Friday 23 February 2007

Unicorns, For Aurora.

"The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown
The lion beat the unicorn all around the town.
Some gave them white bread, and some gave them brown;
Some gave them plum cake and drummed them out of town."

Aurora is the daughter of Trollop23
She asked for a little more on the Unicorns and fancy creatures

I sent the story of the Industrious Mole to my friend in San Francisco. Here's what she wrote back:
"Elizabeth, Sophie and I enjoyed your story very much. Just the thing to share over hot cocoa after a full day of ice skating on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The girls were particularly enchanted with your Unicorn horn tips and immediately gathered paper colored pencils to design a few of their own. (They plan to actually fabricate these when our ceramics workshop starts up again in April, though in red Navajo clay rather than porcelain.) They totally identified with Unicorn vanity and excess, plus chronic tardiness for appointments due to the rigors of accessorizing. We wondered if Unicorn horns are twisty-swirled, like a narwhal's tusk and certain lollipops, and decided they must be and that the porcelain tips surely screw on one-way only, thus secured against accidental loss. Otherwise how could a fashionable Unicorn build a collection?"

I replied:
Unicorns are rarely seen by humans, and then mostly by girls under the age of twelve. Sometimes, only sometimes, they will allow mothers to see them, but the mothers must not move, or even worse, say something so stupid as "Oh look! A Unicorn!" because that would be a very silly and grown up way to behave, and a self respecting Unicorn would be so embarrassed at such a lapse of manners that it would immediately become invisible and vanish. It is said, in the old writings of Ersatz, that should a grown up lady wish to see a Unicorn, she should sit, quietly, beneath a blossom covered tree, wearing a white dress, and braid flowers into a garland, She is allowed to have helpers to pick wild flowers, but she herself must be quiet, calm, and without turmoil.
If her garland is sufficiently beautiful, and fragrant, (as should she herself be), a wild Unicorn, may approach and, watching the making of the garland, forget to be invisible to her. If the lady should then see the Unicorn, she should raise up the garland, and hold it before her, at which the unicorn may approach and lie down in front of her. And then, if she loops the garland gently over the twisted horn, the unicorn will be her invisible friend for all her life.
This doesn't happen often, and most people can not lose the bustling thoughts that scare Unicorns away; reading thoughts, the gentle beasts fear worry, confusion, and crossness.
A calm person, filled with peacefulness, sunshine, and smiles, is, to a Unicorn, nicer than chocolate.
The horn of a unicorn is always spiralled, like a Narwhals tusk, -how did those girls know that? most people think they are smooth and straight. But there is a problem they may not have noticed. Some unicorns have a right-hand clockwise spiral, but a rare few have a left hand, anticlockwise spiral. Which of course will not fit a standard right handed horntip. So they need specials. Made to order. Then there is the pitch of the spiral to consider, many twists or few.. The tips do screw on, but they cannot be too tight a fit, because that might hurt, so over the last thousand or so years, the practice of putting a sort of sock of silk over the horn has developed. This packs the space , like wearing socks in shoes, so they don't fall off.
On especially festive occasions, ribboned silk may be worn. And recently, ribbon with wires in, that can be bent to shape, has become very popular. this is best worn with a horntip which has ribbon holes or loops.
It is said the very rare North American Unicorns do wear red clay horntips, sometimes with pueblo designs. Little pieces of them are often found in big museums, usually wrongly labelled.
'Thimble?' 'decorative small vessel?' 'ceremonial votive object?'
Besides, what museum curator knows anything about a Unicorn?

Older and Wiser Now, the Lion and the Unicorn are Friends

"Lives and Ladies" -Family, 1970, from 'Anyway'

Written in the Vietnam era, but so relevant right now.

Family were a British band who produced a lot of distinctive and original work, but refused to bow to their record company's demands for catchy singalong chart numbers.
They toured in the US, but failed to break into the charts there.
It's rumoured that Roger Chapman's nearly decapitating Billy Graham with a flailing mic. stand at the Fillmore East earned them a bad press they never recovered from.
Were they any good? John Lennon said in 1970 "They're the best band around"

"Lives and Ladies"

People that you send to war
Who don't know what they're fighting for
Leaving their loved ones at home
Wondering if they're on their own
Oh, if they're alone

Mothers and fathers that wait
For news of their innocents' fate
Raising a son for some years
Only to end it in tears
Oh, only to end it in tears

You being masters of war
You never knew your fathers, that's for sure
Just counting the numbers that died
I hope that you're satisfied
I hope that you're satisfied

My friend he's a salesman up in Leicestershire
His wife and baby love him, to him they're all so dear
We got talking together about some rights and wrongs
And just before I left there, I heard him sing this song:

I love my lady and baby
And I'm sure that you love yours
We want to care for each other
That's what we're here for
Yes, I love my lady and baby
And I'm sure that you love yours
So don't go pulling your switches
We don't need your wars

My friend he's a tailor up in Leicester town
He works his own shop there, and I know he's alright now
He's got his way of thinking, and know's that I've got mine
There's mostly only one thing we agree on all the time

We love our lives and our ladies
And we're sure that you love yours
We want to care for each other
That's what we're here for
We love our lives and our ladies
And we're sure that you love yours
So don't go pulling your switches
We don't need your wars

He loves his lady and baby
And he's sure that you love yours
They want to care for each other
That's what they're here for
He loves his lady and baby
And he's sure that you love yours
So don't go pulling your switches
They don't need your wars