Monday, July 8, 2013

Misleading Mythological National Animal?

So a little birdie told me to look up what Scotland's national animal was and I couldn't believe what I found....

It's a UNICORN!!!


Actually, that title is slightly misleading. The unicorn is one of the two national animals, along with the Red Lion. The unicorn, despite being fictional, was already being shown as a symbol of the Scottish royal family in the 1400s.

Examples of early royal connections are a shield carved into Rothesay Castle and some coins dating back to as early as 1466. Scottish mythology, as well as having magical tales of unicorns, is full of mysterious and fascinating creatures.

One you may have heard of is the Loch Ness monster. Since the 5th century the story of a giant ‘water beast’ that has dragged many a fisherman to their death.

Lesser known folklore includes the tale of Tam O'Shanter, which was immortalised by poet Robert Burns in the 1800s.

The story tells of witches and ghosts and perfectly captures the essence of being curled up around the fire on a windy night in the highlands, listening to a scary story.

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