A Fable by
Edward L. Woodyard
Inspired by I Corinthians 13
A happy man walked alone through a large garden one starry night. A unicorn appeared and
“Why are you happy?” the unicorn asked.
“I’m in love,” said the man. “Why do you wander in the garden?”
“I’m trying to find the meaning of all the stars in the universe,” the unicorn answered and
then asked, “What is love?”
“It is when my beloved and I wrap ourselves in passion. We become that which is ours
“I don’t understand,” said the unicorn.
“Love is not understood,” said the man. “For if it is defined, then it ceases to be.”
“That’s a nice thought,” said the unicorn.”
Said the man, “With love, thought fails. And that is not all. Knowledge fails and
wisdom fails also.”
The unicorn then asked the man, “Does love fail?”
“Love itself never fails,” the man answered.
“But how do you know when you’re in love?” the unicorn asked.
“You know when it’s right.”
“How would you describe it?”
“Love doesn’t know description.”
“Why do you act this way?”
“Love doesn’t know behavior either. Nor does it know worship. Or equity. Or justice.”
“Is love lost?” asked the unicorn.
“Sometimes. But when true love is tested in a storm, it is never lost,” said the man.
“Is your love true?”
“Oh yes,” answered the man. “Love thrives in truth. It also thrives in hope. In faith. In
laughter. And in pain.”
“But how do you know when it’s there?” the unicorn asked.
“It is like the jasmine which blooms at night. It will still bloom even though you don’t
see it. Its perfume is there for you to savor.”
“Then love is everywhere,” said the unicorn.
“It is everywhere and it is nowhere. It is everything and it is nothing. It fulfills and it
“Is love a riddle?”
“Love is suffering, yet love is gentle. It encompasses, yet is not encompassed. It
changes, yet is not changed. It is the only measure of life, yet it has no measure.”
The man looked to the heavens. The unicorn did likewise.
Said the man, “Love is the distant star which is reached.”
“When do you reach that star?” asked the unicorn.
“Love is the victor over time,” said the man. “For while time knows what love is, love
doesn’t know what time is.”
The unicorn turned to leave the garden, but there was one more question for the man. “Is
love the meaning of all the stars in the universe?”
“All you need is just one star,” said the happy man, “and I have that.”
Edward L. Woodyard is an award-winning journalist, reporter, feature editor, screenwriter, playwright, college consultant, and novelist. He lives in Westchester County, New York with his wife; they have two grown children.