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To Chico: We Love You This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Seven years.

It seems only months ago that I was reading BOOKS, studying up, preparing myself for your arrival. I remember bringing you home in that small, cardboard box like it was yesterday, hearing the scratching of your claws along the bottom.

When we brought you home and set up your cage, I was so excited. Finally. We placed you inside. For three days, you were too scared of the new atmosphere to move. It worried me, but I sat with you. I played piano for you.
It didn't take long before you chirped whenever I walked into the room, or entered the house. You always were there to greet me: my welcome party.

You used to love persian piano MUSIC. I would sit you on my shoulder, and you learnt to sing to the beat of my songs - I always thought that was remarkable of you.

You used to sing during important movie scenes. You knew exactly when to pick a time to go crazy - I know you'd do it on purpose. It became a part of my TV-watching routine. I'm going to miss it.

This morning, seven years later, I found you perched on the bottom of your cage - you never sit there. I knew something was wrong. You were quiet, sleepy. I took you into the guest room with me, rolled your cage beside the couch. You let me pet you without once biting. You wouldn't step onto my finger like you always did. I knew what was coming.

I decided that maybe it would help if I played some MUSIC for you, something soothing. Piano songs and birds chirping were my genre of choice. It seemed to calm you down for a bit.

After a while, your body began to shake, swaying back and forth. I placed a towel underneath you on the cage floor. You tried to jump lower down to perch, but your feet were weak, and you fell. I acted like I knew what I was doing. I took hold of you and placed you on the towel as you lay down.

You were looking at me, listening to my voice as I told you it was okay, and I loved you. You tried so hard to get up. Three times, you managed for a short period of time, you flopped and jumped around the bottom of the cage. I wish you would stop torturing yourself so much and just let go, so I reached in and took hold of you with the towel, and held you to my chest. Our hears beat as one. I think the warmth from my body was warming you. I tried hard not to shiver. I tried to be strong.

I put you back in the cage when you started to squirm. You moved to the corner closest to me, hiding your head. It took a while. You really fought.

But after two hours, your little feathers stopped moving. Your body stopped shaking. You were gone.



I was so scared to touch you, to disturb your rest, but I picked you up in the towel and held you in my two hands. You were lifeless, but still warm against my skin. I kissed your wings, petted your feathers. Whispered "I love you." I cried.

I watched you pass. I watched you struggle. I watched you gain glimpses of hope and fight when you heard my voice. I felt your last couple hundred heartbeats pressed against my own - and I'm going to miss waking up to your chirps so much.

I love you Chico - may you rest in peace.



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