As I walked through the forest, it was impossible to ignore the beautiful surroundings. Trees whispered to one another excitedly as they spotted a new visitor; the sun peeked through their swaying arms to splatter the forest floor with its rays. The shockingly red leaves that fell softly from the branches collected on the soft green carpet down below. Plants fought for the sun’s affection – dainty little wildflowers shied away from the squabble, tucked away in small corners. I treaded gingerly so as not to disturb the tranquility I found within this place.
But something seemed amiss. I had no idea what it was – at least at the time. There was almost no wildlife around, but still occasionally I heard rustling in the undergrowth. It was an unusual mystery to me. But still I pressed on: those strange little events had no meaning to me while I was enjoying the perfect calmness of the forest.
I had no clue what was to happen next, as I strolled through the trees into a clearing. The grass here was greener and more lush, it had been left alone to do what it liked. No-one had been around for at least several years – no humans at least. There were some strange tracks in the grass. On closer inspection they revealed themselves to belong to some sort of horse.That’s funny, I thought to myself. Surely I would have seen any horses. And these tracks are recent!
Suddenly there was a great rumbling in the earth beneath my feet. Before I could escape, a huge majestic creature stood before me. Its powerful legs were topped by a strong, regal body which thinned into a elegantly curved neck. The head… its head was held up high like a king’s, with distinct cheekbones and deep, intelligent eyes. From the middle of the forehead there protruded a single, beautiful horn.
Of course, I took in the long, silken mane and tail. But I still couldn’t believe what now stood before me. A unicorn. It seemed as surprised to see me as I was to see it!
After a long silence, it was not me who broke it. “…You’ve found my clearing.” The unicorn had a soft, female voice. She was less annoyed than shocked that I had interrupted the peace of her resting place. “And you’ve found me.” She was disappointed – if she had not sounded so downright upset, I might have rushed off and told everyone of my discovery. But the deep sadness in her voice discouraged me. This creature wanted to stay hidden. What will she be driven to do to stay this way?
…To be continued.