ROBERT VAVRA'S SUGGESTIONS FOR SUCCESSFUL UNICORN
1. Do not use clothing or carry personal items made
of leather or of the bodies of dead animals.
2. Do not use perfume, cologne, hair spray, deodorant,
mouthwash, flavored toothpaste, or insect repellent, or be marked with
the strong scent of tobacco or spirits. If your person has been tainted
with any of these odors, grind up several fistfuls of wild mint leaves,
and with the residue, scrub the body from head to foot.
3. Do not carry a gun, knife, bow and arrow, blowgun,
crossbow, hatchet, or ropes or nets.
4. Do not carry, for your food, anything produced
from dead animals (luncheon meat, chicken, tuna, and the like). Fruit
such as avocados, figs, and kiwis may actually enhance chances of sightings.
5. Do not whistle, whisper, hum, or play a radio.
6. Walk normally, but slowly. Do not sneak like
a predator or a creature who is up to no good.
7. Once near an area that unicorns are known to inhabit,
do not ride, or be accompanied by, an equine. Dogs, unless very well trained,
should never be taken along. Never travel in the company of more
than one adult. Unicorns are much more tolerant of children; so,
if these are kept reasonably quiet, the company of two or three will not
limit chances of sightings.
8. Once a unicorn has been sighted, do not cry out
in joy, surprise, or fear. Never call to the animal or offer food, as is
the custom with bears or deer in national parks. If the stag or doe
should disappear on the spot, do not run forward to search for it; it may
suddenly reappear, and you will find yourself face-to-horn with a large,
slightly irritated animal.
(N.B. There is no record of an
unprovoked unicorn attack in the wild.)
9. Do not fish, especially using live bait, in waters
where unicorns have been observed drinking.
10. Do not build a fire in unicorn territory unless
you are literally freezing to death.
11. Study the ground for unicorn footprints. (Suggestion:
Make a photocopy of the drawing in this book so that, once in the field,
you will not be confused by similar spoor.) Never attempt to take
a plaster cast from hoofprints. If you do, you will eliminate every
opportunity of ever seeing a live stag or doe.
12. Study carefully the four basic symbols of communication
(see below). Never alter or try to remove one of these bark scratchings
or make a rubbing from it, or you will never meet the animal who etched
13. if, by near-miracle, you should see a fawn (which
has underdeveloped horn sonar and is not yet adept at disappearing), never
give chase. Not only is there not the slightest chance of catching
one of these lightning-fast creatures, but you will anger any adult unicorn
in the vicinity.
14. The wearing of camouflaged garments, such as those
used by hunters and soldiers, is of no advantage, since what determines
acceptance by unicorns is a matter of the heart, not of the clothing The
key to successful observation is believing. If positive vibrations are
transmitted, some reader may well discover that there are other races,
and even subspecies, of Unicornuus.
15. For observation after sunset, a light intensifier
is extremely helpful.