It's a mourning dove, right? ... WRONG.
That my friends, is the sound of fear.
Once upon a time when I was probably 5-ish and Nicole was probably 2-ish, we decided we wanted to swing on the swings in our back yard. Mom put us on the swings, gave us each a little push, and then went inside to fold laundry. Tami and Jackie were at school, and I wasn't used to being alone in our back yard without an older sibling or an adult. I was already particularly nervous being out there at all because our neighbor's 20 billion cats sometimes walked along our fences, and they scared the bejeebees out of me.
I tried to ignore the cat possibilities and focus on the task at hand. As I was swinging away, ready to dart at the first sign of a cat, I remembered that a nasty possum lived in our back yard. It made it's home in the crack between our fence and the neighbor's house. I began obsessively watching the fence as I swung, because even though I had never actually seen the thing, I just KNEW that at any moment, the evil possum was going to climb out and start harassing me. The more I thought about it, the more likely it was that the possum knew that me and Nicole were out there unsupervised. We were sitting ducks! I froze on my swing. It could attack at any moment! And then, right when I thought I couldn't take it any more.. I heard this sound:
And I assumed it must have been the possum, howling at me through a hole in our fence. I booked it out of there as fast as I could, leaving defenseless little Nicole for possum food. I ran back into the house, relieved to have escaped the clutches of the wicked rodent who had taken over our backyard.
I was inside for a couple minutes before my mom walked into the living room and noticed I was there. She looked at me, horrified, and talk-squeal-scream-asked me where Nicole was. I shrugged my shoulders and told her she was probably still outside. She looked at me and asked-said "You left her out there all by herself!?!?" ... as if I had just knowingly fed my little sister to a monster (which, technically, I thought I had).
She ran outside and came back in with Nicole in her arms. Nicole may have been crying. That part of the memory is foggy. But I know I got in trouble for it. And from that day forward I refused to ever play in the backyard without an older sibling or parent. I knew the possum would never dream of showing its ugly face if someone bigger was outside playing with me. As I got older, I decided that the sound I kept hearing couldn't have been a possum, so for the second half of my childhood I assumed the sound came from a friendly little owl that lived in my neighbor's palm tree. Still a little creepy I'd say. In real life, it was a dove. But every time I hear that freaking dove call, a shiver still runs down my spine. Gew.