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Pen Your Pride

Chapter Eight

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Nightpaw watched the kittypet disappear behind the trees and bushes. "Bye." he called back. He picked up the mouse caught and brought it over to the other prey he had caught before he had noticed the kittypet. He had a rabbit that had wandered over from the moor, a shrew, and now the mouse. He picked them up and brought them back to camp. On the way back he though about Stampy's question about joining the Clan. After he set his catch in the fresh-kill pile he padded over to Mossstar's den which was in the roots of a tree.

"Mossstar?" he called.

"Come in." came a voice.

Nightpaw stepped into the den. He was beginning to wonder if this had been such a good idea.

"What is it?" asked Mossstar who was eating a vole.

"I-I meet a kittypet over by the border today." he began.

"And?" prompted Mossstar.

"He-he wanted to know if he could join the Clan."

"A kittypet?" questioned the leader.

"He almost caught a mouse."

Mossstar sighed. "I'll think about it, but in the future your supposed to chase out uninvited cats."

"Sorry." muttered Nightpaw padding out of the den.

Bearkit and Squidkit ran up to him. "Can you please, please, please show us some hunting moves." begged Squidkit.

"Yeah. All the warriors are too busy, Minnowpaw, Sharppaw, and Cinderpaw aren't in camp, Icepaw, Acornpaw, Foxpaw, and Echopaw are practicing with eachother, and the elders told us to go play with someone else unless we planned on moving in with them." Bearkit complained.

"Sure. I'll show you how to catch a bird." said Nightpaw getting into the correct position. He was getting tired of showing cats how to hunt. Bearkit and Squidkit copied him. "If the bird flies away you have to jump really high to get." said Nightpaw. He demonstrated jumping and grabbing a bird out of the air. Bearkit leaped into the air and swatted wildly before landing clumsily on his paws.

"Your supposed to do it like this." said Squidkit jumping into the air and pulling a imaginary bird out of the sky. He did better then Bearkit until he landed badly and fell over onto his back.

Foxpaw left the kits to keep trying and went over to the other apprentices. Sharppaw was just returning to camp with his mentor and was heading over to them to. Echowpaw and Foxpaw were battling as Icepaw and Acornpaw watched, and Minnowpaw and Cinderpaw were still out hunting with Wolfsong and Fishclaw.

His siblings looked up as he came over to them. "Who is winning?" he asked.

"Echopaw is." said Icepaw.

Sharppaw scampered over to his friends with a rabbit as Minnowpaw and Cinderpaw padded into camp and joined them. Cherrypaw came out of the medicine cat den. "Mind If I join?" she asked.

"Nope." said Cinderpaw.

"Thanks." said Cherrypaw.

"I heard one of the warriors heard a wolf howling the other night." said Icepaw.

"You mean you think there are wolves in our territory?" asked Cinderpaw.

"I heard that to. Lightningmask and Mossstar were talking about it. They said it sounded like just one." said Cherrypaw.

"Why would a wolf come onto our territory?" asked Foxpaw.

"Maybe it got kicked out of its Clan." suggested Acornpaw.

"Silly, wolves don't have Clans. The elders say they travel in packs." Echopaw corrected.

"Well then maybe it got kicked out of its pack."

"I don't think it will bother us. One wolf can't do much to a whole Clan of cats." said Minnowpaw in her shy, quiet voice.

"What if a cat goes out alone but then-" Sharppaw began but was cut off by Mossstar's voice from High Branch.

"Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey gather here beneath High Branch for a Clan meeting." called Mossstar standing on High Branch. High Branch was actually a low branch of the tree thats roots formed the leader's den.

"I bet he is making a announcement about it right now." whispered Echopaw.

As the cats silenced Mossstar began. "Some cats have reported hearing howling in the night. This has lead to the belief that a wolf has crossed the river and may now be on our territory. Although there is no proof of this, borders on that side will double and have at least four warriors each. No cat is aloud out of camp alone."

"What about our kits?" called Flowerear wrapping her tail around Bearkit and Squidkit.

"It is unlikely that a single wolf would attack a whole camp of cats." continued Mossstar.

"What if there is more then one?" called Dewtail.

"It could be a whole pack!" shouted out Fangtooth.

"They could kill us all in our sleep!" Wolfsong wailed.

"No wolf ever attacked a camp in my day and no wolf ever will." grumbled Curlfur.

"I've seen a wolf before, its not something you want anywhere near you." said Twilightstripe.

Worried and panicked voices rose above each other as more and more cats joined in.

"Silence!" Mossstar yowled from High Branch. "The wolf, if there even is one, is not attacking the camp. There will be two cats guarding the camp at all times to ensure this. No cat will leave camp without two or more companions. The warriors will work extra hard on dog and wolf defense with their apprentices. That is all unless any cat has anything else." No cat said anything so the meeting ended, and cats broke away into their groups whispering to each other about the latest news.

"Cherrypaw, come." called Cloverflight to his apprentice.

"Coming." she answered getting up and following her mentor into the medicine cat den.

"Told you." said Echopaw.

"I don't even think the wolf has crossed the river." said Sharppaw. "When I was on border patrol nobody found any sign of a wolf."

There was a crack of lightning and it started to rain. "Fox-dung!" Nightpaw heard Icepaw hiss as her fur got wet. The apprentices raced into the apprentice den which was sheltered from the wind and rain.

"Great StarClan. Now it has to rain, to." Foxpaw meowed.

"I guess we might as well get some sleep." suggested Cinderpaw yawning and curling up in her nest. The other apprentices agreed and laid down.

Nightpaw lay in his nest for a while after the others had fallen asleep listening to to the others snoring and the sound of the storm.

"Anyone awake?" he whispered.

"Is that you, Nightpaw?" whispered Minnowpaw's soft voice.

"Yes. I can't sleep with the thought of that wolf."

"Me too. Even without that I can't sleep with the rain."

"I don't like it either." Nightpaw wispered back. He heard Minnowpaw get up and move over so she was next to him. She fell asleep after a few moments and eventually he fell asleep to her soft breathing.

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