Thursday, June 12, 2008


So, over in Europe people are seeing unicorns again:

'Unicorn' born in Italy

By Malcolm Moore in Rome

Last Updated: 4:01pm BST June 11, 2008

A roe deer with a single horn in the middle of its head has found fame as the "Unicorn" of Tuscany.

The 10-month-old deer was born in captivity at the Centre of Natural Sciences, a nature reserve near Prato.

While single-horned deers have been spotted before, this particular buck has a uniquely central horn, thought to be the result of a genetic flaw.

"This is a demonstration that the fabled unicorn, which we all know from icons and legends, probably was not just a fantasy.

"It was probably an animal like this one, with a natural anomaly," said Gilberto Tozzi, the director of the centre.

Mr Tozzi added that the twin of the buck has two horns.

The mother of the two deer was brought to the park several years ago after being hit by a car in the Apennine mountains.

The mythical unicorn was thought to have healing powers and was generally depicted as a horse with the cloven hooves of a goat or deer.

The earliest mention of the beast was by the Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC.

In one notebook, Leonardo Da Vinci suggested unicorns could be captured using a virgin as bait.

Mr Tozzi said the Tuscan unicorn was also remarkably elusive.

"Our deer might be aware that he is a little different.

"He doesn't let himself be seen very often" he said.

He advised visitors to "arm themselves with binoculars and a lot of patience."

Last year, a hunter in Elma, New York, photographed a stag with a third horn protruding from the front of its head.

Do people in the modern world even know the mythos of unicorns any more? Do people know that unicorns can only be touched by virgins?

The writer Harlan Ellison—who’s written a few things about unicorns—once said that he doesn’t find them very interesting, that he’d be more interested in a modern kind of unicorn, a unicorn that could only be touched by non-virgins. A tramp slut unicorn.

Ellison’s still alive. Now that people are seeing these creatures again, maybe Ellison will get out his typewriter and get to work . . .

There aren’t many topics that just make me smile without causing me to get all thoughtful and introspective and reflective and all those kinds of things but this is one of them.

About the only thought I have on this topic is that of the women I know, I think that the women who would most enjoy petting a unicorn are probably, umm, disqualified from doing so.

Too bad.

I’m guessing that petting a unicorn would be, umm, magical and fun and relaxing and all sorts of cool things.

Oh well.

This weekend will be the US Open golf tournament. I’m sure that will be magical and fun and relaxing and all sorts of cool things, too . . .

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