I've lost 10 chickens in the past year alone. when raven passed i thought it was finally over. i was wrong. his son darkflight broke his leg a few weeks ago. i set it and kept him in a crate with easy access to food, water. i don't know what happened. this morning i walked to the coop and there he was, stiff, neck bent unnaturally so his golden hackles arched like rays of the sun. but he was gone. one of the sweetest, gentlest roosters i ever had and by far the most beautiful. as i write, the sour stench of death still clings like a gray cloud around me. Darkflight had the most beautiful dark eyes, so like his fathers, a long tail like his mothers, and the sweet temper and amazing bravery of both. and i can't get his face out of my mind. my sister is four hours away at my grandmother's. if i tell her she'll be heartbroken and she'll want to come home. if i don't tell her she'll be mad at me. but i don't want to tell her. because i know that last year, at the same time as this very vacation, we lost darkflight's half sister, stormpuff. she'd never want to go on vacation there again. and i don't know if i should bury him. i know my sister would want to be there, but waiting isn't really practical. of course, i don't know if i could pick up that cold body and place him in his coffin by myself. maybe i'll just wait. i'm not sure, but june, the hen he lived with, could still be fertile from darkflight. i could set one of her eggs. i'd have to do it without my mom's permission since she isn't here, but maybe i could still hatch one of his chicks. Darkflight, you were beautiful in every way and you will be missed greatly, but i know you are with all the others-raven, goldenshine, stormpuff, bumble, wobble, sugar, dove, cloverleaf, and spice- all together, lying peacefully in the sun, forever, and beyond the hurt of the world.