There are wild elephants in the country of Basma, and numerous unicorns, which are very nearly as big. They have hair like that of a buffalo, feet like those of an elephant, and a horn in the middle of the forehead, which is black and very thick. They do no mischief, however, with the horn, but with the tongue alone; for this is covered all over with long and strong prickles and when savage with any one they crush him under their knees and then rasp him with their tongue. The head resembles that of a wild boar, and they carry it ever benttowards the ground. They delight much to abide in mire and mud. It is a passing ugly beast to look upon, and is not in the least like that which our stories tell of as being caught in the lap of a virgin; in fact, it is altogether different from what we fancied.
Marco Polo, ca 1298
From: The Travels of Marco Polo
The complete Yule-Cordier Edition
Including the unabridged third edition (1903) of Henry Yule's annotated translation, as revised by Henri Cordier; together with Cordier's later volume of notes and addenda (1920)
In two Volumes
E-text prepared by Charles Franks, Robert Connal, John Williams, and Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/12410