camp lost in thought ;; cleaning elders den.

Peachpaw .

Aug 19, 2022

If she would have known she'd have to clean the elders den alone for a whole moon for wandering out of camp alone, Peachpaw would have made it more of her mission to turn around and go back home. The bulky femme was dragging a reed-filled nest across camp, grumbling to herself that her punishment from her mentor was much too strict. Her soft mumbling soon turned to frustrated grunts as she tossed the filthy nests into a nearby compost pile, irritated.

"Graah! I'm so ticked!" Peachpaw complains loudly, begrudgingly marching back over to the elders den to continue pulling nests out. Next, she would have to make them all new nests, and then get them all outside so she could properly see before she picked ticks and any leeches off of them.

// obligatory tag for @RAVENDUSK
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Frostpaw wasn't sure if she should just watch the other clean the elder's den or help. Her bi-colored eyes watching as the other huffed and puffed as well as frustratingly cleaned everything. Of course, Peachpaw had brought this onto herself truth be told but, Frostpaw did think that the punishment was unfair when all Peachpaw did... never mind, this seemed a fair enough punishment in her opinion but... Smokethroat would not mind if she helped out right? Nowhere did it say that the other apprentice had to do this on her own. A soft snort came from the smaller apprentice. "Want me to help you out there?" she asked while a smirk appeared on her maw, not in a mocking sense, but more of a 'good job to being snippy at that windclanner' kind of smirk.

"Smokethroat nor Ravendusk never said no one else could help anyways, so I doubt you'd get in trouble" she placed in as well with a soft chuckle as she approached the other with an awkward yet warm smile. Besides more than one paw helping out will get the job done quicker and both could...well potentially work and train their skills, she saw nothing wrong with that, as long as Smokethroat didn't get upset over it...

Tiny toddles carried the too-small apprentice to the sound of, what else, but commotion. It had not taken him long to locate the source- an apprentice older than he, Pinkpaw or Pouncepaw or something, blurting out annoyance at the task she had been given. As he made his way over, his bulging eyes crinkled slightly with his smile- an unsightly look, considering that it was borne of humour. "Heh, ticked- geddit, 'cos you're... pickin' the, uhh-" Did he need to explain it? She probably understood. He'd bet she was pretty smart.

Sidling up beside Frostpaw, though quite dwarfed by her despite their identical rank, Fernpaw let an easy smile decorate his face. Well, it was easy-felt; perhaps not easy-seen. "I can help, too! For a bit," the last part was added hastily- he shouldn't commit to anything too big. What if Dad needed him to go fishing? He couldn't pass up that opportunity!
( penned by pin )

Clayfur is of the opinion that most kids are inherently good, inherently innocent cats who don’t do things out of any desire to harm others. He thinks Peachpaw is one of those good kids, an apprentice who he believes will grow to be a dependable clanmate and warrior. He trusts her, to put it simply, just as he trusts the other apprentices of the clan. They don’t receive as much blind faith as their warrior counterparts, of course, and Clay’s trust may perhaps be very easy to gain, but he still believes RiverClan’s youth to be capable and trustworthy in their own right. So yeah, Peachpaw is a good kid. He doesn’t know what she’s being punished for, hadn’t been there to witness her somewhat embarrassing homecoming.

When he spots the young feline dragging nests around in the elder’s den—and with her are gathered Frostpaw and Fernpaw, two of his other favorite apprentices—the warrior trots right on over with a big, warm smile on his face. "I’ll help, too," he chirps, inclining his head toward the nests. He doesn’t ask, just begins to drag one of the nests outside of the den. It only occurs to him after a few moments that he isn’t actually sure how he’s helping. "Wait… what are we doing?" He glances to Frostpaw, hoping that she’ll somehow have the answer, then to Fernpaw, even though he probably won’t have any answers.

Answering Clayfur's question was the low rumbling tone of the dark tom who had assigned the task himself, "Peachpaw is cleaning until she understands that leaving camp alone and then wandering off into WindClan territory by herself is not okay and never will be okay." She could have easily have died. Hyacinthbreath bringing her back was the smallest of mercy's he could possibly imagine given WindClan's already not too fond opinion of them. Were she a little older or perhaps not found by a cat who was more hesitant in who they stuck their claws in, they might have not gotten her back in one piece.
"She is lucky this is all she has to do. I had half a mind to ask Cicadastar to let her remain an apprentice longer since she failed one of the first lessons we teach our kits. Borders."
He did not want to be unjustly cruel to the younger members of the clan, but this was less about restricting them and more about keeping them safe.
Smokethroat steps forward with a pause, quickly glancing at the assembly of young cats assisting and then Clayfur himself. It was true that he did not include 'by yourself' in his assessed punishment, Frostpaw's comment held an air of rebellion as if she was willing to fight him on it and sure, he felt the lesson was better learned through being miserably digging out moss and cleaning by yourself but he hardly cared for the details. The point was gotten across, Peachpaw would hopefully be less inclined to wander and Ravendusk had assumedly had a talk with her.
Though he did give a snort of amusement, "It is a job that needs doing regardless. Even I clean dens." He preferred more active productivity but when it came down to it the dens needed to be cleaned one way or another. Not that he was offering here, too many paws got in the way at times and he'd not add to it; besides the apprentices (and Clayfur) seemed to have developed a comraderie over the event.


The first to arrive is Frostpaw, a welcome presence in Peachpaw's eyes. The sight of her makes Peachpaw grin back, excited by the idea of help. The more cats to help her, the faster she can get this stupid punishment done and over with. Ravendusk had indeed talked to her, well.. More like at her, but she pushes the conversation to the back of her mind. He could be cold all he wanted to, but Peachpaw had come home, hadn't she? Perhaps she would learn her lesson in the coming days. "Yeah! Some help would be great. Thanks, Frostpaw." She chimes, sing-song tone as she finishes dragging the nest she was holding into the compost pile.

As she lifts up a piece of torn nest, Peachpaw hears the pun that Fernpaw makes and she audibly groans. When she turns to retort something sarcastic to the shorter tom, his bugging eyes staring at her- along with his smile, makes her shift in place uncomfortably. He wasn't a bad guy, just a bit odd appearance-wise, something she still hadn't gotten used to. "Just don't step in the nest. It's all slimy with somethin'." She reminds the tom, plumy and thick tail flicking behind her as she goes back to lifting up the nest piece to pull it over to the compost. Clayfur's arrival is met with a giggle, the molly watching Clayfur as he asks her just what they're doing. "Cleanin' out the elders den. Wanna help-"

Her voice halts as Smokethroat arrives, throat tightening in embarrassment as the tom speaks of her punishment. Did he have to voice it for everyone in the Clan to hear? "I get it, I get it.." She meows softly, dejected, kicking a mossball away from her paw. As the nests are cleaned out and disposed of, Peachpaw looks around to search for some things to make new nests, something soft. "Do we have any feathers laying around? It could cushion the nests more.." She mutters, avoiding Smokethroat's gaze as she continues her chore.

Clayfur holds back the urge to roll his eyes at the lead warrior—he isn’t that childish, and he doesn’t even think he’s truly upset with Smokethroat anymore. It was unfair of him to be angry in the first place, and he’s sure Smokethroat felt much the same but has to follow his duties or whatever as a lead warrior. But to punish an otherwise good apprentice, rather than be glad for her safe return, seems counterintuitive. He hopes that Peachpaw won’t wander off on her own again, for her own safety, but he wouldn’t punish her for the first offense.

The apprentice in question seems disheartened by Smokethroat’s arrival, and Clay frowns until Peachpaw asks about feathers. He flicks his tail, bouncing a bit on white-capped paws. "I’m sure we could find some feathers around here!" He drops the nest he’s been dragging, leaving it lying directly in the middle of the den’s entryway as he lifts his head. Looking around, he doesn’t spot anything immediately, but he looks around to the others, checking if they’ve found anything.