Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

The Extinction of Unicorns

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Unicorns thrived hundreds of years ago. They were fantastic creatures, ones with gleaming white coats and flowing manes. Unicorns lived in all parts of the world and traveled often. However, there was a heavy concentration of them in the Americas. The unicorns were attracted to the fertile plains, the open air, and the abundance of other wildlife. They could gallop from the East Coast to the West in one day, scaling the mighty mountains, adapting to the thinnest air with ease. To remember the day of the unicorn is to remember a time of peace and innocence, of blissful naïveté; a time that is long past and will be nevermore.
The unicorns traveled in large herds and were always helpful to the other creatures. Because of their kindness, the unicorns were never preyed upon and lived very long lives. There were three distinct things that differentiated unicorns from the other common creatures of the forest. Firstly, unicorns could adapt to their environment in very noticeable ways. If a unicorn needed to fly across the ocean, it merely needed to sprout a pair of wings and off it went. If it needed to pay a visit to its cousin, the sea horse, the unicorn could instantly grow some gills and flippers. However, they did prefer their natural horse-like form. Secondly, unicorns were comprised entirely of innocence, and only those who possessed it could see the unicorns for what they were. Those who were jaded could only see common horses in the unicorn’s place. Unicorns could not survive in an impure world. Luckily, this was not a problem in the days of the unicorn. Thirdly, unicorns did not always have horns. They developed them after a very unfortunate event.
The unicorns lived in the forests for thousands of years. Then, one day, a new creature arrived in the forest. It wore tight pants and gaudy colors. It preyed upon the deer and the birds. Frightened, the unicorns ran deep into the forest, but the strange creature pushed forward as well. At night, the unicorns snuck back and learned about the new creature. They learned that it was called man and that it had come from all the way across the sea.
At this time, the unicorns were close friends with the squonks, small forest creatures covered in blemishes and boils. The squonks embodied every trait that the unicorns did not. The squonks believed the men to be trouble, but the unicorns hoped that the men would see the error in their ways and change; however, the men’s behavior only worsened. Their greed for power and land was insatiable. The unicorns hoped that the men would soon leave, but they began building towns and inviting more and more men to join them. The squonks had a very low tolerance for change and decided that disappearing was a better alternative than the fate that the men would bring, so the entire population dissolved into a puddle of tears. The unicorns then became the only magical creature in the forest. They had a more optimistic outlook than the late squonks, and so they found ways to adapt to man being in the forest; they stayed out of man’s way, and tried their best not to be seen. For years they existed like this, coming out at night and trying to protect the other creatures. Then, one day, man started to chop down the entire forest. Soon, the unicorns had nowhere to hide. They were forced to come out during the daytime. Man, with his impurities tainting his vision, mistook the unicorns for horses and began capturing them. Man whipped them brutally when they did not submit to the man’s wishes, and their coats became stained with blood. Seeing their bloodied friends, the remaining unicorns developed a spear, like the ones the men had, in order to protect themselves; it grew, like a horn, out of the top of their heads. Thus, the legend of a giant horned horse, the unicorn, began. The small children, still innocent, of the town saw the herd one day and began telling unbelievable stories of horses with spears atop their heads. The unicorns were peaceful creatures, and did not want to use their horns for evil, so they all retired to a cave, and decided to hibernate until the men left the forest.

One hundred years later, the unicorns awoke. They were weak and their coats no longer shone. They waited until nighttime and then traveled out into the world. They had to step carefully over empty beer cans and pizza boxes. The unicorns travelled for hours on hard, cold roads littered with the carcasses of the other forest animals; a graveyard strewn with their friends. The unicorns then entered a world of lights and colors. Neon signs flashed, assailing the unicorns’ eyes.
“Liquor – On Sale Now!”
“Girls Gone Wild Tonight!”

“50% Off All Lingerie!”
Grey metal structures loomed over the unicorns. They tip-toed further into the strange world. It looked to be a town, but one much more threatening and menacing than the one’s the unicorns had seen in the past. Men shuffled past them, carrying briefcases, brows furrowed, heads down. Women stood at the corners, trying to flag down men as they went by. They wore little clothing. The unicorns walked past two boys, exchanging items. The boys looked very nervous. They cast glances over their shoulders, but did not see the unicorns. No one saw them. This puzzled the unicorns. A voice came from a box in a window.
“Bomb dropped over Nagasaki. Millions dead.”
The men had ruined the innocence the world had once thrived upon; they had killed millions of their own kind. Terrified, the unicorns ran back into the forest. Their gilded hooves carried them far beyond the landmarks they had become accustomed to and into a world of desert and plains. There, they grew tough, thick hides, but kept their long horn for protection, because they now knew what the men were capable of. However, the men wished to drive the spirit of the unicorns even farther out of the world, and have hunted them for their horns. As time passed, the unicorns lost all of their magic and beauty. They have become rhinoceroses, visible to all, innocent or not. They still retain their horns – the last thing that reminds the world of the innocence the unicorn once stood for.



Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

mayhangz said...
Dec. 4, 2011 at 10:22 am

Heart touching! Now i feel guilty. :(

 

 
kadyladystone This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 9, 2010 at 7:24 pm
Definitely an interesting idea and surprising ending. Very creative. I wish the style was a little easier to connect with and get sucked into, but pretty good overall. If you want, check out my article when you get the chance. :)
 
Site Feedback