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A Glory of Unicorns
Introduction
A Gathering, A Glory

It is a game among people who love words to come up with appropriate terms for groups of animals (or humans, for that matter.) Thus we speak not only of a herd of cows or a gaggle of geese, but also a pride of lions, a knot of toads, and a quarrel of lawyers.

To this list I propose a new addition: A Glory of Unicorns.

Of course, one unicorn is glorious in and of itself. But when you have several of them together-well, that is something else indeed, a thought (or a sight, should you be so lucky) to lift the heart and make it sing.

A glory.

Why this should be so is an interesting matter. I know that I have loved the idea of unicorns for as long as I can remember, imagined them, dreamed of glimpsing one, or even better, befriending it. I know, too, that I am not alone in this, since wherever I go I meet fellow unicorn lovers.

But why is this so? Why do so many of us yearn for unicorns? After all, in this fast-paced, high-tech world, there wouldn't seem to be much room for such beasts. Yet you find images of them everywhere, on posters and coasters, coffee mugs and greeting cards. You can buy them shaped from crystal or pewter or ceramic, rearing back or resting, galloping, flying, soaring.

My guess is that we seek them not merely for their beauty, even though they are more than beautiful enough. I think they call to our hearts so strongly because they represent something sadly lost; their very presence sings of the ancient wonder pervading the natural world, a sense of wonder hard to hold in these modern times. Underlying our desire for unicorns, I suspect, is a longing for purity, a memory of magic, an aching need to recover innocence. In their horns, their eyes, their very being, they carry the hope of healing, the promise of grace.

But beware! That wonder and that healing and that grace do not come without a price, as many of these stories will tell you. For this in not a book about sappy unicorns. The writers of the stories that follow know magic is tough, love hard and demanding, and unicorns not as easy as some of us might like to think; neither safe, nor sweet nor simple. Following the unicorn path requires all the strength, patience, and courage you can muster. Unicorns expect sacrifice from those who love them-and from those they love in return.

But if your heart is bold and your spirit true, the rewards can be great indeed.

Downright glorious, in fact.

So take a deep breath and turn the page.

You'll find a glory of unicorns, waiting to sweep you away.



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