Streammane neighed in pain, panting with effort. Swanhoof nuzzled her, whickering, "You're doing great, Streammane."
Mosswings was behind Streammane. "It's coming."
Swanhoof turned to see the foal coming out into the light. Mosswings started licking the birthing sac right away, helped by Streammane, who wearily rose to her feet.
"It's a colt," Mosswings whinnied. "What will you name him?"
As Streammane helped her new colt up, she looked him over. Swanhoof though he was adorable, a blue roan like his mother, but darker with big brown eyes.
When he started suckling, Streammane proudly announced, "I'll call him Goosefoal."
Mosswings nodded. As she gave him a last sniff, she whinnied, "Well he seems healthy enough now. Swanhoof, why don't you go tell Turtlefur he can come in now. I'm sure he's anxious to know they're both alright."
Swanhoof nodded, and then trotted up the bank. As she looked around for Turtlefur, she spotted her old denmate, Toadhoof.
"Toadhoof," she neighed.
He spotted her, and then trotted up to her and touched her muzzle.
"Swanhoof," he whickered. "It's good to see you."
"You too, Toadhoof. Do you know where Turtlefur is?"
"Yes, I think he's over by the elders' den."
"Thanks," Swanhoof whickered.
She trotted over and saw Turtlefur pacing back and forth. He spotted her and worriedly trotted up to her.
"Is Streammane alright? What about the foal?" he asked.
"They're both fine," she assured him. "You can go see them now."
Turtlefur's eyes brightened and he trotted over to the nursery.
Swanhoof thought about how good it was that Mistyfur had been made a warrior a few suns ago. Streammane had been her mentor, and she couldn't mentor Mistyhoof with a foal!
Swanhoof turned back to the nursery and stepped inside. Even though she had been an apprentice for almost a moon, being in there brought back memories of Mudhoof and her curling up beside their mother in the warm cave.
She sighed and walked over to Mosswings. It was strange to see Turtlefur, usually so harsh, being so gently with his tiny colt. Streammane looked down at her son warmly.
"Is there anything else I need to do, Mosswings?" Swanhoof asked.
"Could you get some water for Streammane? She must be thirsty after all that work," Mosswings replied.
"Of course," Swanhoof answered and trotted out of the den.
She trotted to Mosswings' den to grab some moss. She lifted up her head to grab some from a rock cleft in the cave wall, and turned to leave. She trotted down to the River and dipped the moss in the water.
She noticed Toadhoof and Splashhoof standing knee-deep in the water. Toadhoof kicked, and splashed Splashhoof. Swanhoof froze, expecting Splashhoof to give Toadhoof a warning he wouldn't forget. To her surprise, Splashhoof nickered and blinked warmly at Toadhoof.
Swanhoof rolled her eyes. Only Toadhoof could play a joke on Splashhoof and get away unscathed. They might not know what was going on between them, but every other apprentice did.
Swanhoof trotted away up the slope to the camp, carrying the dripping moss. She walked into the nursery and passed the moss to Streammane. It wasn't much, but Streammane was much too tired to walk to the River.
"Thank you, Swanhoof," Mosswings neighed. "Streammane and Goosefoal should be all right now. Let's go."
Swanhoof followed Mosswings out of the den.
"Don't forget there's a Herdmeet tonight. You should get some sleep," Mosswings advised her.
Swanhoof couldn't believe that it was already the full moon, and she was going to her first Herdmeet that night! She couldn't believe she had already been an apprentice for almost a moon.
She shook these thoughts from her head and trotted over to her den.