a chicken, a hypnotist, a bicycle theft

Shop Blunder Stops Chicken-Hypnotist Tour

Tue Jun 25,10:11 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - An Alaskan chicken-hypnotist who cycles around the world with a traveling circus has ground to a halt after a charity clothes shop in Scotland sold her bicycle by mistake while she was in the fitting-room.

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Emily Harris left the $1,800 bicycle leaning on a mannequin inside the British Heart Foundation shop in Edinburgh while she tried on a shirt. By the time she came out the bike had been sold for $15.

"I went into shock. I started shaking and I said 'what a lot of' with some expletives attached a few times," Harris told Reuters on Tuesday.

She said the shop staff apologized profusely but did not give her the proceeds of the impromptu sale.

"We're hoping the person who bought it will have the decency when he realizes the mistake to bring it back," said Jo Hudson, a spokeswoman for the British Heart Foundation.

"Someone's got an incredible bargain unbeknown to everyone including our unfortunate shop attendant."

Harris had built the bike herself around a German-made frame while working in a bicycle shop in New Orleans and had ridden it across much of the United States and Canada as well as Spain, France and Britain.

The 25-year-old from Palmer, Alaska, was touring Britain with a group of bike-riding circus artists who perform for children, financing their travels by busking in town centers and parks.

Harris performs as a fire-eater, puppet-master and concertina-player but her star act consists of hypnotizing chickens and making them play the piano, she said.

She was hoping the person who bought the bicycle would realize the mistake and return it to the shop, but failing that planned to request a working visa to make enough money to buy a new one.

"My plans are put on hold until I can get a bicycle. I can't do anything without one," she said.

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