|"I am your mother, Hollyleaf. Squirrelflight was trying to protect me."|
|— Leafpool to Hollyleaf when she asks for the truth about her parentage in Sunrise, page 251|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty one of Sunrise. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 21 (of 28)
- Page Numbers: 247-252
- Hollyleaf blinks in the misty dawn and watches the elders take Honeyfern's body out of camp at dawn. She notices that the sun had vanished and the sky is covered with dark gray clouds. The Clan stands silently while their Clanmate goes to her burial. As the elders disappear through the thorn tunnel, Brambleclaw begins organizing the day's patrols. Hollyleaf spots Sorreltail, Honeyfern's mother, padding over to the warriors' den with her head hanging and tail trailing in the dust.
- The black she-cat bounds after her, and tells her she's sorry for what happened and that the whole Clan will miss her. Sorreltail mentions that Honeyfern enjoyed being with Hollyleaf and her brothers, and that she was always worried that she wouldn't get enough milk because Squirrelflight couldn't feed them. Hollyleaf is ruffled by this, but doesn't show it because it's more important to comfort Sorreltail at the moment. Sorreltail continues about how it wasn't Squirrelflight's fault, and how Leafpool helped so much. Hollyleaf is surprised to hear this, and she wonders if Leafpool knows who their real mother is. Sorreltail leaves to get some rest in the warriors' den.
- Hollyleaf looks around for Leafpool, and finds her talking to Firestar at the entrance to the thorn tunnel. She waits for them to finish their conversation so she can talk to Leafpool alone. Firestar is trying to convince Leafpool to rest now that Jayfeather is back from the Moonpool, but the medicine cat protests that she shouldn't leave the Clan. Firestar teases that he could make it an order, and the medicine cat yawns and meows that she'll be back by sunhigh. Hollyleaf follows her out into the forest, tracking her scent to a nice spot overlooking the lake. Leafpool springs to her paws as Hollyleaf approaches, wondering if she needed her.
- Hollyleaf replies that she wanted to ask Leafpool about something. Now that the moment has come, she doesn't feel so sure about what she's about to do. Hollyleaf knows that this could change her life forever, but concludes that she needs to know the truth. The medicine cat's eyes are wary as she tells her to continue, and the black she-cat realizes that the tabby might know that she and her littermates, Lionblaze and Jayfeather, had found out the lie. Hollyleaf feels in her heart that she has to know the truth, so she asks Leafpool to tell her all she knows.
- Leafpool's amber eyes brim with sorrow, and she takes a pace toward Hollyleaf. The medicine cat surprises Hollyleaf with her response, saying that she'll never tell any cat, asking why the warrior did it, with a questioning tone. Hollyleaf panics for a second, as this is not how she wanted this talk to go. The black she-cat asks what she did, and Leafpool asks why she killed Ashfur by the WindClan border. Hollyleaf wonders how Leafpool knew, and Leafpool notes that she only found out because of the tuft of black fur in Ashfur's claws.
- Leafpool repeats her question again and asks why she did it. Hollyleaf says he deserved to die, and that Leafpool should know why. Leafpool says she doesn't know, and by the mystified look in her eyes, Hollyleaf can tell Squirrelflight never told her sister of revealing the terrible secret to Ashfur. Hollyleaf says that he had to die because he knew that she and her brothers weren't Brambleclaw's kits. She then says he was going to reveal it at a Gathering, in front of the other Clans, and that couldn't happen.
- Leafpool is shocked, and she whispers to herself that this is all her fault. In this moment, Hollyleaf knew the cat who knew the truth of who her is mother is in front of her. The she-cat asks who her real mother was, and Leafpool says she knows who it is. Hollyleaf begs to know the truth, and Leafpool tells her that she is her mother and that Squirrelflight was trying to protect her. The black she-cat knows this is true, even though she desperately doesn't want to believe it. She runs into the forest, and dashes straight away from the hollow. All she knows is she wants to outrun the lies, and she realizes Ashfur's death was all for nothing even though she did it to save them all.
References and citations
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28|