They are everywhere. In shops, on stationery, cakes, clothes – EVEN, I have discovered, on Fruit Loops.

Since I started thinking about unicorns as my column topic for this week, I see them everywhere. 

The nine-year-old and his friends, both boys and girls, are obsessed with them and have created imaginary unicorn characters and stories and whole worlds for them to live in, with the kind of unrestrained, magical insanity only children can get away with.

And spookily, just two minutes after I started writing, an email leapt into my inbox: “Top five gifts for unicorn lovers!” it yelled at me, urging me to: “look no further for a cultivated list of phenomenal gifts” and embrace my inner unicorn.

Intrigued as to what the cultivated unicorn lover really wants? Me too. A “mighty and possibly magical” – I’d say it definitely isn’t magical – colour-changing Giant Unicorn Mood Light!  Unicorn snot! (Actually glitter gel, which can be added hair roots, face and body, but... how charming.) 
Magical unicorn slippers! (Again, probably not.)

A Melting Unicorn Candle! Because having an adorable rainbow pony-type creature melting hideously into mush isn’t going to freak out the little ones at all, is it?

And finally, a Winter Unicorn Snow Tube! (I really don’t know. A sort of cross between a sledge and a whoopee cushion?)

These things, from quirky online retailers The Fowndry, are undoubtedly right up your alley if you love unicorns – but why DO we love them so much all of a sudden?

A quick poll of friends and family revealed polarised views. “Sick of ‘em,” grumbles one. “If you like unicorns or dungarees and are over the age of 11, you are ridiculous.”

“They are happy, shiny things in a world otherwise doomed to forever discuss Brexit,” argues another.

A good friend points out the unicorn is the national animal of Scotland. This is news to me, and, I suspect, most of Scotland.

Really? Not the majestic stag or soaring eagle? But it’s true – it was adopted by some king or other hundreds of years ago, when people thought unicorns were real, and it was first used on the Scottish coat of arms by William I in the 12th century.  

As well as symbolising innocence and purity, it has also come to be associated with hope – and maybe that’s the key to it. We all need hope, after all, whatever form it comes in.

Unicorn expert Skyla Potter, age 11, has the last word.

“Unicorns are magical and cool,” she states. “They create rainbows. Nothing else does that. 

“I love them.”