unicorn

General - A monster in the form of a horse. With a single horn. Other descriptions of the unicorn include: (1) Horse with the head of a dragon and the legs of a deer which emits flame at its tail and its joints. (2) Horse with the head of a stag, the feet of an elephant and a horn three feet in length. (3) White horse with cloven hoofs and spiral horns, a beard like a goat and a lion's tail. (4) White horse with a red head and blue eyes, the legs of a deer and a red, black and white horn. This animal was variously described as being as big as a goat, a horse or an elephant and its horn as four inches or four feet in length. Some versions say that the unicorn was too large to enter the ark at the time of the flood; others that it did enter but was thrown overboard and left to drown. It could be captured or killed if a maiden sat under a tree and waited for it to emerge from its lair. The animal would then lay his head on her lap, admiring her beauty and could easily be taken by a hunter. Some versions say that the unicorn died with it's head in the virgin's lap but not before suckling at her breast. This animal was regarded as a symbol of purity and marriage and was said to have the power of purifying polluted water while others say that any person who drinks from the horn of a unicorn will never be ill. It was said that a unicorn could tell whether water was poisoned merely by dipping a hoof into it. An ointment made from the unicorn's liver would cure leprosy and a belt made from its hide would ward off illness. The stories of the health-giving properties of the horn led to its adoption as the symbol of the apothecaries. Occasionally known as unicorn, Biblical reem, Biblical reem, Chinese ch'i-lin, Chinese ch'i-lin, kere, kirin, Ethiopian arucharis, Ethiopian arucharis, Greek monoceros, Greek monoceros, Japanese kirin, Japanese kirin, ch'i-lin, Mongolian kere, Mongolian kere, Sudanese arase, Sudanese arase, Tibetan serou, Tibetan serou, tso'po, tso'po, serou, reem, reem, Argalan-Zon, re'em or Asian Argalan-Zon.

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