Wavetail's Warrior Ceremony
Swanwings rubbed some more herbs on Beaversplash's wounds. The imprisoned horses had been returned, to the joy of all of WaterHerd. But every horse had been badly wounded, and Swanwings was working hard to make sure they healed.
Nightriver had, although reluctantly, stepped down. Mistystar was leader again, as StarHerd had planned. Though some horses had wanted Nightriver and Splashstream to be banished, Mistystar decided to let them stay. She thought it was Hawktalon's influence over them that had made them do it. And, Swanwings had noticed Marshmane was showing.
There was a Herdmeet that night, and Swanwings followed her Herdmates as they crossed the River and entered Fourstones. She went to join the other medicines horses.
They greeted her warmly. She looked up as the Herdmeet was begun. Ashwood stepped forward first.
"Willowmane has admitted that StarHerd did not give her her name. I was the rightful deputy of Birchstar, so I went to MoonTree and received my name from StarHerd. Foxpelt is my new deputy," Ashstar neighed.
The Herds whinnied his name. "Ashstar!" "Ashstar!"
Sleettail stepped forward next. "I went to MoonTree and received my name as well. My deputy is Bouldermane."
The StoneHerd horses whinnied "Sleetstar!" "Sleetstar!"
No other Herds joined in. She had been close to Hawktalon, and had appointed another horse who was close to him as her deputy.
Rabbitstar stepped forward next. "There were Nofurs just outside our territory, but they left quickly."
Mistystar stepped forward last. "I have been restored as WaterHerd's leader. Whitewater is still my deputy."
The Herds whinnied, "Mistystar! Mistystar!"
The next afternoon, Swanwings was interrupted from eating as Mistystar climbed Grasshill and called the Herd to gather. She took her place and watched as the Herd gathered.
"Wavehoof has reached the age of two years. It is time he became a warrior," Mistystar neighed.
Wavehoof stood tall, sticking his nose out. He walked forward until he was just below Mistystar.
"Nightriver has agreed that you are ready to become a warrior," Mistystar continued.
Mistystar nodded back. "Wavehoof, the Herd honors your strength and bravery. In the name of StarHerd, I now name you Wavetail."
Swanwings added her whinny to the horses all neighing his name. Mudpelt and Mistystar proudly touched noses with him. Bluehoof congratulated him.
Swanwings felt that everything was finally back to normal. She thanked StarHerd for that, and walked back into her den.