My sweet NHR Bianca passed away in March at the age of 10. She was the last member of my first batch of chicks. They arrived a day early--April Fools Day!--in the midst of a snowstorm. I was a brand-new chicken mom and was thrilled and a little scared by my new responsibility. By late April, they were ready to spend some time outdoors, and in 3 more weeks, they were in their snug new coop. Miss Prissy was the first to lay an egg, but Bianca was the one who laid her first egg in my hand. Needless to say, neither one of us had known what was coming! Other chickens came and went, but Bianca was always there, ready to boss them. She slowed down to one egg a week, but kept going. She survived a couple wicked hot summers, three bitterly cold winters, a dog attack, two bouts of internal laying, and all the other slings and arrows of a chicken's fate. She loved classical music, llama chow, watching people work on cars, helping in the garden, jumping onto my back when I least expected it, macaroni and cheese, and stalking our pit bull. I do hope that chickens come back . . . I'm getting chicks this summer, and would love to have another pal like the Divine Miss B.