I watched my kits play happily with Brightheart's kits. I smiled at my kits as they reminded me of my deep memories nursing my sister Leafpool's kits; Lionblaze, Jayfeather and Hollyleaf. Of course, I was not always there for them because of my warrior duties, so I asked Ferncloud to look after them. I loved my first ever litter as much as I loved my sister's.
"Lively bunch," I heard a voice comment as amber eyes full of warmth looked at my playing kits. I looked to notice my mate Bramblestar at the entrance of the nursery.
"Come in," I invited, and as Bramblestar began to walk further in, Sparrowkit pounced onto him. The other kits still continued to play without Sparrowkit. Blossomfall stared at the kits.
"It doesn't look hard to raise kits," she mewed. I turned my head to face the tortoiseshell.
"It's harder than it looks," Daisy said. I nodded in agreement. I remembered about Jayfeather -- Jaykit at the time -- being the hardest to raise, but he was a good kit all the same.
"Really? They just make it look so easy," Blossomfall said as she turned her gaze onto the cream-furred she-cat.
"Yeah," Brightheart agreed, "but once you have them they make it slightly harder than it looks." Brightheart was also Whitewing's mother as well as her current kits. Bramblestar got onto his paws when Sparrowkit got off.
"Can I be an apprentice?" the dark brown kit questioned his father.
"No," Bramblestar chuckled.
"You're not even six moons, Sparrowkit!" I tell the kit as I looked away from the other queens. Sparrowkit frowned.
"But Lilykit and Seedkit are becoming apprentices in a few sunrises!"
"True, but you still can't be made an apprentice," Bramblestar mewed.
"But it's so not fair!" Sparrowkit protested.
"It's part of the warrior code, Sparrowkit," I pointed out to him. Sparrowkit sat on the ground and was sitting straight.
"Oh. Well, I'll wait, then," he mewed as he curled his tail around his tiny paws.
"I better be going now. I have to get Greystripe to organise some patrols," Bramblestar mewed.
"Okay," I mewed. "Just remember to come back to see the kits."
"Of course I will," Bramblestar promised, and then began to exit the nursery. Minnowkit began to pounce happily over to me.
"Can I go and ask Purdy to tell me a story?" she asked as she looked up at me. I thought about the she-kit's question, wondering if I could trust her not to sneak out of the camp as I remembered about the time when Leafpool's litter did.
"I guess," I replied, "but don't go out of the camp, okay?"
"Okay," Minnowkit smiled. "You can trust me."
"You can take Sparrowkit and Sunkit with you," I added. Minnowkit just gave a nod. Sunkit raised her bright, kit-soft head at the mention of her name, ears twitching slightly. She and Sparrowkit raced over to Minnowkit and I to see what was happening. I turned my green gaze onto the other two kits as they skidded to a halt.
"You two are going to the elder's den with Minnowkit," I began. Sparrowkit blinked.
"But taking out the elder's ticks is an apprentice's job!" he quickly protested. I shook my head.
"Yes, it is, Sparrowkit, but you're not doing any apprentice jobs." Sparrowkit blinked, feeling embarrassed. "You're just going to hear some stories."
"From Purdy?" Sparrowkit's eyes brightened.
"And Dustpelt," I mewed. Minnowkit frowned.
"Dustpelt's stories are boring!"
"I like Dustpelt's stories, Minnowkit," Sunkit said. "I can hardly understand what that old fur ball Purdy is saying!"
"Sunkit, Purdy is not an old fur ball!" I scolded the bright ginger she-kit. "Be nicer, okay?"
"But he is," Sunkit muttered as she rolled her eyes. My dark ears twitched.
"And stop muttering."
"Sorry," Sunkit mewed louder.
"You can go now," I said, and my kits swiftly darted out of the nursery.
"Do you really think I should be moving into the nursery?" I heard a voice outside the nursery mew. I identified it to be Cinderheart's.
"Maybe," another mewed, and I could tell it was Lionblaze's voice. "It's up to you, really."
"I'm just going in to see Squirrelflight's kits." In a few heartbeats, Cinderheart came in, followed by Lionblaze. Cinderheart mewed a greeting to me and I returned it.
"Where are the kits?"
"They just left to hear a story from the elders," I replied to Cinderheart's question.
"Really? We didn't even see them come out! Well, we'll come and see them later," the grey tabby she-cat mewed.
"Okay," I said. Cinderheart turned and just as she was about to walk, Lionblaze spoke.
"I'm going to stay to speak to Squirrelflight." I blinked in surprise.