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The Journey to the Beaver Dam takes place in The Fourth Apprentice, when the Clans send two cats from each Clan to travel upstream to bring the water back,[1] as the lake had dried up and the beavers are blocking the stream.[2]


Description

Premise

Lionblaze and Jayfeather realize that their sister, Hollyleaf, is not the third cat of the prophecy, but instead, one of Whitewing’s kits are. Six moons later, and the lake has mysteriously dried up. Dovepaw, one of Whitewing’s kits, has extraordinary senses, and sense beavers are blocking the stream supplying the lake with water.[3] She convinces her mentor Lionblaze,[4] of this and Lionblaze tells Firestar of this too. Firestar suggests sending two cats from each Clan at a Gathering to unplug the block.[1]

Overview

The cats journey upstream, learning to work together and create a bond with each other.[5] They meet three kittypets who come in use later. They find the beavers and attempt to dislodge the dam, but are viciously attacked and Rippletail is killed. The Clan cats recruit the three kittypets and a loner to help them, and this time they dislodged the dam, bringing the water back to the lake.

Summary

Before the Journey

Hollyleaf runs under a collapsing burrow and is presumed dead. Jayfeather and Lionblaze, one of two cats of the prophecy, realize she isn’t part of the prophecy, and soon realize one of Whitewing’s kits is the third cat of the prophecy. Six moons later, and the lake has dried up, only leaving a small pool. Dovepaw, one of Whitewing’s kits, sense that brown animals are plugging up a stream supplying the lake. Lionblaze and Jayfeather realize she has extraordinary powers, and tell her to tell Firestar she dreamed of this, so he would understand better.
Firestar announces that something is plugging the stream at a Gathering, and asks for two cats from each Clan to head upstream and unplug the stream. Blackstar and Onestar agree, but Leopardstar is hostile, since she is ill and growing old from age. Her deputy, Mistyfoot however, announces that they will send two cats, and agrees the deputies of each Clan will bring the selected cats to the meeting spot.
Brambleclaw brings Lionblaze and Dovepaw of ThunderClan, Russetfur brings Toadfoot and Tigerheart of ShadowClan, Mistyfoot brings Petalfur and Rippletail of RiverClan and Ashfoot brings Sedgewhisker and Whitetail of WindClan. Brambleclaw, having travelled with cats of different Clans previously, gives advice and Ashfoot sends them off, giving the last farewell.

The Journey Begins

Toadfoot insists he leads, since they are in ShadowClan territory. The patrol soon run into Twolegs, who chase them. One of them grabs Petalfur, but the rest of the cats circle the Twoleg, snarling and hissing at it. The Twoleg releases Petalfur and the patrol gets away. Toadfoot blames Dovepaw, since she squeaked in surprize when she saw the Twolegs, but Lionblaze defends her. There is question whether to move on, but they ultimately decide to keep going and bring back the water.
They enter ThunderClan territory and Lionblaze leads. They shortly stop, because the RiverClan cats are tired. The ShadowClan and ThunderClan warriors hunt on their own Clan territory. On the return, Lionblaze sees that Tigerheart has caught a huge pigeon. He congratulates him, hoping to make up for earlier unfriendliness at the Gathering. After eating, they move on, but Dovepaw senses dogs travelling ahead.
Lionblaze quickly warns everyone to climb a tree, but the WindClan and RiverClan warriors don’t know how to climb, so each cat that knows how to climb takes one that doesn’t and helps them up the tree. The dogs reach the tree but the cats are already at a safe level, but Sedgewhisker falls when one dog startles her, and Toadfoot leaps up to Lionblaze’s tree and helps him haul Sedgewhisker back up.
After the dogs are called away by their owner, Rippletail gets herbs for Sedgewhisker, who hurt her shoulder as they make nests in a shallow den. Lionblaze takes first watch but when he returns to the den he finds Dovepaw awake. He tells her that even though she has her powers, she needs sleep. Dovepaw obeys him, and closes her eyes.
When Dovepaw wakes up, she realizes that Lionblaze took her watch, and it irritated at Lionblaze. The cats hunt, and the RiverClan cats feel guilty when they don’t catch anything. They continue the journey and follow the stream bed until they come across a pool where there are fish. Rippletail catches a fish and they all try it before the RiverClan cats finish it off.


The Kittypets

The group encounter a flock of sheep and dogs but thanks to Sedgewhisker and Whitetail, they escape the dogs by running through the flock of sheep. Dovepaw soon sees that the stream has disappeared. The group later encounters dogs, but they manage to hide. They soon find rabbit that belong to Twolegs, and are also being guarded by kittypets. The group hunts instead, and Lionblaze is followed by Snowdrop. She disturbs him and introduces the other two kittypets, Seville and Jigsaw.
The following night, Dovepaw tells Lionblaze that she can hear the beavers and they are nearly there. The next morning as the group travel along, Dovepaw senses the beavers and knows they are close. She also notes he dislike to Lionblaze’s secrecy around her powers. Tigerheart and Sedgewhisker get into a play-fight, which Lionblaze stops for some deep reason. The patrol soon encounters Twolegs, and Petalfur is picked up by one but after playing nice, it releases her and gives her food.
The group move on and soon meet Woody, who gives them information about the beavers. He also shows them the dam that is blocking the stream. Rippletail and Petalfur, happy to see a large body of water again, jump and swim in the stream before being chased out by the beavers. Lionblaze leads the cats away.

Dislodging the Dam

As the cats discuss how to dislodge the dam, Lionblaze suggests that night might be the best time to attack. He and Rippletail also work out that they could attack from two different directions, but don’t know how to take the dam apart. Woody tells him he will take no part in the attack. The cats go hunting, and Lionblaze takes the first watch for the night. Later that night, the cats split up to attack the dam.
Whitetail lets out the battle cry and all cats spring at the dam. They all slip on the logs and struggle dislodging them. Two beavers suddenly appear and attack Dovepaw, then more appear with one stunning Sedgewhisker. Whitetail and Lionblaze work together to fight the others off. Seeing all the cats fighting for their lives, Lionblaze orders them back. He stays behind, trying to fight since he thinks he can’t get hurt but is proven wrong and calls for a retreat.
Lionblaze sees the others still fighting and watches as one beaver tells a long wound down Rippletail’s shoulder. The cats retreat to shore and Petalfur rescues Rippletail from the water. As dawn approaches, they slowly watch as Rippletail dies from his wounds. The cats bury Rippletail’s body and Lionblaze tells them they can’t fight the beavers, but need to another way to free the water.
Petalfur comes up with an idea to destroy the dam, and Tigerheart suggests practising with fallen branches. They find it difficult to move the branches with two of them luring the branches away. Lionblaze suggests inviting the kittypets to help them, so he takes Dovepaw with him to the home of the kittypets when the rest of the patrol agrees. All three kittypets agree to help and as they walk back to the dam, Dovepaw feels guilty for possibly bringing more cats to their deaths.
Lionblaze, Dovepaw and the kittypets find the other Clan cats with Woody. They have stacked the branches in a pile and are working out how to pull them apart quickly. After they have hunted, the cats agree that Whitetail and Sedgewhisker will be the ones to lure the beavers away. Petalfur also shows them that it will be easiest to collapse the den from the inside.

The Second Try

The cats go back to the dam and Whitetail and Sedgewhisker successfully lure the beavers away. It begins to rain heavily as the others begin dismantling the den. They manage to collapse parts of the den until Dovepaw announces the beavers are returning, so they work faster until Toadfoot announces that a flood is heading towards them. The Clan cats make it back to shore in time but the flood breaks through the dam and a wall of water sweeps the kittypets away.

Victory

The Floodwater reaches the Clan cats as and they struggle through it. Petalfur and Dovepaw work together to help Tigerheart. All of the Clan cats make it out and back into the forest. Whitetail sends a prayer to StarClan, thanking them and asking them to honor Rippletail. Dovepaw looks over to Lionblaze and thinks they have saved themselves, not StarClan. The cats soon settle off travelling back down to their territory, reaching ShadowClan first.

After the Journey

They meet a ShadowClan patrol, who invites them all back to their camp. Blackstar greets them unusually warmly, and they soon return to their own Clans. The journey brings water back to the lake, and leaves a bond in some of the cats. Dovepaw was desperate to keep the bonds she developed with the cats, and found herself in love with Tigerheart, which created more problems than one. Leopardstar was left grief-stricken for the loss of Rippletail, but met him again when she joined StarClan.

Characters

Lionblaze

Lionblaze is part of the prophecy, and has the power to be undefeated in battle. He acted as leader of the group, and made many critical suggestions, especially with recruiting the three kittypets to help with dislodging the dam. He moved on quicker than the other cats as he has journeyed before.

Dovepaw

Dovepaw is the third cat of the prophecy, and has the ability see and hear things that aren’t around her. She was the one to sense the beavers plugging the stream and stopping the water to run into the lake. She and Lionblaze convinced Firestar to convince the Clans to send cats from each Clan to go and bring the water back. Dovepaw grew close to the cats she travelled with, especially with Tigerheart, and the experience helped her to grow.

Toadfoot

Toadfoot was hostile and bossy at first, taking over at any chance he gets but he soon softened, and joined in with the group. He gets skeptical that their journey is hopeless, and they won't be able to succeed in finding whatever is blocking the stream but he is convinced to keep going. He grieved with the cats when Rippletail is killed, and works hard to dislodge the dam, saving his Clan from dying of thirst.

Tigerheart

Tigerheart was friendlier than his Clanmate, and even friendlier to Dovepaw. He hints that he is taking a liking to Dovepaw, often telling her he will protect her. Lionblaze recognizes a move Tigerheart used as a Dark Forest move, and suspects he is being trained by the Dark Forest. Nontheless, he made tactics to help dislodge the dam, and grieved with the group when Rippletail died.

Petalfur

Petalfur felt out of place away from the water, and when she and Rippletail refused to eat because they didn’t catch anything, they were convinced to eat anyway, as they are a group now. She was brave to go on alone when Rippletail died, being the only RiverClan cat. She dislodged the dam with the others, and helped rescue cats when the stream washed them away, soon returning to their Clans.

Rippletail

Rippletail felt out of place away from water and when he and Petalfur refused to eat when they didn’t catch anything, they were convinced to eat anyway, as they are a group now. Rippletail fought bravely against the beavers, but received a long wound on his shoulder, which slowly kills him. His death motivated the Clan cats to dislodge the dam once and for all, and his soon gives the life of curiosity to RiverClan’s new leader. [6]

Sedgewhisker

Sedgewhisker struggled at first, having to be helped climb a tree safely out of the way of a dog and not hunting as well as the ThunderClan and ShadowClan cats, but her skills soon became useful, keeping the beavers distracted while the others dislodge the dam. She returned to her Clan, showing she moved on quickly when Dovepaw came to WindClan camp for her.

Whitetail

Lionblaze had respect for the senior warrior, and at first, Whitetail felt out of place with needing help to climb a tree to get safely out of the way of a dog and not hunting as well as the ShadowClan and ThunderClan cats, but her skills soon became useful, keeping the beavers distracted while the others dislodged the dam. She returned to her Clan now no longer dying of thirst.

Characters that took part in the Journey


Quotes

"We will find the water! The Clans must survive!"
Firestar reassuring the Clans The Fourth Apprentice, page 105


"I think we should go on. I've watched my Clanmates starving around me, and I can't do that anymore! Thinking of that gives me courage."
Petalfur The Fourth Apprentice, page 132


"I'm proud to have traveled with you...And prouder still that we achieved what we set out to do."
Toadfoot to the cats who destroyed the dam The Fourth Apprentice, page 287

Trivia

  • The Journey takes five days, with the journeying cats taking three days to reach the dam. [10]

See Also

References and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 105
  2. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 216
  3. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 69
  4. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 74
  5. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 287
  6. Revealed in Mistystar's Omen, chapter 3
  7. 7.0 7.1 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 106
  8. 8.0 8.1 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 119
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 121
  10. Time intervals during the journey

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