“U” is for…


Unicorns

We’ve all seen them, these beautiful white horses with their single horn. These magical creatures are probably my favorite mythical being (along with water sprites and dryads). They’ve appeared throughout history (they are even mentioned several times in the Bible).  Most recently they’ve appeared in movies and literature such as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Legend, Stardust.  My favorite book dedicated strictly to this magnificent creature is “The Last Unicorn” by Peter S. Beagle.

It is about the story of a unicorn who, upon learning she is the last of her kind, goes on a quest to find out what happened to all the other unicorns of the world. She learns that the Red Bull has herded all of her kind to the ends of the earth. Along her way to Haggrad’s (the keeper of the Red Bull) castle, she is captured, set free, made human, and eventually comes face to face with the Red Bull. It is a beautiful story of the loss of  innocence and coming to terms with regret and our own mortality.

The book was made into an animated classic in 1982 and features the vocal talents of Alan Arkin, Mia Farrow, Robert Klein, Angela Lansbury, and Christopher Lee to name just a few. If you have children between the ages of 9 and 12, I highly recommend this book. The film is not Disney-esque.   It was produced by Rankin/Bass and is unique in its animation style. The soundtrack is performed by America.

I hope you give the book and the movie a try. It is a beautiful story.