UNICORNS AND MAN
Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
Job 39 9

Unicorns are among those rare and recalcitrant beings that refuse to be tamed or exploited. They insist on living out their own lives in those special places that must

remain wild, and they can only be brought into the dominion of man through deception. Although their flesh has never been regarded as a delicacy, it was once widely believed that their magical horns could detect poison whenever it was near, and that, drunk from the hollowed horn, a poison's effects could be neutralized. Is it any wonder that humans could not resist devising ways of capturing and exploiting the unicorn? The mystical powers attributed to the unicorn's horn are so great that this is a major factor in the near - extinction of the rhinoceros, whose horn was also prized for cures.
The existence in unicorns has been questioned since ancient times. There is a
legend that said he was the animal first named by Adam in the garden of Eden and the one most beloved. When Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden, the unicorn was given the choice to stay in the garden and never die, or to go out into the world with man where death, and all the other tribulations of the real world would occur. It hesitated only a moment before choosing to follow Adam and Eve, and in doing so, it too became destined
to a future marked by human greed, treachery, and exploitation. Most people believe the unicorn was a imaginary animal that never existed since we have never caught one and displayed it in a zoo, like all other animals. Some people believe the unicorn existed in ancient times and is not extinct. There is a Hebrew folk tale describes the time when Noah was constructing his ark. When the ark was finally finished, all the animals gathered in pairs for boarding save for two unicorns, which
independently insisted on galloping about playing games and refusing to enter their confined quarters. Finally, in exasperation, Noah lifted the gangplank and shut the doors on the unicorns.
As the rains came and the waters rose the unicorns bravely swam about for days and even weeks on end, their heads and horns just barely above the water level.
Finally, the rain ended and, after the ring dove had first returned with its sprig of vegetation, Noah let all of the birds of his ark fly out to find land. Yet there was little land to be seen, and in increasing numbers the weary birds landed and perched on the unicorns' horns. As one bird after another came to perch on them, the
exhausted unicorns were unable to swim any longer, and they finally slipped below the waves forever. Other people believe that the unicorn still exists hidden away from humans, but are on the verge of extinction because humans are unwillingness to leave enough wilderness and opportunities for personal freedom as are necessary for such an innocent and solitary animal to survive. It is obvious, when studying all the information on past encounters that unicorns have only asked us to let them live undisturbed. Unicorns, such as the Ki - lin, are wisdom personified and have sought out men to help them. They predict good fortune. They introduced writing to China. Japanese unicorns have helped judges administer justice. European unicorns have purified water so all may drink.
Unicorns have many strange abilities. But of all the things they can do, it seems we are most fascinated by their power to heal. For the touch of a unicorn's horn can
pull us away from death, toward immortality. Alicorns, the unicorn's horn are among the most powerful of magical items. They were prized by popes and kings because they provided protection against all manner of evil, including epilepsy, pestilence and poisoning. A horn set in the middle of a table would begin to sweat, or form a dew, if any of the foodstuffs had been poisoned. Even a little powder filed from such a horn was an antidote to the most toxic substances. Unfortunately for the
unicorn, the horn retains its power even without a unicorn attached which has led people to hunt it rather ferociously. In Persia, Arabia, India, and North Africa, the ferocious karkadann, so different from the gentle ki - lin was greatly feared by humans as well as by other animals. However, people would occasionally attempt capture the karkadann for its horn, which could either be shaped into a magical flute or ground up an used as an antidote for poisons.
In Romantic literature the unicorn became associated with gentle and romantic love and with spiritual purity. Thus, it was the Romantics who ultimately saved the unicorn from complete extinction, by raising the creature above the level of religious allegory and medical quackery to that of simple beauty. No longer linked with treachery, pain, and death, the unicorn was finally set free to roam the vistas of the mind, with beauty its only excuse for existing, and its innocence as protection from further harassment or exploitation. With this has come the realization that a
special sanctuary for preserving surviving unicorns may be unnecessary, unicorns can thrive anywhere that the heart and imagination are receptive to them. If we are to learn anything from the dragons and unicorns, perhaps it is that animals should not be judged by human values that is, by whether or not they are useful to us or whether or not they conform to our own ideas of beauty. There is a place for unicorns in this world, just as there is a place for dragons, and if we do not allow both these creatures to survive and prosper in some form, we can hold out little hope for our own survival. Finally, although unicorns have little reason to believe in us, the least we can do is to believe in them