Quotes / Unicorn

There was green aligators, and long-necked geese
Some humpty-backed camels and some chimpanzees
Some cats and rats and elephants, but as sure as you're born
The loveliest of all was the unicorn
— The Irish Rovers, The Unicorn Song

It is universally admitted that the unicorn is a supernatural being of good omen; such is declared in all the odes, annals, biographies of illustrious men and other texts whose authority is unquestionable. Even children and village women know that a unicorn constitutes a favorable presage. But this animal does not figure among the domestic beasts, it is not always easy to find, it does not lend itself to classification. It is not like the horse or the bull, the wolf or the deer. In such conditions, we could be face to face with a unicorn and not know for certain what it was. We know that such and such an animal with a mane is a horse and that such and such an animal with horns is a bull. But we do not know what the unicorn is like.note 

Jorge Luis Borges, quoting an apologue of Han Yu, a prose writer of the ninth century, reproduced in Margouliès' admirable "Anthologie raisonnée de la littérature chinoise" (1948). Kafka and his precursors.