“People aren’t real,” the unicorn said. “That’s just a story they tell foals to scare them. I can’t believe you really believe in people.”
“People are real,” the pixie replied. “There’s all sorts of proof. Where do you think rainbows come from?”
“Rainbows are made by light waves bouncing off of rain somehow. I don’t know the details, but there’s a scientific explanation,” the unicorn said.
“Uh huh, right,” the pixie said. “Science.”
“People aren’t real,” the unicorn said. “And I’ll prove it with science.”
“I don’t think it’s really possible to prove the absence of something,” the pixie said. “Because even if you don’t find it where you look, it could exist somewhere else.”
“I have an idea,” the unicorn said. “Tell me the three most likely places for people to be, and I will go there and look for people. If I don’t see any people, then they don’t exist.”
“Fine,” the pixie said. “That might work. But I bet you won’t really try.”
“Of course I will,” the unicorn said. “This is for science.”
“All right then,” the pixie said. “People like going to the pool. But the pools have to be warm. They don’t go swim in ice-cold pools in the arctic. People like to go out in nature and hike through forests and such. People like to go to the beach and play in the sand.”
“Fine,” the unicorn said. “We’ll meet back here tomorrow.”
` The unicorn trotted off, muttering. “A hot pool? I’ll go to the hottest pool ever. We’ll see if she can accuse me of not really trying.”
And so, the unicorn took the nearest portal to an active volcano. At its base, there was a red and white barrier. “Obviously some sensible unicorns have been here,” she said. “This does look dangerous. But I have to go look. For science!” She rode her hover board to the top and peered down into the lava pool below. “Look at that,” she said to herself. “No people. What a surprise.” She returned home by portal.
What was next? Oh yes. Lots of trees. She took a portal to the middle of a dense jungle. She looked around. Monkeys, flowers, birds, bugs. No people, of course. “There are plenty of trees and nature here,” she said. “If there were really people, they should be around here somewhere.” But, of course they weren’t, because people weren’t real.
Some of the trees had been bitten cleanly off their stumps and carried away. She decided not to hang around and see what sort of animal could do that. She took a portal home.
The last location was a place with lots of sand. Easy peasy. She’d go to a nice hot desert full of sand. It sounded like a perfect place to find mythical people. She took a portal there and rode her hover board around for a while. There were no people there, of course. “Wait till I tell the pixie,” she said.
Just then, a metal box whooshed down the black rock river below. “Oh look, they get robot messengers way out here. Isn’t science amazing?” She took a portal home.
The next morning, she met the pixie. “I went to all the places we talked about, and I didn’t see any people. I didn’t even see any signs that people had ever been there.”
“I still say people are real,” the pixie said. “Even if you didn’t see any.”
“But I proved it,” the unicorn said. “With science.”
“But I still think they’re real anyway,” the pixie said.