A Rough Afternoon (Startledcrow, Night, Quiethawk)

Forums WindClan WindClan Camp WindClan Medicine Den A Rough Afternoon (Startledcrow, Night, Quiethawk)

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  • #5716
    Shy
    Participant

    The small, beaten form of Night moved quietly through the fading sunlight against Eveningstorm’s side, a noticeable limp in her gait as she favored her left shoulder. Adrenaline had thankfully kept the pain at bay during most of the journey home, but now it was wearing off, and she was really starting to feel it. Each pawstep sent a jolt of pain throughout her body, nearly forcing a small yelp from the apprentice had she not been gritting her teeth. The blood from her wounds had started to darken, caking her charcoal pelt in sticky shades of deep red. Although the sun still offered some light as it sunk lower towards the horizon, she needed no light as she turned down the path towards the medicine cat den, paws guiding her only by memory until her sore pads touched the cool depths of the den. She’d spent a bit of time here when she’d first arrived in Windclan, seeing as she’d shown up with hardly an ounce of fat to her weathered frame. This part of camp felt more like home than any other area. Night inhaled deeply, gently closing her tired eyes. The air was rich with the scent of herbs; dandelion, alder bark, catmint— everything to keep their clanmates in good health. The familiarity gave her a sense of ease, and she felt herself relax.

    #5720
    Feared
    Participant

    Startledcrow ~ WindClan Medicine Cat

    Today was like any other day, the air had been warmer and the scent of the dew grass and the heather beginning to bloom was sweet. Nostrils flared as he took in the scent, closing his eyes for a brief moment. Even within the confinement’s of his den, the sweet smell of the flowers were overpowering his senses, but for now the change was more than welcome. His mate, Willowfur, had been by in order to share a meal and to allow their two kittens, Desertkit and Stormkit to play within the medicine cat den. Now that he was having some time to himself, he slowly rasped his long pink tongue over his dark hued lips, moistening the dry skin. Bright blue eyes were gazing down upon his herb storage, naturally Nettlenose usually took note of everything but he liked to give her a helping paw with gathering herbs that she didn’t have time for. Of course, his chin was tilted in order for his one good eye to take in the sight of everything, paw moving as he counted through the stalks of rosemary. “Two.. four..” He muttered under his breath, long tail lightly scraping against the top of the den.

    Ears twitched upon the sound of paws moving towards his den, although the pattern of the steps sounded off. Lifting his chin, the tomcat watched as the familiar stature of Night walked into the den, her gait unnatural because of her wounds while the metallic stench of blood quickly canceled out the sweet perfume of the heather flowers. “And here I was thinking we had seen the last of you.” Startledcrow chimed, his dark grey and black tabby pelt appearing like a shadow in the darkly lit den. Upon getting closer, his clouded aqua blue eye could barely see the slightest tint of red surrounding her pelt, indicating what he was beginning to recognize as pain. “What on earth did you do to your pelt?” He questioned out of disbelief, pupil narrowing within his right eye while his nostrils flared to breathe in the scent of her wounds. The blood was crushed and a deep color, proving to be dried from her long walk here, although a wild and unfamiliar scent caught his attention around the bite mark wounds. “Well?” He prodded Night for information, although he was granted with Eveningstorm’s big head poking within the den. Now the sight of his older brother caused him to pause all together, lips parting in shock as he could see the crusted and deep red stains along his brothers muzzle and chest. “The blood isn’t mine, Startledcrow.” Eveningstorm’s deep voice rattled Startledcrow’s brain, whom was beginning to recover from his momentary shock.

    Grunting slightly, the dark grey Tom looked at the large dark brown tabby and white patched tomcat. “Good, I thought you were bleeding out.” Startledcrow admitted, looking back at Night for a moment while Eveningstorm spoke once more. “Take care of her, she fought bravely today.” He grunted, although Startledcrow raised a furry brow as he gazed after his older brother. “Wolfstar and Quiethawk will be here soon, Quiethawk hurt his leg.” Eveningstorm prepared his brother while his deep amber eyes flickered towards Night. “Relax and get some rest, do as Startledcrow tells you or else we will all be miserable.” Eveningstorm chuckled, before pulling his head out the den while Startledcrow snorted. “Never mind that brute, let me see your shoulder.” Startledcrow meowed briskly, leaning towards the dark furred she-cat while he began to lick the dried off and away from the torn flesh. “Where does it hurt the most?” He questioned.

    #5722
    Shy
    Participant

    A warm smile had brightened her tired visage, realizing just how much she’d missed Startledcrow’s saucy personality. It was admittedly something she’d grown fond of during her stay in the medicine cat’s den. “Seems as though I just couldn’t stay away,” she laughed. Their playful banter served as a pleasant distraction from the pain she was feeling as it grew in intensity with each passing moment. “Our patrol ran into some trouble,” she informed him, answering his question before soon asking one of her own. It was the question she’d been meaning to ask since coming face-to-face with the young mountain lion. “What are those things, anyway?” she inspected curiously, easing down into a seated position while shifting her weight away from her injured shoulder, “It was a massive feline, sandy brown in color— and angry.” She’d never encountered something so unreasonably aggressive. The image of large, yellow teeth pulled back in a intimidating snarl was still fresh in her mind— and the feeling of its fangs and claws were a feeling she wouldn’t soon forget, either. “I’ve never known of such a thing existing,” her voice was much more of a whisper when she spoke that time, and her muscles tensed at the mere thought of running into it again. She’d hoped she wouldn’t, but if she did, she’d be more prepared next time.

    Night grinned at Eveningstorm’s small compliment, and chuckled at his retort about his brother. She’d assumed through their familiarity with each other and subtle similarities that they were related somehow. “I’ll be on my best behavior,” she assured him before he exited the den. The light that poured into the entrance now had changed from an orange glow to a soft silver as the moon began its descent into the sky. Eveningstorm had undeniably been a pain during the beginning of their patrol, but now that she’d gotten passed his sour mood from earlier that day, he wasn’t so bad.

    Night nearly flinched away in pain when Startledcrow began rasping his tongue over her wounds, delicately combing away the nearly dried remnants of blood that clung to her pelt. The question brought her attention back to the long cuts and bite marks that adorned her body. “Both my shoulder and back are pretty bad, but if I had to choose, I’d say the wounds on my back sting the most,” she responded painfully, slightly grimacing at the memory of fiery, hot claws flaying the skin along her back.

    #5725
    Pheebs
    Participant

    A few minutes after Night arrived in Startledcrow’s den Quiethawk managed to stumble in, cursing all the wat with each accidental movement of his right leg. Quiethawk wishes he could say this was his first time dislocating a limb, but he’d be lying. The fact that this wasn’t his first time yet it hurt worse than anything was an indication that this time was much worse. ‘Getting chucked into a rock by a wild beast will expectedly be worse than falling from a great height.’ The warrior thought bitterly, looking up to see the medicine cat and the small black she-cat. 

     

    “Hi,” was all he said, voice lacking the usual energy. That probably had something to do with the head splitting pounding that had started forming a few minutes after the fight. Quiethawk wondered distantly if the ringing for in his ears was bad. Again, it was likely.

     

    “Fought pretty well, kit.” Quiethawk limped hisbway over so he couldn’t sit near the smaller feline, offering a tiny, strained smile. The pain in his head continued to grow and the warrior was fairly certain he was shaking but refused to acknowledge it.

    #5726
    Feared
    Participant

    Startledcrow ~ WindClan Medicine Cat

    He shuddered after his brother left the den, the older Tom had seemed to have feasted upon something, but Startledcrow hadn’t missed the exhaustion that dulled Eveningstorm’s amber eyes. “I’d say so, Night.” Startledcrow commented when she admitted their patrol had ran into trouble, eyebrows furrowing slightly for a moment as his one good eye examined the cuts and bite marks along her shoulder and back. “You need to stop hanging around Wolfstar, that Tom is a magnet for trouble.” He smirked slightly before he turned and rummaged through his stores. “Lucky enough for you, the scratches didn’t dwell too deep, but those bite marks are gonna be a pain to heal.” The dark grey tabby chimed, his long tail waving. Paw shifting through the plants as he moved the large beech leaves out of his way, the leaves helped with keeping the moisture within the roots. “Comfrey root…. and…” He muttered quietly to himself, pupil narrowing slightly as his chin turned this way and that before he spotted the long and very thing green stalks of the Horsetail, appearing to look like miniature bamboo stalks. “Horsetail.” He smiled, reaching out a claw as he snagged a stalk of Horsetail, while rotating his paw within the cobweb strands. Night was going to need a lot of cobwebs. “Hmmm?” Startledcrow questioned, looking over his shoulder briefly towards the small black she-cat as she described what had attacked their patrol. “Wow…” He blinked in surprised, these creatures were supposedly only told to kits in stories to scary them, but from what Night was saying, they had actually encountered one.

    Quickly he pulled off the rest of the cobweb, dipping the sticky strands into a pile of black seeds, most commonly known as poppy seeds. While holding the cobweb and poppy seeds in one paw, he carried the comfrey root and horsetail in his mouth as he hobbled towards Night. Placing the herbs down delicately, he shook his paw in front of Nights chest to where a few poppy seeds fell from the wadded cobwebs. “Eat those.” He commanded before looking at her pelt, “What you encountered are formally called Mountain lions or wildcats. I’ve never seen one, only heard tales about them as a small kit. Some say they don’t even exist.” He winked towards Night, his gaze fluttering towards her back as she mentioned that her back was rather sore and stinging. “Yes, I imagine it is.” He frowned, about to pick up his herbs to chew on before a shadow castes upon the front of the den caused him to pause. Blue eyes landing on the pelt of Quiethawk as he hobbled in, judging from the protruding bone on his right front shoulder, he had dislocated his shoulder blade.

    “Oh, for the stars sake. Quiethawk, I thought we agreed with no more dislocations!” He quipped, long tail lashing behind him. Startledcrow knew Quiethawk well enough, the Tom was quiet prone to dislocating any bone within his body, it was rather impressive. “Night, let me set his bone back in place then I’ll get the poultice ready.” He informed the small black she-cat, his paw still incased with the wad of cobwebs. Hobbling over to where Quiethawk had flopped down in a nest, he shook his paw to dislocate a few more poppy seeds. “Eat those, you know this going to be unpleasant.” Startledcrow grumbled, although his whiskers did twitch in amusement. Hopping his way to the right of the den, he lowered his chin in order to pick up a small but thick stick between his jaws. Glancing towards Quiethawk he could see the tomcat was in pain and was uncomfortable. Dropping the stick at his paws, he looked over his shoulder and called. “Eveningstorm!” Startledcrow yelled, waiting only a mere moment before a big head popped inside of the den, his white muzzle and chest cleaned of the blood beside of the partial red stain left behind. “Yes?” The dark brown and white tabby questioned, walking inside as Startledcrow beckoned him. “I just need you to hold Quiethawk down when he is ready.” Startledcrow informed his older brother, who couldn’t help but wince. “Alright.” Eveningstorm meowed, he knew what was coming next and he wasn’t all too thrilled to be the one to hold down a clanmate.

    #5730
    Shy
    Participant

    The confines of the medicine cat den had become blessedly cool, and the chilly night air that seeped in from the entrance helped clear her head and soothe her wounds. Night watched as Startledcrow carefully inspected the damage. The news that the long scores along her back weren’t as deep as they felt relieved her, though she mentally groaned at the prospect of having a limp for longer than she’d wanted. ‘I guess I won’t be training or hunting for a little while,’ she complained to herself, disappointed that she’d once again have to wait until her body healed.

    Night looked to Startledcrow, whose attention was now on the many herbs strewn out in front of him. She watched with interest as he sifted through a pile of horsetail and grabbed a generous amount of cobweb before turning back to her. Her amber eyes stared at the impossibly small, black seeds presented to her. Night didn’t need to be told twice, though. She leaned down to swallow the seeds, barely able to hide her revulsion when the bitter taste hit her tongue; sputtering and coughing. While she was grateful for the soothing relief they would provide, she was surprised at how awful they tasted and was disgusted by its flavor. ‘It’s medicine. What did you expect it to taste like?’ Mildly embarrassed, she expected an amused chuckle to burn the tips of her ears, the warmth in her cheeks intensifying.

    When Startledcrow finally explained what she had encountered on their patrol, she eyed him inquisitively. That explained why she hadn’t heard anything about them during her kithood in the twoleg place. She’d been told all sorts of stories from her father and other cats she had met growing up. If the mountain lion had been a more commonly experienced danger, she’d more than likely have heard about them. “Hm,” the young apprentice hummed, momentarily purring in amusement, “It would be my luck running into something cats normally don’t have to worry about.”

    Quiethawk’s mismatched footsteps signaled his arrival, his stark silhouette casting long shadows against the wall of the den. Night glanced over her shoulder at him. The warrior wobbled awkwardly with each step, his face twisted in pain— or frustration. Night could not tell. “Oh,” she responded, slightly taken aback at receiving yet another compliment, “Thank you.” It was an unnatural feeling for her to be praised, especially when she felt as though she failed in her task by getting injured, but she wasn’t complaining. “You fought pretty well yourself. It was a pleasure watching you, Eveningstorm and Wolfstar in action,” the young apprentice smiled, paying no mind that he’d called her a kit. It didn’t bother her at all.

    Her eyes soon followed Startledcrow as he readied himself to fix Quiethawk, her gaze flicking back to the entrance as Eveningstorm was called upon for help. ‘Oh boy,’ she thought anxiously as she began mentally preparing herself for what was to happen next. One thing was for certain, and that was that she did not envy Quiethawk.

    #5732
    Pheebs
    Participant

    At Startledcrow’s exclamation the tom could only manage a tiny shrug. That’s what he always said when’s Quiethawk dragged his sad self into the medicine cats den. Last time he was here was a mere two or three moons ago when he’d injured his paw, thankfully it’d been a minor cut that healed within weeks. It was probably what Quiet deserve so for constantly throwing himself at every danger that he could find. “Did I say that? C’mon, Startledcrow, y’know that wasn’t gonna happen.” The brownish grey tom smirked, though his eyes were growing more and more unfocused as the ringing in his ears increased.

     

    Allowing his yellow eyes to drift in Night’s direction the warrior paused, considering. “I’ll admit I was a bit unprepared, but when it’s your life or the life of your clanmates you tend to throw all sense of self aside.” The way with which the tom said those words put fire behind them, Quiethawk’s own fierce passion shining through. However that was quickly replaced with exasperation as he watched the medicine cat busy himself and preparing to relocate his shoulder. He even called Eveningstorm to hold the lean warrior down. It wasn’t like he was particularly strong, in fact Quiethawk’s greatest weakness in battle was lack of strength which he made sure to balance out with his knack for lightning fast attacks. “yeah, go easy on my fragile structure, I just might snap a bone from your brute strength,” Quiethawk muttered to Eveningstorm, amusement gathered in his eyes despite his flat tone.

    #5735
    Feared
    Participant

    Startledcrow ~ WindClan Medicine Cat

    Blue eyes rolled to the heavens when Quiethawk mentioned that he really hadn’t meant for that, a soft sigh slipping past his dark grey nostrils. “I was at least hoping that you would try to uphold it.” Startledcrow grumbled, watching as his tall and broad shouldered brother maneuvered his way into the den. The two tomcats couldn’t have been any more different. Of course, they had two different mothers, but even Eveningstorm’s mother had been tall and slender build. Thistleheart had looked more like Eveningstorm with his tabby pelt and his slightly broad shoulders, although he was taller than Startledcrow. There were slight similarities to the two tomcats, the broad jaw and the space between their noses to their eyes were mostly the same. “I promise, I find little joy in this.” Eveningstorm meowed to Quiethawk, although the dry joke had caused the big brute to relax slightly while Startledcrow pushed the stick closer to Quiethawk. “Your lucky this isn’t a broken bone or I would have Eveningstorm lay on you.” He smirked, ear flicking slightly for a moment.

    Eveningstorm shifted to where he lowered his body to where he laid a forearm over the tomcats chest and side, using his heavier frame to hold the tomcat down. Once Quiethawk had the stick in his mouth that would keep him from biting down on his tongue, Startledcrow began to hum a nursery rhyme. Head lowering as he placed his jaws carefully around the foreleg, slowly moving the foreleg in a motion before he suddenly pushed the foreleg up and then in with a satisfying pop. Of course, Quiethawk squirmed from the pain, but with Eveningstorm’s extra muscle, it kept the injured tomcat from hurting himself even worse. “There. All fixed and pretty.” Startledcrow chimed, while Eveningstorm lifted himself off of Quiethawk with a hesitant frown. “That sounded horrible…” The big tabby wasn’t pleased with the sound that had followed, but Startledcrow was more than pleased with himself. “Oh, I’m sure it was. But he will be feeling a lot better now that his shoulder is back in place. Take some more of those poppy seeds, Quiethawk. Stay off that shoulder, no hunting and very short patrols for a few days.” Startledcrow warned the Tom.

    Eveningstorm watched the exchange for a moment, backing away slowly before Startledcrow’s chipped voice reached his ears. “I don’t think so, I see the ripped shoulder. Don’t stray too far.” Startledcrow meowed even though he was heading towards Night, who had so patiently waited for him to finish tending to Quiethawk. Eveningstorm grunted as he lowered himself into a sitting position next to Quiethawk, ears laying flat against his head, but he didn’t dare argue with the medicine cat. Startledcrow cleaned the wounds along Night’s back even further before he began to chew up the root and horsetail into a well chewed poultice. “Dis weel sting.” He grumbled around the mouthful, before he began to apply the poultice to her open wounds, carefully and gently.

    #5741
    Shy
    Participant

    Although flinching at the sound of his bones grossly snapping back into place, Night enjoyed watching the medicine cat at work. There was unfaltering purpose in every movement as he aided his clanmates time-and-time again. Sure, it was probably a little annoying to patch warriors up; using their time, energy, and herbs only for them to return shortly afterwards with new injuries— but that was the life of a medicine cat, and it was the life of a warrior to put themselves at risk for the safety of the clan.

    With Quiethawk taken care of, her gaze followed that of Startledcrow as he stepped over towards the young apprentice; crushing up and preparing a poultice from the various plants before gently packing it onto her open sores. “Yeah, that definitely stings a little,” she replied, her voice abnormally high and strained; a sign that she was in a significant amount of pain, but reluctant to admit it. Night’s attention turned to Quiethawk when he spoke, and she watched with unhidden interest as emotion flickered in his golden gaze, like a flame caught in an errant breeze; the glow of a distant fire. His words resonated in her soul, and how truly inspiring it was to see his obvious passion towards being a warrior. She couldn’t have related more to what he had said when she, too, had flung herself into battle to protect her clanmates.  It encouraged her that she was naturally on the right path.

    #5747
    Pheebs
    Participant

    “Your brother’s a tough one,” Quiethawk muttered quietly, so that Eveningstorm alone caught his words. Gently nudging the tom, Quiet motioned to the small laceration above his eyes which had, thankfully, stopped bleeding. “Think I need this healed?” The warrior couldn’t care less, but the cut was rather deep despite how little it was.

    “Yeah, never trust him, kit! When Startledcrow says ‘this will sting a little’, it’s code for ‘ this will hurt like hell’.” For all his strength and bravado, Quiethawk himself could never figure out why getting his cuts cleaned and his various limbs relocated hurt so much. ‘Maybe Startled does it on purpose. Entertainment and all that.’ The warrior snorted at the thought, amusement causing the corners of his lips to curl upward. 

    The tom once more stared at Night, eyes examining and analyzing. “You’re going to be apprentice, right?” Quiet wasn’t sure how he felt about a non-Windclan born cat being brought in amongst them, but his own leader wasn’t pure Windclan. Still, the tabby knew it would take some time before that knowledge sat right with him. ‘She’ll just have to prove herself,’ the tom thought, satisfied with his conclusion.

    #5750
    Feared
    Participant

    Startledcrow ~ WindClan Medicine Cat

    “Oh, come now. It’ll only sting for a moment.” Startledcrow cooed when Night repeater his words, although her voice had sounded strained in pain. He knew it would sting like a hornets bite, but he had to keep the moral of a medicine cat. While Startledcrow continued to apply the poultice to keep the infection at bay and to lower the swelling, Eveningstorm looked down at Quiethawk as he muttered quietly that Startledcrow was a tough feline. The big tabby smiled to himself as his dark amber eyes flickered back towards his brother once more, taking a moment to analyze Startledcrow before he muttered quietly to Quiethawk. “You have no idea.” Eveningstorm whispered, he knew of a few things that Startledcrow had gone through and honestly he couldn’t even imagine being a strong as Startledcrow. Hell, Startledcrow took Thistleheart’s death like a champion, while Eveningstorm’s heart felt like it had con-caved.

    Startledcrow paid no mind to Eveningstorm and Quiethawk, concentrating on his work, although his ear did twitch when Quiethawk spoke loud enough for his ears to catch. A smirk found its way along his dark hued lips, his good right eye couldn’t just barely see the two felines out of the corner of his gaze. “I will not deny nor clarify that statement.” The medicine cat chimed with a sweep of his tail, while Eveningstorm chuckled and snorted as he tried to keep in his laughter. Slowly the dark grey tabby tomcat unwound the cobwebs from around his paw, gently placing them over the many wounds that speckled Night’s shoulder blade and black, collecting the spotting blood and keeping the poultice in place. “Almost done…. there.” Startledcrow meowed with satisfaction, stepping back from the molly as he gave her nose a flick with his tail. “You’ll spend the night here.” He ordered, while looking at Eveningstorm. “Shall I say your next?” Startledcrow sighed, walking towards his older brother, finally inspecting the claw mark on the shoulder. “Hmmm.. it’s actually not that bad, your big behind must have moved just fast enough.” Startledcrow meowed with a twitch of his nose, licking at the wound to clean it. Eveningstorm felt his ears draw back in embarrassment from Startledcrow’s words, although he hardly flinched when his brothers tongue met the tender flesh. “Lucky me.” Eveningstorm grumbled, allowing Startledcrow to do his work before the medicine cat stepped back and looked towards Night and Quiethawk. “Have you two eaten anything?” Startledcrow meowed curiously.

    #5805
    Shy
    Participant

    Night of Windclan

    A single, squinted eye met with Quiethawk. The other one had shut tightly the moment Startledcrow began applying the poultice, her nose wrinkling in slight discomfort. “I’m beginning to see that,” her voice was stiff as she’d held her breath in a vain attempt to ward off the unpleasant tingle, though it quickly faded once Startledcrow had finished up. Pain wasn’t something she was used to. It was still very new to the young apprentice. The life she’d lived before coming to Windclan had been a comfortable one, rarely feeling discomfort of any sort. All of her needs were easily met within the confines of her soft, warm kittypet bed. There had been no need to hunt, fight or struggle, and although it was easy, it was very boring having everything handed to her. How strange it was to think of how different things were now compared to then.

    Night had no qualms with staying in the medicine cat den and nodded to Startledcrow, honestly thankful that she wouldn’t have to move. “Thank you, Startledcrow,” she quietly expressed her appreciation towards the medicine cat before he turned to his next patient— or rather victim.

    Quiethawk’s voice quickly drew her attention back to him in question. “Oh! Yes,” she chirped happily in response, as if suddenly remembering her excitement that she’d soon be given a mentor. “I’ve learned some of the basics from Stumpytail, but I’ll be assigned a mentor once Wolfstar deems me worthy of Windclan,” she informed him. Learning from Stumpytail had been rather enjoyable but she patiently awaited the day she’d receive a mentor and her official clan name. The thought itself was so exciting that she didn’t even attempt to hide the gleam that shone brilliantly in her eyes as they glittered with anticipation.

    “I’ve enjoyed proving myself, though,” she admitted to him with a soft laugh, “It would have felt a little anticlimactic had Wolfstar so easily allowed an outsider to become a part of his clan without first testing my loyalty. This way it’ll feel like I earned it.” Wolfstar was a strong leader with a big heart, and she was more than thankful for the opportunity he had provided her with considering he didn’t have to. The leader was never quick to cast judgement. He always considered every possibility, and he was above all compassionate in his ways. It made her happy to know that she was a part of a clan led by such an admirable cat.

    Night’s ears flicked at the sound of Startledcrow’s question, answering after a moment of thought, “Hmm. I don’t think any of us had the chance to eat.”

    #5839
    Pheebs
    Participant

    Quiethawk’s eyes narrowed in consideration, his critical eye going over the molly. “It’s good that you want to prove your worth, the fight was favorable for you. It shows your brave… or foolish.” The warrior added with an amused smirk playing across his face. “Whoever Wolfstar chooses for you better reaffirm your loyalty, Windclan deserves nothing short of complete devotion.” This wouldn’t be the first time Quiet said this, nor would it be the last. Anyone who’s been in prolonged interaction with him quickly deduced that there were only three things he would sacrifice for: his clan, his family, himself.

    “Fox dung!” He spat, recalling the rabbit he’d dropped in favor of joining the fight against the wild cat. “I left that damn rabbit in the middle of the territory.” If it weren’t for his sore shoulder, and Startledcrow’s close proximity, Quiethawk very well might’ve leaped up to grab the prey he’d caught earlier. As it were Startledcrow was there and, caring about his own safety, Quiethawk decided not to anger the younger tom further by doing something stupid. Like run to grab a rabbit that was likely in a bigger animal’s stomach by now.

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