A to Z and U is for Unicorn

The unicorn is not in Greek mythology. Nope! It’s written in Greek history. The Greek claimed the unicorn was one of the wonders they found in India. Ancient historians elsewhere have mentioned the unicorn. Some people today want to argue that they were talking about a rhinoceros, (but a rhinoceros does not match the ancient descriptions. The only similarity is that they have one horn.)


Domenichino, Virgin and Unicorn, (working under Annibale Carracci), Fresco, 1604 – 1605, Farnese Palace, Rome.


The unicorn steed was a solitary animal. Grand and ferocious. It would charge at incredible speed. Men discovered that the horn of the unicorn was indispensable. If poisoned wine was poured into a cup made from a unicorn horn, the poison would lose it’s potency. I guess a lot of people were getting poisoned back then, so there was a pretty penny put on the price of a unicorn horn.

A rare commodity, these horns were almost impossible to acquire because the beast could not be caught, nor was it possible to shoot it with an arrow since the animal traveled so fast. Several woodsmen discovered a way to capture unicorns though and it became a fad. They found that if they

Some of those poor souls didn’t make it.

One good chap decided a better way. He took his virgin daughter and had her stand against the tree and waited. The unicorn charged but when it saw the maiden there, it trotted up to her and lay its head on her lap. With this discovery, virgins were soon in high demand. The hunters would saw the horns off of the unicorns as they were embraced by the ladies. When the virgins released them, the unicorns had no way to defend themselves against their predators, and hence became extinct.

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RWYK podcast - D.L. Gardner
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