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Chicken Little's death is far more significant to the story than his life is. We really know nothing about him except that he's a typical five-year-old. But his death leaves a lasting impact on Sula and Nel. We learn that the accident upsets and frightens Sula, but not Nel. Nel feels a strange joy in watching the drowning (which we only learn about when she's an adult). Chicken's death is one of the episodes that creates uncertainty about Nel and Sula's true characters.