It may be a very busy time of year for them, but Dancer and Prancer took time out of their hectic schedules to visit youngsters in Norwich yesterday.

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Elves from Melsop Farm Park, in Scoulton, took the reindeer along to Cecil Gowing Infant School in Sprowston to meet all 180 pupils.

The children got the chance to give them a pat, feed them some carrots and ask questions about the reindeer.

Keith Stone, Melsop Farm owner, explained that Prancer was six years old and father to 16-month-old Dancer. The animals, which were kept in a pen, delighted the youngsters as they climbed up the fence to reach a carrot held by their keeper.

Imade Gray, who is seven and lives in Sprowston, said she thought the reindeer were “really clever”.

And Cecil Derer, six, from Norwich, said: “For me, getting close up is really ‘wow’. I have only ever seen real reindeer once before in my life.

“I think they are going to go back to Santa’s workshop now.”

Six-year-old Zak Pitts was full of questions and wanted to know how the animals flew and whether Dancer and Prancer helped pull Father Christmas’ sleigh. He added: “I like them because they’re really soft.”

The visit was arranged by headteacher Isabel Stubbs and paid for by the schools’ parent teacher association (PTA). Mrs Stubbs said: “I thought it would be a really lovely treat for the children. They were really excited. They were asking questions and loved touching them and stroking them as well.” Six-year-old Charlie Cubitt, from Sprowston, said she had learned lots about the animals. “I know they have very, very big antlers,” she said. “And they are very fluffy.”

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