Last night, Spousal Unit, Kaelin, and I were watching a movie, and I heard a very loud... thing outside.
I was fairly certain it was a bird. After its first few calls, I tuned it out, and we watched another twenty minutes of the movie. But during a quiet segment, I realized it had been making noise the entire time.
I paused the movie. "Do you guys hear that?"
They most certainly did. It sounded kind of like a tiny horse - the noise was very akin to a whinny, and very loud. Being the Adventure Squad that we are, we went outside to investigate.
Lately, there have been many cars parked on our street because of nearby construction. For some reason, I thought maybe one of them had a trailer and had left a foal in it overnight. But this is Madison. Even though we saw a guy use the bike lane for his horse one day, I'm pretty sure there aren't people with horses in the nearby area. (But there are cows who contribute to Babcock Hall ice cream.)
I went outside expecting to find a tiny, tiny horse. But I wasn't expecting to find him in a tree.
After a moment of wandering, we realized the noise was coming from a tree branch right above the house.
A horse with wings, I thought, while immediately dismissing the idea.
The noise also made us worry that it might be some kind of baby animal who'd lost its mother, or mother who'd lost her baby animal. It was a very sad sound. I scanned the nearby street for roadkill because, you know, I'm sympathetic like that.
We went back inside and Kaelin used the miracle of the Interwebs to discover that it was not, in fact, a baby horse with tiny wings. It was an Eastern Screech Owl, which, as you can hear via the link, sounds remarkably like a tiny sad horse.
I still have the flutter ponies Morning Glory and High Flyer in my mom's basement somewhere. When I discovered it wasn't either of them in that tree, part of my childhood died.
And now I know she's not real and never will be.
Damn you, Eastern Screech Owl with your sad little horse voice. Damn you.