It was the coldest leaf-bare many Pusa could remember. The lake turned to ice, trapping frosted reeds and cutting of Lakeclan warriors from the isda and the water voles. Prey on land was very scarce. With New-leaf came the relentless drip-drip of melting ice. Pusa grumbled about soggy ground and puddle in camp. But the worst was yet to come. A young warrior Sweetshine, her round belly swollen with her unborn kits, was on night watch. She listened to the roar of the river on the other side of the border. It had been louder than usual for three days. The sun would be rising soon, and then she could take a nap. She stood up and stretched, padding off to patrol the boundary. Sploosh! Sweetshine jumped back. In the dark, she thought she had accidentally wandered away from the island clearing. No . . . the lake must have risen. She padded over to her mother’s den. “Sandstar,” she whispered. “There’s something you should see.” The Lakeclan leader followed her daughter to the camp entrance. The stream that separated Iceclan territory from Lakeclan had become a ribbon of dark, frothing water and the lake on the other side of the island had waves crashing up against the bank. “The water is already moving fast,” Sweetshine meowed. “Should we evacuate the island?” “It may go down again,” Sandstar meowed curtly. As the araw went on, the water kept on rising, swirling through the reeds surrounding camp. Mothberry moved her medicine cat supplies to a high rock, and other Pusa watched the river nervously. Brookripple called Eelecho and Stoneclaw to sumali her patrol. “We’ll see how far the floodwater reaches.” The three warriors left the camp. A yowl came from the end of the island. Minnowpaw and Riverpaw were scrabbling at the earth trying to block off a stream of water that had broken through the reeds. Piketooth and Silverdapple ran to help them. “It’s too strong!” Minnowpaw yowled as the water burst into camp. Silverdapple raced back towards the nursery. “Sweetshine!” she yowled “Help me!” They scrambled inside to see brown water bubbling through the reeds and, in a corner, Silverdapple’s two kits Milkkit and Rainkit mewled piteously, clawing at each other’s fur. “My kits,” Silverdapple wailed, searching for the other two. “They’re gone!” Sweetshine meowed above the sound of the rushing water. “But these two still need you!” She seized Rainkit in her jaws and backed out of the nursery. Silverdapple nudged Milkkit. She opened her mouth and gave a small feeble wail. Silverdapple licked her, then picked her up and followed Sweetshine to the puno that had fallen into their camp five moons ago, now the use it to tumawid the small patch of lake without getting wet. The lake gives us life, she thought, looking back at the flooded camp. But now it’s destroying us. She placed a paw in the fast moving water. Oh, Starclan, how could you let this happen? Mothberry and Marshheart stood at the end of the line of cats, a little ways off, ready to catch them if they slipped or fell. No cat dared swim. The moment they lifted a paw of the pebble kama of the lake, the current tugged it away. Dark water swirled above their stomachs. Sandstar was the last to cross. We are no madami powerful against this lake than any other clan, Sweetshine thought. Everything that makes us Lakeclan has been taken away from us. Silverdapple and Sweetshine scrambled out, dangling the kits from their jaws. The apprentices helped the elders ashore. “Where do we go now?”Riverpaw meowed, her voice deep with worry. Sweetshine shook her fur. “The lake is our home,” She meowed “Starclan will look after us.” Sandstar looked around the soaking cats, her eyes landing on Sweetshine, silently handing over her command to her daughter. Sandstar was on her last life, despite only being Lakeclan’s leader for two seasons, and she was tired, Sweetshine could see that. “For now, we will rest in those bushes until Brookripple’s patrol returns. Then tomorrow I will send out a patrol around the lake to scout for a new home. Our old tahanan is gone, but a new one will be built soon.” Not long after they had settled in the shelter of the bushes, a yowl sounded from outside. Sweetshine scented the air. Leafclan! Volepelt! She scrambled to her feet and pressed through the bushes to see the slate black cat she loved best. Volepelt was sitting susunod to Foxheart. Volepelt’s eyes lit up when he saw her, and his tail flicked. For the first time Sweetshine notice the dripping wet kits at Eelecho’s and Piketooth’s feet, they were Silverdapple’s missing kits, Splashkit and Beechkit. Sweetshine dashed back to Silverdapple. “It’s Volepelt and Foxheart,” she panted. “They have your kits!” Silverdapple was up in a flash. Sweetshine took her time leading Silverdapple to her kits. She had to umakda herself before returning to Volepelt. She had to look as if he meant no madami to her than any other cat. Sweetshine listened to the story of the kits rescue, she was so proud of Volepelt, and she was sure the other Pusa would sense it, and when she felt the kits she was carrying ilipat inside her she was filled with a heat that scorched her balahibo but not of pain of joy, she was sure they notice then but they kept listening, not turning a head to glance in her direction. Glancing at Sandstar Sweetshine watched her mother flinch. She knew that her mother’s pride was injured. But Sweetshine knew her mother would not refuse the Leafclan cat’s help, the desperation of the Clan was just too much. It was a sign from Starclan. Sweetshine knew her mother would do whatever it took to save her clan, and the lake would be their tahanan again soon.