So I'm driving Firstborn to school this morning, and there's a little clunk on the top of the car. From the back seat, Firstborn says: "I know what that was."
"Oh?" I ask, though I have a pretty good idea of what it was already.
"It was little branch and maybe an acorn." This is pretty much spot-on. Our neighborhood has a lot of trees. Having acorns fall on the car is the price we pay for shade. So...
"That's true," I say. "Or maybe... maybe that's just what the squirrel ninjas want you to think. Maybe they've been trained to sound like acorns when they land. So we think it's nothing but a falling acorn, but secretly there are a dozen squirrel ninjas riding on the roof of our car!"
Firstborn considers this. "What kind of masks do you suppose squirrel ninjas wear?"
I should say something about holes for whiskers, but I don't think of that until later. "I don't know. What kind of weapons do you suppose squirrel ninjas carry? Little squirrel ninja swords? Maybe squirrel ninja whips?"
"Rockets," says Firstborn. "They probably have rockets on their back so they can fly up to the tops of buildings and things."
"The probably do," I agree. "They're probably just riding on top of the car so they can save their rockets for when they really need them."
"Maybe they're riding on the car so they can take electricity from it. Maybe they're using electricity from the car to power up their rockets."
"Possible," I say, considering this. "It wouldn't hurt the car if they did."
"It would just have less electricity," says Firstborn.
"As long as the engine was running, it wouldn't matter. What sorts of missions do you think squirrel ninjas go on?"
Firstborn thinks about this. "They probably battle ninja porcupines."
"Probably. Ninja porcupines are pretty nasty."
"All those spikes. I'll bet they're really hard to fight."
"Yeah," says Firstborn. "Their only weak spot is their face." He considers further. "And their bottoms. And their legs."
...And then we turned off at the school, leaving me with a brain full of visions of little ninja squirrels, scampering here and there in their long-standing competition with the porcupine ninja clan. In my mind I can see the battles... the training montages... the sneaking along tree branches... the explosive acorns... the young squirrels following at the tail of the master to learn the innermost secrets of fuzzjutsu... and, of course, the secret squirrel ninja village in some unsuspecting human's attic.
Maybe I'm just nuts.