An Obsession With Unicorns

I’m not really a big fan of April Fool’s Day.  Some of the inevitable pranks aren’t funny, some are downright awful, and some just make you feel sad when you realize they’re just a prank.  Also, if I’m going to prank someone I’m not going to wait until the designated calendar date to do so.

However, 2 years ago the British Library posted (on April 1st) that they had discovered a Unicorn Cookbook.  It was actually pretty awesome.

And after doing the tour of the Unicorn Tapestries at the Cloisters, I would have believed that such a book existed.  See, in the middle ages people took unicorns very seriously.  They believed that the horn of the unicorn could neutralize poisons and cure ills.  It was a big deal to have your own unicorn horn.

A "unicorn" horn.
A “unicorn” horn.

They’d all try to pass of narwhal horns as the “real deal” (although I’m sure there were people who knew better and some who truly believed).  They ground up the horn for “potions”, and used it as accents in furniture making.  They even carved the horns into cups – you know, to dispel poisons and whatnot.

They were crazy about unicorns.  So crazy that there are a bunch of woven tapestries outlining the hunt and capture of a unicorn.

How to isolate and trap a unicorn 101.
How to isolate and trap a unicorn 101.

And that’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if there really was a Unicorn Cookbook.

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