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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Unicorn in the Woods

I tell my students that I saw a unicorn once. They accept my story with solemn eyes. This is one of the traits of children that I adore so much, that they believe in the unbelievable, in the impossible. Here is my story.

One early morning, I was running down a country road a mile or more beyond where my little ranch farm is located. It was really early in the morning, and I was still wearing my headlamp to illuminate the road. The air is quiet and still at this time of day because the sun has not risen yet and the wildlife has not fully awakened to the new day.

As I ran in the darkened stillness, a sudden rustle disturbed my concentration. I whipped my head to the left to find the source of the sound and saw the most beautiful unicorn standing about ten feet from me in a thicket of brush. The creature's whiteness glimmered in the dawn's light, and it was not much larger than I am (about 5 feet tall). I breathed in sudden awe as I saw the beautiful horn that graced the creatures forehead. As I gazed upon the stunning sight of the delicate creature, the image before me altered slightly until all that remained was a small white pony.

For those five tantalizing seconds, the possibilities were amazing. That experience has stayed with me for years. Now however, I have come to accept that I really did see a unicorn. I suppose the fleeting nature of the image is the essence and nature of the unicorn, that the creature eludes our attempts to capture it. For me though, the unicorn image represents something much deeper. The unicorn represents our adult inability to believe and have faith in unexplainable things, and I believe that this is the reason that the image changed before my eyes, because I did not believe the image as I first saw it.

This is why I tell my students that I saw a unicorn once, because I believe that I did. The creature was beautiful and unlike anything I have ever seen. I want to believe that such creatures of beauty and myth do exist in my world. I need to believe that such creatures share my time and space in this universe. I need to have a strong belief and faith that anything is possible.

My young students share my belief and faith that such things are possible in the world. Not one of the students I have told my unicorn story has ever questioned the validity of my story. Instead they ask questions: what was the color like, how big was it, where did I see it, could I touch it, did I see it again. Their questions help them to share in my belief and faith that we can do and see everything if we believe we can and if we stay upon to the possibilities.

This is why I am a Suzuki teacher, because I know that there is a unicorn in the woods.


  1. I love this Paula...not just a Fairy Tale but a a time for "grown ups" to stop and REMEMBER our excitement. To ask questions and believe when things seem impossible!

  2. I had a similar experience as a child I was walking in the woods behind my house and up on a hill right in front of me one appeared out od a light behind it with a small mist rolling off the hill. But I believe that some wolves in the area were tracking me and the unicorn saved me from them it's just a theory as to why it appeared but it is the only thing I can think of for it's appearance!