Blog Tales

The Last Unicorn

I read The Last Unicorn sometime in the early 1980's...

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On Tuesday, February 6th, I was one of 50 people who were winners in a random raffle to attend a private screening in San Francisco of the 25th Anniversary showing of the animated The Last Unicorn and meet the author, Peter S. Beagle.

Here he is... signing books and telling stories...

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What a delightful, generous, humorous, and humble soul... He was a delight to spend time with... for he is a true storyteller, capturing and sparking your imagination... leaving you with bits of wisdom, gathered over a lifetime...

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The small and intimate group setting allowed for conversations with many of the interesting guests, young and older, who are long time fans of Mr. Beagle...

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Some of the guests were accomplished authors, inspired by Mr. Beagle... I had the pleasure of meeting Tomoko, here in the red skirt, who is starting a foundation to help promote literacy...

These three assistants helping with the evening and were a delight to chat with...

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From the left, Leila (a musician in San Francisco), Jamie, and Kim (who manages the Peter S. Beagle website, where you can read about Mr. Beagle and purchase his books and the Last Unicorn DVD)

Mr Beagle has long been an inspiration to me... it was only on my drive home, that I realized I wished I had said to him... "that because of you, there are unicorns in the world... you provided a story for the last unicorn to go in search of discovering where all the unicorns had gone and what it means to step into and follow your destiny..."

Before the showing, Mr. Beagle read from his newest book, soon to be released... I'm Afraid You've Got Dragons." After the showing, he answered questions. I loved his comment to a person asking advice for how to become published. Mr. Beagle said, "don't get being a writer confused with being published. Just because you are having trouble becoming published does not mean you are not a writer. Write because it is what you do. Take an hour a day and write, with no interuptions, for that is your time to write."

I was also aware that when Mr. Beagle responded that he was more like the Blue Butterfly in The Last Unicorn, than Schmendrick the magician, that I saw in Mr. Beagle some of Molly Grue, Captain Cully and the motley band, a shade of Prince Lir and King Haggard, and in his twinkling eyes I saw Mommy Fortuna, the pirate cat, and the talking bones. But, what I will remember most of all, was being in the presence of Lady Amalthea and the last unicorn...

I leave this post with my favorite quote from the book, The Last Unicorn...

"My lady, " he said, "I am a hero. It is a trade, no more, like weaving or brewing, and like them it has its own tricks and knacks and small arts. There are ways of perceiving witches, and of knowing poison streams; certain riddles that hooded strangers tend to set you. But the true secret of being a hero lies in knowing the order of things. The swineherd cannot already be wed to the princess when he embarks on his adventures, nor can the boy knock at the witch's door when she is away on vacation. The wicked uncle cannot be found out and folded before he does something wicked. Things must happen when it is time for them to happen. quests may not simply be abandoned; prophecies may not be left to rot like unpicked fruit; unicorns may go unrescued for a long time, but not forever. The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story."