(The photo of a Burrowing Owl has nothing to do with the story, other than it’s another cute owl)
“Malkolm, wake up! There’s an owl,” shouted Wendy. I opened my eyes groggily. “Whoo-whoo whoo whooo,” boomed a Great Horned Owl.
“You aren’t supposed to wake me up for Great Horns” I snapped.
“No, there was a different kind of owl,” she persisted. ‘Woof woof,’ barked a distant dog. “Oh, sorry. I woke you up for a dog,” she apologised. I rolled over and fell back asleep. But soon Wendy yelled again, “Owl! No, it was an owl this time but it’s gone. I heard a dog flying overhead, then I realized that dogs don’t fly. But the owl had gone, so I woke you up.” I shook my head as I lay down again.
We spent the next night camping in the San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area. Again the owl drama continued. I awoke to the sound of a different owl. “Hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo whoohooh-h-hoo.” It started as a regular monotonous hooting, but then accelerated. It sounded like a Western Screech Owl, a bird that I was worrying about missing on our year. “There’s an owl,” I said.
“I heard it,” Wendy said. “But I didn’t wake you up, in case it was a dog. I didn’t want to get ridiculed again.”