Ker-plunk, ker-plink, kur-plunk, the rain seemed to groan as I sloshed through the slippery mud to Gramp's. The weatherman predicted my St. Patty's day a sunny, bright day (a seemingly perfect start) but instead I got a gloomy day. Just perfect for leprechaun hunting. Perfect.
Gramp's old house was on the Dingle's Bluff, as the adults called it. Kids thought the shack was haunted, but I knew the truth. Leprechauns. Since I was two and Gramps told the story of the jolly old creatures, i had been entranced and antsy to find one. Anyway, I had all the clues:
1. In Gramp's garage you will find coins in random places. Seriously.
2. At night, when the harmless little trolls work, you could hear creaks and squeals late at night.
3. Brown rolls resembling tootsie rolls are scattered around his car. Yes, yes, I know.
4. Gramps also said his car was blue when he bought it. Now it is green. Then again, he's been losing it a little.
5. In the yard, you will not find a single 3 leaf clover. All have 4 petals.
For my quest to find a leprechaun, you also need a brilliant plan. Me and Gramps are having a sleepover in his old '58 Chevy truck. I was fairly worried about waking up with fake teeth on my chest or finding his hairy feet in my mouth but it was gonna be worth it.
A devoted cause. A never ending passion. That is what they have towards their treasure. But I was determined to find it and willing to drive a leprechaun off a cliff.
Which is what I did.
My family had been living in poverty and depression. Hey, not my fault my sister accidentally set fire to the grocery store. Anyway, so we were like driving down the highway and I was bored of looking out the window counting everything green. The field. The roadside signs. Punch bug. Leprechaun.
A leprechaun? I grabbed the wheel away from my dad and swerved through four lanes of traffic and through a fence.
A plastic bag.
Great! So I trashed my car and I broke traffic laws and a fence. Oh, and there was no "Pot 'o Gold" at the end of a rainbow that wasn't there. Could it get worse? yea.
To be a wee one again.
"Me Gold! Its gone!" shouted Patrick McCleveland. "Patricia! Wake up! Some one stole me gold!"
"Well all be darn"said the exhausted Patricia, Patrick's wife. "Now isn't that too bad" she yawned and let her head sink back into the pillow.
"Uh, yer useless aren't ya" Patrick said. He stormed into little Patty's room and woke her up.
"Patty! me gold is missin. Someone stole it!"
"What?! You mean it isn't in the basement where ya hid it?"
"In the base... Oh. Yeah. Go to sleep Patty, I'll see ya in the mornin'"
Patrick went downstairs and what do you know, his gold was right where he left it.
Moral: Us old folks, we for things, ok!
Our yard was filled with clover, bees buzzing in pursuit of the nectar. My brother Timmy could find a four-leaf clover wherever he bent over to look.
I could be on my hands and knees for close to an hour, going back and fourth across the lawn in my elusive search for that lucky charm. Not only did I never find one, I usually had war wounds to show for my effort. A scratch here, a bee sting there - even once dog poop ground into the knees of my pants.
It was on one such search that I heard a high tinny voice calling out my name.
"To the left. A little lower."
I searched around and saw nothing - looked toward the house, down the street, even looked skyward. The voice continued.
"Here. Here." it said growing slightly louder as I followed it. My fingers...
We all know that the fairy folk never came across the sea. Why would they wish to leave the green swells of Wicklow or the sea air of Killarney? Could you just imagine how their faces would turn green when they were tossed upon that briney surf? And far to clever they are, to be trapped and hauled across, against their will.
Altogether stranger then, were the signs that great grandmother Siobhan saw about a year after she made the dreadful voyage. Her feet had barely time to dry and plant themselves firmly in this new rich soil when she started noticing strange things about the kitchen door. At first she dismissed them as her own forgetfulness, or perhaps the neighbor's cat about, but great grandmother wasn't one to ignore a mounting body of evidence. And although she wasn't superstitious she started to take precautions. A dish of cream on the stoop at night. A flaxen thread to tie back her hair. A cross of cold steel about her neck.
Now it's your turn!