Most children that read books (or have books read to them) and/or see movies, have likely come across unicorns in the stories. Unicorns are fantastic mythical creatures that are shrouded in legend. There are so many tales about unicorns, in fact, that they are just too numerous to mention! Plush unicorn stuffed animals are now so popular in fact, that parents should not be surprised when their child asks for a plush unicorn instead of a standard teddy bear.
Given the myth and magic that surrounds unicorns, it’s no wonder that plush unicorns are very popular toys amongst children. Unicorns have the body of a horse but have a single spiraling horn that grows out of their forehead. The image most familiar to us is the one of a classic looking white horse (with the horn), but a traditional unicorn has a beard like a billy-goat, a lions tail, and cloven hooves. Plush unicorn stuffed animals look like the classic horse but come in a variety of sizes and colors.
A unicorn’s horn was sometimes referred to as an ‘Alicorn’ and was very valuable. As it was more expensive than gold, only Kings and Emperors could afford to buy them. The horn was in great demand as it was reputed to promise a long and healthy life, however, coming across one that was completely intact was rare; bull horns, goat horns and even dog bones were often used as poor substitutes when the real thing couldn’t be found.
The horn was also considered magical and was used as ingredients in medieval medicine. It was so revered, in fact, that just its presence was considered protection from poison that may have been found in food. In addition, when the horn was worn in jewelry, it was said to protect the wearer against evil. Given a plush unicorn is the next best thing to the real animal, imagine what a child could dream up if they had one.
Unicorn sightings throughout history have been rare but allegedly go back as far as Adam and the Garden of Eden. It has even been reported that Confucius, Alexander The Great, and Julius Caesar, have all seen one. With a plush unicorn, mysterious [and rare] sightings would certainly not be a problem for its very lucky owner!
While we may not think of a plush unicorn as the same sweet and cuddly teddy bear that children often turn to for comfort, any child will certainly feel the urge to to wrap their arms around this curious creature for some instant love. Even though they don’t exist in the real world, they are very real to a child. With all the love a child has to give, their is certainly room in their heart for a plush unicorn.