Honey stretched her arms over her head and looked upward, causing the hood of her coat to fall against her back. The night sky was full of stars, and, after her stretch, she lay back on an old fur she had brought. The Broad Meadow was peaceful and she was enjoying a rare night of just watching the stars. Snow would fall the next day, she knew, so tonight she wanted to enjoy the fair weather. Her ears perked at the sound of owls hooting and at wind rustling through the nettles of nearby trees. It was a perfect night. The only thing better would be —
“Honey!” Nightstorm called. “I know you’re out there.”
Honey rolled her eyes. She hadn’t been attempting to hide or get away; at least, she hadn’t thought that was her intent — the sense of interruption, however, told her she hadn’t wanted intrusion. “Over here, Nightstorm,” she called half-heartedly. “Stargazing. Want to join me?”
“It is a beautiful night, isn’t it?” Nightstorm asked as she walked toward where Honey still lay. Soon, the tanner was standing above her.
“You’re in my way,” Honey said pointedly. “Are you going to join me or not?”
Nightstorm made no excuses, but she did sit down, and Honey could see the stars again. She could almost imagine that she was the only one there until a giggle caught her attention.
“Glow,” Honey and Nightstorm said together. Honey felt herself tense. It wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy the cub; it was just that she had been enjoying the quiet moment to herself. Glow’s arrival meant that other cubs would be arriving soon as well.
Rill’s voice, followed by Cinder’s, proved Honey’s assumption correct.
**And I thought an evening of stargazing would be quiet,** Honey confessed to Nightstorm as she sat up.
“Come over here, cubs,” the dark-haired seamstress called, still on her back. Honey watched as her friend pointed upward and shared, “We’re looking up at the stars.”
“Oooh!” Cinder said, clearly excited by the prospect. “Are any running across the sky tonight?” He ran toward where Honey sat, watching, and joined her and Nightstorm on the fur. The night was cool and he snuggled up close to the tanner’s side.
“Are there any bugs?” Glow asked, not waiting for an answer as she was not as interested in stargazing. “I want to catch some fireflies.”
“I’ll help!” Rill announced. He bounded into the center of the field, looked around, then said to his younger friend: “Wait! It’s not the right time for fireflies. We’ll have to catch something else.”
Copper, who had arrived much more quietly, offered, “You could catch mice for Moonwing.”
Honey saw the attention of the other cubs turn toward Farscout and Brightwood’s daughter. Even Cinder’s attention was diverted from stargazing to the idea of helping feed the owlet. Copper added, “Willow and Rainpace are trying to catch mice for the owlet because he’s growing so fast.”
“I bet we could find some mice, too!” Rill announced, adding, “If we work together, I bet we’ll catch more than both of them combined.”
Honey sighed. The presence of the baby owl had caused some stir especially among the young ones. Now that it was wobbling around and flapping its wings some, her uncle’s new friend was of much more interest to the cubs than the night sky. Maybe she could help them on their hunt. It wouldn’t be the night she’d had planned, but it could be fun. “Want to join them?” she asked Nightstorm.
“Of course,” the tanner responded. “What better thing could there be to do, than to help cubs find mice?”
“Well, it’s certainly not a night for stargazing anymore,” Honey responded with a laugh. Together, they got up and went to help the cubs.