It’s been a long time since I posted a Frou-Frou thread. I’m very sad to say this will be the last one. On Friday, August 21, after several weeks fighting illness, Frou-Frou’s crop stopped passing food and her body began shutting down. She had lost much of what little coordination she had, and she hadn’t really opened her eyes in weeks. Letting her go was the hardest decision I think I’ve ever had to make for one of my birds. She was my soulmate chicken. I don’t care if that sounds crazy or not. I am so heartbroken over losing her. I feel like there’s a piece of my very soul that’s missing without her. Frou-Frou was not a particularly friendly chick. The first thing she did when we opened up the box of chicks at the store was run over to peck at my mom’s hand. She was not hand shy, but she was rather aloof. When it came to attention, she could take it or leave it. It wasn’t until she was a couple weeks old that our bond really began. One night, there was a thunderstorm. The others in her brood were fine and the power had not been knocked out, but in the middle of the night, Frou-Frou woke me up peeping in fear as that storm rumbled on outside. I took her into my lap to console her, and held her for a long time after the storm had passed. I remember thinking how curious it was that she was afraid of storms. I’m a little afraid of storms, too. At 3 weeks old, I gave her her name for her frilly feathered feet. As she grew up, she became my Frou-Frou fuzzy, my Big Fuzzy bird, my Foo-Foo, my baby. Since the night of the storm, she would let me carry her around, just peeping lightly as if she was making observations about things. She was such a sweetie, and so calm, even when my then-3-year-old niece came over to see her. Frou-Frou and I were inseparable. We did everything together, when I wasn’t away at class, of course. We would have walks, either with her hopping along behind me or riding in our little wagon, happy as can be. She participated in bonfires and ‘camping trips’ in the yard, though she always preferred to sleep on the very bottom perch in the chicken coop. When the older hens would pick on her, she would run to me to protect her. While I sat out with her in the chicken yard, she would stuff herself, fluff butt and all, under my legs, or stretch her neck out over my boots, perfectly content. (Yep, she pooped on my bed.) She had a very particular way she liked being held, and I was the only one that could get it right. I remember so many times of Frou-Frou protesting to someone else picking her up, and I would always have to tell them that that wasn’t right—like this! She had to have her nightly visit to the house, carried in and walked back out. She would lie in my arms so calmly the entire time, spoiled with treats while my family and I lovingly stroked her feathers. On the rare occasion that I couldn’t get her in for her nightly visit, she was quite upset, and I would always have to reassure her that I still loved her. Frou-Frou was... so much to me. Our bond was more than some believe is possible between a chicken and her person. She helped me through stressful semesters, giving me plenty to laugh at with her antics. When I needed to cry, she was always ready to be hugged on and soak up my tears with her fluffy, splashy feathers. She was there for me through the losses of several other flock members, as well as when I was nervous about transferring to a new university, and when I lost my childhood dog. In the good times, she spent her time, chest pressed against my leg, giving me the daily complaints of the flock in her nasally, honking voice. On those harsh, winter days of these past years, she would always stop me for a hug, perfect to warm both of us up. Sometimes, she would just rest her head in my hand and look into my eyes with such a peaceful look in her gaze, like she knew she could trust me completely. We spent so much time together, and we were so close. Fast asleep with my hand on her back... I spent a lot of time writing and rewriting this, thinking it wasn’t right, it just wasn’t enough for Frou-Frou. I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing would ever be enough for her. There are not enough words to express how much I adored this bird, and how much I will miss her. I just don’t know what I’m going to do without my Frou-Frou. Her first hatchday, checking out her slice of 'Hatchday Cake': Look at those eyes... Frou-Frou took a long time deciding where to lay her first egg. She finally settled on the corner of the coop at the bottom of the roosts, and all of the eggs she ever laid were there on the floor, with the exception of the few she laid while she was inside earlier this year. Happy and unhappy Frou-Frous. She hated the rain, but she sure did love to dust bathe! My big fluff ball. This was the last picture I took of her, laying across my lap sleeping. Rest well, my beloved Frou-Frou.