The Days of Ungatt Trunn (also entitled: "Dorothea Leaves Home")


Stonepaw grasped his mother's paw, sitting crouched near her bed.

The blanket-wreathed Gorse smiled up at the young badger, and issued forth a gruff, creaky chuckle at the solemness of his face.

"My dear Stonepaw, why do you mourn me so? I've lived a good life. I've protected these shores for untold seasons, put paid to evil creatures, and made great friends. I am not sad at my own passing. So why must you be, my son? I leave you Salamandastron, our home since the first day that you arrived. I leave you strong, and noble. No mother could be more proud of her son than I of mine."

Stonepaw sighed at her words, lowering his great striped head to kiss the ancient Badgerlady's brow. "I'm merely thinking of the loneliness I will feel at your departure, mother. You were the joy in my life."

Gorse touched his chin, raising it so that she might look into her son's dark, redbrown eyes. "Listen to me, Stonepaw. You must not feel so when I am gone. You have your whole life ahead of you, and we badgers live leagues longer than anybeast else. At times, you will feel alone. But you must never give into it. Remember all the friends you've had, and those you may have soon. Remember me."