Cherrypaw’s Big Chance Part III
by Audrey Smith
(Columbus Ohio, America)
Yowling, Cherrypaw launched herself at the vipers. the only thing she could hear was her own heart pounding in her ears.
“No!” A faint screech that sounded far off penetrated her mind. It sounded a bit like Stripeymint, but bent and contorted. She was drawing close to the vipers. They had stopped weaving, and were turning around, but very slowly as if stuck in slow motion. They are Cherrypaw thought dimly. And so am I. She unsheathed her claws, stretching them out and struck at the vipers. Everything snapped. Wham! Her claws rapidly sliced at the vipers, but they were fast as well.
“Cherrypaw! Don’t worry, I’m coming!” Beemint and Stripeymint were on either side of her, there their claws unsheathed and at the ready. But the vipers seemed to know this was one battle they couldn’t win. At least one they couldn’t win alone. They hissed in harmony, fast and slow, rapid and long. In horror, Cherrypaw realized what they were doing. Many other vipers were slithering out of cracks in the hollow.
“Mouse dung,” Beemint muttered, gaping at this revolting new developement. One of the kits whimpered, and Cherypaw decided that the kits would make it out. She slowly stretched a paw toward the kits, but a viper blocked her way.
“Um… grrr?” Cherrypaw was shaking in her fur. This was the end.
“RAWR!” the thundering of many paws sounded at the entrance to viper hollow. The two cats that had been on their patrol were back, and with reinforcements. It seemed like they had brought the whole clan! Cherrypaw breathed out in relief. They would all make it out. The vipers were slithering rapidly away, terrified by all the cats. The cats were celebrating, mewing in victory.
Cherrypaw was the only one who spotted the viper moving toward the kits. It was huge! She launched herself at the kits, pushing them, and herself, out of the way. The kits were safe! She slashed at the huge viper, but it dodged, and, knowing it was beaten, slithered away.
“Thank you!” Spottedkit, the largest of the kits squeaked.
“Mmm-mmm…” Mintkit was simply huddling next to Petalkit, the third and last kit.
“I saw it all,” Stripeymint was padding up behind them. “Let’s get you and the kits back to camp.”
Later, back at the camp, Cherrypaw was sitting proudly in front of the tall rock, her groomed fur shining.Their leader, Nettlestar, was standing on top of it.
“Cherrypaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to protect your clan, even at the cost of your life?” He asked her.
“I do,” she replied, proud of how strong her voice sounded.
“Then, from this moment forward, you will be known as Cherryspirit. We honor your skill and your bravery,” Nettlestar announced.
“Cherryspirit! Cherryspirit!” the clan cheered her new name.
“Tonight you will stand vigil to protect your clan from the dangers of the night,” Nettlestar in formed her.
Oh, I will, she thought. I will. And one day, I will be responsible for the whole clan. I will be Cherrystar! (end!)