Imaginary friend trouble for Shauna

LITTLE Shauna Millen is today the proud owner of a cuddly dinosaur – after deciding a human "grabber" would be more of a dab hand than a crane's.Infuriated by the failure of the seaside arcade machine's crane to grab the toy she had set heart tiny heart on, the three-year-old heard a voice in her head she couldn't ignore.

LITTLE Shauna Millen is today the proud owner of a cuddly dinosaur – after

deciding a human "grabber" would be more of a dab hand than a crane's.

Infuriated by the failure of the seaside arcade machine's crane to grab the toy she had set heart tiny heart on, the three-year-old heard a voice in her head she couldn't ignore.

Her imaginary friend told her if she couldn't get the cuddly toy out of the arcade game . . . she had better get in the machine and fetch it herself.


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To the amusement of passers by, determined Shauna became one of the sideshows as she clambered into the game's glass cage to land her prize.

Mum Angie Millen said Shauna had been playing on a crane-style machine at the Felix Club at the Haven Caravan Park in Felixstowe.

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She had been trying to grab a toy with a mechanical arm and then drop it into a chute to collect it, but after depleting her parents' supply of 20p coins without managing to win, Shauna decided to take a more drastic approach.

Not put off by the swinging crane arm, agile Shauna just climbed right inside the machine to grab the purple dinosaur she had spotted.

Mrs Millen said the youngster's antics caused quite a stir.

"We were in the clubhouse watching the show and a woman came in and said there was a little girl trapped in the machine, we went running out but she had managed to wriggle free," she said.

"There was a tiny box at the back and she must have folded herself in half to get in, she is very small but how she did it I have no idea."

Mrs Millen, who runs the Case Is Altered pub in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, with her husband David, said she thought Shauna may have been persuaded by her brother Perry, seven, to climb inside – but neither would admit it.

"Whenever Shauna is naughty she blames it on her imaginary friend, she just says 'Jacky did it mummy, not me' and I didn't want to tell her off too much but I did tell her it was a dangerous thing to do."

But all turned out well in the end – when David offered the site manager some money for the toy he said that any child who had worked so hard for a toy deserved to keep it, and Shauna and her dinosaur have been inseparable ever since.

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