The Unicorn in the Garden of Eden
One day as the stone Unicorn contemplated the tip of his unique single golden horn, questions he hadn’t considered before entered his mind, “Who am I?” And “Where did I come from?”
His desire to know was so great that he leaped off his pedestal onto the grass below to find out. “Am I just a mythical creature that no one ever took seriously?” he asked the tip of his horn.
“A mythical creature? Not at all.” he heard a coarse, tiny voice answer.
His focus widened in a little jiggle of his head and he turned see an inches-tall garden gnome in a wilted, pointy cap and a long white beard. It stood smiling at him from a patch of zinnias. “Animals that are part-man and part goat and dragons that breathe fire and nasty dogs with many heads, these are mythical creatures, not a gentle animal who never bothers anyone, like you,” the gnome said.
“But I heard we unicorns are just someone’s fanciful invention, and people laugh at the mention of our name?”
“Those people are fools!”
“But if I am real, where are the other unicorns?”
“I think you need to go back to the beginning,” the gnome said. “Back to the time when there were so many new creatures running around nobody needed to imagine imaginary ones.”
“But how can I do that?”
“You’re a stone statue and you’re talking to a plaster garden gnome. How hard can it be for this author to take you back to where it all started? Especially if he’s paid by the word.”
And without another extra and unnecessary word, author magic, which is nothing if not sudden and startling, propelled the Unicorn back in time and dropped him right into the Garden of Eden. Brilliant with iridescent green trees surrounded by thick, leafy hedges and high spongy grass, the garden teemed with frisky little creatures whistling happy melodies. It was a jubilant paradise not unlike rural sections of Toontown.
Now, right smack under a plush acacia tree the Unicorn found Adam lolling in its shade eating a fig, a big fig or maybe it was a great date or a mean bean (in other and additional words, a crack snack). When Adam saw the little pony with the golden horn, he was astonished. He leaped to his feet the way astonished men always do when they are genuinely astonished and he said, “You’re a unicorn! That’s astonishing.”
“Yes, I am,” the Unicorn said, tipping his horn in affirmation.
“Where did you come from?” Adam asked.
“Well, this garden gnome asked the person writing this story to send me back here from thousands of years in the future to ask a question.”
“You can tell a writer to do that?”
“Yes, if he’s paid by the word.” The unicorn felt some guilt in betraying the writer, but the writer didn’t seem to care, and actually recorded that he didn’t care. Why should he care, in fact.
“So what’s this question that’s so important?”
“Am I for real?” the Unicorn spoke up boldly.
“Well, of course, you’re for real! If you weren’t for real, would you be able to say, ‘Am I for real?’ and stick your horn in my face like that.”
The complex existential question befuddled the little horned creature. He politely took a step back and pretended to understand, nodding his horn about like a musical conductor assuring himself and Adam that this was not a delusion. “So what happened to the rest of us unicorns?” he asked.
“Well,” Adam said, “the truth is I’m still not sure myself. Let’s see. One day, the Almighty came to me for a favor. He needed help with his favorite little horned ponies, which would be you unicorns. He was afraid you were too shy and gentle. In fact, he gave you the weapon on your snout to protect yourselves against other creatures. Remember, a lot of God’s creatures didn’t turn out exactly as he planned. The other day, in fact, he threatened to hit the dinosaurs with a meteor. Of course, He was only joking. He jokes a lot. I don’t think he’d ever really do it!”
“So shyness and gentleness are a bad thing?” the Unicorn asked.
“No! But, you see, The Almighty thought you might be TOO shy, because the truth is you weren’t multiplying.”
“Multiplying?” The Unicorn was befuddled again.
“Yes. It’s the only way to flourish here.” Adam then lowered his voice and went on: “If you don’t multiply, you disappear.”
The little unicorn cowered a moment with a gasp.
“Now, pardon me for saying so, but I’m pretty good at this multiplying business, me and Eve, that is,” Adam went on. “And so the Almighty asked me to explain to the unicorns how to be great multipliers. What can you do, when you’re, you know, gifted like that? You know what I mean!”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, I took the unicorns to the Tree of Knowledge and I showed them what this multiplying business was all about. I even had the rabbits demonstrate, they’re mad for it, the rabbits. And truth be told, the unicorns took to the idea like fish to water. They rushed away to their secret crannies to give it a go! And so, I thought that was that. Mission accomplished.”
“But there are no unicorns in the whole world.” The Unicorn was befuddled yet again. Adam, too, was befuddled. The author himself seemed befuddled (and started in on his first drink).
“All I know is,” Adam said, “when I went to the Almighty to tell him that the unicorns were off doing their multiplying, the Almighty said, ‘I hope you told them that part about adolescence?’”
“’Adolescence?’ I said to the Almighty. What’s adolescence?”
Before Adam could go on, and through a sudden clap of thunder, the Almighty blew apart a cloud cluster and roared down at Adam: “Species go extinct if you don’t explain adolescent children to them! You were born fully-grown, so you haven’t a clue! If you’d spent more time AT the Tree, Adam, instead of sitting under one, you would have known all this.”
Another thunderclap shook the heavens and the Almighty roared again, this time at the author. “Author,” he said, “I’m the Almighty and I don’t need any thunderclaps, so cut them out or I’m going to wipe out all your punctuation! Get it!” Then the Almighty thrust a finger at Adam and said (without any thunderclap, mind you), “Why do you think I had to make sex so good, Adam? So creatures would forget the period of adolescent offspring. You don’t have to be a genius to see the connection. And you call yourself Homo sapiens! More sap than sapiens, if you ask me!”
At that critical moment, the little gnome reappeared and tugged on the sleeve of the author (who, after having been scolded [and actually edited] by the Almighty, was now drinking heavily). The gnome begged the author to rescue the Unicorn from the ugly truth of its forebears’ decision that offspring just weren’t worth the aggravation.
And so, in a trice, the Unicorn, a little jangled from his encounter with the Almighty, found himself tottering atop the pedestal in the garden once again, gazing at the tip of his golden horn and pondering a mystery he would never come to understand: “What’s adolescence?” Safely back and totally inebriated now, the author ended the story with a humongous thunderclap, a really humongous thunderclap, a thunderclap that even turned God’s head for a second, the mother of all thunderclaps, in fact that actually rattled the windows and teeth of several of the writer’s neighbors. This, just so he could have a dramatic ending to his story.
Moral: Good sex sometimes comes at a high price.