Female horses (mares) exhibit a very strange behaviour after they mate with a male. A mare will mate with every other male in the stable, almost immediately after mating with the first one. This strange post-coital promiscuity does not appear to make any sense from an evolutionary perspective, as one would think that pregnancy would lead to a decrease in libido so the mother can focus on caring for her embryo. However, this promiscuity is part of a strategy that helps protect the baby horses.
It is common behaviour in the animal kingdom for a male to kill a female’s young so that he can mate with her and produce babies with his own genetic material. This also happens in horses, where stallions engage in infanticide, kicking a foal to death if it is not his. For a mother horse, this is not only heartbreaking, but also a tremendous waste of the energy she put into pregnancy. So to protect her offspring and conserve energy, she ensures that no male knows who the father of her baby is. It has been shown that males who mated with a female who gave birth will not attack the foal, as there is a chance that it is his. Thus, a mother horse guarantees the protection of her child by prostituting herself to all of the males around.
Although the story of a mother willing to sacrifice everything, even her dignity, for the safety of her offspring may be inspiring, it has also been observed that if a mare cannot mate with all of the males in the stable, she will instead abort the pregnancy. For example, if a new horse is brought into the herd after the mare becomes pregnant, the mare senses the danger to her eventual foal and proceeds to abort it. In a study involving zebras, it was found that bringing in a new male made the foal’s chances of survival fall to less than 5 percent.
Sagittarius is the Zodiac sign for those born between November 22 and December 21. The symbol for Sagittarius is centaur (half-man, half-horse) with a bow and arrow.
The model for Sagittarius is the wisest and most intelligent centaur, Chiron. Although most centaurs are known to be aggressive beasts only interested in women and alcohol, Chiron was different in that he was culture and civilised. He was interested in gathering knowledge and learning philosophy, especially medical knowledge. Chiron is also famous for being the teacher and master of many famous heroes and gods. Among his students are: the god of medicine, Asclepius; the Trojan War hero, Achilles; leader of the Argonauts, Jason; and the famous hero, Hercules. One day, Hercules ended up in a fight with some centaurs, which resulted in a bloody battle. Hercules used arrows coated with the poison of the Hydra (which he obtained during his twelve labours), swiftly killing many centaurs. Chiron saw this battle and galloped there to try and stop everyone from hurting each other. But Hercules did not see his master and accidentally shot him with a poison arrow. Although Chiron was given the gift of immortality by the gods, the Hydra’s poison still caused excruciating pain. Even though he was one of the best medical professions of his time, he could not alleviate the pain and begged Zeus to put him out of his misery. Zeus accepted this and raised him into the heavens to become a constellation as a sign of respect.
(Part of the Zodiac series: https://jineralknowledge.com/tag/zodiacs/?order=asc)
During the 11th century, the town of Coventry was suffering grievously under the earl’s oppressive taxation scheme. The earl’s wife, Lady Godiva, took pity on the people and pleaded her husband to lift the heavy taxes. The husband refused over and over, until one day in exasperation he made a wager: if she would ride through the streets of Coventry naked, he would grant her request. The earl believed that she would never undertake such a shameful, scandalous act. Lady Godiva pondered on the decision for a while, but then agreed on the condition that her husband keep his word.
Rumour quickly spread of what Lady Godiva was willing to do for the sake of her people. Out of respect and appreciation, the people of Coventry mutually agreed to stay indoors behind shuttered windows to preserve her dignity as she passed. On the fateful day, Lady Godiva set out on her white horse, stark naked and only draped by her long luscious hair. The entire town was silent, with every person in their home with the windows closed shut so that the Lady was the only one passing by, with no one to see her. However, one man, a tailor by the name of Tom, could not overcome his curiosity and lust and decided to peep through a hole in his shutter to gaze at her nude body. At that moment, he was struck blind, being punished for his voyeurism (this is the origin of the term “peeping tom”). In the end, the earl reluctantly abolished the onerous taxes, admiring his wife’s bravery and the respect the people had for her.
There once lived an old man in northern China who was a great fortune teller. One day, his horse ran away to the land of the savages. The villagers all gave the old man their condolences, but the old man said without a hint of sorrow:
“Who knows? This may bring good fortune.”
A few months later, the horse came back with the fastest horse of the savages. When the villagers praised the old man, he said without a shred of joy:
“Who knows? This may bring bad fortune.”
Then one day, the old man’s son who loved horse riding fell off the savage’s horse and broke his leg. When the villagers tried to cheer him up, the old man replied in a calm manner:
“Who knows? This may bring good fortune.”
A year later, when the savages attacked the village, all of the young men had to fight them and ultimately died during battle. But the old man’s son survived as he was lame.
Nothing in life is certain. Good and bad, luck and misfortune come in random order in life and cannot be predicted. Thus, it is wiser to enjoy every day as it is, throw away all of your preconceptions of the future and dream and hope for the best.
The unicorn is pictured as a white stallion with a single, prominent horn on its forehead. It is still loved and is one of the most well-known mythical creatures. As with any mythical beasts, there are interesting stories related to the unicorn.
The horn is the source of the unicorn’s strength – the infinite fountain of magical power that grants the unicorn unmatched strength and speed. If it meets an enemy it either sprints and disappears, or uses its large weapon to impale even the hardest armour. This makes it extremely hard to capture.
Medieval people believed the horn of the unicorn to be a highly valuable magic ingredient, with extremely potent cleansing properties that could purify even lakes and seas. But as the only way to attain the horn is to capture a unicorn, it was an extremely rare commodity.
To catch a unicorn, one must know its most important (yet not well-known in the modern age) trait. Although they are wild beasts with a savage temper, they calm down like lamb in front of one group of people – virgin maidens. If it detects even the faintest scent of a virgin, it rushes towards her and places its head on her lap, soundly falling asleep. Due to this characteristic, it is often portrayed as a symbol of purity and chastity, and also Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
According to notes written by Leonardo Da Vinci himself, hunters used this trick to capture unicorns that would fall asleep on a virgin’s lap (whom they brought with them to aide in the hunt). Even a mighty beast has a weakness that can be exploited.
On a side note, it is also written that if the unicorn senses that the maiden is not a virgin, it would instantly use its large weapon to impale her until death.