Stalking Longtail Through A Dangerous Path by Sorrelpaw

Sorrelpaw takes a look at Longtail’s character in A Dangerous Path.

Art by Spirit Of Alaska

Hello! Hello! Hello! I’m SorrelPAW! You can call me Sorzi if you like. Wow, it’s sure been a loooong time since I sent in my previous article!!

This article is called Stalking Longtail Through A Dangerous Path. It’s a DANGEROUS path, so you hafta be careful. No no, just joking. A Dangerous Path is actually the fifth book in the Original Series, which I guess most of you know already! And in this article, I’ll be arguing why Longtail is a brilliant character… based on evidence from A Dangerous Path!!

Evidence 1: “Hey, Longtail!” he [Fireheart] meowed as the two cats [Longtail and Swiftpaw] padded across the clearing. “Come and join our hunting patrol.”

Longtail hesitated, as if he wasn’t sure whether that was an order from his deputy or not. “We were going to the training hollow,” He explained. “Swiftpaw needs to practice his defense moves.”

“You can do that later,” This time Fireheart made it clear that he was giving an order. “The Clan needs fresh kill first.”

Longtail flicked his tail irritably but said nothing. –A Dangerous Path (p. 29-30)

What does this conversation show us? It shows us that even though Longtail would have preferred to go to the training hollow to train Swiftpaw, he would not disobey an order from a higher rank. (Even though that the higher rank was Fireheart, a former kittypet who Longtail didn’t exactly like.)

Longtail was annoyed by Fireheart’s order because it changed his original plans. Whenever someone else tells us to do something that disrupts or original plans, we do tend to be irritated. Longtail wasn’t going to disobey Fireheart’s order, which proves that yes, he is a good cat, although he did tend to be grumpy sometimes.

Okay, some of the Longtail critics say, yes, he’s loyal, but does he believe in StarClan like a good warrior should? We all know he had previously supported Tigerstar the Evil, and Tigerstar hated StarClan. What if Longtail despises StarClan? Well… Let me present Evidence 2.

Evidence 2: Fireheart noticed Fernpaw pressing close to Dustpelt, and Longtail crouched on the ground as if he thought StarClan were going to rain fire on them there and then. –A Dangerous Path (p.97).

The fear Longtail possessed of StarClan proves that he did respect and believe in them. He believed that they had power. He was a loyal follower of StarClan, and joined them after his death.

Evidence 3: I won’t directly quote the evidence this time, because if I did, my fingers would die from over-typing. Basically, Longtail approaches Fireheart and asks him about making Swiftpaw a warrior. When Fireheart explains that Bluestaris distressed and that he will try to let her understand about making Swiftpaw a warrior, Longtail is unhappy and stalks off after a reluctant agreement. –A Dangerous Path (p. 170-171)

You can look at this two ways. Does the evidence show that Longtail would defy Fireheart, the deputy, for his own apprentice? Or does it show that Longtail is strongly loyal and will fight for what he believes is right? In this case, I think both are valid.

The first interpretation seems to work against me when I try to defend Longtail. But in a way, it also provides support for the second interpretation. Longtail would do anything, as long as it is within his power and won’t have drastic consequences, then Longtail would do anything to fight for what he believes is the right thing. Fireheart went against Bluestar’s wishes sometimes, and can you accuse him of being a bad cat? Longtail argued with Fireheart, but in a same way you can’t accuse him of being terrible and unfair.

Evidence 4: Once again, I would have to train my fingers in a super long typing marathon if I want to fully type out this evidence, so once again I shall sum it up using MY OWN WORDS. Longtail told Fireheart that he went to Snakerocks. When Fireheart asks him why, he says that he scented Tigerstar there. Fireheart asks why he did not report the scent, and then goes on to conclude that Longtail must still be allies with Tigerstar, then thinks that Longtail is plotting with Tigerstar to get his kits Bramblekit and Tawnykit back.

After Fireheart storms away from Longtail, he goes to Cinderpelt and explains the conversation. Cinderpelt convinces him to listen to Longtail . Longtail is telling Whitestorm about the scent. Fireheart comes, and Longtail momentarily is surprised and asks if Fireheart will charge him with plotting again. When Longtail tells Fireheart about the dogs, Fireheart realizes he was wrong. –A Dangerous Path (p. 270-273).

This proves just how well Longtail is determined. When Fireheart refuses to listen to him, Longtail goes to Whitestorm, unfazed. When Fireheart returns, he only is suspicious for a single moment before telling Fireheart about the dogs. Longtail is really a good cat who would be loyal to his Clan always.

You see? There are no reasons to doubt Longtail’s loyalty or courage. We will look at one piece of evidence that confirms this.

Evidence 5: “In that cave,” Replied Longtail. “That’s where I saw Tigerstar leave the rabbit yesterday.” –A Dangerous Path (p. 284)

You might be wondering, how can such a tiny pathetic sentence prove Longtail’s courage and loyalty? Well, check out this.
Loyalty It was not a lie, what Longtail told Fireheart. If it was not a lie, it was the truth. And if Longtail was loyal enough to watch Tigerstar the Evil do everything and tell Fireheart about it, surely it proves loyalty?
Courage It took courage to spy on the most evil cat in the forest, like Longtail did. Of course he was brave.

Having read all the evidence and my explanations, can we honestly deny the greatness of Longtail? If you find you still CAN, feel free to tell me why in the comments. I’d be glad to find EVEN MORE evidence to support Longtail when the critics get to work 😉

That’s it, though, for this article! Farewell <3

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