Sometimes it feels to us like the parent's role in a child's education is one of eternal vigilance.
It is possible, however, that the Free-Ride offspring are more actively engaged in messing with their parents' heads than are most kids their age.
Dr. Free-Ride: Did you learn anything interesting today?
Younger offspring: Uh huh. We learned about the quack and the moo.
Dr. Free-Ride: About the duck and the cow?
Younger offspring: Mmm-hmm.
Dr. Free-Ride: (slightly impatient with the lack of content in the answer) So you learned that the duck and the cow are mortal enemies?
Younger offspring: Mmm-hmm.
Dr. Free-Ride: Bent on each other's destruction?
Younger offspring: Yes.
Elder offspring: Oh really?
Dr. Free-Ride: That's really what they taught you?
Younger offspring: Uh huh.
Dr. Free-Ride: (calling to the next room) Did you hear that? They're teaching them in school how the duck and the cow are mortal enemies, bent on each other's destruction.
Dr. Free-Ride's better half: At least our children is learning.
Dr. Free-Ride: Oh, is they?
Elder offspring: "Are they." We're not LOLcats.
Younger offspring: I learned it in music class.
Dr. Free-Ride: Well, there you go. I'm relieved you didn't learn it in science class.
Younger offspring: Ducks and cows are both solids, right?
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Only the Mooloominati are supposed to know about the Eternal War of the Ducks and the Cows. Now your children will have to go into hiding, or the Moofiosi will get them.
Noted Zoologist Paul Simon had this to say about that:
Monkeys stand for honesty.
Giraffes are insincere.
The elephants are kindly but they're dumb.
Orangutangs are skeptical of changes in their cages
And the zookeeper is very fond of rum.
Zebras are reactionaries,
Antelopes are missionaries.
Pidgeons plot in secrecy
And hamsters turn on frequently.
What a gas you got to come and see
At the zoo.
It's well known the mice commissioned and paid for the Earth. They're just fine-tuning the parameters. Next week, as part of this on-going adjustment process, the bananas will mutate into penguins and wrestle control of the volcanic springs from ninja grapes.
"Younger offspring: Ducks and cows are both solids, right?"
Not bad for someone young enough to refer to them as the quack and the moo at first.