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In A Brown Study, 6

June 6, 2016

Are those matters which seem impossible also improbable? “Certainly,” you say, and I tend to believe you. But, imagine my surprise when, glancing at a headline in the LA Times recently, I read, “Unicorn Is Captured by CHP.”

“Whoa!” I thought. “Impossible. Unicorns, if they ever existed, are extinct.” An improbable story ensued, and I surveyed the accompanying photo to determine its accuracy. Perhaps you noticed the picture on the second page of the Times.

The unicorn was found on a public road in the Central Valley. A passer-by decided it was his public duty to notify the California Highway Patrol, using his cell-phone to alert them. Immediately the CHP suspected the caller of being high on hallucinogenic drugs or inebriated, but the officers resignedly determined their duty to investigate. They had been called to many strange events, but never to capture a unicorn.

The ensuing investigation yielded a 500 pound pony, dressed for a photo shoot, wearing a pink horn and a pink fluffy bridle. It was Juliet, the pony owned by a family with a five year old daughter, who loved to see the white pony dressed as a unicorn. Perhaps, and this is my conclusion based on subsequent behaviors, the pony was less enchanted to be dressed as an extinct species. The pony dutifully surrendered and allowed herself to be led back to the frantic little girl, who probably greeted her with tearful hugs and kisses.

Nevertheless, several hours later, still dressed in the garb of a unicorn, Juliet escaped her fenced enclosure again; this time hiding in a nearby orchard to avoid capture. The CHP and family searched for hours, and finally, with the aid of a helicopter, found her nibbling on fallen apples. Attempts to lure her home were met with disdain, until the family summoned a horse with whom Juliet had formed an attachment (her Romeo?) to whinny her away from the orchard and back to her pasture.

To the best of the reader’s knowledge, the CHP did not issue a ticket to the family for failing to keep their pony contained, nor did they suggest it might be best to mend fences or dispose of unicorn garb. Actually, Juliet had torn her fuzzy pink bridle and lost her pink horn in her haste to be free. She obviously did not wish to change her species to that of a unicorn, and her Romeo was undoubtedly proud of her resistance, as any good Romeo would be. All’s well that ends well.

But if something in the news seems impossible, read on. Improbable and impossible are not the same. What a surprise!




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