A story for St. Patrick’s Day as retold by Dale Pepin
‘TWAS a fine sunny day at harvest time when young Seamus O’Donnell, walking along the road, heard a tapping sound. Peering over the hedge, he saw a tiny man in a little leather apron, mending a little shoe.
“Well, well, well!” said Seamus to himself. “I truly never expected to meet a leprechaun. Now that I have, I must not let this chance slip away. For everyone knows that leprechauns keep a pot of gold hidden nearby. All I have to do is to find it, and I am set for the rest of my life.”
Greeting the leprechaun politely, Seamus asked about his health. However, after a few minutes of idle conversation, Seamus became impatient. He grabbed the leprechaun and demanded to know where the gold was hidden.
“All right! All right!” cried the little man. “It is near here. I’ll show you.”
Together they set off across the fields as Seamus was careful never to take his eyes off the little man who was guiding him. At last they came to a field of golden ragwort.
The leprechaun pointed to a large plant.
“The gold is under here,” he said. “All you have to do is to dig down and find it.”
Now Seamus didn’t have anything with him to use for digging, but he was not entirely stupid. He pulled of his red neckerchief and tied it to the plant so that he would recognize it again.
“Promise me,” he said to the leprechaun, “that you will not untie that scarf.”
The little man promised faithfully.
Seamus dropped the leprechaun and ran home as fast as he could to fetch a shovel. Within five minutes, he was back at the field. But what a sight met his eyes! Every single ragwort plant in the whole field — and there were hundreds of them — had a red neckerchief tied around it.
Slowly, young Seamus walked home with his shovel. He didn’t have his gold. He didn’t have the leprechaun.
And now, he didn’t even have his neckerchief.
This story may be found at Story Socks, Dale Pepin’s website at: http://pages.zdnet.com/storysocks/library/id56.html