The unicorns' forest had been of unspeakable beauty. Its leaves always the greenest of green, its birds the most beautiful ones ever seen and the way they used to sing when the unicorn was close would make you cry tears of joy.

So overwhelming was the unicorns' forest... Every human being who came to her forest would fall for the place and call it the most peaceful and sacred place in the world – as though those who came had seen no more than the country they live in. The unicorn would watch them spreading out their limbs in the rich grass of the nicest clearance, in which a small pond was, that was called 'Dragonflies Lake' although it was no real lake. About ten men could lie outstretched in its length and its deepest spot was no more than the full height of a toddler. But if you'd go there in the right season you'd see hundreds and hundreds of dragonflies playing upon the water's surface and sometimes fooling the little amphibian creatures, which lived in it.

The unicorn and the dragonflies were close as friends would be and they would also play a lot. All living in the forest was close to the unicorn, she would love them with all her immortal heart and they would admire her beauty and wisdom and love her back. Once the unicorn would step out in the clearing each animal would stop in their motions and watch her walking in such graze and peace.

Now and then men's feet would come up to the lake and enjoy the light-hearted atmosphere the unicorn caused there. Sometimes pretty maiden would dance around the small pong and laugh, they would sit in the clearing and sing a tempting song of faraway kingdoms, young, brave princes and shining magic. They would let their voices fly with the wind and hope the unicorn would hear them and come to them to lay her head in their laps or to let them ride on her. But she would never come... not anymore. When she has been young as the time she came to; back then she would give into some girls' pleas, she would let them touch and caress her soft, sea-foam mane and her snowy white neck and sides. She would even let the purest of all maiden ride her bareback.

But when the unicorn grew old and time with her both changed. She would still watch mankind come to her forest, she would watch them pleading her to show up, but she wouldn't listen. Though the unicorn was often tempted to come to small, young girls – she wouldn't. She would smile when the little girls would dance cheerful and sing with soft, high voices, but she would never come near enough for them to discover her.

That was until one day. It was a dark, clouded day in the late afternoon and an aging woman stepped up to the clearing. She had greying dark, curly and untamed hair, her face could have been beautiful one day, back when she was young, but now it was old and worn, still not ugly, pretty even somehow, in a wise way. Her body told a story of a life of hard work and deprivation as did her eyes, still those held a secret...

When the woman had climbed up to the Dragonflies Lake she knelt down beside it and began to wash her hands and face. Watching her reflection in the water's surface she sighed melancholic.

The unicorn had been watching her ever since she'd entered her lilac forest and now she was standing, shaded and well hidden by blooming trees, wondering.

The aging woman stretched her neck with a slight moan then she stared ahead, nowhere really. "Hallo", she said, still not looking at anything in particular. The unicorn behind the trees closed her eyes. "Be greeted", she whispered with her surreal, angelic voice. She slowly emerged from the bushes and with long, graceful strides she come to the woman's side. Slightly smirking, but still not facing her the woman mumbled, "Long time no see" And as if reading her thoughts the unicorn answered, "I have not forgotten about you" A small tear forming in her eyes, the woman smiled and nodded in reply, "I thought so... neither have I forgotten about you"

Slowly she rose from her seat in the grass and straightened, eventually she faced the unicorn. Seeing her standing in front of her and looking worn yet full of peace, the unicorn thought, there has never rested a more sincere beauty in a human form than in the one of Molly Grue...

For a long while the both of them stood in silence, just watching the other, each lost in their own thoughts and dreams. Just when the unicorn shifted, her ears flickering a very little bit Molly Grue gazed up into the sky. "He is King now", she said nonchalantly as if she was just musing to herself. The unicorn too followed her gaze in the skies and slightly titled her shining white head. Taking the chance the woman took a cautious look into the unicorn's large, misty eyes. They weren't as clear and shiny as they had been once; a very long time ago, when the unicorn had come to Molly for the very first time. Back then there had been pure life in her eyes, her woods, her friends, the animals, the earth her feet had touched, the air she had been breathing and the crystal clear water of the Dragonflies Lake and the tiny cushy drops of easing, warm summer rain, which fell at times. Her eyes had held the whole story of birth till death and a new beginning, every creature had seemed to live alone through her eyes... but today, Molly thought regretfully, today her eyes had lost their gleam. There were still her woods and all living – rather again than still, for when the unicorn had been human once everything had faded and left her eyes drained and empty – but now they were not like when she'd been young anymore. It had been the eyes of ignorant innocence back then. She was still of the purest heart and this held no guilt at all, for a unicorn could never be anything but innocent, but the innocence of her eyes was a knowing one now, no more they were ignorant to the world's evil – mankind. Now that she had been a woman once herself she knew their hearts as well...

"He is fine", the unicorn suddenly said out of the blue, her gaze wandering to the mirroring surface of the lake's water. She watched her reflection, liking what she saw. Being a little vain did never mean to risk her purity and she knew it. Then she turned and paced slowly around in the clearing. Molly Grue smiled sadly and came to her side again, walking with her for a while. "Yes", she said, "he is fine. He is a good king, who gives his very best for his kingdom and his people he treats like a true king. ... he is missing you every day though"

Eyeing the feathered hair over her cloven hooves the unicorn stayed silent. After another while Molly Grue asked, "Will you ever leave your forest again?" The unicorn looked at her sincerely. "No", she said and they both knew, there was no doubt to this.

She had no more reason to leave. When she had done this, years ago it had been because of the others of her kind. If she hadn't left then her feet would have never been at ease again. But now was different. She knew, why she would leave if she would do it. Because of human love... but she was too wise to do this. She knew, this love was mortal and fading with time, though it would forever remain in her immortal heart as a treasure too precious to reveal. There were more important things. Humans wouldn't understand, she thought, but her forest, the living in it – all this depended on her in a magical way. She wouldn't risk harming them by leaving anew. And it was her home after all, a home she was used to and used to admire. Why would you leave your one home for the unknown...

Another while the unicorn and the woman strolled through the high grass, side to side, resting here and there, sleeping a bit when the sun shone soothing on their backs.

There was not much more time left until the sun would set and Molly Grue felt sadness rising in her chest. However she was feeling fine, seeing the unicorn again had let her come to rest and she was happy to know, that she was still there. And as she looked into the unicorn's eyes she found they were watching her, musing. Now as she saw the great wisdom and endless confidence in them she too knew, the unicorn would always stay and be here, waiting...

Sensing her thoughts the unicorn rose, graceful as ever from the ground and laid her head in Molly's hands. The woman smiled and caressed the silken cheeks before placing an ever so soft kiss on the unicorn's nose.

Knowing, a unicorn would never actually say farewell Molly just brushed her palm lovingly over her mane one more time and then she watched it disappear into the trees.

When Molly Grue had reached the foot of the mountain on which the forest grew she undid the knot in the rope with which she'd tied her horse to a tree and patted its flanks. The horse gave a friendly grunt and shook its head. Before Molly had utterly turned to leave she let a last glance travel up to the hills and indeed found the wild and untamed graceful sight of the unicorn standing on a high spot, watching her calmly. The old growing woman smiled and nodded before she led her horse away.

Maybe they would meet again one day, maybe not. Who knew... But for now Molly Grue went back to the magician, who was already fast asleep in their tent. She knew, again he had been practising to find some true magic, to accompany them in their apparently everlasting journey...

"Where have you been?", Schmendrick mumbled drowsily, in his sleep, not even half awake when she'd laid down next to him. She didn't answer, he was already asleep afresh anyway. The only noise, coming to Molly Grue's ears was the soft and enchanting hum of a dragonfly.

Before sleep and vivid dreams came over her she would muse, maybe one day...

And up in the lilac forest a unicorn would lie close to a glistening pond, listening to the whispering wind. Maybe, it would say, maybe one day...

"the end" or "finish" shall not be written, because the unicorn's tale is an eternal one.