I snuggle deep beneath my little moss blanket on my wooden bed deep inside of the hollow tree village. Mamma and Papa are amidst another heateed argument over the same old topic: humans. The citizens of Killarney betrayed us 50 years ago but my clan is so bitter it may as well have been 50 days ago! To be completely fair it was not the citizens of Killarney who betrayed us but their town leader, Mister Amos Flaherty who was cruel to us wee folk. Thats when everything changed for us.
Grammy sometimes tells me stories of how it used to be. She said that the folks would dance in the center of the town and we rode on their shoulders. The little children used to braid our hair. They treated us like one of their own. As she said, the people were in tears on the streets as we left. They loved us. She’d tell me stories whenever it rained, whenever I was ill or honestly whenever she could keep me in the tree for more than 10 minutes.
Speaking of stories, you have no doubt heard the stories where “innocent children come to us and followed the rainbow to a pot of gold and are unfairly revoked of their gift”. I’ll admit that some of our tactics are a little extreme but we are not mean or evil. We are just bitter and we don’t understand why we should hand out prizes because they tease us, though I have to say the little children are very talented at drawing tears from my big green eyes. I am just like them……only a couple of feet smaller. As I was saying, the children are not unfairly deprived of their gold. We think that it is quite fair to keep away what they most desire if they insist on depriving us of kindness and equality.
Grammy hobbles through my little doorway to tuck me in seeing that Mamma and Papa are still deep in a “discussion”. Mamma wants Papa to try to convince the leprechaun council to give the Killarney folk another try, but he is convinced that he would be thrown out of the council for such bold speaking. Grammy sits beside me in the rocking chair.
“Ionna, do you remember when we used to dance with the people?” She said in a tired voice.
“Grammy, I was minus-43 when we used to dance with them..” I replie.
“What do you want more than anything in the whole wide forest, my little acorn?” She often asks me these questions and my usual answer is: “I want you and Mamma and Papa!” but this time I said what I had wanted to say for a long time..
“Well,” I replied carefully. “aside from you and Mamma and Papa…” I pretended to think about it but I already knew exactly what I intended to say. “I suppose I want to dance……with the people.”
“Oooo I was hoping you’d say that!” She said with a little hint of something in her voice that I hadn’t heard since I challenged her to race me across the meadow. That something was adventure. I sat straight up in my bed. “Ionna, I am going to tell you something that even Mamma and Papa don’t know! You know that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?” I nodded even though it was obviously a rhetorical question. “That pot isn’t full of gold.”
“Yes it is!” I objected. “I watched Mamma fill it with gold for that Tommy fellow just last year!” Grammy had clearly lost her remaining marbles.
“Oh let me rephrase that. The pot can obviously be filled with gold because your pot will be filled with your greatest desire and if your greatest desire is gold then voila a pot of gold is beneath the rainbow! And you know what I always say, mankind may think that all they need is gold to be happy but, no surprise they are wrong. Honestly I think it is time for womankind to step into the picture becau-”
The light dawned on me. I was so excited that I couldn't help but interrupt Grammy’s tangent. Whoopsie!
“So if my greatest desire is to be with the people once again then all I would have to do is-” It was Grammy’s turn to interrupt.
“I think it is time for you to find your pot of gold, my little acorn! Goodnight my love, you will need your rest for your big day.”
* * * * *
My pack was by the door and there was a note on it.
Mamma, Papa and I are all at work but I packed you everything you need for your journey. I will be here by the time you get back and supper will be on the table. I am sorry I couldn’t be there to see you off but I honestly don’t think you need me. Have fun and good luck, but of course you don’t need it, you are a leprechaun after all!
I believe in you,
Surprisingly, I wasn’t even a little nervous as I slung my pack over my shoulder. I had a good feeling about this trip and there was a rainbow, which was not surprise considering that it rains in this area almost every night.
All of those stories that the children say about their journey to the leprechaun gold all have lots of drama concerning the trip to the pot in which the are attacked by monsters or they fall into pits, it's all baloney! I was beginning to think that either leprechauns really were lucky or that human children were true wimps. My guess is the latter of the two. All of the journey drama that I encountered was accidentally getting my toe wet in the burbling brook. Other than that my trip was dreamy.
Within an hour I had reached the end of the rainbow. My heart thudded in my little chest. On the grass right at the end of the rainbow was a single pink rose. Not a cauldron containing the secret to equality! A little note was attached.
Make things right. Do what none of us are brave enough to do.
You can do it my lucky little leprechaun!
As much as I wanted to believe whoever had left the note, I couldn’t. I needed to talk to Grammy. She always knew what to do, though how, I was once again clueless.
The trek back across the meadow seemed twice as long it had less than 10 minutes before. I dragged my feet and tried to block all of the thoughts out of my mind but one kept bouncing through again no matter how many times I pushed it away. So much for lucky leprechaun, my brain teased almost as vigorously as the human children, even the little human children are lucky enough to have the gold for a little while until it disappears!
I rushed to Grammy’s arms and the tragic tale fell from my mouth nearly as fast as the tears fell from my eyes. When I was finished she looked straight into my eyes.
“Ionna, I don’t understand, why can’t a rose be the secret to equality and unity?” That Grammy! She always, always was right!
I looked down at the pink rose in my palm and was out the door as soon as I planted a kiss on her cheek.
* * * * *
Its ironic how the humans thought my little world was dangerous! In their little village one had to dodge something every two seconds, weather it was a foot, or a cart, or a rolling rock. I went mostly unnoticed by everyone, what with being 8 inches off the ground and all, but I was content with that situation, considering that every time I was spotted I was jeered or pointed at. But never fear, for I have gotten used to this treatment over the years.
In the center of the town lay the large stone castle. I slipped through the crack below the grand doorway. I completed this routine under a few more doors until I reached one labeled as The King’s Throne Room. I crept under the door and across the polished floor, ready to face whatever treatment I received here. The Queen was seated beside him. They inhaled sharply when they caught sight of me and the conversation that I had heard from outside the door ceased. I took a deep breath, tightened my grip on the rose stem and shuffled forward.
I looked up at his eyes. They were green like mine and I looked deep inside of them and began to speak because I knew exactly what to say.
“Um, Hello your Majesty. My name is Ionna. I am a Leprechaun. When I can’t sleep, My Grammy tells me stories about what it was like when we were united. She said that you would all go out and dance together on the streets, sometimes I like to imagine what it will be like to hold hands with the human children. I am sorry that we ever caused your kingdom pain by tricking them with fake gold. Please except the rose as an apology on behalf of my clan. I found it at the end of the rainbow. It is my pot of gold because it is what I most desire in the whole forest, and though everyone thinks that you will find gold at the end of the rainbow, you will actually find whatever you most desire. That is why I found this rose because what I most desire is a chance to be a citizen of Killarney too! This rose is hopefully how I am gonna reach my desire. My Grammy taught me that!”
The King put his hands out towards me. I climbed up on them and he slowly raised me to his level so that I could take a true look at his green eyes. Then I knew he was going to smile at me as soon as I looked into his eyes! Just like my Grammy, I was right. I was right about him. Wow! I sure am a lucky, lucky leprechaun!