by Georgia Barbato
Many years ago an Italian man fell in love with a woman called Riatu. The man, named Adriano, fell into great dispair when Riatu married his brother Habicho. He fled to a cave in the mounatains taking a scarf that belonged to Riatu. Riatu soon fell ill and died.
Adriano became extremely depressed and everyday he would kill a fox with a silver arrow and then would then cut out the foxes heart and offer it to Venus the roman god of beauty and love. After offering 20 hearts to Venus Adriano asked her if she would let him see Riatu again in the name of love. Venus, furious with him for she had come to love him and wanted him for herself, said "I will let you see her IF you agree to marry and love me." After a few days he finally agreed.
That night Adriano was awakened by a voice. "Adriano, Adriano," Riatu was in his cave! "Adriano, what am I doing here?" then instantly she started to fade away. The next morning Venus came down to collect Adriano, but he refused to go.
"I gave you your wish! You agreed we would be married!", but he still refused until she said "If I alow Riatu to live forever on earth so you can see her, watch her every day, will you marry me? And love me?" Adriano thought about it and then said yes.
Venus made Riatu appear again. "Here." She gave Riatu the heart of a fox and a silver arrow. "Place the arrow through the heart," Riatu did as she was told. Venus took the heart in her pale hands, held the arrow like a dagger and plunged it into the middle of Riatu's forehead. A piercing scream filled the air.
"Have the beauty of a stallion, the powers of a god, the ability to fly through the air like an arrow, and never to love, always to have a small heart like a fox."
A flash filled the air and the scream died away. In Riatu's place stood a beautiful white horse with a silver and red horn in the middle of its forehead.
"There, she will live for ever as a being like this I'll even let you name her species. What do you want to call her?"
Adriano stood forward and stroked the beautiful horse. "Unicorn, she is a unicorn."