A short story
Dedicated to Alexa Stefanko on the fifteenth commemoration of her day of birth
You probably think me mad. To be truthful, I find it pretty hard to believe myself. But I assure you that it happened; and though I may not have the physical evidence to support it, the memory of it will remain with me 'till the Reaper himself comes to claim my weary old soul. Perhaps even after that… who knows? At any rate, allow me to impart my story unto you, that you may judge for yourself and hopefully grasp a bit of the wonder and awe that even now besieges my beating heart.
My tale begins as any other, during a rather mundane activity. In this particular case, it was getting water for the sheep. I can't conceive how anyone would come up with the idea to raise such putrid animals for wool and food, but I suppose they're better than cows. I was but a young girl of fifteen at the time, and the Allies had just won the war against the Nazi regime, though the Americans were still off fighting with the Japanese.
They'd even begun reconstruction in London, the papers said, but in truth, that hardly mattered to a country lass like myself, off on a farm in the Scottish country side, with naught but sheep, my family, and a few of the more appealing village boys to keep me occupied. That is, until that particular day I was watering the sheep.
It started as what I at first took to be a trick of the mind. A white blur kept grazing itself along the very edges of my peripheral vision, though there was nothing there when I tried to check the validity of my fragile senses. This went on for about a minute, after which I heard a rather loud crash from the opposite side of the grain storage. My first thought was to call my Da', but based on the previous phenomenon I'd experienced, I decided on investigating myself. Setting down my pail, I walked around the silos, only to gasp in astonishment at what lay tangled in the myriad ropes, buckets and other farm accessories my Da' stored there.
Struggling to free itself from the tangle was a real live unicorn! It was colored a blinding shade of white, though intricate patterns of the most beautiful colors I'd ever seen danced along its muscular body as it moved. Its horn was the daintiest shade of coral pink, so translucent that it appeared to be made of the most fragile of glass. However, judging by the deep gouges it was making in the dirt with it, I would not have been surprised to learn if it was made from diamond more than anything.
I admit I could do little but gawk for a good long while before it popped into my head that the creature needed help in its release. I reached down to stroke its neck in an effort to calm it, but it jerked away at my every advance. Giving up, I undid the tangles around its legs (with some difficulty as I was obviously still forbidden to lay a finger on the beast) and watched as it scrambled gracefully to all fours again. It stood staring at me for a moment, meeting my awed gaze. To this day I'll never be completely sure what it was searching for in my eyes (or past them), for it soon broke away from the eye contact, sweeping its glittering horn in a graceful arc as it bowed.
Its thanks bestowed; it disappeared in a white blur, a belated gust of wind following its departure. It was then motor functions ceased to exist and I collapsed in a heap on the ground. When I woke up to the bucket of water I had left by the sheep pen prior to my little adventure being flung in my face, I couldn't be sure if the apparition I had witnessed had been a reality… but as the distant sound of my father asking if I was alright began to crash in upon me as my hearing returned, I noticed a small sparkle in the grass to my left, where the unicorn had lain. I small pendant in the shape of a unicorn; made of the same rosy material the unicorn's horn had consisted of.
Oh, did I say I didn't have any material evidence? It must have slipped my mind. I'm getting old now, after all. Anyways, that's my story as best I can remember it. With luck you'll think I'm a tad less senile than you did before I told it, and who knows; maybe you'll encounter your own unicorn one day. Anything is possible if you believe it to be so.