PA

When 11-year-old Tom Cowley's pet chicken, Ginger escaped from his back garden, he feared the worst, and never expected to see her again.

The Gingernut Ranger hen was missing for two days, and despite frantic searches, Tom and his mum, Louise were losing hope.

Louise then tweeted about her family's despair at Ginger's disappearance, which resulted in an American follower re-tweeting her message.

The re-tweet was seen by Catherine Inglis from PetsLocated.com, who contacted Louise to help her spread the word about Tom's missing pet.

The subsequent publicity about Ginger was spotted by Emma Maloret from Tiny Horizons nursery school on the opposite side of the busy A43 in Mouton, Northampton where Tom lives. She immediately recognised Ginger as the hen who was currently residing in the nursery's farm!

Louise said: "It was amazing. We did look for Ginger and asked neighbours but we'd given up.

"It's hilarious, really. We're delighted to have her back."

Tom, who also has a pet gecko, three fish and a dog, said: "Ginger has been my pet chicken for two years and when I lost her last week I couldn't believe it. How she crossed such a busy a road and survived I'll never know."

Which only leaves the question, why did the chicken cross the road...