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 glue, after 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.
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.
P.S. Some parts of this story are true.