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October 9, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Pretty Pony Smack Down

Lava Field, Deschutes Forest, Oregon,1922. /Dept of Ag.NARA/US PD:Commons.wikimedia.org)

I told you that was a wrong turn. Oh, mah aching hooves. If wishes were horses, we’d be flying out of here.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

The hooves are flying. Epic battle of the ages.

It’s a charge of large. In with all four feet.

Legendary.

Place your bets. (Don’t say, “Nay.”) Choose your ride: Pegasus or Unicorn?

1875. Paris statue of Pegasus. Photo by Durandelle/USPD.artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Hold your horses. Equal time provided. (Durandelle/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Always been partial to Pegasus, myself.

Mythically born of Ancient Greece among gods and goddesses.

Tossing mane in the sky to welcome Spring.

Powerful, elegantly winged, pure white horse worthy of the finest marble. Depicted in grand sculptures of bold adventures and heroes.

Unicorns.

Origins vague at best: natural history accounts by Greek writers and notes by world travelers.

From Indus Valley, perhaps. Marco Polo was unclear. Or China, Japan, or even Africa.

Equally vague is the unicorn’s appearance: a wild woodland creature with one horn, all agree. But described as a horse/goat/wild ass with stag-like head with a beard, body of a deer, tail of a boar or lion, cloven goat hooves, and not all that big. (I mean, it sat in women’s laps.)

Said to be so proud that it would rather die than be captured, unicorns found their way woven into tapestries.

Vintage Western dressed Man, woman, and boy sitting on corral fence by horse. (1957. My Friend Flicka pub. picture. NBC:USPD.pub.date:Commons.wikimedia.org)

We can save the farm. Glue that old goat horn to Flicka here. People will pay to see a unicorn. After a bit we can whack off the horn, grind it up, and sell the powder for folk remedies. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Both unicorns and Pegasus are said to have magical powers.

The unicorn’s horn could make poison water drinkable and heal sickness. (Curious, do unicorns get heavy horn headaches? Do young unicorn sword fight until one gets stabbed and runs to his mom to complain? Seems like that long spike would hinder grazing. Could be why these creatures are smaller. Do unicorns go crazy when some vine gets totally wrapped and stuck around that horn? Talk about frantic head swinging. Whoa. get back. Not to mention shaken brain syndrome.)

Every time Pegasus’ hooves struck the ground, inspirational springs flowed. And he hangs out with the Muses. (California would pay big time for a visit and a few hoof strikes right now, big guy.)

To avoid capture, the unicorn supposedly would leap off a cliff, fall with skill, land on its’ horn and then run off. (No attempt at all to rescue anyone who had been with it. So much for valuing companionship and working with a partner. No teamwork here.)

Pegasus simply unfurled giant wings and flew off. (With or without a friend aboard. Clear winner.)

Pegasus. (1894. Le Triomphe de l'Art. Hotel de Ville of Paris/NonOmnisMoriar/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Pegasus: works hard and parties hard. (1894/NonOmnisMoriar/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Both being so desirable, each had to worry about kidnappings.

According to one legend, Pegasus was captured while drinking at the Pierian spring by the Greek hero Bellerophon who was given a golden bridle by the goddess Athena. (Then the pair rode off to battle) In another version of the myth, Athena tamed Pegasus and gave him to Perseus (and the pair flew to Ethiopia to help Andromeda in battle.)

Now unicorns, as has been said, struggle against capture. Except their downfall, as for many, is a beautiful woman. If a fair maiden, a virgin, sits quietly in the forest, a unicorn will happily walk up,  then, go to sleep in her lap allowing hunter to capture it and take it back to the castle to live quietly in a corral. (Now seriously. How love-sick can you be to just sit there waiting? Hoping she’ll bother to drop by? She’s not that into you! Get some self-esteem, boy!)

Each experienced capture, but what each did afterwards is telling.

unicorn. 1480 Annunciation with the Unicorn/Warsaw museum/Public domain released/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Nothing like having friends in high places. (Virgin Mary and Unicorn/PD/Commons.wiki)

Unicorns have one major advantage which secured their exalted reputation.

Pegasus is of Greek myths with gods and goddess living large and charging across earth and sky. Once the Pantheon was eclipsed by Christianity, it was hide or be banished.

Unicorns appear in Bible verses. They boast of some connection with the Virgin Mary and the Passion of Christ. Nothing like being hitched up with a dominant religion.

So that’s how the pasture is laid out. Which do you saddle up: Unicorn or Pegasus?

Maybe it was early fascination with that big neon red Pegasus over the city skyline, but I’ll take Pegasus over unicorns every time.

Not just the adventurous, dynamic personality, that unicorn horn I see as a potential problem.

What if  the unicorn swung its’ head around to chat or ask directions?

A rider stands a good chance of getting stabbed.

That horn is rumored to have restorative powers, but still, the inconvenient and the agony doesn’t seem worth the risk.

Go team Pegasus!

(No doubt some study has been done about what personalities traits are revealed by the choice. But not caring, we can hoof it out of here before we hear.)

Vintage neon Flying Horse sign. 70 years old. 11 foot Pegsus from 1939 World's Fair/ Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture/aoghs.org)

Now that’s a flying horse! (Mobil’s 11 foot Pegasus from 1939 World’s Fair/Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture/aoghs.org)

Always great leaps,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

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31 Comments

  1. easyweimaraner / Oct 9 2015 1:39 pm

    I wouldpick Pegasus too… it’s not easy to enter a parking lot with a unicorn, that long golden horn can make it a little difficult… and Pegasus can fly…. best ride for rush hour in Paris :o)

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 9 2015 2:23 pm

      Pegasus would be better than Uber. Just drop down out of the sky for a pick up and a flap or two and you’re out of there. Besides you’d have to worry about the unicorn getting lovesick and flopping down for an unexpected nap. (Although, granted, that might not be much of a possibility in some areas?). Thanks for running by pick a flyer!

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      • easyweimaraner / Oct 9 2015 2:33 pm

        I’m not sure if unicorns are allowed in the city…I’ve heard they can make rainbows with their exhaust-pipe.. maybe that counts for smog too ?

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        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 9 2015 5:13 pm

          Unicorns certainly aren’t welcomed on the Tube/subways. People might want to hire them for parades or birthday parties where their unplanned rainbows might be overlooked as part of the act? (Those cloven hooves are a bit creepy…) Silly giggling dog snorts to ya!

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  2. Seumas Gallacher / Oct 9 2015 1:39 pm

    LUV IT!

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  3. Littlesundog / Oct 9 2015 2:07 pm

    I think I would choose the Unicorn. I’m not so keen on flying lately and we’re fairly close to the airport here so it might be a problem with Pegasus. I wouldn’t advertise the unicorn though… there’s more mystery with a unicorn, and maybe some good fortune – health anyway. I don’t know of any virgins around here, so perhaps it could remain wild and keep to this area. I would hope it could remain reclusive and like Sasquatch, a bit of a mystery and only a glimpse seen every now and again. 🙂

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 9 2015 2:29 pm

      I’m thinking they are secluded in the rainforest.(which is why I fretted over the vines). Maybe unicorns keep information vague about them on purpose. Perhaps saw that Pegasus ended up getting pitched up into the sky. Stars are great, but hard to met real girls around them. (Tell Daisy to not tell if she spots one!) Thanks for galloping along

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  4. sportsattitudes / Oct 9 2015 2:58 pm

    As I was reading it quickly popped into my mind…Team Pegasus or Team Unicorn? Definitely a Unicorn for a number or reasons. I liked Littlesundog’s comments. I would fancy myself as an International Unicorn Of Mystery. Probably have to get used to the horn…but I wouldn’t be afraid to use it…especially in traffic.

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 9 2015 5:24 pm

      All that’s needed is sports jerseys…no doubt those are being printed as we speak. Just in time for the tug of war event on the lawn.(Rules insist on no flying or hoofing).
      The flying red horse was first spotted in 1911 in Cape Town, South Africa. Wonder if the unicorns watched that and retreated farther back into the landscape there. Is so, maybe that’s where they are hiding. No traffic to worry about there. Thanks for galloping by with a comment (We will not discuss last night’s Texans vs the Colts game. No unicorn or Pegasus help needed by the Colts at all. Look: baseball’s still going on! Distracting…distracting…)

      Liked by 1 person

      • sportsattitudes / Oct 9 2015 5:32 pm

        Agreed. We shall not discuss the Texans. But go Astros!

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  5. Ally Bean / Oct 9 2015 5:38 pm

    I’m on Team Unicorn. The horn, which all of you seem to see as an inconvenience, I see as an opportunity. Good place to hang your coat or hat. Instant letter opener. Or when in a pinch, useful as an iced tea spoon. 😉

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 9 2015 6:00 pm

      And a unicorn can poke a person who is supposed to be listening instead of texting someone else. Besides, someone has to help put up outdoor Christmas lights and the star on the tree. No tired shoulders for a unicorn assisting. Thanks for pointing out benefits to be considered

      Liked by 1 person

  6. PiedType / Oct 9 2015 11:26 pm

    Pegasus all the way. I really dig that flying thing.

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  7. Sun / Oct 10 2015 12:55 am

    Easy. Unicorns for sure. Can’t go wrong if one goes along with the BVMary. Happy weekend!!

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  8. Paul / Oct 10 2015 9:32 am

    I’m a unicorn guy all the way. My problem is that early in life I took a shine to science. From a scientific perspective unicorns are not only possible but probable. For instance there are other one horned species, like the narwhal and rhinoceros. There are even creatures similar to unicorns, like elk and antelope that have two horns. So, it is obvious that it is certainly possible for there to be horned quadrupeds and there are two-horned versions. Likewise there are one horned versions of other animals categories. Nature abhors a vacuum and if it is possible for something to exist, it most likely will or did. And of course being the meddlers we are, given the genes are out there for single horned quadrupeds and for horses, sooner or later some genetics student is going to wonder what would happen if the two were combined. O_o

    Pegasus now, not very likely from a scientific perspective. All things that are capable of powered flight in this world (not gliding like Rocky the Squirrel) have very low body mass to volume ratio – with hollow bones, truncated skulls, and other characteristics that allow function without density. Here’s the problem – the same one that the Space Shuttle has – the power required to move something larger grows faster than geometrically as size increases. So, to move 1 kg of payload into orbit requires 9.39 pounds of rocket fuel. So as the payload grows, the fuel requirements grow approx 10 times faster. So if a bird’s guts and head weigh about 1 pound, then it would take roughly 10 pounds of muscle to move it against gravity.If you wanted to fly a 1,000 pound horse, you would need about 10,000 pounds of muscle. Only elephants are that strong – so you would more likely see an elephant fly than find Pegasus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 12 2015 3:56 pm

      Whew, glad you said all that so I didn’t have to. Unicorns of a sort did/do exist – all sorts of fascinating scientific explanations. Good chance they were using the horn to get that last olive out of the jar and got the jar stuck on their head with no assistance around…and others thought it was a cool prance and imitated it – much to their distress and decline. OR they really did miss the ark.
      Pegasus..there is the bumble bee theory. Flying Pegasus has been spotted multiple times: one by Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and some private aviation companies…some took to the skies during WWII, I think. Who knows. Good chance they are in the rainforest – which would account for the red ones which were trademarked in 1911 in Cape Town, South Africa.
      World is full of wonder. (And you’re one of them) Thanks for flying in with an assist

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul / Oct 13 2015 4:28 am

        Bwahaha! I haven’t been called a wonder since I left my parents’ home – and I am still suspicious they were using it as a euphemism. 😀

        Yeah, the bee thingy was startling -those little fat, chunky, furry things flying around apparently against all the rules – but bees always were a rule-breaking bunch, the flower children of the bug world. And you’ll find very few any bigger than your thumb – any fatter and they would be walking. 😀

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        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 13 2015 3:59 pm

          Oh, they wouldn’t do that – us either! (PS – Have you heard from Willow? Thoughts to her and hers – but can’t get her site backup right now. Wishing her strength and peace.)
          Bummble. Now there’s one determined to go their own way! Good to copy that.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Paul / Oct 13 2015 4:24 pm

          I got some e-mail notifications from Willow just now (was having a NAP) – I’ll have to check.

          Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 13 2015 5:11 pm

          thanks

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        • Paul / Oct 13 2015 5:19 pm

          Her site is back and she is asking for our prayers for her older sister ..

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        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 13 2015 8:33 pm

          I was typing in a note to her and when I push send, it all disappeared. Thanks mucho

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  9. EllaDee / Oct 10 2015 8:19 pm

    Unicorns…the first childrens novel I ever remember reading was Alan Garners’ Elidor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elidor 🙂

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 12 2015 8:03 pm

      Pegasus may hang out with muses, but unicorns have cornered literature – especially children’s literature and fantasy…and if you grab them young enough they are yours forever (either the reader or the unicorns…they don’t leave) Thanks for pointing the way to a wonderful book!

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  10. jannatwrites / Oct 11 2015 4:07 am

    Now that’s a tough choice and I’ve honestly never thought about it. I think I’d have to pick unicorn though…. just because the horn is so cool 🙂

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 12 2015 8:05 pm

      And if you think about it, unicorns are really practical to have around – got something stuck in the bottom of a container with a thin neck? A unicorn can just stab it out for you. Great choice. Thanks for galloping by

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  11. Kourtney Heintz / Oct 12 2015 2:35 am

    I always loved unicorns, but a flying horse seems like the better choice. I was a huge fan of My Little Pony growing up too. 🙂

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    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 12 2015 8:07 pm

      A flying horse with flowing mane and tail – not that’s an image worth painting. (and they keep their hooves clean and out of the mud that way, so there’s less housekeeping. WInner! Thanks for trotting by with a comment

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  12. marthaschaefer / Oct 14 2015 6:10 pm

    I’d take a Centaur any day over your unicorn or pegasus!

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  13. jmmcdowell / Oct 14 2015 7:17 pm

    I’d probably choose Pegasus, too. And since he’s somewhat divine, I bet he could shapeshift a bit to include a horn now and again. 😉

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