This is a continuation. To read the first part of this story, click here.
They hatch a plan
One day, while peering out the window watching their mother in the courtyard below the four boys overheard shouting with her servants. It appeared that in her desire to prove to herself she was still a beautiful young maiden she had tried to hunt down a unicorn–a feat which can only be accomplished by a virgin. Their mother, of course, wasn’t, and so spent the entire night in the forest waiting for a unicorn that would never come. She was angry at this, and likely embarrassed in front of the servants, and the sound of her shouting drew particular interest to her boys.
They had not seen her nor spoken with her more than a sentence or two for most of their lives. They felt that there must be something wrong with them for her to not spend any time raising her children. Hearing her so upset gave them an idea of how they could prove their worth.
After their mother was asleep they stole into the kitchen, where they found Meg, the scullery girl. She wasn’t as pretty as their mother. Too many freckles, they thought, and the rusty red hair wasn’t anything like the raven-black of their mother’s. But in the moonlight, the unicorn probably wouldn’t be able to tell, so Meg would have to do.
They tied Meg up with twine, gagged her because girls were so wont to scream, and sat her on a pony. She must be quiet, they said, or they would cut off her braided pigtails. That only succeeded in getting her to sob even louder, and they had to send Mordred with her off alone while the other boys got all their spears and swords.
Finding a unicorn
They marched deep into the forest. Around the turn of midnight, as the moonlight was at its brightest, they found a clearing with a large tree in the center. Here they took Meg and, with a bit of twine, tied her pigtails around the tree. They tied her hands together in her lap, and then her ankles, and finally the four boys scurried into the bushes to watch.
When the unicorn came it was more beautiful than any of them could have expected.