Chapter 1

Honeykit bounced out of the nursery, her freshly groomed, white-and-orange pelt sparkling in the warm newleaf sun. Her littermates, Tigerkit and Thistlekit, followed her into the busy clearing.

Honeykit looked over her shoulder as her mother, Whitestream, emerged from the nursery, “We’re becoming apprentices today!” She squeaked happily.

The white queen nodded, her eyes filled with pride. “I know, and I’m sure Icestar will assign you three great mentors.” she mewed proudly to her kits.

A powerful brown tabby padded over to them. “Good morning, Whitestream.” he meowed, licking her cheek.

Whitestream returned the lick to the tom’s ear. “Hello, Nightstripe,” she mewed. “Our kits are excited for their apprentice ceremony.”

Thistlekit licked a paw and drew it over his head. “I hope I get a good mentor. I want to be the best warrior in the Clan!” he mewed.

Tigerkit snuck up on his twitching tail, “No,” she mewed and pounced, “I’m going to be the best!”

Thistlekit yelped in surprise as his sister landed on his tail, and they rolled over and over in a play-fight.

Honeykit rolled her eyes at her littermates and watched Icestar as she stepped out of her den and leaped onto a branch of a huge tree, “Let all cats old enough to climb the Ancient Oak gather to hear my words!” she called to her Clan. A few cats emerged from dens in the camp, and others only had to shift their bodies to look at their leader.

The white cat flicked her tail to summon Honeykit, Tigerkit, and Thistlekit. Icestar jumped down to meet the three young cats as they scrambled up to her, and the leader looked out over her gathered Clan, “Newleaf always brings great things to LostClan,“ she began, “But this newleaf, StarClan has blessd LostClan with three new apprentices. Honeykit, Thistlekit, and Tigerkit earn their apprentice names and their mentors today, as they have turned six moons old. Today, they begin their training to become warriors in their turn.”

Icestar turned her attention to the three in front of her, “Tigerkit, until you complete your training, you will be known as Tigerpaw.” she announced. “Bubblefur will be your mentor.”

A black she-cat with white spots and green eyes stood in the audience and padded up to Tigerpaw, touching noses with her, as ritual. Honeykit could see her sister shaking in her fur, but Bubblefur chuckled quietly, “You’re doing fine.” she heard her reasure the new apprentice.

Tigerpaw and Bubblefur padded into the crowd and sat together as Icestar looked down to Thistlekit. “Thistlekit. Until the day when you earn your warrior name, you will be known as Thistlepaw. Shadowfoot,” Icestar meowed, turning her attention to a black tom in the crowd. “You will mentor Thistlepaw.”

Shadowfoot padded over to Thistlepaw and touched noses with him. They went back into the crowd and sat with Bubblefur and Tigerpaw.

Honeykit watched them move into the audience and looked back up at Icestar, who had turned her icy blue gaze on her.  “Honeykit, until you earn your warrior name, you will be known as Honeypaw.” she announced.

This is it! Who’ll be my mentor?

Icestars eyes swept over the Clan, and Honeypaw followed her leaders gaze as it landed on a white she-cat.
“Angelwing, Stormcloud has taught you all he knows in addition to your natural loyalty and skill. I hope you will pass these qualities on to your first apprentice.” Icestar announced.

Angelwing stood where she was and held her chin high, “I will do my best, Icestar,” she mewed and padded up to her new apprentice, touching noses with her. Honeypaw was shaking like her sister until Angelwing whispered, “You’re doing okay.” she told her.

The calls of her Clanmates hung in the air. “Honeypaw! Tigerpaw! Thistlepaw!”

The Clan cats began to dispurse, and Honeypaw bounced around her new mentor, her nervousness melting away. “What are we going to do first, huh?” she asked.

Angelwing calmly waited until she was done, “First, I’m going to show you the territory. Then, if we have time, I can show you the basics of hunting on the way back here.” she meowed. Angelwing padded out of camp, and Honeypaw raced after her.

As Honeypaw and Angelwing approached the border, Angelwing started to rub up against a few trees. As Honeypaw watched her mentor, a thought hit her, “Angelwing, if we are the only Clan around here, then why do we mark our territory?”

“So unwanted visitors can get a warning message.” she growled as she sprayed a bush.

Honeypaw nodded and marked a few trees before going to the next section of the border.

Honeypaw felt as if her paws ere about to fall off unil her mentor looked at her.

“How about I show you some basic hunting techniques?” Angelwing meowed.

“Oh, yes!” Honeypaw squeaked with exctement.

Angelwing nodded. “Okay, now tell me what you can smell?” She meowed, scenting the air herself.

Raising her nose to the sky, Honeypaw opened her mouth and let the smells of the forest bathe her tounge. The first scent that she recognised was the smell of her Clan. The scent soothed her. Then she scented mouse. Her mouth started to water.

“Mouse,” Honeypaw told her mentor. She flicked her tail to the bottom of a nearby tree.

Angelwing flicked her tail in approoval. “Very good,” she meowed. “Did your mother tell you anything about hunting a mouse?” she asked.

Honeypaw nodded. “A little bit. She said to place my paws lightly so the mouse can’t feel the vibrations in the ground.”

“Very good. Now. Stay low, but keep you belly and tail off the ground so your fur doen’t disturb the leaves. Creep forward, pounce, and bite the neck to kill it. Try it.” she instructed.

Nodding again, Honeypaw shrunk to the ground into the hunters stance. She crept forward, placing her paws lightly on the ground. Once she was close enough, Honeypaw pounced and landed, killing the mouse with a swift, clean bite to the neck. she spun around to face her mentor, excitement lit her face.

Honeypaw could tell that her mentor was proud; her eyes glowed with pride. “Very well done, Honeypaw,” she praised her apprentice. “Now, lets get back to camp. It’s getting late.” Angelwing meowed, looking at the darkening sky.

Honeypaw bounded through the forest after her mentor, the mouse in her jaws.

My first catch! And it’s my first time out of camp! At this rate, I’ll be the best hunter in the Clan!

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