Everyone has a story to tell.
This is the story of how Rhadia became part of the herd on Unicorn Island. (©SunBlind)
Alidus was walking slowly along the beach, lost in his own thoughts, when a small butterfly fluttered up to his face and landed on his horn. At first he thought little of it, butterflies often enjoy being near the unicorns on the island, their favorite place to sun themselves was on the tip of a sleeping unicorn's horn. But this butterfly was not interested in the day's warm sun. Once again taking flight it fluttered frantically before Alidus, forcing him to stop in his tracks.
Though Alidus could speak the language of many animals, butterflies and their insect kin do not speak as the animals of the woods do. They were silent, speaking through their movements more than anything else. Alidus tried to understand why the butterfly was so agitated but none of his suggestions seem to satisfy the little creature. Finally, frustrated, Alidus asked the butterfly to show him something that might help explain what was wrong.
The golden-winged butterfly hesistated a moment, as it too could not completely understand the unicorn, but soon started to fly towards the woods with Alidus following. Where the trees turned to brush and tall grasses grew near the edge of the beach it stopped, hovering above one particular point. A gust of wind nearly blew the little creature away, but it also parted the grass to show a strangely coloured object hidden there. Alidus went forward towards it carefully, not sure if it was alive or something dangerous created by men. He pushed the grass aside with his horn to uncover an egg!
Alidus, though he himself had hatched from such an egg, did not know what manner of creature was contained inside, though the magic he sensed from it was great. He sent the butterfly to bring some of the herd elders and so he was left alone with the egg.
He waited for what seemed like hours, often wishing that butterflies were more swift or that he had sent a bird or fleet-footed animal in its place. A few sounds coming from the inside of the egg made this wish ever so much stronger. Though dragons and unicorns were not enemies, a hungry hatchling was something Alidus did not want to have to deal with. And so he waited with an unknown egg about to hatch.
The wait was not a long one, a small piece of shell fell to the ground near his hoof. Alidus watched with wonder as a tiny horn appeared at the newly created hole. Moments later a crack appeared and a minuscule hoof came free. Then the shell seemed to just shatter around a beautiful unicorn hatchling. She began to shiver in the cool ocean breeze so Alidus lay down beside her to give her warmth and comfort. She cuddled up close by his side and was soon asleep underneath his thick mane.
Alidus himself had fallen asleep by the time the herd elders returned with the exhausted butterfly. Al gathered to look at the sleeping pair, no one daring to disturb Alidus till he roused himself. As he had been the one to find the foal, Alidus was given the responsability to care for her, one which he appeared reluctant to take but inwardly his heart jumped with joy at those words. He named the filly Rhadia. As he spoke her new name her large eyes opened to look around. Her horn, unlike Alidus', was twisted and her lion's tail ended in a tuft of hair. This she kept neatly curled around her body. As some of the younger unicorns crowded to see the newcomer better, she tried to hide behind Alidus, wide-eyed with fear. He lowered his horn in warning, telling them to give her time.
Time passed quickly and the shy little hatchling grew into a fun-loving youth, playing tag with anyone and everyone she could get to chase her. Often Rhadia would ask Alidus to bring her to the beach at night for she loved to watch the starlit sky for hours. Alidus once asked her what she saw up there to be so fascinated by it. There was no doubt that he loved the glittering stars but obviously they held a wonder for the filly that the others did not share. Rhadia replied that the stars told her stories that she would one day be old enough to tell the rest of the herd. But she still forgot parts and had to have the story told to her again. Just as Alidus was about to ask who told her these stories, Rhadia galloped off calling back that he was "it".
So, the stories forgotten, Alidus still watched over the young filly but she was getting older and no longer needed to have someone by her side to go to the beach at night. This was an enchanted island and few things would dare harm a unicorn, only the rare dragon or gryphon would pass by for a short period of time, but all these creatures understood that now was the time to be friends as magic had faded enough alread. No more losses due to foolish animosity could be permitted.
Alidus soon saw a change in his young charge. Rhadia had become distant and preoccupied. Occasionnally he would ask her what troubled her so, but she always managed to avoid the question until one night he found her alone on the beach. He decided that he would have his answer now. And the answer suprised him.
Rhadia turned towards Alidus, her large liquid eyes looking directly into his. "Is it true," she asked. "That humans have all but fogotten us, that we are nothing more than fairy tales from a time long ago? That except for the rare secluded valley or isolated island, there is no magic left in the world? That unicorns and dragons and other creatures of magic no longer roam freely? That men write myths about us which are then sealed away in a book in some forgotten library?"
Alidus could do nothing but nod that this was indeed so, and gently nuzzled her. "Fear not, for all is not lost. Unicorn Island is not the only sanctuary for our kind. And not all humans have forgotten us. Magic still lives in the hearts of many if they would but look within them. The only danger is that they forget that their magic is real, and that it was and still is with us. Many still write of unicorns and dragons. And all forgotten libraries are one day found anew. The secrets contained between the covers of those books are not gone, just lost till someone opens them again to release the words of knowledge to the world once more. Every time a little girl dreams of a unicorn of her own, or a boy to fly on a dragon's back, our magic grows more powerful. All is not lost until the last dream or fairy tale fades from the minds of the youngest children. Then nothing will be left for magic to thrive on and all us creatures of fantasy will move on to another place."
"I do not wish to leave this world," Rhadia replied quietly. "Though I am afraid that one day we will."
"Not yet, little one. Those stories you told me about once; what if you could tell them to the children in their beds as they slept? Some of them will forget their dreams as grow, but others won't. They will write about their dreams, tell their stories to all who will listen, remind those who had forgotten their wonder. They will paint unicorns so all will know us when the day comes again that we may live side by side. Do this Rhadia, and worry not. We only need one to believe to keep the magic alive."
"Yes," she said as she turned to the stars. "That's what I was being told every night on the beach here. Only I didn't understand what they wanted me to do. Thank you, Alidus."
Once again Alidus wanted to ask Rhadia who "they" were, but he merely shook his mane when he saw how intently she was listening to "them". He left her with her stories, hoping that she would sometime tell some to him.
Parents: Ephan x Timpa
September 27, 1998
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