There was a time, the child was told,
When unicorns ran hundred-fold
And hid, then flew, then hid again,
But no one said exactly when.
The date that unicorns arrived
Could not from legend be derived
And neither did the stories say
Precisely when they went away
Now, most of us would be content,
Not knowing when the last one went,
But to the child it seemed to be,
At best, unsatisfactory.
No matter how it asked around,
No answers had the poor child found.
So, spurning other media,
The child asked Wikipedia
The Wiki pages understood,
The creature was a force for good,
But nowhere did they really say
When unicorns had passed away.
The child began to smell a rat,
Society was not like that;
It liked its histories cut and dried,
Recording when things lived and died.
Which led the child to speculate
On unicorn's eventual fate;
If no one saw its final fall,
Perhaps it didn't die at all.
The instant that this thought occurred,
The child could see it was absurd,
And there the matter should have lain,
And never come to mind again
that's an easy thing to say,
At least while in the light of day,
But after dark the wisest schemes
Lie conquered by the power of dreams.
The natural world enthralled the child,
So naturally its dreams were wild
With birds and beasts in many dreams,
In forests, mountains, lochs and streams.
The unicorn at first was small,
And hardly even there at all
With scruffy coat and wobbly horn,
As if it was just newly born.
It flickered in and out of view,
Then slowly, as the magic grew,
And ancient memories stirred inside,
The unicorn solidified.
At once it saw what had ensued,
And bowed its head in gratitude
Towards the child who sleeping lay,
Then spread his wings and flew away.
Such tales as this, one often finds,
Discomfits normal tidy minds,
And even after counting sheep,
This story may not let you sleep.
So boldly tell the tale again,
Recounting every why and when,
But softly, like a lullaby,
Then you will sleep - and I will fly
Copyright Allan Bantick December 2017