Bartholomeus Anglicus, or Bartholomew the Englishman in English, was an early 13th-century scholastic scholar of Paris, and a Franciscan monk. He was the author of the compendium De proprietatibus rerum or “On the Properties of Things”. The work was intended for the use of students and the general public. Compiled in 1240, it was a sort of pre-encyclopedia and one of the most popular books in medieval times. This petite unicorn can be seen within its pages.
In 1933 or ’34, Dr W. Franklin Dove took a day-old male Ayrshire calf, surgically removed his horn buds, trimmed them to fit together and replanted them in the centre of the calf’s forehead. As the young bull grew, the buds fused and produced a single foot long horn, straight as an arrow and highly useful in uprooting fences as well as confronting rival bulls.
The Unicorn Bull became the leader of his herd,rarely challenged by other males, not surprisingly. When bulls charge each other the main aim, as with most horned animals, is to bash skulls and push and shove until someone can take no more. Charging towards an enemy who has a spike aimed right between your eyes is not exactly a smart game to play.
Secure in his strength and position, the bull became unusually placid and mild-mannered, which are traits attributed to the Unicorn, oddly enough.