Some Parts of This Story Are True

It’s not that I mind having a unicorn around, it’s just the enormous mounds of poo I have to shovel, you know? Because let me tell you, contrary to popular opinion, unicorns do not poop rainbows and kittens which, when you really stop to think about it, is half sad and half oh thank GOD because I do not need literal buttloads of kittens running around here. Unicorns poop poop, friends. And, yes, it’s laced with glitter, but, as my friend Katrina always says, glitter is the herpes of the craft world – you can try to clean it up, but it never really goes away – and that is not a good thing.

So now I have a unicorn, which is, as you might suspect, horse-sized, marking its territory in my back yard. My back yard isn’t even big enough for the gopher who lives there; it certainly can’t accommodate a unicorn. But the unicorn doesn’t seem to care. It just wanders around pooping its glitter poop and eating the dandelion garden that, until now, was doing a passable job pretending to be a lawn.

I feel like I should back up a step. The poop has me flustered, and I’m telling this all out of order.

A unicorn followed Aden home from school last night. I don’t know exactly how it happened since Aden rides the bus and I’m almost positive the bus has a No Unicorns Policy, but she walked in the front door, dumped her backpack on floor next to all the other kids’ backpacks (and art projects and jackets and Things That Live Permanently in the Entry Way), kicked off her shoes, and hollered, “MOM?”

“DON’T YELL! COME FIND ME,” I yelled back.

So she trudged up the stairs, every reluctant step calculated to communicate how very annoying it was to walk all the way to my room to talk, and then said brightly, “There’s a unicorn in the yard. Can I keep her?”

Well, there are a lot of thoughts that go through a mama’s head when her kid makes an announcement like that. Namely, how to get out of going with her to look because, honestly, if I went to look every time someone yelled “MOM” or “THERE’S A…” I’d only have time to follow my children around. Unfortunately, the “can I keep her” question upped the ante, so, even though I obviously knew it wasn’t a real unicorn, the chances were high that it was something alive and that I needed to get us out of pet-ownership again.

I went with her to take a look.

And guess what?

There was a unicorn standing in my front yard.

A giant, gleaming, pristine, breathing unicorn.

In my front yard.

Which was a surprise.

Although maybe not as much of a surprise as you might expect, for two reasons.

First, we once had this exact scenario happen with a cow, so we’re somewhat used to large animals taking a dump in the front yard. The cow, it seems, escaped from the field behind our house and wandered around to the front ’til it was just standing there on the front lawn which was made out of grass at the time and not dandelions because the house and yard were new and we hadn’t had five kids yet so we still cared what people thought about our yard. My oldest daughter, Abby, who was 3, saw the cow and said, “MOM? There’s a cow in our front yard.” I didn’t believe her, but, like the lawn so aptly indicates, things were different then and I still responded to MOM and THERE’S A, so I went to take a look at what she thought was cow, and, yep; it was a cow. An entire cow. Standing in my front yard.

So the unicorn was the cow all over again.

Except it was a unicorn. So… not a cow.

The second reason I wasn’t as surprised as you might think about a unicorn hanging out next to the shrubbery is the fact that we’ve had a fairy princess hiding in the cherry tree behind our house for the last 10 years. Her name is Sarah (which I know is more “Jewish princess” and less “fairy princess,” but don’t ask me, I didn’t name her), and we’re definitely not supposed to know about her, but, while she’s very sneaky, she has an unquenchable passion for craft supplies and breakfast cereal, so she raids our house at night scattering honey nut cheerios, fruit loops, tiny scraps of paper and oceans of glitter glue in her wake… which, it just occurred to me may not be glitter glueafter all, if she’s buddies with any unicorns.


But what I’m saying is, we’re not totally unfamiliar interacting with the supernatural world.

All of which brings me back to the unicorn standing in the middle of my front yard.


Or, to be more accurate, it was breathing and snorteling, which is that sweet, heavy breathing / snoring sound babies make when they’re happy and full and finally, blissfully asleep. And, OK, snorteling isn’t technically a real word, but since we’re talking about unicorns here, I figure I have some leeway.

ID-10072425 (1)So there was the unicorn, breathing and snorteling in my front yard. And pooping glittery poop. And there was Aden, looking at me with wide, hopeful eyes, hands folded together in a desperate, prayerful plea. And there were her brothers, joining us on the front porch with soft exclamations like, “whoa…” and “is that real?” as Aden asked one more time, “Can I keep her, Mom? Plleeease?”

I said no.

Of course I said no.

Because who says yes to keeping a unicorn?

No one is who.

But no one ever listens to me.

Especially not children and unicorns.

Which is how we ended up with a unicorn in the backyard. And why my yard looks – literally – like crap.

The End

P.S. Some parts of this story are true.


“White Unicorn In Field” image credit Victor Habbick via

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13 responses to “Some Parts of This Story Are True”

  1. I am with Cindy. I found that I was pretty sure you had a unicorn. My son had an eagle that he carried on his forearm. And a friend named Margore. My girl had a zoo. It took forever to get them all in the car when we went somewhere. and she got seriously angry if I didn’t wait long enough. The cheetah needed to stretch her legs with a run along side the car. we will meet up with her in the store’s parking lot.

    Brilliant, and I thank you. 🙂

  2. I just subscribed and I love your writing style! This post was pretty awesome. My kids haven’t started having imagination friends yet, but perhaps its because they are too young (3 & 1 1/2)? I suppose the first step to having unicorns live (and poop) in your backyard, is teaching your children about what unicorns (and snack eating, craft loving fairies) are. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

    • 3 is old enough for imagination. This I know because my going-to-be-16-next-week daughter used to be 3. It was a 3 that I learned about the other mother. You know, the one she USED to live with before she came to live with me (yes that one threw me for a serious loop). But also, she had a thing for tigers at 3. One time we were driving by the mall in a very populated area – not at all jungle-y or anything… “Look MOM! LOOK!” “What Meggy?” “See the tiger mom?” “No, where?” “Up in the TREE mom! It’s a BIG TINY tiger up in the TREE!” We still talk about that story (and I try to avoid the other mother story cuz it still creeps me out). LOL

      • lol! My son (4 at the time) use to have an invisible mom. I unfortunately had to give her the boot. He would spend the length of every car trip talking to her. It consisted of, “mom, mom, hey mom! I need to tell you something!” Of course, me in my naivete would respond back (every.single. time), after closing the car windows, turning off the radio and turning down the fan so I could hear him, ‘what is Joey? What do you need ?” only to be told that he was talking to his Invisible mom, not me. After the 8th day, Invisible mom was unceremoniously left in a McDonalds bathroom an hour from home, never to return.

  3. Ah BETH!!! I totally believed you and with great anticipation read to the end. Reading faster and faster to hear about a live, breathing, snorteling unicorn. I really, REALLY wanted to see the picture you were going to post. Never mind that I’m 57 years old and seemingly sane, I wanted to see your child’s unicorn. And then. . . . . my world burst, “Some parts of this story are true.” :'(. I really, really, REALLY needed a unicorn today. Do you think you could ask your daughter if she could come to my house? I don’t even mind cleaning up glitter poop. And the backyard neighbors have already put those white strips in the chain link fence to block their view of our back yard, so I’m not worried about that. I just think I need a little unicorn magic right about now.
    Thank you

  4. nice i may need to get a unicorn. That way i can blame my yards appearance on him appose to blaming my cats. but we do have six cats and I’m not sure if they would like the unicorn.

  5. We have fairies and also a talking bunny in our backyard, but no unicorns. I’m kinda jealous. These guys probably wouldn’t live at our house if we didn’t have kids, so I’m really glad I have kids.

  6. I adore your writing and your kids’ imagination and that you nourish it!! My son has a friend, well a.robot, that he built with my help 2 years ago that is his best imaginary friend ever. I worried about how long he’d stuck around and my son is 5 but also I’ve been grateful because I believe without a doubt it was robot. No name just a robot naked robot, that helped/s my son during my divorce from his father, moving, me starting work, day care and starting school. So when I hear. “Mom, can robot have some soup? ” or “mom its robots birthday can we decorate? ” I’m happy to oblige 🙂 thank you for sharing your unicorn 🙂

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