(I was a Leprechaun for Halloween ’06)
I stand, leaning against the cast iron pot, in the shimmering light of the end of the rainbow. It’s freezing in the meadow this morning. All I want is a cup of coffee and some warm soda bread, with butter and honey. But the rainbow appeared in the sky and I was next on the list. At least I have a week off before the list cycles through again.
There are only seven of us in County Cork now. The rest moved on to other jobs or other places. A group struck off for the new world a hundred years ago they’ve been doing quite well for themselves. One of them even landed a few TV spots as a cereal spokesperson. None of that’s for me. I could never leave my homeland. I’m perfectly content among the meadows and the bluebells and the forests. Let someone else hock marshmallow treats shaped like shamrocks.
It’s been forever and a day since someone actually found me. When the rainbow calls and my number is up, I go and stand with the gold, and wait for someone to come along. Used to be that three or four folks at a time would fight each other for it. Now I stand alone with an unclaimed prize, waiting for the sun to pass so that I can go get some coffee. I guess people have more options for fortune these days.
The light shifts, the rainbow weakens. I look up to the sky to see the clouds passing. My time is up. I bury the gold back under the earth, sprouting up some bluebells so I know where to find it next time.
Warming my cold hands with my breath, I trudge toward an inn.