Hard Times for Unicorn

Hard Times for Unicorn
Mickaël El Fathi and Charlotte Molas
Tate Publishing

Unicorns are all the rage with young children nowadays but how many have wondered what happened to the very last of them. Here’s an absolutely absurd story that offers a possible explanation: it begins in a forest in Siberia. There a young explorer captures this one-horned rarity but rather than keeping her safe, the very next day the hunter loses her to a fisherman in a card game.

A failure at fishing, the fisherman sells her to a knight who quickly passes her on to an athlete. The partnership of pole vaulter and unicorn is highly successful and the two become world famous.

A robber sees how useful the creature might be and so his gain is the athlete’s loss but before many weeks have passed, the police catch the guy in action, seize the ‘safe-opener’ and leave her in the circus and she becomes a star act … until the circus closes and the creature changes hands again … and again …

until eventually the kind narrator of this story decides that the long-suffering unicorn deserves a happy ending …

To call this book quirky is probably an understatement; it’s decidedly different from the usual sparkly unicorn kind of tale. With its twists and turns this one sees the creature serving purposes ranging from curious to practical, but always innovative. It’s likely to appeal to divergent thinkers rather than lovers of fairytale magic.

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