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"... no place is more enchanted than where
a Unicorn has been born"
--From The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle




"The Last Unicorn You Are," said the Eagle

The grass is drenched
with crystals of morning dew
and so a baby Unicorn looks up
at his World anew.

He calls out gently into dawn's
twinkling stillness,
'mama, where are you?'

But she does not answer his wistful pleas
and so he thought he'd go find her - -
perhaps she just dozed off
somewhere beneath some shaded trees.

He treaded softly this strange and wonderous land
of twisting vines, steep ravines and rushing
streams

following instinct, curiosity and fear
and baby Unicorn dreams.

Until an Eagle took a branch
and whistled at his lonely grazing

and the baby Unicorn looked up
and said with startled surprise,
"my gosh, what are you? You look quite amazing . . ."

"Well, haven't you ever seen an Eagle before?" the mighty bird
laughed, and flew closer to be seen
and the Unicorn smiled a Unicorn smile
his eyes teary, exhausted but agleam.

"I am a Unicorn," he said with infant pride
"and I'm looking for my mama,
she looks like me.
Have you seen her anywhere around?"

And the proud Eagle in his
tortured knowlege lowered his beak
in solemn response, and said "I am sorry,
but little one stop looking.
Your mother no more shall be found . . ."

The Unicorn circled the Great Eagle,
"but what Mr. Eagle do you mean?"

"Just trust me, she's forever gone," the Eagle
replied softly,

not knowing how to tell the now-orphan Unicorn
that his mother has just this morning Died.

"I will find her", the Unicorn vowed emphatically
"if I have to search forever,
I'll cross every Ocean.
I'll look underneath every Star."

The Eagle shook his great sad head, "but you've been bestowed
a great Gift and now you must go
and be the last legendary Unicorn that you are!"

And so the Eagle cocked his head to hide his silent tears
and took Wing, careful not to look back
at the dismantled eyes that followed his sudden departure.
This Unicorn that watched with frozen grief
for hours even after the Eagle was long-gone and afar.

"But I don't understand," the baby Unicorn wailed out to Nothingness
and his piercing, mournful cry
rattled the mountain tops
and shook the forest floor

and creatures of every kind
joined in the melancholy chorus
once they knew what their sorrow was for.

His weeping continued for so long,
and was so poignant
and cosmically Sad
that it swept beyond the distant rivers,
meandering across every aching hill

an Echo forest creatures
teach their Young to this day
to listen for, because
if you stop to listen to the broken Earth
you can hear it Still.

/s.stumpf



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