May/June 2005


We have now reached the center of that year that serves (to me anyway) as the exact middle of the very first decade of this new Century.

And yet, wasn't it just yesterday that we were starting to write these columns? It can certainly have been but a short span of time since my brothers and I first stood behind the Book Again counter with our Mom (Sheryl to you) to begin this little retail experiment...

Ah, how swiftly fly the years...

To put things in perspective, a child born when the first June Folklore column appeared would now be turning eighteen years old!

Staggering - Impossible!

And true just the same.

In honor of that child, wherever they may be, I offer a chestnut from our first June Column, which saw print back in 1987...


Unicorns evidently originated in India.

The first known references to them occur in Greek writings dating from 400 BC. However, legends concerning this creature abound throughout the world, from China (where the first Unicorn is supposed to have occurred in 2697 BC) to America (the first European explorers to set foot in Florida reported that the natives wore Unicorn horns around their necks). As late as the 17th Century such "horns" were among the prized possessions of Kings, Dukes, and even Popes.

One can be reasonably sure that such beasts do not exist today, but one must not be so hasty to ridicule the possibility of their existence at one time.

None other than Julius Caesar, during his conquest of modern day France, actually saw one, and wrote of it in his otherwise historically verifiable accounts of his exploits in that region. He described a huge beast in the form of a stag, from the middle of whose brow a single horn protruded.

A Unicorn was sighted at Mount Sinai in the 14th Century, and references may be found to this fabulous beast in many Syrian writings, as well as the Bible itself.

But who today would believe it?