Most of the clan was gathered beneath the Talltree. We were awaiting the return of the patrol Willowstar was leading to the EarthClan camp. Recently we had found rabbit bones wreathed in EarthClan’s scent. At the last gathering when Willowstar had challenged the EarthClan leader Brackenstar to stealing our prey, he confessed but made it known that he had no intention to stop! Now Willowstar was giving him one last chance to back down, or war would follow.
My sister Cinderpaw was sitting next to me. "What do you think Brackenstar will do?" She asked. "I don’t know, but I would like to claw the ears off those filthy prey stealers!" I hissed. Just then the camp entrance shook as Willow’s patrol emerged. Willowstar said nothing but the rest of the patrol looked furious. Willowstar bounded up into the Talltree and proceeded to tell us what Brackenstar had said. "Brackenstar still refuses to stop stealing prey! His excuse is that EarthClan needs more prey to make it through leaf-bare. I have seen their camp they have more food than we do! These lies cannot be tolerated. Tomorrow we attack at dawn!" This was met with yowls of agreement. Willowstar jumped down from the tree and was followed by the senior warriors to discus battle plans. Sandstrike approached us and motioned for us to follow her to the training hollow. We found her near a large rock. "You both are almost ready to become warriors, this battle will prove it." She said. "Now while we have a few moments till dusk you two will have a mock battle. Dustpaw you start on that side of the clearing and Cinderpaw can start on the other." Sandstrike finished. I ran to my side of the clearing and waited for the order to attack. "Remember claws sheathed!" Sandstrike called. I saw Cinderpaw coming and leaped toward her. Catching me off balance she tripped me and I landed face first in the dust. I tried to get back up but she had me pinned. "Well done Cinderpaw!" Praised Sandstrike. "I’ll get you next time." I playfully growled at my sister. "Ha you wish!" She snorted. "Ok you two go get some fresh kill." Sandstrike laughed.
Back in camp the senior warrior were coming out of Willowstar’s den. Cinderpaw and I lugged a huge fish over to Cinderpaw’s mentor Sundrop. Sundrop was an elderly she-cat with a gruff exterior but a soft heart. This was probably going to be her last battle. There were rumors that she would be joining Shortwhisker in the elders den soon. "So what did Willowstar say?" Asked Cinderpaw. "She is going to lead a one patrol to distract EarthClan then Beewhisker will lead another to surround them." Sundrop replied. "I will make crow food out of them!" I boasted. "Don’t be too sure of that Dustpaw. I heard that one of their apprentices Seapaw is a very good fighter." She growled. I had seen Seapaw at gatherings; warriors said he had the makings of a leader. Just as we were finishing our fish Watersplash camp around. "Make sure you get your rest youngsters, tomorrow we fight EarthClan!" He said. That night I thought I would never sleep. In my dreams I fought EarthClan cats.
I woke to hear cats yowling and many paws running across the camp. "Dustpaw wake up!" Hissed a voice. It was Foxflower. Then I remembered today was my first battle! "Wake up Cinderpaw!" I shouted and raced to the center of the camp in time to hear Willowstar giving her final orders. "In my patrol there will be Cinderpaw, Dustpaw, Sandstrike and Foxflower. In Beewhisker’s patrol there will be Watersplash, Foxwing, Sundrop, Cloudrise and Ratfur." She finished. I turned to find Cinderpaw at my side. "I can’t believe this is our first battle!" She exclaimed. Tigercloud came out carrying herbs. "Don’t worry Willowstar I have plenty of herbs." She said. Willowstar’s only reply was a brief nod. With the battle patrols ready we raised our heads and yowled before we ran off into the forest.
My patrol was standing on our side of the river. "Where is EarthClan?" I whispered to Foxflower. Before she had a chance to reply 10 EarthClan cats appeared out of the morning mist. The only cats I recognized were Brackenstar, Seapaw and the deputy Hollylord. In a threat, Hollylord spit out a mouthful of mouse bones. Willowstar snarled and leaped across the river and attacked Hollylord. The battle had begun. I unsheathed my claws and attacked Seapaw. I raked my claws down his side. He snarled and tore a huge gash in my leg with his teeth. With a last hiss I darted away to help Sandstrike who was fighting a big tom twice her size. I jumped on top of him ripping huge chunks of flesh out of his shoulders. Yowling he ran away. We were fighting hard be were losing ground. Just then Beewhisker’s patrol charged into the fight. Foxwing slashed open a cats belly and go for more. I turned to find myself facing Hollylord. I raked my claws across his face, but he roared and threw me hard against a log. I thought he would kill me for sure but EarthClan had been defeated! When Hollylord saw his clanmates fleeing he snarled one last time then slunk away into the trees. I got up to go celebrate with my clanmates but they were all staring in horror at a cat on the ground. It was Sundrop. Suddenly she hissed "Before I join MoonClan make Cinderpaw and Dustpaw warriors please." Willowstar dipped her head and turned to face Cinderpaw. "Cinderpaw do you promise to uphold the warrior code even at the cost of you life?" "I do." She replied. "Then from this day forth your warrior name shall be Cinderpelt." Then she faced me: "Dustpaw do you promise to uphold the warrior code even at the cost of your life?" "I do." I said. "Then from this day forth your warrior name shall be Dustpelt." I had been made a warrior but at the cost of Sundrop’s life.