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In art, the unicorn, a mythical creature with a horse’s body and a conspicuous long horn on the forehead, often appears in white.  Several websites display Italian painter Domenico Zampieri’s illustration (1581 – 1641) A Virgin with a Unicorn as the header image.  The Flemish tapestry The Lady and The Unicorn receives honorable mentions.

Every year new species of a few organisms are discovered.  Have unicorns ever existed?  Millennia ago it was probably a rhinoceros (endangered), or a deformed or injured antelope left with a single horn.  Human imagination, religious zeal, and hyperbole transmogrified these palpable animals and gave life to unicorns endowed with fantastical physique and magical healing power.

A Squishmallow stuffed toy with Hello Kitty’s face, sprinkles, and a unicorn horn

In the 1980’s, Hasbro, re-imagining unicorns and their ethereal existence, introduced their My Little Pony toy line.  Not only is the coat no longer monochromatic, the horn is shortened to bestow unicorns a less bellicose disposition. 

Par Avion ‘Unicorn Tears’ tea package

Last year, via a department store’s website, I purchased Par Avion’s Unicorn Tears solely to qualify for free shipping.  It never occurred to me to write a post about this blend of green tea, rosehip, blue pea flowers, blue cornflower petals, and hawthorne fruit; not until after I watched Babette’s informational video T Ching Writers Meeting recorded on July 11, 2021, in which Jennifer mentioned “purple tea.”

Par Avion ‘Unicorn Tears’ loose tea

That same day I prepared Unicorn Tears (not purple tea), accentuating acidity with lemon and taking photos of the end product in wine glasses.  I could not bring myself to savor it even though purple is my very favorite color and Par Avion guarantees ingredients of highest quality.

The myth of neither the two-dimensional medieval unicorns nor the plastic toy unicorns captivates me.  Unicorns ignite catharsis only when I listen to Mi Unicornio Azul written by the legendary Cuban poet and singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez Domínguez.  I once asked my Peruvian colleague to translate the lyrics. Although he declared loss of Spanish skills, his translation was almost identical to the website’s, from which I cut and pasted below my favorite lines.  A composition is a masterpiece when it can be translated not only easily but also beautifully to any other language.

How or who or what is the blue unicorn in your life? 

My blue unicorn,
I lost it yesterday,
And this could look,
Maybe, like an obsession. 

But I have nothing more
Than a blue unicorn
And, even if I had two of them,
I only want that one…

Three wine glasses with unicorn tears tea, each in a different color, in a row

Images provided and copyright held by author