It came to me faintly, at the blurry edge of consciousness in the middle of deep, dark night—quizzing my sleep-fogged brain.
“Is that an owl?” the sound asked.
“By God, I believe it is!” my brain answered, incredulous.
Hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo, with an upswing on the last note, the distant call repeating every ten seconds or so, filling up places in me I didn’t even know needed filling.
I lay there in my cozy suburban bed-nest, drinking in the ancient sound, then got up and opened the window so I could let more in.
It came to me maybe ten more times, then ceased—or maybe slumber reclaimed me.
I hadn’t heard a real live owl since I was a kid. Don’t really remember ever hearing one; maybe I took it for granted back then.