Sunday, 15 January 2012

Searching for the Unicorns

Eileen has been round earlier. I wish she would not come disturbing my restful Sabbath-day hush - and I have a sneaking suspicion she has been to the White Horse for Sunday lunch, and is in a mood that could be charitably best described as "frivolous".

She was pestering me about the unicorns in the Bible - saying she always thought they'd died in the flood. Her theory, apparently, was that Noah didn't want any horns that sharp on the Ark in case they punctured the vessel. But she has challenged me - they clearly survived the flood, as they appear in the books that deal with the times after the flood - Job for example -
"Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?" - and so clearly we know that Job was familiar with unicorns, and that clearly they were of little use for ploughing. Not a farmyard animal, you might conclude.

But, says Eileen, if they did not all drown in the flood - where are they?

This is a serious question, and deserves a serious answer. And I note that one group of people have come to one logical conclusion - that they are invisible. And with admirable zeal they are busy trying to find the invisible unicorns. Although I can't help wondering what they are hoping to achieve here - an invisible unicorn, being shy and retiring as it must, will clearly just stay out of the way. Although it strikes me that, as these unicorn-hunters are also said to be scientific, they are clearly missing the obvious way to be certain about the presence of the unicorns. If they simply napalm the entire camp, they can be very sure that there are, now, no unicorns.

Unless, of course, they are flame-proof.

If modern unicorns are not invisible and flame-proof, then another possibility is that they are hiding somewhere that civilized humanity has not yet reached - perhaps in a lost Andean valley, in the jungles of Indonesia, or maybe a suburb of Northampton.

Or maybe they all died in Biblical times - perhaps, given their notorious uselessness, unable to plough, and that they were reputedly the size of horses - perhaps the Babylonians simply had them cast out from the face of the earth, and their hides turned into coats for rich ladies - in the same way that, I have heard, the Boticelli Cherubs were wiped from Renaissance Europe.

Eileen, in her sarcastic way, suggested that maybe the unicorns have all evolved into rhinoceri. What a ridiculous thing to say. Everybody knows that it is rhinoceroses.


  1. They're in Scotland - they heard there was going to be a vote and wondered if they could be let off having to hold up all those shields.

  2. It's funny you should say that because I think I saw one the other day....seriously. It was hiding behind the dumpster, I saw this protuberance sticking out, but because it was red and white, I thought it was an oversized candy cane left over from Christmas. Now I'm beginning to wonder......

  3. Voldemort has eaten them all of course!

  4. It's funny when when we are searching for animals that we have heard when we were still young and to know that they are not real when we grew up. They same with me, wanting to see a mermaid.


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