Shh! Don’t startle this shy creature. For though this wee wild unicorn tiptoes through the wilderness as quietly as can be, it too can be fierce and feisty.
With cloven hooves, a wiggly beard and long lush lion’s tail, this is far from your domesticated unicorn. A beautifully rare beast of Scotland, these unicorns love to roam forests, nibble flowers and occasionally give chase to a hairy haggis!
A very few well guarded wild unicorns do roam the islands of Orkney…
I was lucky to spot this foal, just on the cusp of adulthood, silently sipping from a loch. Perhaps for safety, or simply for the magic of it, wild unicorns are most active at dawn and dusk. The latter is known locally as grimleens, and is truly an enchanted time of day for humans and faeries alike.
Grimleens: Orcadian dialect for twilight, dusk, the magical moment between day and night.
Head to where the four-leaf clover springs up from the ground, where there’s a soft tinkling in the breeze, where rainbows bloom in the sky…
And if you are quiet, patient and granted a large dose of luck, you may be able to spot a wild unicorn too!
Please note: Do not follow directions from local trows, they’ll send you on a wild unicorn race. This usually involves the dizzying heights of Hoy, a boggart attack at Birsay and a possible drowning in Stenness loch. It’s not fun.