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Story author Sumitra Menon

Sage Saves the World: A Story of Hope for the Young at Heart

Editor’s Note: Sumitra Menon, an MSIA minister in Australia, wrote the following story for her granddaughter when the Covid pandemic first began. She lovingly agreed that we could share it with you through the New Day Herald. Enjoy!

It is the year 3000. The unicorns are back. After centuries of lurking about in tapestries, picture books and fantasy movies, they find themselves once again drawn to the sheer pleasure of being real. The ancient ones among them had stories of how it was when they ran together in the brilliant sunshine, over soft green grass and red earth, through the blue gum high forests down to the creeks and billabongs and oceans. Humans were rare then, and friendly and approachable and respectful of nature in all its forms.

Of course, there were predators, even back then. Some of them were large, with sharp claws, talons, teeth or beaks; others were smaller, closer to the ground and fast, working in packs to hunt and capture; and some tinier creatures – hardly visible in some cases – which stung and stunned the unicorns and caused great pain. But all of these had one thing in common: they only attacked for food or in the drive for the continuation of their own species. They did not kill for sport.

That only happened centuries later when human beings, forgetting the stewardship roles they had been assigned, began to feel the need not just to conquer, but to demonstrate their mastery over every other life form.

Then the unicorns dispersed. They withdrew reluctantly, so gradually that humans hardly noticed until one day there were no unicorns left at all to be seen – no pegasi, no embers or even ruva. They were gone from people’s lives and from their memories.

All except a few, like Sage.

Sage lived in the bushland that adjoined the garden where the children played, had lived there since before there were houses, or gardens or children playing in them. Little Mishie had seen her, late one evening, when she was two and her grandmother had taken her and her brother Max on to the balcony to look at the supermoon. Mishie had not been very interested in the moon, especially since she could see it from the window in her room, so she stood on tiptoe at the edge of the balcony and peered over the railing into the moonlit backyard instead. She thought she saw a bird, a white cockatoo, but no – it was a shimmery-white horse with a horn. Of course, Mishie being two, could not explain or point out her vision to anyone, especially as Sage quickly decided she did not want to be seen. But somehow a bond had formed, and an image remained in Mishie’s memory that would never be erased.

Sage, like the other unicorns who had decided to stay in the suburbs, was curious about humans – she was fascinated by Mishie and Max and took pleasure in watching them grow. Sometimes, late at night when the tawny frogmouth was calling softly and only the wallabies, the fruit-bats and the ringtail possums were about, she would go and stand by Mishie’s window and send her gentle and beautiful thoughts so that when she awoke, she would be happy and peaceful, no matter what happened during the day.

Unicorns do this a lot, which explains why we humans can go to bed cross and unhappy and wake up the next morning with a song in our hearts. Unicorns specialise in ways that cure many ills, especially those caused by our thoughts.

One night when she was six, Mishie woke up and saw Sage the unicorn standing outside the window – she saw her beautiful shimmery mane, her gleaming graceful white body and her single majestic horn. By this stage, she was familiar with unicorns in her picture-books but didn’t know they really existed. Unicorn and girl looked at each other and knew they would be friends forever. The next morning, as often happens with magical encounters, Mishie thought she had had a lovely dream and sang a happy song to herself as she got ready for school. But Sage remembered.

And then the pandemic began.

Humans began behaving even more erratically than before, fighting not only over who had what but also about what had caused the disease, what should be done, and who was to blame.

Sage was concerned.

She had grown fond of the children and could not allow the world situation to deteriorate, to affect Mishie, Max and their family. She called for a meeting of her tribe and because unicorns communicate telepathically, it was quickly arranged. They met high in the Blue Mountains, where there was sacred ground on which lived people who still knew of unicorns and magic. Everyone present at the tribal meeting, young and old, regardless of whether they could run, fly, swim, and work with minds or bodies, agreed that it was time for intervention. It was time to join forces with their extended family across the globe and put into action what was needed to save humanity from itself.

The unicorns knew exactly what was needed.

They knew that there was only one cure: loving kindness. But the implementation would be tricky especially since many human beings now seemed to see violence as a solution to life’s problems.

So the call went out across the world – to the forests and mountains, prairies and veldts, ice-caps and deserts and every unicorn answered the call and tuned into the universal unicorn mind to explore the options available, to be of service to mankind at this time. The global meeting of the Great Council of Unicorns began at sunset in the Antipodes, and suggestions were invited from anyone who had an idea. The contributors were sensible, eloquent and passionate. By the time the meeting ended, dawn was breaking and there was unanimous agreement that this global action had to be gradual and synchronised in order not to alarm humans.

And so the initiative began.

Small clusters of unicorns – “blessings” they were called – began to come back among the people. They stood in the shadows at the edges of towns, on dunes overlooking the ocean, and in candlelit rooms where they knew they wouldn’t be easily seen. Sometimes the alaricorns and pegasi flew in broad daylight, over schools and soccer fields and beaches; they flew high enough so no one could identify them, and occasionally at night they would fly lower and allow their magical glow to be seen by devices that picked up UFOs. The teenage pegasi especially loved doing this, and once they knew they had been spotted, they laughed with delight and made themselves invisible.

Life on earth kept improving, and no one really knew why.

The magic of the unicorns was felt all over the land, even by people who did not believe in them. They did not know that the unicorns dipped their mystical healing horns into the great dams supplying water to billions of people; nor that they used the magical energy generated by their mere presence to affect the internet so that people stopped sharing bad news stories on social media and looked for ways to make each other happy. Nor did they know that many unicorns, especially the ruva, visited children regularly and sang melodious unicorn songs into their dreams. There was an increasing number in the reports of people seeing UFOs, and nature spirits, and strange lights in the shadows, and the most amazing of all, many girls and boys – including straight A students – were sure they had seen unicorns. Of course, their parents said they were imagining things, but they were not nearly as strong in their convictions as they might have been a year or so before. You see, adults had begun listening to children, hearing wisdom far beyond their years and recognising that maybe they deserved more attention.

And politicians of all persuasions became fearless and started working together to promote wellbeing as well as good health. Nations shared their wealth, removed boundaries, took down fences and supported one another’s efforts to become better friends and neighbours: better humans in a better world. The earth recovered from centuries of neglect and breakdown maintenance and became once again lush and productive. With enhanced wellbeing, the human immune systems became strong and resilient to the onslaught of not just the current virus, but to many of the minor ailments that had been taken for granted for decades.

Loving kindness can work wonders.

The message of the unicorns was the same; transmitting via the air and water, thought and song, they did their work diligently and silently, knowing that once the critical mass had been reached, the whole world would understand, and behave accordingly.

And so it came to pass, and peace was restored, just as the unicorn elders remembered it.

The Great Council of Unicorns, however, realised that it was prudent to keep out of the way of humans, to use invisibility often and to maintain just enough presence on the planet so that neither they nor this experience would be forgotten. They agreed that for the next millennium or so they would adhere to this plan and perhaps restore unrestricted association with the human race in the year 3000. But only if it seemed to be for the highest good at that time…

And what of Mishie, Max and Sage without whom none of this would ever have occurred? Mishie would have loved to have a pet unicorn of her very own, but that is not how magical creatures work. Sage still lives in the bushland behind their home and they see each other when their hearts desire it and when the light is favourable. But now, Mishie knows Sage is really there.
And that makes her happy.

Sumitra Menon
Sydney 2020

7 thoughts on “Sage Saves the World: A Story of Hope for the Young at Heart”

  1. Susan Talbott

    This was pure delight. I am filled once again with hope. Thank you, Sumitra. I cannot wait to share it!

  2. Beautiful Sumi.
    thank you so much for sharing this magical story.
    You just an illustrator now and a publisher. It would enrich the lives of young and old alike
    Lalage

  3. Ilenya Marrin

    Thank you for sharing this lovely story, so filled with hope and loving. I am uplifted, joyful, reading it.

  4. Rosemary Ferris

    Beloved Sumi
    Thank you for this enchanting story that restores faith and hope for a better future: the child in me draws much comfort from your beautiful Australian bush imagery and knowing how much Mishie and Max must love this too! What a lovely gift!✨

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