This past weekend the kids went to a birthday party in which a traveling petting zoo was featured — ponies, llamas, bunnies, and other cute fuzzy animals. Totally awesome party and great idea. But it has resulted in a days-long “pet campaign” sponsored by a super party PAC that rivals Obama’s: our adorable children.

I can almost hear the chanting in my sleep: WE WANT A PET!

Niki and I are not so open to this idea. Sounds like just another time, cleaning, and financial responsibility we just don’t want to assume. So the kids are lobbying hard.

On the way to school, they took it up with Niki. Now, for some context for this conversation, please note that “Papa” is my dad, a stereotypical wild Alaska outdoor man — live off the land, eat what you kill, light a fire with a single wet match, avoid people. You get the idea.

So, here it goes:

Button: “Dad, Siah and I really want a pet. We want a rabbit. They are so cute and cuddly. And really soft. We’ve been really responsible lately, so we should get a pet.”

Niki: “A rabbit? We can’t get a rabbit. If we get a rabbit, we’ll kill it and eat it. Rabbits aren’t pets, they’re food.”

Button (totally indignant): “We are NOT eating a rabbit! That is so wrong! We don’t EAT pets! Dad, think of it like this, a rabbit costs $50. Say you and Mom buy us 4 bunnies. Then when they grow up to rabbits, Siah and I kill them. That’s $200 of rabbit! You would be so mad. And y’know why? Because you and Mom could buy rabbit meat for a lot less than that at the store. That’s why we DON’T EAT PETS!”

Siah (equally indignant): “Yeah, Dad. What if you and Mom got a cute little puppy for your anniversary? And then when it got older, Sissy and I killed it and ate it and threw its bones in the sewer? You wouldn’t like that very much, WOULD YOU???

Button: “That’s right, Dad. We don’t kill pets. And we don’t eat them either. [Short pause] …And when Papa comes to visit, WE’RE GONNA HAVE TO HIDE THE BUNNY!!!”