Here’s a special story for St. Patrick’s Day. Please enjoy!
By Marie Staight
The path, lined with shamrocks standing like soldiers dressed in green uniforms, wandered around the land showing off a variety of greens. I followed its wanderings taking in the ancient stone fences separating patches of fields and fairy-like cottages from one another. At one gate I saw a wash of yellow daffodils waving in the gentle breeze. Beyond the daffodils was a small field of shamrocks. At once I sat down and took off my shoes so that I could romp in the field with bare feet as I had as a youth. As I stepped onto the cloud of green leaves, I heard a squeal. “Oh my, what have I done?” I exclaimed aloud.
I picked up my foot and leaned down to exam what I had stepped on. It was a wizen miniature man dressed in dark green pants and coat. His green bowler hat lay askew on his head as he lay on his side and holding his foot. He had red hair including the most glorious red beard.
“What the heck are you doing walking about on my land – disturbing my nap? Away with ye!” He shouted in a most inglorious way. “Look at my foot!” He said pointing to his red, swollen appendage. “How am I to get to my pot …” He stopped and looked at me with the most suspicious glare I have ever seen. I stared right back at him wondering if I could have actually stumbled upon a real live leprechaun.
He frowned deeply and growled, “Have you come to try and steal my riches?”
Shocked at what I was seeing and hearing, I shook my head. “N…n …n… no” I stammered.
He harrumphed, staring at me as if to X-ray my thoughts. “Well, I guess I have to believe you.” He reluctantly grunted as he tried to stand. Then he shouted at me. “Don’t just stand there! Help me up! Get me a walking stick! Hurry up there, boy!” His orders came flying at me like arrows at a target. I scrambled to assist him to an upright position, using just the lightest of touch in fear of crushing him otherwise. He leaned against my barefoot and was only tall enough to reach my ankle. “A walking stick, quickly, boy! Hop to it!
I wasn’t quite sure how I could ‘Hop to it’ with him clinging to my foot. But I surveyed the field and saw a twig not far off. “Hold tight on to my ankle, sir, and I will get you that walking stick.” I could feel him clinging to my ankle as if he were a butterfly sitting on my skin. I gingerly took a step; he remained on my ankle. I took another and was able to secure the twig. I saw at once it was much too long for him to use as a walking stick, so I knelt down and measured with my thumb how long a stick he would need. The twig ended in a ‘Y-shape’ thus I fashioned the twig so that he could use it as a crutch. Immediately, the little man grabbed the crutch and scrambled away through the shamrocks.
However, because he was dragging his leg, he left a trail of fallen green soldiers. “Where are you going?” I called out to him. “Perhaps I can help you?”
The leprechaun stopped, stood on his good foot, and lifted the crutch threateningly at me. “Go away!” He waved the crutch warning me off, but as he did so gold stars emitted from the top of the twig. They magically floated in the air, lifting up in the breeze towards a rainbow that had wondrously appeared in the distance.
“Oh, my!” I exclaimed. “Is that your rainbow? Is there a pot of gold at the end of it?”
“No, no, no! You must go away! That’s my riches!” The little man was hopping up and down and brandishing his crutch at me as it continued to emit golden stars into the sky. The golden stars floated upward and melted into the rainbow. The rainbow appeared to grow brighter.
Being rather greedy, I ran towards the rainbow. But the tricky leprechaun pushed off with the newly made crutch into a series of somersaults, arriving at the end of the rainbow in a flash. I, with my long strides, arrived just ahead of him and planted my foot in front of his pot of gold. “Ah Ha! I claim this pot of gold!” I said triumphantly raising an arm skyward.
The tricky little leprechaun plunged the tip of the crutch into my barefoot, making it sting with pain.“Yeow!” I howled as I hopped on one foot. “Why did you do that?”
“People cannot use leprechaun gold, you fool!” Shouted the little man. “It disappears as soon as you touch it.” He glared at me as he watched me hop about on my unhurt foot. I saw his mouth twitch; he bit his lip and stroked his beard as if in thought. “You did help me …” his voice wandered off. He continued to watch me as I sat down in the shamrocks and rubbed my stinging foot. Shiny, small gold stars floated upward from my foot as I massaged it. His eyes followed them as they too melted into the rainbow.
His eyes narrowed. “Alright,” he said. “Even though it was you who stepped on my foot, you were kind enough to help me. And if I were to be fair – you did reach the pot of gold before me…” He stood next to his pot of gold grudgingly fingering the coins of gold. “I suppose I could at least give you a Lucky Charm.” To my wonderment, he plucked a shamrock that had four leaves on its stem, and with the crutch, touched the leaves. The shamrock turned to into a gold four leaf clover. It then floated up to my neck, and a chain of gold made from the golden stars wound around the lucky charm and went about my neck. “This will provide you with good luck all your life for the good deed you did today.” He said. With that, the little leprechaun disappeared as did his pot of gold. I was left sitting in a field of shamrocks under a beautiful rainbow with the golden lucky charm around my neck. And that is why good luck has followed me ever since.
[I’d love to hear your thoughts about the story. Feel free to comment.]