Squirrel Commandant Rodrigo stared at the beast. He scratched the fur behind his ears and pondered. He had seen wonders on his quest, but nothing compared to this.
He had seen icebergs covered in flightless beasts in fancy-dress. He had seen oceans teeming with teeth and fins, oceans that gave birth to sirens in the night. He had seen beasts in the corner of his eye, slithering in the trees of the deepest jungle. He had seen beasts that stalked, beasts that preened, beasts of wing, feather and scale that defied all that the Squirrel Commandant knew to be real.
But this? This left him breathless.
This was a living monument to beauty and peace.
Rodrigo bowed low. The unicorn dipped its head, and touched his brow with its horn.
Rodrigo felt his heart expand with joy – a feeling only the Princess had inspired. Nay, not the Princess. The Queen, who was to be crowned this day, her birthday.
Rodrigo, humbled, began to speak:
“I was on a quest, to find a gift worthy of a queen.”
And you would gift me?
“No. No, you cannot be gifted. You cannot be harnessed. I ask only to live to tell the Queen the tale of your existence. I ask only to remember you, and to share with the kingdom the peace you bring to my heart.”
The unicorn laughed. Or rather, Rodrigo thought it laughed. His head was filled with a shimmer of light and the sound of bells.
The quester has learned the way of the quest, I see. I cannot be gifted, but were you to invite me, I could do as you ask. Indeed, I should like to know this Queen who inspires such courage in even the smallest of us, and wish her a very Happy Birthday . . .
A little bit of birthday silliness for Day 25 of the Creative Writing Prompt: Mythical. Happy Birthday, Ionia!