Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) is a small deciduous tree native to eastern North America with green apetalous flowers and dimorphous leaves. It grows to roughly 20 feet tall and its wood and bark possess a characteristic sweet smell. Its leaves can form in three distinct shapes with one, two, or three lobes. The trilobed leaf is the best known and most common shape. Smaller trees the size or large shrubs are desired for their roots and leaves, while bigger trees are desired for their timber. Read more
Robert Fabyan (1455? – 1512) was a draper, sheriff, and author of Fabyans cronycle. The Cronycle recounted English and French history covering the time period from the legendary first king of England Brutus of Troy to the Tudor Henry VII.
A unicorn appears in Fabyans cronycle. The early medieval king of the Salian Franks, Childeric (440-482), was exiled for seducing his followers’ wives. During his eight years in exile, he was taken in by King Bisinus of Thuringia. Over time, lusty Childeric seduced Bisinus’ queen, Basina. Childeric eventually returned to his kingdom and Basina left her husband and accompanied her new lover Childeric to Tournai.
William Shakespeare mentioned unicorns three times in his plays: Julius Caesar (1599), Timon of Athens (1605), and The Tempest (1610).
In Julius Caesar, Decius described how a unicorn could be caught by a tree, “That Unicornes may be betrayed with Trees,” – insinuating that a unicorn would charge a hunter who would then sidestep at the last second causing the unicorn to lodge his horn into the tree.
On a map created by Frenchman Pierre Desceliers in 1546, a solitary white unicorn appeared situated between Penobscot Bay and Cape Cod. How did it get there?