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The search for the unicorn: a cautionary tale

Once upon a time, a Baron announced he had seen a unicorn! The Baron angrily stated that the unicorn had driven him from his palace (the famous “White Palace”) and would destroy the Realm! The Baron demanded the people stop working in the fields and hunt down the unicorn. For, if they failed to do so, the Baron could not return to the White Palace and they would lose their Realm.

Some believed the Baron. For days, weeks and then months, they abandoned their fields, kept the Realm in high anxiety and raced around the Kingdom crying out that the Baron had seen a unicorn and that their Realm would come to an end unless they found the unicorn.

Those who believed the Baron searched tirelessly for the unicorn. The sheriff and high magistrates throughout the Kingdom said they had already looked everywhere and found no unicorn, nor any sign of one.

The Baron assembled the knights and magistrates so that the Baron might show them the unicorn. They gathered, repeatedly, in every corner of the Realm. But the Baron did not show them the unicorn. Indeed, the Baron offered no proof that the unicorn existed. Yet some people continued to believe the Baron and devoted all their energy and effort to searching for the unicorn.

They brought blue torches, which were supposed to make the unicorn visible. But they saw nothing. They were told the unicorn left footprints on the official parchment. They examined all the official parchment. But they found nothing.

To this very day, the Baron and those who believe the Baron continue to seek the unicorn. They may never stop looking for the unicorn.

For, once you believe in unicorns, it is very, very hard to stop looking for one.

Bruce Menke


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