1: I saw a hawk today. I don’t know what kind it was. It was small like a falcon, with a striped tail, brown everywhere else.
2: A sharp-shinned hawk?
1: Probably a sharp-shinned hawk. Why was it named for a feature that’s impossible to make out from a distance?
2: It might have been named in an era when people shot birds to identify them.
Child: I don’t want people to shoot birds.
2: Oh, people don’t shoot birds so much these days—unless you’re Dick Cheney.
Child: What’s Dick Cheney?
[Explanation of Dick Cheney shooting birds and shooting people in the face.]
Child: I hope he shot a parrot.
1 [alarmed]: Why do you hope he shot a parrot?
Child: Because he would say, “I’m going to shoot you, parrot!” and then the parrot would say, “I’m going to shoot you, parrot!”
1 [laughing]: That’s a sick joke!
Child: What’s a sick joke?
[Explanation of what is a sick joke.]
Child: And that’s how he would learn, some animals are annoying.