Tonight, on the way home from family December birthday #2 of 5 (you read that right, folks), Philip said, “We need to go to the zoo and get a camel for us to keep and we can call it Jazz-a-Gazz.

“Yeah!” Tess shouted.  “A camel.  For me!”

“No.” chimed in Max.  “We need to go to the zoo to get a camel for a pet and name it Jap Gap.”

“A camel?” I just needed to clarify.

“Yes.” was Philip’s emphatic response.  “So can we? Can we go to the zoo tomorrow and get a camel for us to keep?”

I laughed.  “Um . . . ” I mean, what do you really say to this?  And this is the first real request for a pet – you don’t really want to poop in that bowl of ice-cream, if-you-know-what-I-mean. “I don’t think so.  We don’t have a zoo in town, so no camels . . .”

“But yes we do!” came Philip’s indignant reply. “We’ve been to a zoo before and saw a camel there.  Camels do live in zoos!”

“I know.  But babe, that zoo was a long ways away, remember?  It took us a trip to go there.”

“It was in Denver.” Thanks, Max.

“But we could go.  And we could bring it home . . .how would it get in our house?” Philip directed this to Max, the all-knowing brother.

“Well they are tall . . . we might have to get it to bend down.  Do they bend down?” I didn’t have a chance to answer before Philip was dreaming again.

“And we could take turns riding on the humps!  The two humps.  I would let Tess go first.” He said this knowing it would win him points.  He’s notoriously stingy with his sister, though today he asked her to dance with him which was like a real live Christmas miracle. “Then Max and then me.  But first we have to get a camel and get it in the house.”

From here the conversation took off rapidly between he and Max with Tess shouting “A camel?  For me?!” intermitently.  Quickly the discussion turned to poop and where the camel would relieve itself and what it would eat.  Could it poop on the grass? Could it maybe eat our grass?  So much to find out!

In the end, they were distracted by the neighbors Christmas lights that seemed to dance along with the Nutcracker suite that was playing on the radio. Then by the fact that their mother magically knew the words to “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”  The camel was forgotten – for now.

*Excuse the heavy use of italics in this post.  We really do talk like that around here.