Bangor children urge 'mercy for Percy' the pheasant

A pheasant is living in the grounds of a County Down primary school A pheasant is living in the grounds of a County Down primary school

Pupils at a County Down primary school have taken a beady-eyed friend under their wing - but the creature appears to have ruffled a few feathers.

Percy the pheasant has taken up residence in the grounds of Towerview Primary School in Bangor.

He has been living there for two months and is particularly fond of the playground.

Percy follows the children around all day, sits in the front porch when it's raining, hangs around the dinner ladies looking for snacks, and peers through the assembly windows to listen to the songs.

But as Christmas Day approaches, the school principal, Alan Brown, suggested that Percy could soon be on a dinner plate.

Why? Well, it seems Percy has taken a dislike to the headmaster.

When he sees Mr Brown he attacks his shoes which are now full of holes.

"The reason I dared to suggest to pupils that he would be on my Christmas dinner list was that he suddenly became a little aggressive towards my black shoes," he said.

"He arrived about four or five weeks ago as a small animal and he loves to walk behind me as I go to greet parents in the morning and walks out with me in the afternoon as well."

The principal says Percy has started to rule the roost, deliveries are having to be taken via another door and even the caretaker has taken to wearing hobnailed boots.

All the children have been horrified at the headmaster's proposal and have written letters begging for mercy for Percy.

They have also made placards in protest.

Primary seven pupil Amber McGimpsey said he "is great, he's very colourful".

"He mainly goes into the key stage one playground and we feed him at lunchtime," she said.

"He likes most people except Mr Brown."

Luckily for the pupils, the principal said he had "grown to love" Percy, so the bird remains safe for another year.

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