ENGLAND could have a fairly easy path to the latter stages of the World Cup, if Somerset's very own psychic hamster is to be believed
Rooney and co. will be up against Switzerland, Portugal and Iran in the group stages of the finals in Brazil next year - according to predictions by hamster Mini-Merv.
The World Cup draw takes place this afternoon in the popular holiday resort of Costa do Sauipe in Bahia, starting at around 4.40pm.
And after the success of Paul the psychic octopus, who predicted the outcome of eight matches at the 2010 World Cup, we decided mid-Somerset needed a clairvoyant creature of its own to give us an early heads-up.
Staff at Thatcher's Pet Shop in Wells were more than happy to help.
They had, they told us (in between bursts of laughter), a black guinea pig who was particularly prone to predicting World Cup draws.
But once we'd arrived and lovingly set out the names for the guinea pig to chose from, the pressure proved too much to bear and he hid in a corner for 15 minutes before having a running around his pen at high speed, kicking sawdust and little paper slips everywhere.
Luckily, with more magically-inclined creatures than Hogwarts, staff at Thatcher's said they had an equally psychic hamster who could be persuaded to have a go.
However this one was more interested in escaping than football (I know the feeling...), so a third and final hamster stepped up to the plate.
Mini-Merv, as we have since christened her, was more than happy to give it a go, and after a quick spruce up for the camera and a bit of running around the sides of her tank as she tried to escape, finally noticed the slips of paper haphazardly strewn around the sawdust.
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She made a beeline for Portugal, picking it up in her teeth and dragging it off into her bed, before returning for Switzerland.
Several tense moments followed, in which she chewed off a bit of Ghana, before wandering off to the corner to have a wee on Croatia.
By this time, many of Thatcher's staff had become caught up in the excitement, and when Mini-Merv finally picked up Iran and carried it off, a ragged cheer went up.
So there you have it, folks. The hamster has spoken.
How do you fancy their chances?
A huge thank you to Thatcher's Pet Shop in Wells, for lending us their fine, psychic animals, and for not kicking us out when we explained what we wanted to do.
Video to follow.