18-year-old Thomas Ramsey had just finished a Civil War Reenactment with the group he founded, the Muddy Rabbits Mess, and decided to stop for lunch in Cullman, Alabama. With him was his friend Jonas, and his pet rooster, Peep.

Ramsey takes his Civil War Reenacting seriously, spending three hours a day for as much as six to seven months doing research for the events.

“I had all my men spend a minimum of 10 months preparing with accents and everything," he told AL.com.

In his research, he found numerous accounts of soldiers who carried their animals with them, and was inspired by one Confederate soldier who carried a rooster with him for two years.

“You’ll read journals of people carrying not just fighting roosters but other support animals,” he said, so when he found Peep on the side of a road as a chick, he knew it was destiny.

After their battle, Ramsey and his friend ordered their food at Cracker Barrel, and got out of their truck, putting Peep on his leash while they walked him until the food was ready.

When they went to eat, they tied the leash to the bed of the truck like they'd done many times, but when they came out of the restaurant this time, he was gone.

“I went back into the Cracker Barrel and it was very hard for me to say this with a straight face, even though I was panicking: ‘Do you have cameras in the parking lot? I think someone stole my chicken,’” he said.

Ramsey called the police and Cullman Animal Control Officer Cooper Harris came to help with the call.

After no luck in their initial search, Ramsey took to Facebook, posting that there was a missing chicken.

“Every five minutes there was someone responding that they were looking for him,” he said.

He eventually headed home to Mississippi, hoping someone would find him. About 30 minutes from his house, he received a call from a man named Jeremy Cox.

It seemed that even though Peep had wandered off, he returned to the Cracker Barrel.

After hearing the story, it turned out Peep had changed hands three times that day to make it home to Ramsey.

Farmer John Watson who had posted tips on how to catch the rooster ended up being the one who drove him to Birmingham to reunite with his owner.

“I believe in paying it forward,” said Watson. “God has blessed my family so much throughout the years, I believe we should be kind to our fellow man. Yes, it was ‘just a chicken,’ but it was his and he clearly cared for it.”

“Most of the time I would not drive four hours for just any chicken,” said Ramsey. “He’s interesting.”

Read more at AL.com

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