Silvermoon’s Song

by Ariadne Civin, age 9
Silvermoon’s Song Ariadne is a 9-year-old girl who lives in New York with her mom, dad and her two dogs, Ella and Fifi. There are cats living around her house. They are the original Silvermoon and Honey. She hopes you enjoy their story.

“Sky burst into the grass with a cry of pain. Tom, her mate, cried at all the blood. Then, Honey was born. She was perfect. Then, Silvermoon was born. Tom knew that his mate wouldn’t live, so Silvermoon and Honey would be the light of his life.”

       

Chapter One: The Death

Sky burst into the grass with a cry of pain. Tom, her mate, cried at all the blood. Then, Honey was born. She was perfect. Then, Silvermoon was born. Tom knew that his mate wouldn’t live, so Silvermoon and Honey would be the light of his life. But, a third kitten was born! Cinnamon! Then, Sky let out a gasp of pain as she breathed in her last breath. And then, she died. Tom wailed. He would give his kits to Ice. She would help.

 

Chapter Two: Hey!!

When I woke up for the first time, I looked around. Only one of my littermates had her eyes open! Cinnamon! I looked at Honey.

“I guess we should get down,” I told Cinnamon.

Cinnamon said that she thought we should wait for Honey. This is the only time when Cinnamon would be brave in our lives.

So we licked and licked and licked until Honey sat up and yelled, “What? What? Where?”

I know she told you that she didn’t make a big thing about it, but she really did. She sat up and yelled at the top of her lungs.

Cinnamon said, “You’re finally awake!”

I said, “Yeah, so? Now we can get down.”

Honey said, “Where’s Ice? Where are we? What? What? What?”

I told her, “Stop asking so many questions. And stop acting like the boss!” She was taking so much of the spotlight.

Honey said, “We can jump down from this box to this box to this box.”

I just wanted to yell at her “why are you such a know-it-all,” but I didn’t want her to get the spotlight, so I jumped down first.

Honey told you she jumped down first? Not true. That little liar.

Then, it was true that we were halfway across the floor when Cinnamon jumped down, and Honey told you she tried to catch her? No. Cinnamon just jumped onto Honey like a pillow, and they flopped together onto the floor. It was the funniest thing I’d ever seen!

I had to keep a straight face as I said, “Come on! Let’s keep going!”

So we ran outside, and Honey said, “What are those? Basketballs?” Oh, did she mention that she was afraid of those basketballs for a really long time?

I said, “Oh, what? Those are just basketballs. Come on!”

Then, a basketball hit Honey in the face.

We scrambled behind the house. Then, we ran back to the garage. In the garage, I slipped, but did Honey tell you I made it? I thought not. She jumped and barely made it. Cinnamon scratched her face, but she was fine. Then when a figure, Ice, our “mother” came in, the look on Honey’s face was priceless. We went to sleep at Ice’s belly.

In the morning, a cat was standing in the doorway.

He said, “Hi. I’m Tom, your father.”

This time when we went outside, there were no basketballs. Honey cowered by the garage entrance. She had said she’d been brave… that little liar! So Cinnamon started sniffing, another thing that Honey lied about. But, we ran into the forest, and Honey followed. Then, we walked down a steep hill with sharp sticks. Did Honey mention that she caught her foot and started whining like a kit? I thought not. Anyway, as we walked I caught a weird smell. I had never smelled it before. Then, an orange creature jumped in front of us. It looked just like a description from the stories that Ice told us. It was a fox. Tom leapt in front of us, and Honey said she was brave? Nuh-uh. She was screaming. So, we ran. And ran. And ran. When we reached the garage, we were tired out. I found the route (put an emphasis on the I!). And then… we slept. It was a good day! Except for the fact that we almost died. We slept that night, the fourth night of my life. And it was peaceful for days after. But will it stay that way? I doubt it.

 

Chapter Three: Hey Ice, Come Back!

When I woke up in the morning, I looked around me. No one else was awake. Hmm, I wonder if I could do something to a certain cat, I thought.

I took Cinnamon’s paw, hoping I wouldn’t wake her up. I succeeded. I unsheathed her claws by pressing on her paw and put it on Honey’s back and made sure it dug into her back. That little know-it-all didn’t tell you? I know why. It would’ve hurt her pride. Anyway, she woke up screaming at the top of her lungs. Funny. Amusing, even. That woke up Cinnamon. She took her claw away really fast. I kind of felt bad but only a little.

Then, I told Honey, “Come on. Get to your feet, troublemaker.”

She said, “No, you’re the troublemaker.”

Then, we realized Ice wasn’t there to scold us. I was about to have a private party, but then I got a bit distracted because Tom came screaming into the garage. He told us to come outside fast. Then, he changed his mind and told us to go inside fast and then to go outside… whatever. Eventually, we went outside. When we were outside, we saw a dog. The dog was big, in other words, annoying. In other words, Honey screamed at the top of her lungs for the second time that day.

That was sorta funny, but then the dog leapt at Ice. I had a split second to think. I leapt forward. You know Honey told you she tried to save Ice? That’s not true. She backed up, whimpering. It would be fine, I told myself, but the dog killed her. There’s no other way to put it. We buried Ice. Sad.

In a hollow tree that night, Tom was trying to think. What would he do now? Tom found himself running over the hillside into the garage and curled around his kits, his family.

 

Chapter Four: Hey! Tom! People Came!

We were three months old!

Tom came rushing into the garage, and he said, “Come look at this.”

A human family was outside. There was a girl who spotted me, closed one eye, and looked at me, me, and lastly, me! She did not look at Honey! We went back to the garage for the last time with Tom in our lives.

The next morning, I looked around me and saw Tom was missing. I’m gonna do another prank, I thought. So, this time I opened Cinnamon’s mouth and put it around Honey’s ear and made it bite. Then, I took her jaw away, and then her ear started bleeding, and I pretended I was asleep. When Honey woke up, she said, “Why is my ear bleeding? Wahahaha Wawawawawawa?”

I told her, “You sound like just as you did when you were first born: a know-it-all and a show-off from the start.”

Honey said, “Hey! I bet this is your doing.”

I said, “How do you know that?”

“Put your fangs in the mark on my ear.”

So I did. They weren’t the same as the cuts! Because everyone knows which teeth I put in there. Then, she asked Cinnamon to do it, and Cinnamon’s teeth fit exactly. She was outraged until Cinnamon was asleep, and then she stared at me again.

“How about this. We duel! If you win the fight, then you get to bite me back. If I win, you owe me a favor, and it can be anything!”

She said, “Deal,” thinking she’d win. Uh-huh…

So, I leapt at her, teeth and claws extended. She raised up on her hind legs, which wasn’t the smartest move, so I scratched her belly, and I landed on her neck, and I flipped her backwards. I heard a crunch, and Cinnamon said, “Pause! Nobody wins. It’s a draw!”

So, she raced over to Honey, and then Tom came in and yelled at both of us for being so careless. Then, he examined her back. He diagnosed her with a bad scratch, and he diagnosed me with a bruised neck, which wasn’t very bad. So, he decided that he would take us on a little trip because he’d seen some cars outside, and the new humans were climbing in them. So, we decided to follow. Honey’s scratched back or not, we had to know where those crazy humans came from. So, we followed them. Honey groaned and groaned until I finally told her unless she wanted me to attack her again, then she should be silent. So, she was silent. I liked having the fear in this family.

Then, I climbed on top of a rock on the road and yelled, “I am the king of everything!”

And then Tom yelled, “Come down! Do you want those humans to spot us?” And then he added, “I’ll attack you myself if you don’t come down.”

I guess Tom held the fear in the family for that, so I got down. I wish I could challenge him, but I didn’t have the nerve to. Then, we followed the car, and Tom told me to forget about the whole attacking thing, and that wasn’t the way cats worked unless they were talking about prey or other things. So, we walked and walked and walked and walked, and I actually know the reason for why the car stopped overnight. We reached a town called, whatamacallit, Rhinebeck. So, we rested that night.

Honey asked Tom, “Can we go back? Can we go back?

I told her, “You sound like a brat. We’ll camp out like proper wild cats.”

She didn’t mention I said that? Figures she’s the best in the family, huh? Well, she’s not. So, we walked the day after and walked and walked and walked, and you get the idea. Finally, the car made a humongous turn and stopped. We were in quite a humongous place with pavement that had been scraping my paws and making them bleed for miles. I saw dogs walk on sticks down the streets. I saw trees that popped up out of nowhere. And I saw huge cars! One almost hit us, so we dodged left, then a dog almost attacked us, so we dodged right. I was not going to like this place. We were outside a big red and white building. I saw the humans get out of their big car and get into the big red building. It’s like it swallowed them. One of those big things opened, and they went inside like it was home… maybe it was. I wasn’t gonna go inside there, but Tom insisted we follow them. Honey didn’t tell you we went inside, because she didn’t. She was too scared. Cinnamon went, but Honey didn’t. That tells you something about how much Honey lies, huh? So, I put one paw up and strained to pull myself up.

I said, “Wow this is hard.”

Tom said, “Yeah, you’ll get used to it.”

Luckily, the humans were not in the lobby when we snuck in. But, we couldn’t get in for some reason. When we tried the second door, it didn’t open. Tom explained something called locks that would keep us out. But then, fortunately for us, a human came in, and there was a very dusty place, so we could hide in one of the corners. And we rolled in the dust so that we would not look so bright and noticeable. The human opened the door, and we scrambled in behind him, and then he shut the door. I didn’t know how we were going to get out, but Tom explained that if we were on the inside we could get out, so that was a relief. And then, the human opened a big flat surface that looked like the one outside except not made of glass. We scrambled inside. I don’t know how he didn’t see us. He was humming, and he had something over his ears, and he was shaking himself in a weird way. I don’t know. Humans are crazy. So, when it stopped, we were on the floor. I think it’s called a floor because that’s what the humans said.

He said, “Now we’re stopping on floor four.”

So, I guess he was talking to himself. Hopefully he wasn’t mad. So, we left the big chamber-like space and went onto the “floor.” We saw a door open and decided to go in just for a peak, and we saw the humans. The woman was about to turn around and look at us, and she caught a glimpse of us as we left. We ran down as fast as we could. Then, we got outside to Honey, and we ran and ran until we came to an alley. I guess “alleycats” fit us that week.

Then one day, the humans came out of their big building and walked to their car.

I cheered, “We can go home!”

Then, the car started moving, so we followed and followed. We were so close, I could smell country air. I was breathing it in. Tom had his eyes closed, and then something made a “vroom” noise behind us. A car! Oh my gosh. I had one second to think. I grabbed Cinnamon’s scruff and yanked her out of the road as far as I could. And Honey ran out of the street by herself. But, Tom was not so fortunate. He died. Again, there’s no other way to put it. But, this was the first time I had been so overwhelmed that I felt grief wash over me. But, the grief hardened into steel. Then, I knew I had to support Honey. She was born first. Even if I did not like her, she was my older sister, and I was the younger brother, and I would step aside so Honey could shine.

 

Chapter Five: Stepping Aside

I feel different. Wow! When I looked at Honey, she was crouched over Cinnamon, who had collapsed. I ran over to them. We wept, but in the end we went home. When we got there, there were three cats outside. One stepped forward. She was black, dark black. “Midnight” is what Honey murmured under her breath.

She said, “Hi, my name is Night. This is my brother Maple.” She pointed her tail towards a ginger Tom.

He said, “Hello.”

Then, Night gestured with her tail to the other ginger Tom who was jumping around with a crazy look on his face.

Night said, “That is Caramel.”

Caramel looked and then jumped around and landed on his face. I did not know what was up there, but I looked away.

“I’m Honey. This is my brother Silvermoon,” she said annoyingly, which I did not like.

I said, “This is Honey, the annoying.”

And Night said, “Who is this?”

“My name is Cinnamon.”

Honey looked behind her again.

Then, she said, “Let me show you to a nice stream up ahead.”

Under her breath she said, “As far away.”

I did not know what was up with her, but she had a problem. Anyway, she led Night off, which means guess who is in control? Me!

So, I told Cinnamon, “Let’s go hunting for some mice.”

When I caught a mouse, I looked at it, and I was thinking about a prank. I took all the meat out of the mouse, quickly ate it, and filled it with water. Then, I put it back together, and I sprinkled some dirt and sprinkles inside. Then, I put one poisonous raspberry from the tree in it.

Then, I took the mouse, put it on Honey’s sleeping place, and said, “Let’s have some food.”

Then, I took a mouse, Cinnamon took another mouse, and Honey took the poisonous mouse. I did not know then, but that would be my last prank. I was cut short by Cinnamon.

“Honey, do not eat that POISONED rat!”

“Who poisoned it?” Honey asked.

“Silvermoon,” Cinnamon said.

I uttered words to Honey I never thought I would say, “I’m sorry”

She stared at me. “Are you feeling alright Silvermoon?”

“Yes,” I said with absolute certainty.

I looked at Honey, she looked at me, and I felt no dislike towards Honey.

 

Chapter Six: Honey? Maple? What?

I woke up. Cinnamon was asleep, but where was Honey? I remember that I made up with her, so I decided to go look for her. I went outside. I couldn’t find her. I looked, and looked, and looked, and I decided to climb a tree and look for her from above. I reached the nearest tree, which they said humans call it, what is it, a weed. I went to the “weed’s” base. Then I looked up, preparing for the climb. I hate climbing down trees. I usually fall down at the end which is annoying because Honey and I usually climb down the tree and see who can reach the bottom first. But then, when I looked up again, I saw the weirdest sight of my life! Honey was snuggling with a stranger. The stranger’s name was Maple. He was the cat that came yesterday with Night. So, I climbed up the tree and yelled at the top of my lungs a silly song that humans love to sing: Honey and Maple… I don’t know why I started singing it, but it ended very fast because Honey stood up, glared at me, and prepared to push me off my branch.

So I said, “What are you doing here? Don’t you know that this guy just got here last night?”

Honey said, “Yeah, but I was taking him to the well, but it was midnight, and I decided to go to sleep, and he decided to join me.” So, I looked around and decided to find the easiest way down the tree and leave Honey to her weird business.

In that month, Honey went on with weird business with Maple. I tried to skirt around them, but then I thought about the other cats there and how Night must be feeling weird as well. Caramel does not think much, so I decided to go to Night’s place. It was a hollow tree by the lake.

I went inside and asked, “Do you think your brother Maple is weird?”

Night looked surprised. She jumped to my surprise and said, “Well, good afternoon.”

I ignored her and said, “Is it good afternoon or is your brother crazy in trying to mate with my sister? Don’t you find that weird?”

Night said, “Well, while we discuss this topic, why don’t we get a mouse?”

So we left the den. I sniffed; nothing. I sniffed again. No mouse. I sniffed a third time. There was not a mouse, but I smelled a vole. That would do. I went towards it. Night went all the away around and jumped on a tree, which I found very impressive. I chased the vole towards her, then she pounced and caught it right away. I was even more impressed. I wondered if we could share the vole, that would be cool. Then, I scolded myself, What am I thinking? Share with a stranger? But, she took the vole, so I followed her. I looked, and she was leading me back to her den. We ate the vole together. I was scolding myself, What are you doing? What are you doing?

Afterwards, I said, “Well, we better get going.”

Night said, “Wait, we didn’t even have our conversation yet.”

I wanted to stay, and after saying that, I know how weird that sounds. So, I stayed. In fact, a little too long. It was midnight. I arose to leave. But, it was time to sleep, so I slept there. And that was the weirdest thing I have ever done.

In the morning, I knew that it was time to leave because I did not want Honey to find me here and give me a payback.

So I stood up, and Night said, “Well, goodbye then.”

I walked out, turned around and went back in. “Hello again,” said Night.

So, I said, “I’m really going to be leaving now, so bye!”

So I left, and I walked and walked and walked. Honey and Cinnamon were glaring at each other in the front of the yard. This did not happen ever. So, I hid and watched.

Cinnamon yelled, “I can move, and you can’t tell me I can’t move to Rhinebeck because I can.”

“Cinnamon, please. I need you.”

Tears rolled down Honey’s face. My heart broke into a million pieces. I ran out of my hiding place now. I knew the feeling I had towards Night, love, and l knew because I was losing some Cinnamon.

 

Chapter Seven: The First Litter

Night and I mated. Feel free to say, “gross.” I would. One day, I went into my new den, the one I shared with Night. She was looking happy. That was good.

She said, “Honey had her first litter! I’m an aunt! You’re an uncle!”

A wave of excitement shot through me. I ran to my old den. A wave of forlornness washed over me. I missed Cinnamon, but she was happy. I entered and saw Honey and five kittens. One was gold like yellow. Another had so many different colors I couldn’t decide what color she was, so I stopped looking at her. Then, there were three brown kittens with blue eyes. Where did the blue eyes come from? Both Maple and Honey had green eyes. But, Night had beautiful blue eyes, so maybe Maple’s kids had inherited some of their aunt Night’s eyes. Then, I looked at the kittens. They were beautiful. I went over to Honey. I woke her up because I still didn’t have too much respect for her. And she snapped at my tail and said, “How dare you!”

I said, “Well, we are almost technically the same age, so I can do what I like.”

The kits were hissing at me for being rude to their mom, but I don’t think they knew what we were talking about. Then, I said, “So, what are the names of your kittens?”

Honey said, testily, “Why don’t you say please first?”

I snapped back, “I can say what I like, thank you very much!”

“So, maybe I won’t tell you,” Honey said. I sighed.

“I thought we’d gotten over this already.” We both apologized, which I rarely do, so Honey better appreciate it.

Then, she pointed to the golden kitten. “This is Golden.”

I said, “That’s very obvious. Can’t you think of something more creative?”

She said, “Do you want to know the names of my kittens or not?”

“I do,” I said with a sigh.

Then, she pointed at the multi-colored kitten. Black, yellow, brown, gold, every natural color I could think of. Her eyes were barely recognizable throughout all the colors.

Honey licked her and said, “This is Tawney.” Tawney was cute, I guess. I’ll give Honey that. Then, she pointed at three gray triplets. She said, “This is Time, Tulip, and Rose.” Really, be more creative. Honey said, “They’re my kits.”

I ran over the hill into my den. Night was beaming.

She said, “I’m going to have kits!”

I was so overjoyed. My heart felt like it would leap out of my chest. I was so happy, I didn’t know what to say.

So, I stuttered, “Ohh, ehh, ehh.”

Great with words, huh? I thought in my head. Let’s try again, Silvermoon.

“Uuhhh, great, yayyy.” Great, now I’m stuttering “yay” and sounding sarcastic. I had to try again. This is so embarrassing, I’m glad Honey’s not here to watch. So, I tried again. She’d laugh at this sentence.
“Grrreat great great!” I sounded like a kit myself. Okay, let’s try a fourth time, Silvermoon. Let’s try and get a complete sentence this time.

“I’m…” waiting, waiting, trying to process another word in my head, “so… ” processing again, “happy.” Wow, saying happy took a while. That’s a big word. Now, let’s try not to space it out so much, and let’s try and put in an exclamation mark, shall we? “I’m… ” processing… “So… processing.” This time I said processing out loud. I said processing out loud! I can say a big word, yay! Let’s try a better sentence. “I’m… spacing it… spacing it… why am I thinking aloud? I’m going crazy. What’s going on.” I’m thinking now. In my head. I’m going to go for a walk. I will tell Night I’m going to calm my thoughts. Nigh — I — ahhh — I, fell and everything went black.

So you know, I fainted from shock. My brain short-circuited. When I woke up, I was stunned and confused. I could not think. I was not feeling great. I could see a blur, then my vision cleared. I stood. Night was looking worried. I was in the same place. I was fine. In a few days, I was helping Night. The day came. I remember vividly Night crying, and then it was over. I went in. There were three beautiful kittens, and they were mine! That fact just made me stop in my tracks. I couldn’t believe it. There was an orange striped kitten that looked nothing like me and nothing like Night. I looked at Night.

“What should we call this one? How about Tiger?”

So, that was what we called him. Then, there was a gray one with green eyes. Leaf, I thought. Then, I looked at the third one. Dawn. That’s what I’ll call her. I said my ideas to Night, and we agreed that those would be their names. Tiger stood up, wobbled, and fell, bonking his head on the grass.

“Ouch, little guy,” I said. “That must have hurt a lot.”

Then, Leaf tried standing and grabbed Night’s ear to pull herself over and suckle. Then, Dawn stood up and made it a few inches before stumbling before Night’s face, and I grabbed her before hitting the ground. Their bones are tiny and breakable. Then, Night started licking her ear as blood poured out. Leaf would be a fierce one!

Then, I put Tiger on a soft bed with Dawn. And then I took Night by the collar like she was a kitten herself.

She wriggled around in my grasp saying, “I’m not a kitten. Let go!”

And then, I took her over to the bed that I called the “Injury Bed.” (I knew we would have a lot of those with kits.) Then, I looked at Leaf, and I was surprised. I saw her eyes starting to open and her ears starting to unseal. But, it would take a few days, and then her eyes and ears would be open. She was an early bloomer. Slowly, everyone fell asleep.

Soon, my kits grew and opened their eyes. One day, the first day of fall and my kits’ first fall, Tiger ran under a tree. A leaf fell on his nose. He sneezed. I went over and brought him down in the backyard. Then, he fell over and bonked his head. I picked him up. Blood poured from his nose. I felt a weird worrying parenting feeling. I rushed him inside and then licked and licked. I was so worried. I felt like I was dying from fear that my son was bleeding. I felt an instinct: save him! Some part of me knows that it was not that bad. Gosh me, Silvermoon, was overreacting! I hate fatherhood! I also hate hoods. They’re the things humans wear, right? The next morning, he was fine.

I loved and hated fall. My kits grew, and Honey already had three litters. And my kits were not kits anymore. One day, I woke and stretched. I left the den. Night and Honey did not join me. Someone ran towards me, Storm. One of Honey’s. Blood poured down her face, and she collapsed. I freaked. What happened? I ran with her in my mouth. Should I go to Night or Honey? Honey. It’s her kit. When I got there, Honey was asleep with Night leaning over her. She looked at me and said, “I have good and bad news. Which first?”

“Good,” I said.

“I’m pregnant.”

“Now bad.”

“Honey is very ill.”

 

Chapter Eight: Second Litter, Another One, Seriously!

I was stunned. How have I been so clueless? I was so confused. What? Honey had never been ill in her life! Night and I decided to bring Honey, who was asleep, to our den because it was more comfortable there. A coughing fit wracked her body. I was absolutely stunned. I never saw Honey like this before. Emotions swirled inside me. I was happy about my new kits, I was upset, and another feeling I couldn’t describe. One morning, Night came out of the den, and Honey was in a coma and probably almost dead. My sister was… she was… she was… almost dead. What?

I was at a loss for words. Then, Honey let out a strangled and tired cough that shook her body. I had to get out! I felt trapped! I ran out for fresh air.

Then, Night told me to check others for signs of sickness. First, I went to Maple, Honey’s mate. The fur around his neck was ragged, his eyes dull, a cough shook him, and I half-carried him to our den. Night’s and my den got full with sick cats.

One day, I was standing by Honey. Now, she was barely breathing. Then, her breathing stopped. I called Night. Night and I were the only two not sick cats in the area now, so we were the cats caring for everyone else. It was scary seeing all these lifeless bodies, especially cats that I found so lively. Night looked like she was catching it, which worried me. The signs were ragged fur, dull eyes, a cough, and trouble breathing. Night ran over. A tear trickled down her cheek. I was too overwhelmed to cry. Did that tear mean Honey was dead? My sister? My only family left? Then, Night picked her up, making sure not to touch her face in any way. We carried her gently to a pile of leaves in the woods, and we buried her there. My heart was shaking. She would never be there again to scold me, to race me, to hate me.

My sister was dead. Wow. I needed to get that out of my system. I was so overwhelmed at the idea that I was alone. No! I had Night! But, a lonely feeling crept over me. I felt my legs shake. I ran. No, no. This could not be. She would come out of the garage and be fine! Tears fell from my eyes. She was not ever going be there again. I — I — I can’t describe the feeling as if my world had been turned upside down. No Honey ever again.

No, no. I would not cry. No tears fell in streams from my eyes. Night looked like she had lost her sister. I crumbled. I wanted Honey to get off that pile shack and say, “what is that look on your face?” She would never be there. Just to hear the sound of her voice would make life worth it again. I wish I could die just to see her. This was worse than any loss before. My world shattered the second Honey died. Nothing could put it back together.

That night, as I went to sleep, I imagined that Honey was just curled up next to me and everything was alright. But, nothing will ever be okay again. My world and all my joy was gone because Honey and Night were my world. And Honey was gone. I lost half my world. That night, I dreamed I was standing in a clearing, and Honey was standing in front of me. That was the best moment of my life. She was there! And she told me, “Silvermoon, you have kits coming, and you’re still groping over me? Listen, I’ll come back for you. I can’t believe that you’re kidding yourself with this. Stop all this. You got this! Come on! And I promise I’ll come back.”

Honey was talking to me! My heart leapt. But then, Honey gestured her tail at a faded figure of Night and three small shapes. “You still have this, and I’ll be there. Come to the leaf pile tomorrow.”

Then I woke up, and I felt like I lost her all over again. I cried. It had just been a dream. She wasn’t really there. That feeling inside me that controlled my every thought, that was grief, but now there was hope like a flower blooming in my chest.

I got there, Honey’s body limp, and then she lifted her tail. And then, a stangled cough. My world was right again. Honey was alive! That alone is the best feeling ever. All my dreams come true.

Honey said shakily, “You look like a stunned cow.”

That meant she was okay! Night came just that moment. Nothing could go wrong again.

Just then, Night collapsed in pain. The kits were coming! Three! There was a pure white one, a golden one, and a gray and white one. The white one was Cloud. The golden one made me remember that I would not name her Golden! Her name would be Sun. Period. Zip. Bananas. Goose eggs.

The gray and white one is Star.

Honey said, “White, Sun, and Gray. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy!”

Honey is not creative! Really!

Oooohhh no. There was too much blood! Night’s breathing was short. No, no, nooooooooooooooooooo. She will live, I told myself. But, what if she didn’t? Images raced through my head. A life without Night! No. She will live. She has to. Please. Whatever controls fate, save her, please!

And it was over. But, Night was weak. What was I going to do? If I bring her to my den, she might catch the lingering sickness. But, I had to, so I carried her and the kits back to my den. Sun stood up and wobbled outside. Ooooh noooo!

Outside, Sun fell on the side. I took her back in and then laid her down. She stood and walked towards Night. The other kits followed her. She was a natural leader.

 

Chapter Nine: Our Story Comes to a Close

It’s sad. We are done. Well, almost. My kits grow, and I am happy. Wooh. Honey had another two litters! And little, well not so little, Dawn had a litter of three! I feel so old. My legs are stiff as I walk into the future.

 

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