Standing outside the rhinoceros enclosure, Billy tried to hide his distress from his friends. It was in just such an enclosure that his parents had died when he was only four years old. He could still see the rhino’s breath hanging in the cold air as they clung to one another in fear. Of course, they had actually died from the effects of the virulent plague they carried whilst the rhino was distracted by the arrival of a pair of unfortunate parachutists – his best friend Suzie’s parents, as it turned out. They had been gored to death by the rhino whilst, in the sky far above, the plane they had jumped from exploded in mid-air, killing the pilot and co-pilot, who were his friend Nate’s mum and dad respectively.
‘You okay, Bill?’ asked Suzie, laying a hand gently on his shoulder.
‘Yeah,’ said Billy. ‘Just... you know.’
‘Yeah,’ said Nate, looking wistfully at the clouds above them. Just then, Naomi came back from the toilet, grinning broadly.
‘My parents should be here to pick us up soon,’ she said cheerily. ‘I love coming to the zoo.’
‘Shut up, Naomi,’ said Billy.