Even with the weight of six on his back, and men all around holding ropes anchoring him to the ground, the stallion kept fighting. His eyes rolled back in his head, his legs thrashed and I could hear his screams from the cliff. Iâd never heard a unicorn make a sound before, and hearing it now sent a chill through my entire body. His screams were different than a horse, higher in pitch, with a vibrating tremor that made him sound almost like a singer at the crescendo of a performance.
The leader of the group advanced on the now subdued unicorn, holding what looked like a handsaw. The stallion tried frantically to spear the man with his horn, but three of the followers held the animalâs head in place. Still he tried, snorting and staring his captor in the eye, silver-tipped horn poised like a sword toward the leaderâs heart.
Kill him, I found myself praying. Fight them. Kill him and this will all be over.
The saw began to tremble in the manâs hand as he swiped again and again across the base of the stallionâs horn. Fragments the size of fingernail clippings covered the earth like snow. Beside me, I felt Kara start to shake. Her whole frame quivered with silent sobs. The horn fell to the ground and all at once, the stallion quit struggling. The men climbed off him and loosened their hold on the ropes that bound him.
The groupâs leader reached for one of the ropes around the unicornâs neck. He turned and the stallion followed him, meek as an old broodmare. His eyes seemed to blink back a heavy sadness, the only echo of his proud battle song.