“Always cheerful and bright, Little Miss Sunshine tries to cheer up everyone around her and is everyone’s best friend.” These are the words penned by Roger Hargreaves to describe the ever- bubbly and jovial character, Little Miss Sunshine in his book of the same name from the popular children’s Mr Men and Little Miss series. However, these words could well have been written about our very own Little Miss Sunshine, for so true they have turned out to be.
Little Miss Sunshine, our affable and inquisitive ambassador hen, has become such an integral part of the daily work of Edgar’s Mission in such an incredibly short amount of time that it is difficult to remember what life was like before she pitter-pattered her way into our world and straight into our hearts. But when we search back in our memories, it is one person’s single act of kindness only 9 months ago that left us forever changed and which turned out to be the defining moment in the life of a dear and gentle hen, who has already gone on to touch the lives of so many around the globe.
On the 8th of June 2013, a battery hen farmer had a change of heart. Seeing the creatures he kept confined within cages as living, feeling creatures rather than as ‘production units’ for the very first time, he realised he could go on drawing a profit from their suffering no longer as he made the difficult decision to exit the industry and find a better and far kinder way to feed his family. Exactly what it was that changed this man’s mind we will never know but perhaps, just perhaps it was Little Miss Sunshine herself, who peered into his eyes from within the confines of her cage and touched the very depths of his soul. And so, after receiving the farmer’s pleading call, the Edgar’s Mission Rescue Team swung into action in order to gently lift each and every one of his 1081 hens to safety, to provide them with their very first taste of freedom and to introduce them all to a life worth living.
And it was a kind hearted and conscientious young girl by the name of Tia May, with a wisdom far greater than her seven years suggested, who was to provide this star- worthy hen with her star- worthy name. Causing us to question just when exactly it was that our society went wrong, this young girl instinctively knew that to confine such a gentle, clever and amiable creature for the entirety of her time on this earth and to deny her of her most basic, instinctual desires was simply not right. As we sat in the sanctuary of Edgar’s Mission, watching over this one very special and fortunate hen, lying on her side in the lush green grass, wing outstretched, drinking in the sun’s warm rays for one of the very first times in her life, the words we heard next simultaneously both broke our hearts and provided us with a glimmer of hope. “Look at her, she loves the sunshine but she’s never even seen it before. Let’s call her Little Miss Sunshine.”
And so, she is our Little Miss Sunshine. Cheerful and bright. Everyone’s best friend. Ambassador hen extraordinaire and free because one person listened to the kindness in their heart. Little Miss Sunshine is everyone’s very own symbol of hope that a kinder future for us all truly is possible.
Story courtesy of Edgar’s Mission.