Every morning, Frog the rooster walks his favorite person, 13-year-old Savannah, to the bus stop.
“He will stay with her at the end of the driveway until she gets on the bus,” Holley Burns, Savannah’s mother, told The Dodo. “He will then just come back and do his adventures with us and our daily routines until it’s time to meet her when she gets home.”
When the school bus brings Savannah back home, Frog runs as fast as his little chicken legs will carry him to meet her.
“He hears the bus stop a few houses down on the county road,” Burns said. “And then he’s running down to the end of the driveway before it gets there. Every day.”
In February 2017, Frog came to live with the Burns family in Atlanta, Texas. Everyone immediately noticed that he was different. For one, he had feathers on his feet, which everyone thought was a little strange. He also had an unusual way of moving, which earned him his name.
“He didn’t walk — he hopped,” Burns said. “My son was like, ‘It’s hopping like a frog. We should name him ‘Frog.’”
A more unusual thing about Frog was who he chose to socialize with. Instead of hanging out with other chickens, he preferred to spend his time with people — Savannah in particular.
“He was very attentive,” Burns said. “He wasn’t interested in what the chickens were doing, he was interested in what the humans were doing.”
When Frog was a small chicken, Savannah had started carrying him around when she did her chores, and their bond grew.
“She’d take him to the laundry room and he’d watch attentively,” Burns said. “She’d go and wash dishes and she’d set him up on the counter and he’d watch her wash the dishes.”
Soon, the pair was inseparable. “Everything is Frog and Savannah,” Burns said. “She pulls him in a wagon. Wherever she goes, he’s right behind her. He gets up on the bunk beds with her. He’ll sit and watch TV with her.”
Burns isn’t that surprised that Frog bonded with her daughter. “She’s what I call an animal whisperer,” Burns said. “She can walk up to anything, and it’s just instant — all animals are attracted to her.”
But she’s never met a rooster quite like Frog. “I don’t think he thinks he’s a rooster,” Burns said.
Frog even has a canine best friend — a dog named Casper who’d been abandoned in a McDonald’s parking lot. Last year, the Burns family found him and brought him home to live with them.
“Casper was really terrified of storms, and Frog saw him cuddled up in the laundry room,” Burns said. “So Frog cuddled up beside him. He was like, ‘Hey, it’s OK. Don’t worry about it. Nothing is going to happen to you in the house.’”
Ever since then, Frog and Casper have been best friends. “They’ll play together,” Burns said. “Frog will jump on top of Casper, and Casper will lie on top of him, like, ‘OK, what are you doing?’”
While the Burns family is used to Frog’s unusual ways, people meeting Frog for the first time are sometimes unsure about him.
“When people see a rooster running at them, everybody’s first instinct is, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to attack me,’” Burns said. “But he’ll greet you in the driveway and say, ‘Hey, I’m here! How are you doing?’”
That said, everyone eventually falls in love with Frog, including Savannah’s bus driver.
“It’s gotten to the point that if they [Savannah and her brother] don’t get off the school bus on time, he [Frog] will get on the school bus,” Burns said. “Our bus driver is really good — he knows to watch out for Frog. He makes sure they’re in the clear before they leave.”
But it is Savannah whom Frog loves the most — and the feeling is clearly mutual.
“I don’t know what they’d do without each other, truthfully,” Burns said. “He’s a very big member of our family — or a very small member of our family.”