On the left, we see Emily with her favorite chicken. When I see this one, I think of Foghorn Leghorn listening to that other cartoon bird, who says "I'm a chicken hawk, and you're a chicken. You're coming with me." (doesn't this one look a bit hawk-like?)
On the right, we see Emily's favorite chicken running away as soon as she lets it go.
Loving chickens is a decidedly one-sided affair. Yes, they come to the side of the cage every time we come to see them - because they think we're going to feed them. And often enough, we do. But they certainly just tolerate our affections - calmly enough, especially Hazel's chickens, two small, docile hens who seem to just give up on running away while she's handling them. But they also don't come to her eagerly.
We did have a chicken death, leaving us now with 21. Unfortunately, this was a hen, and the one who we came to think of as Manny's chicken, for the boy down the street who held her most often. Thank goodness, she did not die due to children's handling, but of unknown causes, as we found her in the cage next to the feed trough. Emily is worried about hers (and worried about what we will do with the roosters), but otherwise, we are all weathering the loss well. Hazel helped me bury her, and that was that.
Chicken love is fickle and heartbreaking at times, but still, we enjoy them, feathers, beaks, claws, and all.