Unicorns! Creatures of innocence and purity, beauty and goodness...
These days unicorns are mostly... pastel. Pink creatures little
girls like. But the unicorn legends from the past are much less washed out. While they're still symbols of innocence they
are not such symbols of foolish childhood.
In medieval times people believed unicorns really existed.
They were in the Bible, which people took as ultimate truth. Also they were mentioned in books called bestiaries, the field
guides of that time. The bestiaries called unicorns ferocious beasts so strong they could only be killed, never captured alive.
How did they get from ferocious beasts to creatures of beauty
like Sunstar? ...I dunno, my little book didn't say! Maybe the people back then needed an ideal to believe in...
Legends sprang up and the unicorn's abilities grew.
The best known legend is that of the unicorn and the maiden.
Where hunters could not catch the unicorn by force, a pure young woman could, for her innocence would so fascinate the unicorn
that he would come and lay his head in her lap. Then the hunters could come and take the unicorn. From here come the hundred
stories of girls who loved the unicorn and saved him from the hunters.
The unicorn's horn of course has many powers. It can purify
water and cure poison and many diseases. In The Last Unicorn, the horn can open locks as well. True horns were said to have
such purity that poisonous creatures would die if brought into contact with one.
The legend began, and grew. But then men turned from mystery
to cynicism, and the unicorns fled to another world, or the wildest places in our own world, or into the sea. And only their
images lived on for the unicorn maidens of earth to see. So any who wished to please young maidens wrote the unicorns into
stories and painted them into pictures.