Nell loves the 'Wee Folk' of Legend, but her favourite has to be the Leprechaun!
Let it never be said that a journalist won’t go out of their way to get a great scoop. Nothing should stand in the way of a good story, even if it means getting covered in mud and possibly attacked by all manner of ghoulish creatures that inhabit the night world and scare the beJesus out of you.
So with my stubborn bravery in hand, I set out to find one of the most illusive and Fey of them all. The very fascinating and slightly scary, Irish Leprechaun.
My boss, suffice to say he is the head of the biggest company in America, Hubpages,and is worshipped like a god in England, gave me this assignment, and me being not worthy, or so I thought, decided it was in my best interest to pursue the little critter at my first option.
Of course it was a great honor to be chosen for the task. At least I think I was asked. The conversation went something like,
‘You’re useless, get out there and find that leprechaun or else you will find yourself back in the post room’. I didn't like to tell him that actually, I work from home.
So, me being such a good little reporter, and wanting to please his Majesty of Hubness, decided that indeed I did want to go and chat with the little fey darling.
So here I am. In the middle of a field in Ireland. Its two o clock in the morning, and my boots are filled with good old Irish bog. At least I think its bog, it could be cows poo or even worse, fairy turd. But I don’t want to think about that.
Did Somebody Say Shoes?
The owls are hooting, as they do, and the dratted bats are circling my head like a party of vultures ready for their after dark snack. But do I care? Do I heck. I am a brave intrepid woman, and nothing frightens me. Unless you count the banshee screech coming from over the mist covered hills.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Leprechaun. Now its said that to find one of these creatures, you have to have a good ear for strange sounds. Such as boots clopping on the rocks, or the sound of a hammer on leather. Evidently they like making shoes. Well, at least we have something in common.
Not making shoes, just wearing them will do. And of course they tend to count their gold a lot too. Greedy little beggars, I have to work and they get it for nothing. Typical.
So here I am sneaking across shadow crusted marshland, trying my best to keep quiet. And then suddenly I hear a noise.
Now I have been told to look out for a small creature, with the stature of a child, but the face of a man. All depending on who you ask, and lets face it, there’s not that many who have seen one, he will be wearing either a red jacket, or more commonly a green one. Well that can’t be hard to find. Especially as I am following a strange sound that, from here sounds remarkably like swearing.
I gently lower myself to the ground, and scurry along on my knees towards a large boulder that sits on the small hill in front of me. Peering over the top, I see a warm golden glow emanating from an earthenware pot. At first I can’t see anything else as the brightness puts everything else into shadow. Then, out from the darkness I see a tiny pair of shoes. Thinking that they have been left there, I begin to stand up, only to notice the shoes start to move. I duck down quickly. I don’t want to scare him. Ha, who am I kidding?
Face To Face With A Little Green Munchkin!
Looking further, a face comes into vision, the glow of the pot casting dark shadows on his face. My goodness he’s so cute! There in the glow, is a tiny man with a beard, wearing a long cone hat, green short coat and breeches. Below his jacket are white leggings and on his feet are the little shiny black shoes.
He’s sitting on a small wooden three legged stool and, by the looks of it, trying to balance his gold coins on the top of a rock. The more he stacks, the more they fall over back into the pot.
‘Well, begora, ya stoopid, coins, what’s the matter wid ya?’ His voice makes me jump, and I skid a stone down the hill with my foot.
The Leprechaun looks up, and peers at me.
Well, what ya hiding over there for’? he squints. ‘come out, come out whatever ya are, I ain't scared a' you’
Suddenly without any warning, he jumps up onto the rock in front of me, then spins upside down on his hat.
Oh no, I thought, I know when he does that he’s going to be up to mischief, better put a stop to it now.
So, standing up, I take a deep breath and say,
‘Sorry to disturb you, I was just wondering if you would be kind enough to give me an interview?’ Just a few words for our readers, if you don’t mind of course’ I gulp.
The Leprechaun leans in closer, and gently points his finger towards my nose. I go cross eyed wondering what he’s doing.
‘Um, what are you doing?’ I gulp.
Suddenly he giggles, and the sound echoes off the mountains.
‘Ar just messing wiv ye’ He smiles, and his face lights up with a toothy grin.
Tea With A Leprechaun!
‘Come on down, and drink a pot o’ tea with me, what do ya want to know?’
So I carefully walk around the rock and take my place next to him on the ground.
‘Well’ I scramble around in my bag, and get out a notepad. Suddenly I have no idea what to ask.
‘Ar, don’t be afeared, I won’t turn ye into a frog, m’dear’ his eyes twinkle.
I take a breath and read my notes.
‘Well, first of all, if you don’t mind me asking, are you all alone out here? Or are there any others like you?’
‘Na, I like bein on my own, the trouble with havin to many of us around is that the others try stealin my gold, and I aint havin any of that’, in fact, the last one to come around here got a flea in his ear so he did, we Leprechauns are a solitary lot, we are so grand we don’t need no other to keep us company'.
‘Um, so where did you get the gold from in the first place, and is it true that you find it at the end of a Rainbow?’
A smile creeps over his face, and he turns away with a sniff.
‘Well now, that’s for me to know and you to find out, if I told every hooman bean that came along, they would all try to grab me gold, wouldn’t they?’
Okay, I thought, on dodgy ground here. Change the subject.
‘Okayyyy, so is all the legends about you true? You know, making shoes, playing jokes on hoomans, sorry humans, and granting three wishes to people who you meet?’
‘Ay’ He says, scratching his chin, ‘I suppose you could say that we, are, erm, the famous little people of legend’ He preens, then spoils it by wiping his nose on his cuff.
‘I notice that you wear green, but in legend its said that you wore a red jacket and Elizabethan ruff, so do you change your attire, or is there a reason why you wear green now?’
‘Ar well ya see’ he says, scratching his head. ‘We take notice of the hooman news, and we, the great fairy folk of legend try and follow fashion. After visiting the hooman towns we noticed that in March, on good old St. Patricks day, people were wearing green and saying that they loved the Leprechauns. Well now, that caused a bit of a quandary, and we had a meeting in the fairy hill to decide whether we kept the red, or changed to the green to make sure that the hoomans kept remembering us.
'Ya see, if they think they got it wrong, then we would be forgot, and we can’t have that, we would turn back into the earth and disappear. So sometimes we have to bow to public demand, so we do. An' before ya ask, yes there are fairies, mind ya, I can't abide them, vain little creatures, and ye will never get an interview with them, so ya won't, they think they're too good for ya'. He pulled a face and spat on the ground.
Just Get Me Home I Need My Bed!
I stared. Leprechauns kept up with fashion and took notice of hoomans! I mean humans.
‘So, ya wanting ye three wishes then?’ He crinkled his nose.
‘An before ya ask, no ye not getting me gold, hurry up now, the nights nearly over and I ‘av to be back for my breakfast, gotta keep up my strength ya know, so I have.’
Did I want three wishes? And what was the catch? I tried to remember if there was one, but couldn’t.
Then I suddenly had an idea.
‘Um, if you don’t mind, I will take just one wish, when we have finished this interview, can you send me straight home, put me into my bed and write up the notes for the article?
The Leprechaun smiled a mischievous smile and put his hand in his pocket.
‘Stand up, hold ya breath and say three times, wheelbarrow, wheelbarrow, wheelbarrow, then close your eyes’.
So, standing up I repeated the three words, holding my breath. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a glittering sparkle. The leprechaun opened his hand and blew the sparkle into my face. The scenery started to fade, and just as I began to get sleepy, I remembered something.
‘Wait, I didn’t get your name’. But then I fell asleep, the sound of laughter echoing in my ears.
I awoke and yawned. Wow that was some dream. Then I opened my eyes to see what was weighing me down on my covers.
There, in a little pile of leaves and twigs was my notepad with lots of writing on it, a small quill pen, and a pair of shiny black buckled shoes. I gasped and sat up. In the distance I could hear the sound of gurgling laughter. Or was it just the jackdaw sat on the branch of the tree? I will never know. But at least I got my story!
© 2012 Nell Rose