[Here’s the conclusion of yesterday’s story.]
Though Gina prayed Franco’s unicorn fantasy would magically vanish after the library fiasco, she felt no surprise when her son revisited the subject the very next day. She was in the kitchen doing some last minute straightening when she heard a painful yelp echoing from the foyer. Responding immediately, she found her boy on his knees, crying and bemoaning: “My unicorn hurt me!”
Worried over what she deemed a disturbing escalation of Franco’s imaginations, Gina conceived a drastic, spur-of-the-moment plan to end her son’s flight of fancy once and for all. She began by quietly and sweetly asking him to tell her where the unicorn had gone. Still hiccupping with tears, Franco mutely pointed in the general direction of the floor.
Gina moved her son gently aside and convincingly mimed a series of actions, beginning with the loading of a double-barreled shotgun. After identifying her “special unicorn-killing gun” to Franco, she took aim toward the floor and let loose with both barrels, yelling: “Bam!, Bam!” Then, for good measure, she alternated between beating the newly-deceased beast over the head with her shotgun barrel and stomping on its invisible carcass with both feet, all while crazily shouting: “This’ll teach you to hurt my son!”; and “take that, you stupid horse!”
So intent was Gina on demolishing her boy’s fantasy companion beyond recognition that she failed to hear a fist knocking on her front door. She also failed to note the two wide-eyed faces gaping at her antics through the sidelights. Not until several minutes later — after she’d finished burying the unicorn’s remains with her imaginary shovel — did she learn from her son that the child and mother who’d scheduled a play date for the afternoon had come, and gone, already.
Much to Gina’s dismay, her grisly performance did not terminate Franco’s fantasy. Yesterday morning, when she instructed him to put his shoes on and come downstairs, the tyke stubbornly refused, calling out: “I can’t; my unicorn’ll hurt me again!”
Gina marched up to her son’s bedroom, fully intending to spank the unicorn out of him. But her intent and anger died the moment she walked in and got a look at his toes. One of them sported a massive, angry-looking bunion, the sight of which previously had eluded her. As she rushed to the boy’s side, he thrust forward his inflamed digit and once again proclaimed: “Do you see my unicorn now Mommy?”
Naturally, Gina felt mystified by her son’s odd designation for his bunion, so she asked him why on earth he’d decided to call the growth on his toe a “unicorn.” She grew considerably less mystified and pathetically more apologetic after she heard his explanation.
“Daddy said the bike at the circus I saw with one wheel’s a unabikle.”
“It’s a ‘unicycle,’ but okay,” Gina replied.
“And daddy said ‘una’ means one thing.”
“‘Uni’; that’s right Franco.” Gina couldn’t follow her son’s reasoning yet, but played along anyway.
“And one time Mommy, you had these on your foot and you said they’re ‘corns.’”
“Well I got one corn, Mommy … so it’s a unicorn!”
Still no such thing as a unicorn.