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Hamster's weal

It was a dastardly and cunning plan. They would break into the heavily guarded precincts of Corris primary school in Machynlleth, north Wales and kidnap the popular school hamster Harri. After that the ne'er-do-wells would leave a ransom demand of one million dollars for Harri's safe return and wait for the moolah to roll in.

"They broke a window and a door to get in and out," says Corris head Olwen Griffiths. "They went straight for Harri, they didn't take anything else. They left the note demanding the money on the flip-chart in the staffroom.

"But Harri is a little bit of a biter, you see. He is fine if he trusts you, but if somebody does go into the cage then he is prone to go for them." Harry was found the next morning sitting in his cage outside the school gates, bathed in human blood. "They won't try that again," says Mrs Griffiths, adding: "They need to learn to spell as well. They spelt million with an 'e' and hamster without one."

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