The unicorn, perhaps, was saddest. No one tried to trap him now, so he never met beautiful young virgins. No one disturbed the yeti’s solitary life in the snowfields. The sphinx still stood guard over the desert, but no travelers sought her riddles. The harpy grouched and grumbled (but then she always had). The dragon guarded his deep treasure, but no one hunted it.
Only the phoenix sat quietly, listening.
Then one day, she matured into flame.