At times, they take a special enjoyment in jumping over
sleeping dragons or some of the other dangerous creatures of their native
||Unicorns like and need privacy, open spaces, and clean
environment for survival. Unicorns walk in a graceful and delicate
manner, carefully placing each foot down in such a way as to avoid trampling
on flowers, small insects, or other animals. They will sometimes
make large detours in order to avoid confrontations with other more belligerent
creatures. When in a hurry they trot, and when frightened they gallop.
Besides trotting, they are also able to make unusually long jumps when
running. These may cover as much as twenty feet and enable them to
cross small rivers or roads without getting wet or leaving footprints.
When playing, unicorns delight in jumping over one another, over fences,
or over other tall objects.
possible danger, this is especially true of mothers guarding
their fawns. On hearing such a sneeze, the fawn will lower its head
and fold its ears back, so that
|Like other hoofed animals, unicorns rest and sleep
while lying on the ground with their legs folded in against the body, with
the body tilted slightly toward one side and the head turned back toward
the rear. This way, their legs are always almost directly under them,
allowing them to leap to their feet in an instant. Not even newborn
fawns sleep completely on their sides, or with their legs out from under
them. With the slightest sound their ears are turned in the direction
of the noise, and their large eyes scan the distance for any danger.
When alarmed, resting unicorns utter a small sneeze like sound that alerts
other nearby unicorns to possible danger, this is especially true
of mothers guarding their fawns.
dusk, and often follow these nursing periods with bouts
of playful running and jumping, when they resemble lambs gamboling about
in the fields. As they grow older, they gradually reduce such periods
of play, and young males begin to engage in mock sparring sessions with
other youngsters, in anticipation of their later jousting over mates.
||it becomes almost invisible in the grass, and it remains
thus until its hidden mother calls to it. The unicorn doe tries to
lead danger away from her hidden foal. Unicorns rise early in the
morning, often before sunrise, and graze until the sun is well up and the
insects become annoying. Then, at least on hot summer days, they
retire to the densest part of the woods to rest and nap until late afternoon.
Then they rise to graze again until dark, or even after dark on moonlit
nights, finally going to sleep about midnight. Baby unicorns nurse
off and on throughout the day, but especially at dawn and
In combination with fully raised ears, a lifted tail signals
danger, and a side to side flicking of the tail indicates pleasure or contentment.
||Besides their alarm "sneeze," unicorns have a variety
of other calls or signals that they use for
communication. Babies have a soft, bleating
call with which they answer their mother's "contact
call ". This contact call is used by the mother to
reassure her fawn and keep it informed of her
location, even when they are fairly close together.
Both adult and young unicorns have a distress call, which brings other
unicorns to assist their fellows. Unicorns have an "all clear" call to
inform others of the departure of any source of danger, especially if there
has been a sneeze call alarm. Unicorns also use their tails to communicate
|For much of the year, unicorns
live a fairly easy life, for they eat many kinds of leaves and grasses
that grow in abundance in the European forests. In the spring and
summer, when plants are in full bloom, the animals are careful not to eat
the blossoms of particularly beautiful flowers. This is partly because
they do not like to disturb the flowers' beauty and partly so that they
will have fruit or berries to feast on later. They are very fond
of many kinds of berries, such as wild strawberries, and also enjoy crab
apples and wild cherries. Sometimes, unicorns will shake or strike
fruit laden branches with their horns or stand on their hind legs in order
to reach the fruits they crave.
and where they can reach grasses by digging down into
the snow with their hooves or horns. At this time of the year they
must be very alert to predators like wolves, which can run over 50 ft snow
easily and quickly overtake a fleeing unicorn. However, unless it
is badly outnumbered, a unicorn is able to keep wolves at bay with its
sharp horn. Even under such conditions a unicorn will try not to
kill the wolves, but only to frighten them away.
|By late fall, after the last fruits have been eaten
and the leaves have fallen from the trees, the unicorns have grown very
fat and are well able to endure the winter months' limited foods and cold
temperatures. Unlike deer, which form herds during the winter, at
least after the short fall mating season, unicorns continue to live their
solitary lives. During winter, unicorns move into thicker forests,
where the snow does not lie as deeply
After unicorns are no longer able to reproduce, they tend to wander about
in the woods, rarely seen by anyone, and sometimes travel great distances.
Perhaps these old animals with the wanderlust account
for the occasional sightings of unicorns well beyond their known ranges.
They have been seen in places as far south as southern Italy, and
even as far away as Alaska and Canada. They apparently reached North
America by crossing the Bering Strait on icebergs.