Elder offspring: Nocturnal animals are much cooler than diurnal ones.
Dr. Free-Ride: Why do you think nocturnal animals are cooler?
Elder offspring: (with a look of exasperation) Because they get to stay up at night!
Dr. Free-Ride: (to self) And sleep during the day ...
Elder offspring: And, bats -- which are my very favorite nocturnal animal -- use echolocation so they don't fly into things. They make these sounds (makes a high-pitched screechy sound) an' the sounds bounce off of objects, an' the bats listen to the sounds coming back to them, and then they know where the objects are so they won't run into them.
Dr. Free-Ride: That must be really handy in the dark.
Elder offspring: Or even not in the dark, if your eyesight isn't very good. It would be fun to be a bat.
Dr. Free-Ride: Do you think bat children are better listeners than human children?
Elder offspring: Maybe not at first. But after bumping into a bunch of things, they'd learn to listen pretty quick. Some bats eat fruit. Other bats eat bugs, or even blood. I would be a fruitbat.
Dr. Free-Ride: That sounds like fun.
Elder offspring: There's one more thing that I wish I didn't have to tell you, but it's true: Sometimes bats get eaten by owls.
Dr. Free-Ride: Hmm. That part doesn't sound like fun.
Younger offspring: (digging through a box of old drawings) My favorite nocturnal animals are raccoons. What's yours?
Dr. Free-Ride: Uhh ... chinchillas? Are chinchillas actually nocturnal?*
Younger offspring: The song says they are.**
**The use of chinchillas described in the song would never get IRB approval, so don't try it at home!
UPDATE: For those (like my mom) skittish about downloading appropriate plug-ins to experience the song, here are the lyrics.
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When my daughter was little, we celebrated her birthday by paying for special animal presentations at school. There's the Lizard Lady (excellent) and Bat Ma'am. Whee! I love bats. The Lizard Lady is in San Francisco, but travels. I think Bay Area Parent mag has ads.