The unicorn is a legendary animal whose roots extend as far back in history as the ancient Greeks, and across varied cultures, including the Chinese, Indian, African and European cultures. Different accounts give different descriptions throughout history, but the current unicorn is described as having the body of a horse, the tail of a lion, cloven hooves and a single, spiraled horn coming from the middle of it's forehead.
I have long had a secret love affair with unicorns. I haven't let on to my friends and family of my interest because it seemed so juvenile. Perhaps it is the association between unicorns and virgins that has created the aura of fluff around the once fierce and noble beast. Or maybe it's My Little Pony's fault. In any case, modern day unicorns seem to have been relegated to being play things for little girls.
But this was not always the case. Pre-My Little Pony, unicorns were thought of as fierce, intelligent and noble. They were considered brave creatures, wild and independent. They would choose to die, rather than to be captured alive. The spirit of the unicorn was so highly regarded that it was chosen as the national animal of Scotland.
|Unicorn of Scotland on a Scottish Coat of Arms|
On Friday I mentioned how I listened to Albannach a lot while writing Finding Meara. My favorite CD, The Eye of the Storm, has a wistful, wild, rebellious quality to it, and captures the essence of this new perspective I have of unicorns.
I hid unicorns in Finding Meara by creating an animal called the Suntaria, which is half pegasus and half unicorn. I think in book two, the unicorns will be coming out for a visit. And they will be beautiful, and wild, and rebellious.