A mum in Staffordshire had her worst fears confirmed this morning when, cleaning under her son's bed, she found, to her horror, what can only be described as 'a mucky book'.
Karen Low-Cal, 46, from Stoke, made the grim discovery as she hoovered underneath the bed of her son, Child C, at around 0800 GMT today. She said she hadn't suspected anything 'untoward' beforehand, and would be questioning him when he got home from school.
The book, a copy of Charles Dickens' Bleak House, was badly worn, with yellowed pages and a ripped spine. Several of its pages were loose, and some may even have been missing. The brown-coloured cover was extremely dated and thick with grime, and its overall appearance was, according to Karen, "tatty".
It's not clear how the mucky book came to be in the possession of Child C, but it may be that he picked it up from the local library, which has a large selection of old classics by famous authors.