A teaching assistant braved treacherous conditions to rescue her school’s beloved reading rabbits, carrying them to warmth and safety on a sledge for three miles in the snow.
Bramble and Biscuit have become a popular feature of Howard Junior School in Gaywood, near King’s Lynn, where they are brought into class during reading activities to lend a friendly ear and even take part in assemblies.
They have captured the children’s hearts in the six months since they were brought from the King’s Lynn Pets at Home store, with headteacher Gregory Hill saying they have a calming influence on the young people.
So when the school was shut for two days because of the heavy snow, youngsters were naturally anxious about the safety of the animals they have nurtured and come to know as pets.
Teaching assistant Faye Short therefore volunteered to go into school to collect them and bring them home, so they could be looked after.
Disaster struck when her car got stuck in the snow – but rather than let the poor animals suffer, she walked three miles from her home to the school with her children in tow to save Biscuit and Bramble.
Putting the rabbits into a container to keep them warm for the journey, she then loaded them onto a sledge to carry them back to her home – where they are now enjoying warmth, comfort and the attention they need.
Mr Hill was full of praise for Mrs Short, saying her actions were “incredible” and that it shows “Norfolk community spirit”.
“What a hero,” he said of Mrs Short.
“Biscuit and Bramble inspire the children to read,” he added. “They’re crucially important in driving learning and inspiring young people.
“It’s like a home-from-home for them – when you’ve got pets in school, it turns it from a school environment to a home environment. It makes it safe and cosy.
“They’re very docile, calm, patient and loving – but when we had to shut the school suddenly, the rabbits were still there,
“We wanted to make sure they were provided for. It’s that risk if the heating broke down – we can’t leave them unattended.”