Tag: unicorns

Flashback Friday: Career Counseling

This story was originally posted on March 17, 2017. I like unusual career ideas. My son, when he was younger, wanted to rule the world when he grew up. He thought he could do a better job of things. I wonder what the career path would be for that?

Mr. Marsh looked up when he heard someone knock on his open door. It looked like the next student had arrived for career counseling.   “Come in,” he said. He checked his schedule. “John?”

“That’s right.” The teenager sat at the edge of his chair with a big smile. Good, that probably meant he had some idea of what he wanted to do after school.

“So, have you given any thought what you’d like to do after next year?” He opened the folder at the top of the pile. “Your grades are good enough to get you into a nice university.”

“No, I think I want to go find the unicorns and live there with them. Like that lady did with the gorillas.” John looked entirely sincere.

Mr. Marsh waited for the moment when his expression would change and he’d shout ‘just kidding.’   It didn’t happen and the silence was beginning to feel awkward. “Um, John,” Mr. Marsh said at last. “Unicorns aren’t real.”

“That’s what they want you to think. Just like the dinosaurs.” John smiled.

Mr. Marsh tapped on his planner with his pen. “Dinosaurs were real. They just all died out.”

“You believe that comet theory?” John raised an eyebrow. “That’s ridiculous. A single comet took out all the dinosaurs?”

“Well, it blocked out the sun and changed the climate, and…”

“And didn’t kill the plants? Or the sharks?” John chuckled.

Mr. Marsh frowned.   “Well, it killed some of the plants.   And sharks are sharks. In any case, they’re all gone and unicorns don’t exist.”

John shrugged.   “Believe what you will.”

“Even if you believe in unicorns, you don’t know where they are. How can living with them be a valid career plan?”

“Finding them will be part of my career, of course.” John looked confident.

“And how do you plan on financing your expeditions?” Mr. Marsh asked. He clicked the end of his pen and prepared to take notes. If John was serious about this, he’d do his best to advise him. Even if he was fairly certain there was a hidden camera somewhere.

“Sponsorships, of course,” John said.

Mr. Marsh sighed.   “How do you plan on attracting sponsors?”

“It shouldn’t be too hard. Everyone likes unicorns.   Of course, the sponsors will have to realize that the unicorns may not agree with me sharing any of my findings.   They are probably hiding for a good reason.” John pulled a crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket.

Mr. Marsh leaned forward as John held the paper up. It looked like a list of names written in different handwritings.   “What’s that?”

“My classmates petitioned me to accept sponsors. It’s why I’m considering it even though I don’t think I’ll ever be able to share my research findings.” John folded the list up and put it back in his pocket.

“Then what was your original plan?” Mr. Marsh asked.

“Leprechaun gold.” John smiled. “It will probably be my main source of income. However, I do understand the need people have to be a part of major scientific endeavors. So, I will accept all offers of funding, as long as there are no strings attached.”

Mr. Marsh dropped his pen and leaned back. He ran a hand through his hair and took a deep breath. “John, you do know that there aren’t really any leprechauns, right?”

John rolled his eyes. “That’s what they want you to think.”

“Right. Right.   Like the dinosaurs.” Mr. Marsh took another deep breath.

John smiled.   “Exactly.”

“And how do you plan on obtaining this gold?” Mr. Marsh asked. He picked up his pen.

“Oh the usual way.   Follow a rainbow, trick a leprechaun.   You know.” John shrugged.

Mr. Marsh nodded and took notes. “All right.   Well, I see a lot of time hiking and camping in your future. And a lot of time spent outdoors in the rain. What do you think you need to do to prepare for that?”

John pulled out another piece of paper from a different pocket. He smoothed it out. “I’ve written a supply list. Tell me what you think.”

Mr. Marsh held out a hand and John handed him the paper. He looked over the list. “And where do you plan on finding rope made out of elf hair?”

John shrugged.   “Oh, you know. Usual place. Go to a fairy circle, trick an elf.”

Mr. Marsh sighed.

Unicorns Are Boring

One day Amanda woke up and she was a unicorn. She wasn’t just imagining things either. She had big heavy golden hooves instead of hands and a sharp horn that had already torn a hole in the curtains.

She jerked her head around, trying to free her horn, when she heard a sharp cracking noise. At the same time, the bed dropped six inches. Amanda looked down, and as she looked her horn tore through the rest of the curtain with an awful ripping sound. Apparently the leg of the bed had broken off.

Stepping carefully off the bed, Amanda looked around her room. As a unicorn, she couldn’t change into her princess costume or read her books or pick up any of her toys. She couldn’t color or draw or paint. Being a unicorn wasn’t as fun as she thought.

Her brother Stanley came running down the hall. He looked into Amanda’s room as he was passing and paused. “Mom!” he yelled. “There’s a horse in Mandy’s room. I think she stole it.”

Amanda snorted and opened her mouth to set the record straight. “Naaaaaaah. Puh. Buh. Neeeeh.” That hadn’t come out quite right. She cleared her throat and tried again. It didn’t sound any better.

Mom yelled from the kitchen. “Is it an emergency? Is anyone bleeding?”

“Mom! It’s a horse! It’s in the house! Come and see,” Stanley shouted as he started walking towards the kitchen.

“I’ll come see later. If I come now, the eggs will burn,” Mom replied.

Stanley kept walking down the hall, grumbling. Amanda stepped out of her bedroom. She looked into the bathroom. Everything looked so small. It took her a while to get ready for the day. At least her rainbow mane looked pretty when she looked in the mirror.

Finally, she was ready for breakfast. Nervously, she entered the kitchen. It was empty. There was a note on the table, saying that Mom had taken Stanley to soccer practice.

After a very messy breakfast of eggs, Amanda wandered into the living room. She couldn’t use the television remote or the computer keyboard with her hooves. She could try to bite things, but if she drooled on them, it might ruin the electronics.

She decided to go outside. It took forever to get the door open. She stepped out and looked around. Now what? She couldn’t swing or climb a tree or make flower chains or assemble potions out of weeds.

She dug in the dirt with her hooves and patted it into castle-like mounds with her hooves. Being a unicorn was boring. She couldn’t do any magic, and there weren’t any rainbow bridges anywhere. She was just a horse with a big horn that got stuck in the branches of the trees as she walked past.

Amanda gave up. She went to the oak tree in the back corner of the yard. “Naaaaaah,” she yelled. She gave the trunk of the tree a few good kicks.

A grumpy fairy dressed all in black peeked out of the hollow branch. “It’s you again. Go away. You got what you wanted.”

“Neeeeeh. Bah.” Amanda said.

The fairy glared. “Well, that’s what unicorns are like. If it wasn’t what you wanted, you should have made a different wish.”

Amanda kicked the tree again. It wasn’t fair. Everyone said unicorns were cool and could do magic. She should have wished to be a pegasus. They could at least fly.

“I’m tired after doing all that magic, so if you would kindly go away, I think I will sleep until next Thursday.” The fairy started disappearing.

“Pah. Buh. Neeeeeeeeeeeeeh.” Amanda kicked the tree again.

The fairy stopped disappearing with a sigh. “I could change you back now, but only if you promise to never ask me for any more wishes.”

Amanda thought for a moment. She had always wanted to do magic. And own a diamond mine. And an island. And live with the mermaids.

On the other hand, if she was a unicorn until next Thursday, she’d miss the talent show. She’d probably break everything in her room before the day was over. It wasn’t fair.

“I’ll tell you what, I can fix anything you broke, too,” the fairy said. “Just promise to leave me alone. If you don’t, I’ll move and take my tree with me.”

Either way, it sounds like she wouldn’t be getting anymore wishes. Amanda gave up. She nodded. The fairy smiled and snapped his fingers.

A rainbow bridge appeared. Amanda squealed a horsey sort of squeal. She jumped up and climbed higher and higher, up through the fluffy white clouds. It was hard to see. Everything was bright and white and fluffy.

Amanda opened her eyes. She was in her bed, which wasn’t broken, and light was shining through her curtains, which weren’t torn. Had any of it actually happened?

Well, one thing was certain. “Unicorns are boring,” Amanda said sadly.

“I agree,” Stanley said as he walked by. “It’s good to hear that you’re finally coming to your senses.”

Amanda threw her pillow out the door, and managed to hit him before he disappeared beyond the doorway. It was good to have hands again.