As Ben, Lisa and I were gathering ourselves up to head to bed, Ben told me to open the window next to where I was standing in the bathroom. He waited a few moments, then asked, "Can you hear them?"
I hadn't managed to open the window, so Lisa offered a different solution, and chatted with me as we walked out the back door, onto the small porch.
In the distance, I heard shrieks. Shrieks and calls and howls and whines and laughter from a pack of coyotes sounding from the cemetary which was just beyond the next copse over. I listened, becoming more fascinated and more terrified by the moment. Lisa was unaware of my growing unease, and listened to the changing timbre of the coyote song. "Sounds like it might be a kill," she commented, increasing my unease even more, "listen how many there are."
Now, the adult part of me knows that coyotes don't walk up to houses and attack adult humans off the porches. That same part knows that any loud noise would scare off all but the biggest of the pack. That I was standing near dear friends who would beat off any coyote attack the way I would unflinchingly fight for the two of them.
But the small child terrified of the loud monster under the bed, the one who slept downstairs when the rest of her family slept upstairs, the one who's vivid imagination caused a decade of sleep problems, SHE wasn't so sure about those coyote sounds. SHE hustled back into the house, grabbed her toothbrush and headed for high ground.
Yeah, nature's nice, but sometimes the doses work better from under the covers in a locked house.