I am a King’s daughter, and I grow old within The prison of my person, the shackles of my skin. And I would run away and beg from door to door Just to see your shadow once and never more. — The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle.
Schmendrick came forward, his face cold and wet, but his voice level. “I turned you into a human being to save you from the Red Bull. There was nothing else I could do. I will turn you to yourself again, as soon as I can.”
The girl began to touch her face timidly, recoiling from the feel of her own features. Her curled fingers brushed the mark on her forehead, and she closed her eyes and gave a thin, stabbing howl of loss and weariness and utter despair.
“What have you done to me?” she cried. “I will die here!” She tore at the smooth body, and blood followed her fingers. “I will die here! I will die!” Yet there was no fear in her face, though it ramped in her voice, in her hands and feet, in the white hair that fell down over her new body. Her face remained quiet and untroubled.
He never failed to mention The Last Unicorn as one of his very favorite books, and as one of the movies he was most proud of having made. Indeed, he left me whopperjawed – as Mark Twain would have put it – when we were being interviewed together on Austrian television, and he announced, “Oh, yes, I simply couldn’t resist a chance to play King Haggard one more time, even in another language. After all –” and he looked straight into the camera – “it’s the closest they’ll ever let me get to playing King Lear.” The camera swung toward me to catch my stunned reaction, and Chris looked across the studio at me, and winked.
On the last occasion, when I had called to wish him a happy 90th birthday, I remember him assuring me that “if, by the time you come to make your live-action version of your movie, I have passed on, do not let it concern you. I have risen from the dead several times. I know how it’s done.”