Thank God it's Friday

10th January 2003 at 00:00
MOnday There's a phone call at 7pm. Louise has been working late at school but she can't leave. "There's a black rabbit in the playground; it looks like someone's pet. I don't want to leave in case a dog catches it. I've phoned the RSPCA but they don't want to know." I suggest we wait until the morning, and that she go home.

Tuesday At 6pm we have a meeting for Year 6 parents. At 6.30pm the rabbits come out, four of them, all black. They cavort and stretch out as if they're there for the night. The parents are fascinated and gaze out, transported back 20 years. We're surrounded by flats, hotels and social security offices. Where could these rabbits have come from?

Wednesday The rabbits are sitting in the flower bed outside Mandy's office eating the annuals. Mandy loves rabbits. She wants to pen them in the environmental area and sell the offspring to make money for the school fund. I point out the health and safety hazards and ask her to phone environmental health. We've got rabbit droppings all over the grounds. Environmental health tells us to phone the RSPCA.

Thursday Lucy and I are off to a hotel on the outskirts of London. Our school was runner-up in the David Bellamy Environmental Cleanliness Award and is due to receive a cheque and a plaque at a black-tie dinner. Five black rabbits and a new wild one wave us off.

Friday We pull into school after an exhausting 24 hours. The rabbits welcome us back. Mandy is taking calls asking us if we know our rabbits have escaped. We don't want the rabbits to be hurt, we just don't want them. I bet the country school that won the award doesn't have this problem. Sometimes inner-city schools get all the fun.

Val Woollven is head of St Andrew's C of E primary school in Plymouth

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