PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: On East Somerset Street, in a clean and roomy paddock next to a tire shop, in the shade of a giant weeping willow, lives a fat and contented pony – the Pony of Port Richmond. His name is Albert, but everyone calls him Coco.

Coco does not bite or kick. He is patient and gentle with the neighborhood children and the many passersby who stop to gawk, who abide by the sign on the tire shop’s gate: “Please, do not feed the animal (Horse). Thank You.”

He does not flinch even when the cargo trains rumble past, or when the red rooster whose coop abuts his paddock crows. He enjoys these quiet days on Somerset after hard years of abuse in a carnival.

He is owned by a sweet and gracious tire salesman named Kazem Nabavi. “Kaz,” as his many loyal customers call him, lavishes Coco and all his animals – chickens and roosters and pheasants and even peacocks – with care and affection, because they remind him of his treasured childhood in the ancient fortress city of Shushtar in Iran. There, as a boy, Kaz and his friends galloped Arabian horses through the fields and along the streams and rivers, playing out favorite scenes from the movies of John Wayne. MORE