A living drollery: now I will believe
That there are unicorns…
~William Shakespeare, Tempest, c. 1611 [III, 3, Sebastian]
Alice could not help her lips curling up into a smile as she began: “Do you know, I always thought Unicorns were fabulous monsters, too! I never saw one alive before!”
“Well, now that we have seen each other,” said the Unicorn, “if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you. Is that a bargain?”
~Lewis Carroll (1832–1898), “The Lion and the Unicorn,” Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, 1871
The people who see them share some of the unicorn’s traits. They’re lonely, with virtuous hearts. ~Ally McBeal, “Making Spirits Bright,” 1998, written by David E. Kelley [S2, E10, Maxwell]
Despite its worldwide fame, there are those who believe there are no more unicorns. One reason people give for their disappearance is that when Noah built the Ark, the unicorns didn’t make it on board, either because they were too large, or too silly — playing games and frisking about until Noah couldn’t wait any longer.
Others think they were simply hunted into extinction.
Still others believe that the unicorns left when the world became less sympathetic to the old magic, fleeing to someplace better suited to their strange beauty.
Saddest of all are those who believe there never were any unicorns to begin with…
But here’s what I believe: wherever else they may have come from, unicorns live inside the true believer’s heart.
Which means that as long as we can dream, there will be unicorns.
~Bruce Coville, “The Lore of the Unicorn,” 1987, in The Unicorn Treasury: Stories, Poems, and Unicorn Lore, 1988
Of all the legendary animals of art, folklore, and literature, the unicorn is the one with the greatest hold on our imaginations. Other fabulous beasts — the griffin, the chimera, the centaur, the sphinx — are clearly inventions, existing only in a mythical landscape of our own collective creation. Based though they may be on some distortion of actual experience or some need of the human psyche, these other creatures immediately seem impossible, as incredible as dreams. But the unicorn strikes us as more than imaginary. It seems possible, even probable — a creature so likely that it ought to exist. ~Nancy Hathaway, The Unicorn, 1980
As it is, I am so well off that everybody pretends I am much more respectable than I really am. The truth is there is no such thing as a great man or a great woman. People believe in them just as they used to believe in unicorns and dragons. The greatest man or woman is 99
Believing in Unicorns Quotations
Original post date: 2015 Sep 21
1st major revision: 2017 Apr 22