The sound of the rain pattering on the hard earth was enough to wake the kits from sleep. The darkness of night stretched across the sky, making them fall asleep except for one. Patches of white blots partly covered the sky. The rain grew fiercer as a gray tabby tom stepped into the nursery, obscuring the sight of the dens in the distance.
“Jayfeather?” the kit cried.
Jayfeather came closer on soft paws and sat next to kit, eyes closing slowly and opening them like a thorn was stuck in his paw. He jerked his head downward to see the kit. “What is it, Badgerkit?”
Badgerkit pulled his head up to met Jayfeather’s blind gaze.” My belly hurts.”
“It’s probably from eating that stale mouse early,” he responded.” Your fine, just go back to sleep.”
Badgerkit opened his mouth to protest but Jayfeather silenced him quickly with a paw to his head, gently though, pressing his head to the ground. He closed his jaws together and huddled together with three other kits; a small golden tabby she-kit with brown paws and a molted brown and gold tail, a lager ginger tom and -the smallest of them all- a dark gray tom with black ears, tail and paws.
Jayfeather started to pad toward the entrance of the nursery when he heard Badgerkit mew, “Jayfeather?”
He sighed and turned around. The black tom, with white paws and a long stripe of white that ran from his nose to his tail, stared at him with deep teal eyes.
“What is it this time, Badgerkit?”
Badgerkit began to stagger to his paws and ran toward the blind Medicine-Cat, scaring him a little when he stepped on his paws by accident. “You the Medicine-Cat, right?”
Jayfeather nodded his head.
“When Firestar gives Mudkit and Flamekit their apprentice names tomorrow, can I talk to him afterwards?” His eyes grew wide with excitement as Jayfeather nodded. He crashed into him, rubbing his small head against Jayfeather’s chest.
It must be important if he wants to talk to Firestar after the naming ceremony; he thought but quickly shook the thought away. What kind of important news could a kit give to the leader that would make him go with it?
“Talk to your mom first,” he mewed dully, “if she says yes then I’ll take you to his den.”
Badgerkit glanced back at his siblings and then to Cinderheart, his mom. “Do you think she’ll let me?”
Jayfeather started out again and reached the outside this time with the kit tailing him. “Yes,” he mewed, clearly annoyed by the kit’s persistence, “now go back to the nursery!”
Badgerkit bounded back to the nursery and Jayfeather continued his way to the Medicine-Den. When he arrived, he was soaked with the rain that continued outside. He huddled up in his nest and began to dream when he heard the familiar voice of another cat.
“Spottedleaf?” he called out.
There was no response until she rushed to him to greet him. ”Hello,Jayfeather. StarClan sent me here into your dream to tell you something.”
Jayfeather asked, “Another prophecy?”
The tortie nodded. “Listen to it and listen to it carefully, Jayfeather. You life will depend on it.”
He nodded and strained his ears to listen.
“The three will need the Badger, for he is the fourth and most powerful.” She ended her sentence and Jayfeather stood up, waiting for more.
“Badgers? But they’re our enemies!” he shouted to the former Medicine-Cat but she disappeared and darkness started to engulf him, taking him back to his sightless world. “Wait, Spottedleaf, what does it mean?”
“Jayfeather? Jayfeather?Wake up!”
He felt the prodding of a kits paw push into his side. Annoyed, he pushed himself up and let his sides heave. “What is it now, Badgerkit?”
“You missed the ceremony for Flamepaw and Mudpaw,” he mewed, “Cinderheart said it was fine that you could take me to Firstar’s den. So let’s go.”
“What?!” Jayfeather screeched at Badgerkit’s news.
Firestar was drawn back too. “Are you sure that you want to be a Medicine-Cat apprentice, Badgerkit?”
“I’m positive!” was his reply.
Jayfeather and Firestar looked at each other with shocked faces.
“Badgerkit, th-this is a big change in the course of what we were going to do for you,” Firestar stuttered, “but if you wish to be a Medicine-Cat then at the moon, we’ll give you the Medicine-Cat ceremony rather then the warrior one.”
“Thank you, Firestar! Thank you!” Badgerkit scampered away to the nursery probably to tell Cinderheart, Jayfeather thought. Then Spottedleaf’s words echoed in his head;
“The three will need the Badger, for he is the fourth and most powerful.”
He stiffened as he started to piece together the prophecy; the three, he, his brother and Dovewing; Badger, Badgerkit and the four, he was the fourth one! But he cocked his head to the side.
The first prophecy said three, not four, he thought, so what could that old cat be talking about if she said Badgerkit was the fourth?
“ Hey,Jayfeather!” Ferncloud shouted from afar. Her belly swelled for the new kits were just beginning to grow.
He grumbled out of Firestar’s den and into his den to sleep but before long Cinderheart came bursting in and wailed, “Have you seen Badgerkit?”
He pulled his head up and stared at her. ”No, but I did take him to Firestar a little bit ago.Why?”
Cinderheart swerved her head side to side. “He’s disappeared, Jayfeather! He’s gone!”
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