Although unicorns are fantasy creatures, they have been widely categorized for appearance and characteristics in imagination by writers and artists for centuries. The hair is white and the size is about the size of a horse. From the center of the forehead protrudes a single, spiral-shape large pointed horn. Sometimes the animal has sparkles on the horn.
Magical properties are linked to these literary creatures. A child who still believes in magic can be comforted by a stuffed toy in the shape of the fantasy animal. The comfort of a soft stuffed animal is soothing to the touch. It makes the child feel safer to have a familiar toy to hug. Often, bedtime stories feature good themes, with protection for the weak and helpless. This type of comfort may help to alleviate fear of the dark and the "monsters" in the closet.
Literary references to the creature go back to the ancient Greeks. The beast was believed to be very shy, so much so that it could only be captured by a female as pure as it is. Unicorns would come to the young women and fall asleep in their lap.
The art of the Middle Ages in Europe occasionally reflects images of the same themes as portrayed in literature from the time. Tapestry was a popular art form with embroidered panels picturing the maiden, animal resting peacefully in her lap and approaching hunters. The elements of strength, yet vulnerability, purity and grace are portrayed vividly. The hunters wanted the magical elements found in the horn, which was believed to serve as an antidote for poison and to heal illness.
The mythology extended to movies both as children's entertainment and adult fantasy. The animals are usually in a supporting or incidental role. Animated movies can use the depictions when a princess needs saving from evil forces. Occasionally a fantasy genre will include unicorns as part of the story line.
Today, this plush animal is popular as a child's toy or as a preadolescent bed decoration. The toy is made of durable polyester so that it can be cleaned. The horn is the perfect size for a child's hand to grasp. Unicorns come in a variety of sizes. They are often white, but may be pastel colors. Because they are suitable for young children, care is taken to avoid small parts that could cause choking.
A cuddle toy such as a plush unicorn is comforting to a child who wants to hug the toy for soothing and comforting. There are no parts to hurt or injure the youngster. The toys are easy to clean and are durable.
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