When she was young, Granny volunteered at a retirement home for imaginary friends. She would read them books, listen to their stories,  and keep them company. Her favorite resident was an aging, black unicorn with an opalescent alicorn who’d been popular in the 1700’s.

“You know, I’ve always been jealous of horses,” he told her. “I was James Watt’s imaginary friend when he was a boy. He grew up to coin the term ‘horsepower’. I’ve never gotten over that. He could have used ‘unicornpower.’ No one would have minded. It sounds good.”

Granny tested it out. “This baby has eighty unicorns under the hood.” She whistled. “Oh my. That does sound good.”

“Doesn’t it? I think he did it just to spite me for not spearing his sister with my horn when he wanted me to. Told me he’d rather have a real horse that listened to him than an imaginary unicorn who wouldn’t.” He let out a sad knicker. “James never imagined me again. He was only five years old.” A few tears dribbled down the unicorn’s muzzle. “Stupid horses.”

Granny always referred to engines in units of unicornpower after that. When she took up farming with Gramps she liked to brag she was the only woman in the county with a thirty-two unicornpower tractor. Drove him absolutely nuts.


15 thoughts on “eighty unicorns under the hood

  1. I have some questions about this scene:

    “He let out a sad knicker. “James never imagined me again. He was only five years old.” A few tears dribbled down the unicorn’s muzzle. “Stupid horses.””

    1. When the unicorn cried, did his tears specifically dribble down:
    A: The bridge of his muzzle and off the tip of his nose as he hung his head
    B: The side of his muzzle diagonally and off his lower jaw and chin

    2. Exactly how would the unicorn react and what would he say to me if I hugged him, rubbed his back and licked those tears dribbing down his muzzle with my tongue during the scene where he cried? Because every time I read that, I fantasize licking every last tear from the unicorn’s muzzle.

    3. Dumb question but on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the saltiest, how salty would the unicorn’s tears taste on my tongue if I licked them directly from his muzzle?

    4. On a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being freezing cold and 10 being scalding hot, how warm were those tears dribbing down the unicorn’s muzzle?

    5. What is the unicorn’s name?

    I know these questions sound weird but please please PLEASE reply back!


    1. Dear Canzetyote,
      I have put these questions to my granny, and here is what she said:
      1. A.
      2. You should never lick any beast without it’s consent. Though unicorns are often portrayed as lovely beasts, happy to lay their heads in the lap of a virgin, they do have a stabbing weapon protruding from their skull and it is wise to exercise caution.
      3. 1. This particular unicorn’s tears are not salty. This unicorn was imagined by a young boy, after all, and so its tears are tears of ice cream. I cannot be certain of which flavor (s) were popular in the 18th century as ice cream was still very new, and Granny never tasted them. She’s a bit of a germaphobe.
      4. 1. I would assume the temperatures would be around zero degrees Celsius to keep the ice cream from melting.
      5. Unicorns keep their names a guarded secret and if she did know, Granny would not be willing to share this on a public website. She refuses to use the internet and thinks her phone is tapped by CSIS, so unless you’d like to visit her in her nursing home with a plateful of spaghetti and meatballs (for bribery purposes), it is unlikely you will get this information. However, she is happy to share that the imaginary residents gave it the nickname of ”Stabby” after some poor soul tried to lick its ice cream tears without permission (may they rest in peace).


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