It hurts my soul that for some reason, "unicorn" has become code for something chock-full of sparkles, glitter and rainbows, often topped off with pink. I don't know where this interpretation came from; My Little Pony or Disney, perhaps. Certainly, that's not the classical unicorn, which could be deadly if not lured in by a virgin, and according to some origin theories, was inspired by a distance view of a rhinoceros!
For as long as I can remember, I've loved unicorns and been fascinated by unicorn lore. The first plane trip I can recall, I stared out across the flat, mushroom dotted expanse of clouds and decided that it was the realm of unicorns, called Halunea. Maybe my unicorns were more sweet and fluffy than those classical stories, but they didn't sparkle. (There's a Twilight joke in there somewhere.)
I always hated, too, the old fable about the unicorns missing Noah's Ark because they were too busy playing games, and that song? Oh, it made me furious, with a dose of real childhood angst: I got genuinely unhappy every time I heard it. I ached a little. (I was a weird little kid. Move along.)
In any event, during my AOL days, I made contact with Richard and Miranda Gray, who created the Beasts of Albion divination cards. (I still use these for story generation. They're beautiful and inspiring.) The cards are divided into three kingdoms: Strength, Wisdom and Purity. The Spirit of the Purity kingdom, the "head" of that kingdom, is the Unicorn.
So we got to talking, and I brought up my dislike of the story. They agreed with me and wrote an alternate version, where the unicorns missed the ark because they were too busy helping other animals. I wish I still had a copy, but the memory stays with me.
Next stop, The Unicorn Of Kilimanjaro - photography. Check it out.
Oddly enough, I haven't written often about unicorns. A few of my short stories have featured them, but usually in an atypical fashion (in particular an urban fantasy story where they were shapeshifting psychic vampires). Part of it is probably because they are used to the point of cliche, and so I worry about overcoming an editor's reaction, but that's not the full reason by any means.
What is the real reason about unicorns? I have no idea. Maybe it's a silence of understanding; I know them so well, I don't feel the need to explore through writing. Maybe I'm just waiting for the right story, the perfect vehicle for my particular unicorns. I'll have to wait and see.