The Last Unicorn

In ancient days the world was graced by one creature
renowned for striking beauty, gentle nature, widely said
a favorite of the gods. Tragically, it possessed a feature
that created deep within Man the desire to have it dead.

The snow-white unicorn was cursed with the gift of a golden
horn, a magnificent twisted spike arising from mid-forehead.
Soon, myth arose ascribing it magical powers. Man, emboldened
by greed for the horn, caused among unicorns untold bloodshed.

Over the centuries the number of these peaceful creatures fell
from relentless slaughter at the hand of Man until eventually it
became the rarest of animals, with continued hunting to spell
its very extinction. Still Man killed unicorns with no regret…

His arrow flies straight, hitting its mark, striking deep.
With glee, the hunter runs to where his mortally wounded prey
is thrashing all about, succumbing slowly, surely to eternal sleep.
“I have killed a unicorn! My future is assured. What a lucky day.”

The hunter, so eager for his prize, hurriedly begins to amputate
the horn while the unicorn helplessly watches. Then, suddenly,
sparkly, glittering, golden fairy dust fills the air. He hears, “Wait!
Why have you killed this, the last of the unicorns so cruelly?”

Startled, blinded by the shiny dust, the hunter says, “His horn, when
possessed, has magic which will make me a wealthy man. All know
it has aphrodisiac power in women, granting great virility to men.”
With scorn comes the reply, “Among all the animals there is no

other animal that matches the intelligence nor the stupidity of Man.
Only man would look upon a horn and imagine it to have ability to
grant Man enhanced sexual prowess! For no other reason than
Man’s ignorance, the unicorn now suffers, as shall other species, too.”

The hunter soon awakens groggy, having to struggle to get to his feet.
He walks ungainly to the nearby stream, in need of a refreshing drink.
In a calm pool, as he leans over to drink, it’s his image his eyes greet.
The realization that it is the face of a unicorn causes his heart to sink.

Harry Edward Gilleland      04.22.03