This may be a long story but I would really appreciate it if you would read to the end. This story has a lot of significance to me and I think you will enjoy it. I have been meaning to write this story for a while now. A year ago yesterday, my favorite hen and dear friend Ebony passed away. I meant to write this story not long after, but life got crazy and I was never able to, so here it is now. In elementary school I always had friends, but only a few close ones. But when I got to middle school, all the people I thought were my friends left me for other friends. I was lonely for most of those two years. Sometimes I would go home and just cry because I felt so left out. But then in 8th grade, God gave me a very special blessing: Ebony. We hatched her and a few others in an incubator, and she instantly became my favorite. She was a cute little black silkie-cochin cross. I always had her with me when I was home, and she was inside a lot. She helped me feel less lonely without friends and brought me a lot of happiness. I changed districts when I went to high school, so I didn’t know anyone at my new high school. High school ended up being a lot of the same of what happened in middle school. I didn’t make friends easily because I was so shy. Every day I went home and hugged Ebony, did my homework with her and just spent time with her. That was the highlight of my day. She was always there when I really needed something to love. We became very close, and I even taught her to come when I called her name. I have endless stories and pictures of her. She was really the joy of my life. Ebony had the softest feathers I’ve ever felt. She was all black but had a bright red comb. She had an adorable fluffy head, cheeks and beard, and fluffy feathered legs. She is, to this date, the cutest chicken I have ever seen! Her adorable fluffy head hindered her a little though, and she had trouble with depth perception while pecking. She would peck several times before she actually hit the object she was aiming for! One year I took her to my local fair. She had a wonderful time picking fights with the other chickens through the fence which I found hilarious. She thought she was some big tough chicken, when in reality she was a little fluffy black thing! Everyone there agreed that she had quite the character. I brought her and a few of my other girls to our lake house when we went in the summer a few times. Ebony also went on a road trip with me once. Sometimes I would see her sitting in a patch of sunlight on the carpet in our house. As soon as I would go sit by her, she would start sunbathing and flop all over me. It was like she was waiting for me to join her. I loved her so much, and I like to think that she loved me too. Sometimes I would just set her on my shoulder when I was doing things around the house. She slept in my bed a few times. I hated being away from her when we were on vacation. I liked to say that she had the “6th sense”, which was the food sense. Anytime anyone was eating food, she knew and would beg at their feet until they gave her some. I loved my dear Ebony more than anything. Then my junior year of high school, something changed. I began meeting more people and made a lot of close friends. One of those friends that I made is the girl that I’m currently rooming with in college. We’re best friends and I’m so lucky to be blessed with a friend like her. As I made new friends and became more involved, I subtly sensed my focus changing from Ebony to my new friends. This was a bit saddening, but overall didn’t bother me much. Ebony was still around all the time, I just didn’t spend as much time with her. The summer after that I decided to get some senior pictures taken. And I decided to take a few with my dear Ebony. I have attached some below. Then, in September I noticed that my Ebby wasn’t doing as well. She was more mellow than her usual spunky self, and wasn’t eating as voraciously as usual. I tried everything to help her feel better, but nothing seemed to help. I was on the varsity volleyball team at the time as well as in many difficult classes, so I was extremely busy all the time. One day I came home and It was clear that something was very wrong with her. I called the vet’s offices in my area until I found one that treated in chickens, but it was closed at that point and I didn’t have time to take her the next day because of school. I knew I was losing her. I cried all night. That was one of if not the worst nights I’ve ever experienced. That night, I laid her down on a towel on a chair next to my bed to sleep. She woke me up through the night because her sneezing was so loud, but I didn’t mind. I comforted her and went back to sleep. When I woke up, I was relieved to find her alive. She wasn’t doing better, but she was still alive. I got ready for school, hugged her goodbye, and left. After I walked out I realized I wanted to give her another hug so I went back inside and hugged her again. That afternoon, I got back from volleyball to find my mom in my room with a cardboard box, a vase of flowers, and a picture of my dear Ebony. I balled my eyes out all afternoon and all night. My beautiful Ebony was gone. She lived 4 wonderful years, and I cherished every minute of it. This was exactly a year ago yesterday. My friends noticed that I was sad and asked me why. I told them, and they seemed to be sympathetic, but I still don’t think they understood the love I had for my pet chicken. I am so glad that I got some senior pictures taken with her. Now I have them forever. I keep a little bottle with one of her feathers in it on my desk in my dorm room. For a graduation gift, my mom bought me a silver feather necklace. I haven’t taken it off in months. To me it not only represents Ebony, but all the blessings that God has provided me in my times of need. Ebony was truly a blessing from God. Although I had lost my dear Ebony I still had my other chickens which was nice. But I had trouble going to see them knowing that Ebony wasn’t there. And sadly, two days ago, four of my five girls were killed by a fox. Our whole family is heartbroken. I hope that this story isn’t too saddening, that it not the point. I just wanted to write a very nice tribute to one of the best blessings I’ve ever had in my life. If it weren’t for Ebony, I don’t know how I would have gotten through those lonely years of middle school and High school. I want all of you to know that even when the going gets tough, hang in there. There are better things in store, even if they’re years away. There will always be someone to help you along the way, whether it be people, animals, God, anything! As I move on to the next stage of my life, I want to pay respects to one of the animals that helped me get where I am now. Thank you, my sweet Ebony. Here I have a silly little video that I made of her a few years back. Seeing it makes me laugh every time. Please watch, it’s short and I think you’ll enjoy it! Below I have some pictures of my sweet Ebby including some of my senior pictures that I took with her. This is from when I took her to the lake. She fell asleep on the table! Sunbathing I also took her to a retirement community to cheer up the residents a few times. This is her with one of the residents who really enjoyed holding her. Her and I at the Fair My favorite picture of me and her Thank you to those of you who took the time to read this. I felt like I needed to do this for her since she made such a big impact on my life. I would really appreciate it if you could tell me what you thought, thank you.