it was infected. She flicks her tail at Hollypaw and says her apprentice will pull it out while she prepares some leaves to heal the infection. Hollypaw gulps and inhales a fragment of marigold leaf from the bunch she had in her jaws. She coughs, spitting the leaves onto the ground and anxiously glances at Millie who gazes equally anxiously back.
- Hollypaw knows she can’t refuse. This is what she wants, a chance to practice instead of simply learning. She peers closely at Millie’s paw and sure enough, a thorn’s buried deep in the pad. To her dismay, she could see blood and pus oozing around it. She wonders if she really has to pull it out with her teeth and Leafpool narrows her eyes, suggesting that she does it. Self-consciously Hollypaw backs away and offers to chew the poultice, fur prickling with guilt. Leafpool says yes while she concentrates on Millie’s paw with a detached intensity that Hollypaw wished she could copy.
- Graystripe begins to wash his face and meows between licks its good to see the Clan again; he always hoped he would find ThunderClan but never knew for sure. Hollypaw asks how he knew where they were and he answers Ravenpaw told them to head towards the setting sun. He says he and Millie were lucky and StarClan watched over them. Hollypaw meows boldly if he was angry at Firestar when he found out he’d left without him and Graystripe’s tail-tip twitches. He says he was disappointed but he could understand why Firestar did it, as the forest was in ruins and no cat could ever survive in there.
- Millie interjects with an ow and leaps backwards, licking her paw. Leafpool holds the thorn between her teeth and spits it out then tells Hollypaw to press the marigold into the wound with her paw. Millie holds out her sore paw which is bleeding and swollen from where the thorn has been stuck. She shudders and rubs her paw in the marigold pulp, smearing the juice gingerly on Millie’s swollen pad. She stays very still even though it must have hurt and Graystripe meows Cinderpelt would be proud of them both.
- Fighting back the bile rising in her throat, Hollypaw thinks she wishes Graystripe was true with what he was saying, but if Cinderpelt was really watching her now, she’ll know Hollypaw can’t do anything right for Leafpool.
- Leafpool announces after they finish treating Graystripe and Millie that they’ll do some battle training; even medicine cats need to know how to defend their Clan. Hollypaw’s heart soars as it’s going to be fun to not be dealing with no pus, no bitter-tasting herbs, no cats wincing in pain. They climb the slope outside the camp, heading away from the lake, and follow the track that led down to the mossy hollow apprentices use for battle training. As they pad through the trees, Hollypaw hears energetic mews up ahead. She sniffs the air and smells Cinderpaw and Cloudtail, already there. She races ahead of Leafpool, wanting to know what real warrior training is like, and through the trees she glimpses Cinderpaw rushing towards Cloudtail, who twists like a leaf in the breeze leaving her to hurtle past him.
- Cloudtail asks if she hasn’t heard what he told her, to aim for where she thinks he’ll go and not where he is. Cinderpaw pants a sorry and asks if she can do it another time. Hollypaw pads down the bank and into the clearing and greets Cinderpaw and Cloudtail. He asks if she’s collecting herbs and she says Leafpool’s teaching her battle moves. Cinderpaw suggests they train together and Leafpool pads to Hollypaw’s side, saying that it can happen another time because she thinks it’ll be better for her to teach Hollypaw some basic battle moves before she trains with the warrior apprentices. She scowls and scuffs the earth with her paw while Cinderpaw looks back at Cloudtail and asks if she can try the move again. Cloudtail nods but is cut off when Cinderpaw is already hurtling towards him. He whips around in a circle once more and dodges neatly out of her path.
- Leafpool meows to Hollypaw that they’ll use the far side of the mossy green clearing and points there with her nose and Hollypaw notices how smooth and soft it looks, perfect for fighting on with no roots to trip over or leaves to skid on. Leafpool turns her back on Hollypaw and meows over her shoulder that they’ll start with a defensive move and she instructs Hollypaw to copy what she does. She dips her head, twists around, rolls onto her back before springing up to her paws; the whole move is done in a heartbeat. She asks if Hollypaw wants to have a go, and she nods, saying she thinks she’s got it. Hollypaw ducks her head twists around, and rolls over, leaping to her paws again in an instant.
- Calling across the clearing, Cloudtail asks if that was her first go at the move and Hollypaw answers yes. Glancing anxiously at Leafpool, Hollypaw asks if she did it right and Leafpool tells her she did it brilliantly, then says they’ll try something else. Leafpool demonstrates a few more moves and Hollypaw copies with the same fierce intensity. Although Cloudtail didn’t make any comments, Hollypaw knows he’s keeping an eye on her.
- After a while Leafpool suggests they could try some combat moves now and instructs Hollypaw to run at her and try to get past her. She asks how and Leafpool tells her in any way she can because they’ll discuss tactics after. Hollypaw crouches down, staring at Leafpool while her gaze flits to a sapling at the edge of the clearing behind her mentor and decides its where she’ll aim - Leafpool’s just an obstacle to avoid. She darts forward, aware that Leafpool was rearing onto her hind legs, ready to bring her weight down on Hollypaw the moment she’d try to slip past. Hollypaw sees that she’s leaning back a little and guesses her weight is mostly balanced on one side, so with lightning speed, she swerves the other way. Leafpool didn’t have a chance to rebalance herself and she slams down a mouse-length where Hollypaw just flashed by.
- Hollypaw feels a rush of triumph as she reaches the sapling and spins to see Leafpool blinking with surprise, then a prick of guilt jabs her as she wonders if she was meant to be faster than her mentor. Leafpool pants that Hollypaw’s strategy was very good and Cloudtail padding from the other side of the clearing, Cinderpaw on his heels, meows too that it was good. Cinderpaw compliments Hollypaw that she ran so fast, and Hollypaw thanks her as she trots to Leafpool’s side. Cloudtail dips his head towards Leafpaw and meows to her to tell him if he’s butting in, but thinks that Cinderpaw and Hollypaw should try training together. He says Cinderpaw has more energy than a well-fed rabbit and more experience but Hollypaw knows how to watch and listen and has a clear instinct for judging her opponent.
- Too excited to speak, Hollypaw thinks about how a real warrior is offering her battle training and Leafpool meows she doesn’t see why not. Cloudtail flicks his tail and suggests Cinderpaw show Hollypaw the battle move they’ve been practicing. Cinderpaw leads Hollypaw into the center of the clearing, the sunshine flooding through the branches overhead dappling her smoky pelt. She tells Hollypaw to come at her while she tries to unbalance her. Taking a quick breath, she throws herself at Cinderpaw and before she knew what was happening, Cinderpaw knocked one of her forelegs from under her with a powerful front paw, then tips her over with a rolling shove from her hind legs.
- Hollypaw scrambles to her feet and shakes herself. Impressed, she mews a wow and asks if she can try, wanting to try the move in a slightly different way. As soon as Cinderpaw rushes her, she ducks her head, knocking Cinderpaw’s forepaw from under her with her muzzle. She’s so low to the ground that it's easy to roll onto her side from there and thrust her hind legs into a powerful hind kick that sends Cinderpaw flying. She scrambles to her paws and says she loves the way how Hollypaw used her muzzle instead of her paws and asks if she can try the technique on her, and Hollypaw says yes. Cinderpaw lunges for Hollypaw, this time using her muzzle to unbalance her like how Hollypaw had done. She finishes the move with a hind kick so much quicker that it sends Hollypaw skidding backwards across the clearing.
- She sits up, panting and Cloudtail praises them, saying that it was great. Cinderpaw licks her paw and draws it over her ear to wipe some moss off that caught onto it and as she goes to lick her paw again it twitches as though she were flicking dirt between her paws. Hollypaw’s whiskers twitch with amusement; Cinderpaw’s paw flick is something no other cat does. Hollypaw asks Leafpool what she thinks but she doesn’t answer, instead staring at Cinderpaw with a look of startled disbelief. Hollypaw wonders if Cinderpaw has suddenly changed into a badger but Cinderpaw was still sitting quietly, washing her ears. Hollypaw mews Leafpool’s name and she drags her gaze from Cinderpaw, eyes still round with shock. She asks if she’s okay and Leafpool shakes her head as if to clear it and says she is, it’s just that Cinderpelt used to clean her paws like that. She glances uneasily at Cinderpaw, who just finished washing and is circling Cloudtail, asking if he could teach her how to do a back kick. Cloudtail says it’ll be dusk soon and suggests they head back to camp and Leafpool nods, saying she wants to check on Millie’s paw while it’s still light.
- The sky darkens above the trees and the wind is growing chillier and even then Hollypaw is sorry to leave the mossy clearing. Her body is bruised and tired but her mind is buzzing as she tries to work out how to make the moves she learnt even better. As she follows Cinderpaw and Cloudtail up the bank into the trees, Leafpool falls into a step behind her. She compliments Hollypaw, saying she fought well and she was really impressed.
- For a moment, Hollypaw is thrilled. Joy surges through her paws, making them light as dandelion floss. Then her heart plummets as she realises Leafpool’s never complimented her like that as a medicine cat apprentice. She wonders why she isn’t as good as remembering herbs as remembering fighting moves, then Hollypaw firmly tells herself it will happen. One day her mind will be as sharp in the medicine den as the mossy clearing and it will just be a matter of time. She’d chosen to become a medicine cat, and she is not going to let her Clan down.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in The Sight, page 152
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Revealed in The Sight, page 156
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in The Sight, page 154
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Revealed in The Sight, page 153
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Revealed in The Sight, page 155
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Revealed in The Sight, page 157
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Revealed in The Sight, page 162
- ↑ Revealed in The Sight, page 164
|The Sight 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|
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