Subject: Re: Dart-Thornton (was Australian

Ven vendersleighc at
Tue Jun 25 14:54:10 EDT 2002

Kathryn wrote 

On Mon, Jun 24, 2002 at 11:01:04AM -0600, Melissa

Proffitt wrote:
> I was wondering if perhaps an Australian 
unicorn might look different from
> the "traditional" image.  Sort of the way 
Oriental dragons are different
> from Occidental ones.  (Okay, some of that is 
because they come from
> different traditions, different mythologies, 
but still.)  Or an African
> unicorn.  I could easily picture an author 
digging right down to the roots
> of what makes a unicorn a unicorn, and 
rebuilding it from those foundations
> in the shape of some other country or climate. 

I don't know how
> well-accepted it would be--some people are very

picky about their fantasy
> settings--but it might be an interesting 

<Wow, what an interesting idea!>

It is indeed an excellent idea

<Tossing some thoughts....

One could have a black unicorn, like the black 
swans, but I think that
would be rather inauspicious.

Or the Australian Unicorn could be something of 
surface resemblance,
like the Australian Magpie which, while it looks 
like a European Magpie
in that it's black and white, has quite different

behaviour (and the
most beeaaautiful song, which I gather the 
European Magpie does not).
So, it could be that the deceptively Australian 
Unicorn could have
completely different properties like, er, singing

like Sirens or
something... ah but that would make it a bit too 
like the Kelpie,
wouldn't it...?>

Perhaps it is a pouched mammal ......... little
unicorn joeys would be way cute and just imagine
looking after an orphaned one (I'm getting lots
of ideas here........).

Another way of looking at this is that the
Australian unicorn could be something which is
not immediately recognisable as a unicorn. Take
the kookuburra (there's a Witch Week reference
there), to my European eyes it's an absurd brash
comedy bird. Then, last year, I found out it's
related to the kingfisher -- and the resemblance
it's obvious once you know, but the kingfisher is
a breathtakingly beautiful little killer and the
kookuburra is a, well, I already said.

<But if we're talking building from roots,
say that the Unicorns
came over with the Brumbies, and walk in the 
wilds like they do, nimble
and wild, the colour of sandstone and heat-haze, 
seen, but not seen, in
the dappled shade of the trees...>

That is so cool. Those silver brumbie books
(which used to make me cry buckets) were the
first thing I thought of when I read the original
quote. And I would just like to mention zebra
unicorns and (spelling?) Pryzwalski's horse


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