As an exercise in literalism it was almost perfect. A runaway bull ran amok - not in a china shop - but an antique store.
The animal escaped from an auction market next to GB Antiques Centre in Lancaster, Lancashire, on Monday and barged its way into the shop, which was packed with 200 people.
The centre's owner, Alan Blackburn, said yesterday he was ready for all the "bull in the china shop" jokes he would hear, but insisted the experience was terrifying. "What we have to remember is that a woman was injured and for the other customers it was a frightening ordeal," he said. Police had to shoot the animal in order to save customers and stock - china and all. It was herded to an area of the centre and blocked in using two antique organs before a police marksman opened fire. A woman was treated in hospital for a bruised shoulder after the incident. "Hundreds of items will have been destroyed, at a cost running into thousands of pounds," Mr Blackburn said.
Mr Blackburn said he had spoken to the husband of the woman who was injured and: "She is in considerable shock. But it could have been worse."
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "It was decided the bull posed a risk to public safety and it was unwise for attempts to be made to capture the animal. A decision was made that the bull should be destroyed."