The Unicorn is a particularly beautiful creature once widespread throughout the northern hemisphere. Known under different names in different countries, it is now popularly known by its Latin appellation deriving from unus=one and cornus=horn. The Unicornus sinoensis roams the forests of China, Japan and Indonesia; The Unicornus runiferous however, is found throughout Arabia, India, North Africa and much of the middle east; The Unicornus europa lives in most European countries; and the Unicornus alba is native to the British Isles.
Generally the Unicorn is a solitary creature. Unlike other hooved animals it does not pasture in herds but walks alone, and after a male and female come together for mating, the male resumes its solitary habit. A Unicorn colt, which is born without a horn, stays with its mother until the horn has grown to full size and the goes off on its own. The different varieties of Unicorn have specific variations in appearance, but all have the head and body of a horse, the legs of an antelope, the tail of a horse or lion and the beard of a goat. The dominant distinguishing feature is a long, twisted horn growing from the middle of its forehead.
This horn is a fearsome weapon, especially since the Unicorn itself is such a fierce and aggressive animal that can run faster than any other creature of the plains or forests. Adult Unicorns protect their territory with single-minded fury. Lions, being carnivorous, often live amicably in Unicorn territory since the two animals do not threaten each other's food supplies. However, a lion never attacks a Unicorn for fear of its great horn.
Unfortunately for Unicorns, men discovered that their horns were absolute proof against poison. If poisoned wine is poured into a drinking cup fashioned from Unicorn horn the poison becomes innocuous. Plates and serving instruments made from this priceless resource renders poisoned food quite harmless to the consumer. The rulers of the ancient world, who lived...
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