“Uh-oh.” Char stared at the cracked stone. He hadn't meant to break it, just to grab the worm crawling across it.
“Charlemagne Ezekiel Finch!” His mother huffed up, her crest fluffing out in annoyance. “What did you do?”
His foreclaw drew little squiggles in the dirt.
Char's mom let out an aggrieved sigh and sent a pulse of energy into the stone. After a little popping sound, the rock looked just like it had before her son happened to it. “I can't take you anywhere.”
She rubbed her beak against the back of his ears. “It's okay, hatchling. None of this is real. But be careful.”
“It's not real?”
“Nope.” She draped a wing over her son to steer him over to the board that explained the exhibit. “See, it's a replica. But there really is a place like it in the Dull Realms. And a flock of humans built it without any magic at all. Isn't that amazing?”
“You guess?” She bumped her shoulder against his. “You can't even clean your room without magic.”
“Yeah, but why would I?”
The elder gryphon shook her head. Some days she really wondered why she aviary-schooled her child.