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A Brief History of Unicorns: The Golden Age of Unicorns

neolithic cave paintings of unicorns, The Moravian Museum, Brno, Czech Republic

In ancient India, Unicorns faced an existential crisis. Not the kind where you doubted your role in life, but rather, the kind where your whole species was in danger of being turned into aphrodisiac soup.

Hence, the species of onus cornu moved west, where human civilization had yet to reach the dizzying heights it had in the east. There were signs of cities in the Levant and Greece, so the unicorns pushed on into Paleolithic Europe, settling in glades, glens and flower-bedecked forests throughout the continent.

At first, relations were a little rocky. The stone age humans living in Europe at the time found the unicorns a little stuck up, to be honest. They especially didn’t like how easy it was for unicorns to kill the dragons that had been plaguing the continent since the end of the last ice age. Then they realized, “hey, no dragons eating our virgins and defiling our young men,” (as everyone knows dragons are wont to do).

Thus began the Golden Age for the unicorns. Humans lived in peace with the golden-horned quadrupeds, even after it became apparent that the male unicorns were overtly fond of female human virgins of breeding age. (You see, it’s not just fundamentalist religions that are preoccupied with virgins, and there is a good reason for this: procreative Darwinian magic.) And to be fair, the male unicorns didn’t seem to mind if occasionally one of their female unicorn foals had it off with Thag the Caveman. (Who was known amongst all cave men as a degenerate of the first order, later defined by the historian Prudendus as unicornus humpus.)

Occasionally, there would be incursions of dragons, and the humans would help the unicorns drive them off, mostly by acting as bait.

Yes, it was an age as golden as their horns. But that was all about to change, as civilization extended its bony claws into this Eden, in the form of Metal. (Not the mullet-thrashing, head-banging kind, but the kind that helped you kill unicorns from a distance.)

A Brief History of Unicorns

Part One: Getting Biblical
Part Two: Vedic Culinary Prescriptions
Part Three: The Golden Age of Unicorns

Alltop loves to act as humor bait.

Thag not fooling himself!

Fonzag's spiked hairThag was worried about the morale of the other hunters in the Thunka Grunka tribe.

As their leader, it was his responsibility to ensure they worked together well, and it looked as though he had misjudged things.

One of their youngest hunters, Donjuag, had been putting the moves on the mate of Thag’s second-in-command, the spike-haired Fonzag. Thag couldn’t really blame Donjuag for being attracted to the voluptuous and sensual Vunga, and he couldn’t really fault Fonzag for feeling a little jealous.

Donjuag and Vunga were much closer in age, but Thag had said it was all just youthful high spirits, and that Fonzag shouldn’t be worried about it: “Them not serious, Fonzag. Not worry you.”

And then Fonzag had caught Donjuag and Vunga making “lip smackies”, and the proverbial mammoth dung soiled the water hole.

Fonzag head-butted Donjuag, which was actually quite dangerous given Fonzag’s brutally spiked hair. Several other tribe members intervened before he could deliver a second blow.

“Heyyyy!” Fonzag cried. “I got a right to keep him away from my lady!”

“You not kill Donjuag!” Thag explained. “It uncool.”

“Heyyy,” Fonzag said contritely.

Vunga, who had the hips that launched the thousand facile thoughts in Donjuag, said: “it didn’t mean anything Fonzag. I was only kidding.”

Her kidding self, Thag thought, but he didn’t voice it.

“Really babe?” Fonzag asked.

“Of course, hon,” Vunga reassured her mate.

Fonzag looked at her, and gave her a kiss. “I believe you babe.”

Him kidding self, Thag thought, but he didn’t say anything.

Luckily, Donjuag was unconscious, so he didn’t hear any of this, but Thag knew they would have to come up with some kind of solution. He watched Fonzag and Vunga work on fixing Fonzag’s now badly bent hair spikes.

“Love triangle bad for Thunka Grunka,” Thag said to the shaman, Weasel-Scratch-Face-Brother.

“Oh, it’s okay,” the shaman said, “it’s sorted out now. The Gods have decreed it.”

“Foreskin-Face-Brother is fooling himself,” Thag told the shaman. “But not Thag.”

New Scientist story: Fooling yourself is an ancient and useful trait. Humor-blogs.com always plays the fool. Alltop too. Originally published 2007.

Thag angry! Teenager bad!

Hunting spear of Thag, Fonzag, et al.Having settled the issue of if the members of the Thunka Grunka tribe had free will or not, Thag settled back into life with his tribe.

For once, it was almost peaceful. He and his new mate, Twigla, were happy. Thag enjoyed the prestige and respect everyone gave him for leading the hunters so well. (Not to mention how they grokked his cave paintings and practically worshiped his beer.)

He and the other decent hunter, Fonzag, were in the process of training a new generation of young men. But they were having problems with Donjuag.

Donjuag was the son of Gnock, whom Thag had been unable to save from cave lions, so he felt even more responsibility. But Donjuag was a moody fellow. Unpredictable. He was also in love with Fonzag’s mate, the luscious Vunga.

“Heyyyyyy,” Fonzag said to Thag, as they walked out to their hunting grounds. “He’s being uncool with my lady.”

“Him not do anything,” Thag told Fonzag. “Him just infatuated.”

Donjuag ran by, his spear held high above his head, whooping with excitement.

“What him do?”

“Thag, that cat is full of energy,” Fonzag explained. “He’s not sleeping well either, at least that’s what his mom said.”

“Him crazy,” Thag said while Donjuag finished his sprint with a forward flip. The young hunter over-rotated and did a face plant. Thag laughed. “Donjuag funny.”

Donjuag, undeterred, got up, and did a back flip, whooping with delight.

Fonzag looked on, worried. Thag slapped his diminutive friend on the back (careful not to touch Fonzag’s ridiculous hair) and said, “Fonzag not worry. We wear Donjuag out on trail. Him too tired to pitch woo at Vunga.”

Donjuag started running again, landing a forward flip this time, and Fonzag grunted. “I don’t know, he’s got a lot of energy.”

New Scientist: Puppy love makes teenagers lose the plot. Photo by esterase. Look here forhumorists with too much energy. Originally published 2007.

Thag not talk much!

Mammoth by ThagThag’s year with the Drunka Grunka was drawing to a close, and he was almost ready to head back to his own tribe, the Thunka Grunkas.

His relationship with the slender and beautiful Twigla was blossoming, and his artwork was a major triumph, despite the many critics within the Elder’s council of the Drunka Grunkas. They even liked the cow, though they were most excited about Thag’s surrealistic depiction of a mammoth stomping a shaman to death. At first, the Drunka Grunka shaman, Cave-Bear-Bite-Leg-Brother, had objected to the depiction, but then Thag explained:

“Him not good shaman. Him shaman of Thunka Grunkas, Weasel-Scratch-Face-Brother.”

“Why don’t you like your shaman, Thag?”

“Him seduce Thag’s mate. Him demote Thag from leading hunters. Many hunters die without Thag lead them,” Thag amplified. “Him big phallus with ears.”

“Ah,” Cave-Bear-Bite-Leg-Brother said. “I grok.”

When the mural was finished, the Drunka Grunkas planned a festival to celebrate the artwork. A special brewing of the Drunka Grunka specialty, a delectable potage they called ‘beer’.

Thag had noticed that many of the Drunka Grunkas got quite chatty once they’d had a few bowls of their “beer”; in his experience, Thag was used to men not talking much, while the women of the tribe did most of the gossiping, gabbing, and generally keeping the lines of communication open within the tribe.

Because they had beer to supply calories, the Drunka Grunka men didn’t need to spend quite as much time hunting; in fact, they seemed to spend as much time hanging out talking as the women did.

On the other hand, the people of the Drunka Grunkas had noticed that Thag was laconic at best, and positively taciturn at worst. The Elders sent the shaman to find out why.

“You don’t talk much, do you Thag? But from your artwork, it’s clear you have a rich inner life. Why don’t you share it more?”

“Thag say something once, why say again?”

“But it would be nice if you could explain your artwork to some of the Grunkas that don’t get your art.”

Thag shrugged. “They not grok, Thag not make them grok.”

“But it would be –”

“Thag let art speak for itself,” Thag interrupted. “Besides, Thag go back Thunka Grunkas soon. He not be here to explain.”

“Fair enough Thag. When do you think you’ll be leaving?”

“Ah, soon. But now, Thag have something he do want talk about.”

“Oh, really?”

“Twigla,” Thag said, raising his eyebrows. “Her come with Thag?”

“Does she want to?”

“Yes. Her grok Thag.”

“Well, that will get tongues wagging around here; even more than usual,” said Cave-Bear-Bite-Leg-Brother. “Let’s have a beer and we can discuss it with the other Elders.”

“Thag talk on this. Yes!”

New Scientist story: Men talk just as freely as women. Mammoth pic by The Bucky Hermit. Other talkers and jabberers. Originally published 2007.

Thag not grok milk!

Thag not got milk!Thag really was starting to enjoy the Grunka gathering. His mate, Onga, was behaving herself, and even the new religion of his tribe’s shaman, Weasel-Scratch-Face-Brother wasn’t bothering him anymore.

Every fifth or sixth summer, depending on the position of the stars, all of the Grunka clans would gather and share their stories, swap items (sometimes mates too) and have a bit of a prehistoric party.

As part of the swapping, Thag hoped to learn to make a new drink invented by the Drunka Grunkas; a delectable potage they called “beer”. He had tried to exchange his mate, Onga, for this training, but alas, even the most inebriated tribe in the Grunka clan had heard of her infidelities and general shrewishness. Instead, he agreed to travel home with the Drunka Grunkas and do a special cave painting for them.

He just had to get the Elders of his tribe, the Thunka Grunkas, to agree.

“So why do you want to return with the Drunka tribe when the Gathering ends?” their most ancient and wise Elder, Methusalag, asked him.

“Thag want learn make beer.”

“What is beer?”

Thag had brought a skin of it around, and shared it with the Elder Council. Methusalag drank first.

“But Thag, you are the leader of our hunters. You will be gone for turning of many seasons,” said Frettag, the Elder’s biggest worrier. “You best hunter. Thunka needs you.”

The skin came to Frettag, and he smiled. “Perhaps this is worth the effort. We think on it.”

The next day they met again, intending to let Thag leave.

“No! Thag should not leave!” Weasel-Scratch-Face-Brother told the assembled Elders. “I have a new drink too, given to me in exchange for the wisdom I have learned about the Gods.”

Thag was surprised to see the Shaman. He had spent most of the Gathering in conference with the other “wise” ones of the Grunka clan, talking about the new idea of “gods” –supernatural beings who controlled the elements, and who, naturally, could only communicate with a shaman. When not discussing this nonsense, they spent the rest of the time drumming, chanting and eating mushrooms that made them act even sillier than this new drink, “beer”.

Weasel-Scratch-Face-Brother passed around a skin filled with a white substance, that didn’t taste as good as the beer, but did have its own appeal.

“It comes from an animal that can be tamed and even eaten,” the Shaman said. “It called cow.”

“This drink does not have the same effect on your head,” Methusalag said as he sampled the milk.

“But cow-juice can come all year. All you have to feed the cow is grass,” the Shaman said.

“Hmm. That could be good,” the ancient Elder agreed.

“Beer come from grass too!” Thag interjected. “Need no cow, just how make it!”

“We understand Thag. We will think on it another night, and tell you our answer tomorrow.”

Weasel-Scratch-Face-Brother crossed his arms and grinned smugly at Thag. The hunter didn’t even understand why the Shaman wanted him around. He’d been trying to get rid of him for years, so that he could breed with Onga. Of course, he’d had to live with her constant complaints too.

That night, most of the Elder’s Council was struck down by horrific fits of gas and diarrhea; it was later known in Grunka legend as the Night of Many Pongs.

“Thag not like milk!” Thag groaned to Onga as he clutched his bloated belly. “Me drink only beer.”

In the morning, the Elders told Thag he could go.

Based on New Scientist story: Early Europeans Unable to Stomach Milk. You will definitely be able to stomach humor-blogs.com and

Thag grok cow!

Thag grok cowThag’s sabbatical with the Drunka Grunka tribe was not as idyllic as he thought it was going to be, but on the whole, he was quite enjoying his stay.

First of all, the Drunka Grunkas had invented a delectable potage they called “beer” and it was good stuff. He’d already learned all he could about making it himself, and had even come up with the innovation of adding a plant to the mix that gave the “beer” an extra something. (The Drunka headman in charge of the beer called it “hops”.)

Then there was Twigla, who was beautiful and clearly was falling in love with Thag. Sure, she didn’t have the impressive bottom that the Drunka Grunkas valued so much in their women, but Thag was a Thunka Grunka, and they valued size in the top and the front.

But the Elders were driving him crazy.

In exchange for learning the secrets of making beer, Thag had agreed to paint the Drunka Grunkas a mural (and show his artistic techniques to anyone who was interested).

“You should make the next bull bigger,” Cave-Bear-Bite-Leg-Brother told him. On the whole, the Drunka shaman was much nicer than Weasel-Scratch-Face-Brother, but he still had his own theories on art.

“And it should have an extra set of horns,” insisted Critarg, one of the Elders.

“Yes. Extra horns!” the shaman said enthusiastically.

“I think six sets would be appropriate,” suggested Critarg.

Thag sighed and continued painting. He drew the outline of a very small cow.

“That’s a cow!” Critarg shouted in horror.

“Cow good,” Thag said. “Some Grunkas drink its milk.”

“Not Drunka Grunkas. We only drink beer and water,” explained the shaman. “We don’t need pictures of cows.”

“Cows good,” Thag said, “me grok cow. Cow stay.”

Critarg threw up his arms and said, “I’m going to get the council.”

Just then Twigla walked by, waggling her firm, tiny bottom. Thag smiled at her, and continued smiling, even when the shaman, Cave-Bear-Bite-Leg-Brother said, “what if we draw a representation of the Sky God as a kind of super-sized Cave Bear with a lightning bolt-shaped phallus?”

Here’s the science of Reactance. And here are two other groups who might not know art, but who know what they like. Originally published 2006.