I am reluctant to attempt to write anything about these beautiful, almost sadly mythological creatures. However, I know some people who read this blog are expecting (perhaps demanding) them for the letter U. They have told me so.
There are two reasons for my insecurity. One reason is that I am pretty sure they do not really exist, but I am uncertain whether most people agree with me. The second reason is that too many people from age five to fifty (and more) know more about unicorns than I do. Fine. But none has stepped forward to write this post.
Unicorns have been described since antiquity as a horse-like creature with a single large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead. They were depicted on ancient seals and have been mentioned in many old historical accounts, Greek (not mythology) and otherwise. The re’em, of the Bible is translated to unicorn in some versions.
In European folklore, unicorns are described as a white horse-like or goat-like animal with a long horn and cloven hooves. In the Middle Ages they were described as wild woodland creatures, symbols of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin. Some say a unicorn’s horn can purify poisoned water, making it medicinal to heal sickness.
Long ago, Greek writers of natural history were convinced of the reality of unicorns, which they believed lived in India, a distant and fabulous realm for them. Leonardo da Vinci even wrote hunting instructions, which look like a ploy to get your girlfriend to go hunting with you.
The unicorn, through its intemperance and not knowing how to control itself, for the love it bears to fair maidens forgets its ferocity and wildness; and laying aside all fear it will go up to a seated damsel and go to sleep in her lap, and thus the hunters take it.
The unicorn is the symbol of Scotland. It was chosen because it was seen as a proud and haughty creature which would rather die than be captured (liberty or death?), just as Scots would fight to remain sovereign and unconquered.
My proof that unicorns exist can be found in New Braunfels, Texas (USA). The mascot of one of the local high schools is the unicorn. Thus, students are unicorns. So, they do exist in human form. There are a few other schools who have the unicorn as their mascot, but such a mascot is rare.
For the record, I love unicorns. No one should doubt that. I only say or write good things about unicorns, and my disbelief in them is a myth (ignoring my earlier comment).
Now, for a bit of unicorn bathroom humor. This is primarily for certain friends and family (they know who they are), and those among you with such bizarre taste in hilarity.
Look both ways for unicorn.
If you see one, and you are a virgin, try to capture it.
Mind the uni-gaps.