“Why not?” Chloe asked softly. “We have gerbils and all manner of other animals.”

“The teacher’s afraid he’ll bite someone – or peck them, rather,” Joshua replied. “Besides, the animals you have in the class are in small containers and Afley wouldn’t be happy in a small cage. He’d rather be able to swim and walk freely in the grass near the pond at the park.”

“Can I visit him?” the five-year-old asked forlornly.

“Yes, absolutely,” Joshua said. He stood and ushered her toward the entrance of the park. She waved one more time at her duck before they turned the corner.