We'd just started on our neighborhood walk when the woman across the street called out, "Hey, my husband saw six deer in your front yard at three last night." Gary speculated the deer must like the tasty, tasty nitrogen TruGreen's been spraying on our lawn.
Every night since she told us there were deer in the yard I've found myself awake at three. I always check, but no deer. I blame Gary's subconscious for what happened later that same night.
He woke me up at two."Ellen! Wake up! The animals are fighting in our backyard."
I immediately asked, "Is it the deer?"
"No, it doesn't sound like a deer. Come listen."
I listened out the back door, but of course all was silent. He then insisted he was listening to his iPad through his earphones at two a.m. when he heard animals screaming in the yard. He took off the earphones, and heard the sound of animal flesh hitting the ground, more screaming, and some rustling.
He added, "It sounded like something smaller that a deer, but bigger than a cat. Like a raccoon. But I don't see isn't any blood or fur, so whatever was being attacked must have crawled away. Or maybe some animal flew away with the body. Like an owl."
And from these words grew what I will in later years call the Legend of The Owl-Raccoon Beatdown in The Backyard, in which Gary saw (with his own eyes) an owl swoop down, tussle with a gang of raccoons, land some round-house kicks, and fly off with a screaming raccoon in its talons. I will weakly protest that neither of us saw a thing, but will be shouted down. He saw it, he was right there!