Sandgorse comes up to Tallkit, saying he is doing well tunneling. Tallkit angrily disagrees and comments that he hurt his paws while falling in. He staggers his way to the edge of the nursery and raises his one paw. Sandgorse tries to reason that he just tore his claws a bit and they'd be fine. The upset kit retorts that he doesn't know that. Palebird asks Tallkit what happened after his rough conversation with his father.
The black-and-white kit, in tears, tells his mother that he got dirt in his eyes, and flings himself into her fur. The queen gently cleanses his eyes, causing the stinging to stop. His father then tries to convince Tallkit that he can't give up, but Palebird argues that he is just frightened. Sandgorse reluctantly says that they will try again tomorrow.
Palebird and Tallkit go inside the nursery, and he asks where Brackenwing and Mistmouse are. The queen then begins to talk about her kitting, and how she needs a little longer to recover since Finchkit's death. Tallkit then asks why Finchkit died, asking if she kitted her wrong. Brackenwing then tells him to shush, much to his confusion, as his mother liked talking about Finchkit. Tallkit thinks that StarClan allowed him to live so he could cheer up Palebird, so he asks what color Finchkit's pelt was, to which Palebird responds, ginger, like his father's. Brackenwing asks why she gave her a name, as the kit only lived for a moment. Palebird replies with that she needed a name, and the pale-ginger she-cat mutters that StarClan would have named her.
Realizing that talking about his sister wasn't cheering Palebird up, he tells her that he has sand in his ears, which Palebird begins to wash. Sandgorse reappears, and asks if she got Tallkit to calm down, as he wants to get him digging again. Tallkit asks if Palebird wants him to go, to which Palebird tells him to do whatever he wants. He and Sandgorse then go to the tunnels, where Sandgorse tells him to move a rock. Tallkit struggles to do so. Meanwhile, Barkkit and Shrewkit are playing together, much to Tallkit's annoyance. Flailfoot comes out of the elder'sden, and says that Tallkit is too young to be moving rocks, which further annoys the kit.
Then, Heatherstar calls a meeting, and announces that Ryekit, Stagkit, and Doekit are becoming apprentices. During the ceremony, Shrewkit taunts Tallkit, saying that being a tunneler must be hard, to which Tallkit unsheathes his claws. Heatherstar gives Aspenfall, Larksplash, and Cloudrunner, the moor runners, the new apprentices, which makes the tunnelers angry, as the tunnelers were promised an apprentice. Plumclaw appears, and asks what was going on, to which Mistmouse explains that her kits were training as moor runners, and that she and Hareflight had asked Heatherstar for them not to be tunnelers. Sandgorse then says at least they will have Tallkit in a couple moons, and Shrewkit taunts him, calling him Wormkit.
Plumclaw angrily asks the WindClandeputy why Heatherstar didn't tell the tunnelers that they were not getting an apprentice, adding another question, why didn't they respect them. Reedfeather responds, questioning if they would have taken it more easily if they had told them. Heatherstar then tells Aspenfall, Cloudrunner, and Larksplash to show the new apprentices around the territory, and she says the meeting is over.
Tallkit then thinks that Barkkit and Shrewkit would surely be moor runners, and he wonders if he would have to keep the tunneler memory all by himself. Barkkit reassures him that Heatherstar will make him into a tunneler, and Tallkit wonders if he even wants to be one. Reedfeather asks Appledawn, Redclaw, and Hareflight to go catch prey, and the chosen cats race away. As Tallkit watches Hareflight dash out onto the moor, longing pricks within him. He knows he wants to feel the wind in his fur and wonders if he'll ever feel that way about tunneling.