The Unicorn

The saintly hermit, midway through his prayers
stopped suddenly, and raised his eyes to witness
the unbelievable: for there before him stood
the legendary creature, startling white, that
had approached, soundlessly, pleading with his eyes.

The legs, so delicately shaped, balanced a
body wrought of finest ivory. And as
he moved, his coat shone like reflected moonlight.
High on his forehead rose the magic horn, the sign
of his uniqueness: a tower held upright
by his alert, yet gentle, timid gait.

The mouth of softest tints of rose and grey, when
opened slightly, revealed his gleaming teeth,
whiter than snow. The nostrils quivered faintly:
he sought to quench his thirst, to rest and find repose.
His eyes looked far beyond the saint’s enclosure,
reflecting vistas and events long vanished,
and closed the circle of this ancient mystic legend.

Rainer Maria Rilke

2 thoughts on “The Unicorn”

  1. Turns out unicorns were quite real and existed within human prehistory.
    https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/discover/animals/prehistoric-animals/siberian-unicorn-fossil-discovery-humans/

    Of course, they weren’t dainty white horses with horns but rather a variant form of rhino.

    It was 1.8 metres tall, over 4 metres long and weighed more than 4 tonnes! It was covered in a shaggy coat and earned its nickname from the huge horn that grew out of its forehead – cool!

    Researchers are now trying to discover how the creature was able to survive so much longer than others of its kind.

    “Most likely, the south of Western Siberia was a refuge, where this rhino persevered the longest in comparison with the rest of its range,” said Andrey Shpanski, one of the scientists investigating the fossil. “There is another possibility that it could migrate and dwell for a while in the more southern areas.”

    Note that several of the earliest human civilizations arose to the west of that region.
    Odds are unicorns made for “good eatin'”. 😉

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