An astonishment a day- 
drives your depression away...

Unicorns and the reason for their extinction. 

A long time ago, unicorns were quite popular. They were known in China, Japan and Indonesia as Unicornus sinoensis, in Europe as Unicornus europa and in the British Isles as Unicornus alba. In the old literature of these nations, there are many detailed writings about this beautiful animals, they ways of life and ways of hunting them. According to these writings, the unicorn quite resembles a horse in its build. It has the legs of an antelope, the tail of a horse or a lion and the face of a donkey. From the center of its forehead, grows a sharp, straight, spiral shaped horn that is dangerous for it's hunters, but extremely attractive due to its powers in preventing and treating all kinds of poisons and poisonings. It is an immensely aggressive animal that would charge at any enemy with its sharp horn. It was so fierce, that even elephants were scared of it, and for this reason hunting for unicorns was a very risky business. The method of hunting that was used consisted of the hunter standing in front of a large tree and waiting motionlessly for the unicorn to charge at full speed. At the last moment the hunter would move and cause the unicorn to embed its horn in the tree, thereby getting stuck. The helpless unicorn then became the victim of the hunter. Unfortunately, the hunter did not always manage to move in time, and would fall prey to the unicorn and also get stuck to the tree. 

The story goes that a certain hunter once went hunting with his younger sister. With amazement, he noticed that in the presence of virgins, as his sister was still a virgin, the aggressive animal, quite radically changed its behaviour. It started fawning over the girl, and delightfully placed its head on the bosom of the girl. It then became easy to kill it for its valuable horn. 

From this time, the tactics used to hunt unicorns underwent a radical change. Beautiful virgins were sent into the woods where unicorns lived. The unicorns could not resist their pull towards the virgin and were able to sense them through smell, or as others believed, they were drawn by the sight of the virgins bosom. Thus the enchanted animal shed its wildness, played with her, cuddled her, climbed up onto her lap, and finally fell asleep, as shown in the Giorgione's picture. The hunter could then take the animal as his own. Source do not make clear whether a virgin could only entrap a single unicorn in her virginal life, but it is more than probable, due to the nature of things. 

From this time, the hunting of unicorn became much simpler, but the price of the horns did not drop as the numbers of unicorns declined rapidly, until their eventual extinction. In essence, virgins are the cause of the extinction of this valuable animal, and began the still continuing trend towards the extinction of the more interesting and most valuable animals. This trend is likely to continue as long as virgins continue to exist. 

The unicorn, though, has left behind numerous cups in museums (which have all turned out to be fake), it is written about in the literature of many countries, and has been immortalized  in many paintings and sculptures, sometimes of great artistic values. The unicorn has also become an element of beautiful manuscripts, and family as well as national coats of arms. 

[TZE03::111];[QNT05::061]; QAB3293p127,82;[RIO75::119]

(presumably) Giorgione (c. 1500)

embroidery from church in Adelshausen (c. 1310-1320)


(C) (selected from publications of 
 R. Antoszewski

Titirangi, Auckland, 
New Zeland

Jan.  2003

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