Wee Man From Green Isle
Leprechauns, the wee folks, are thought to be a legend, a myth, and until two days ago, I would have agreed.
It was a blustery, cold day in March on the eastern shore of the Atlantic, on the coast of Maine where I maintain a summer home; March through September. I was washing the windows of my modest home. As I stood atop the six-foot step ladder, I could see Munson Cove below the cliff on which my home was built. The gulls were soaring above a small, green punt.
I climbed down from my ladder and went in and got my binoculars. The tiny boat had washed ashore; a large gaping hole in its prow. What caught my attention, as I peered through the glasses, was the occupant, a small man with red hair and beard, dressed in green and white cloth with silver buckled shoes. He could not have been more than three feet tall. He was either sleeping, or dead.
I walked the third of a mile down the hill to the cove. As I neared the punt I could see the small figure beginning to stir; he sat up; shook his head and looked around. Spotting me, he quickly jumped to his feet. He was less than three feet tall; possibly two feet eight inches tall.
âPut up yer hands,â he said standing like a boxerâs sparing partner.
âWho are you?â I asked.
âWant to fight?â He asked. âI can fight me way outta trouble, quickâs an Irishmanâs flaring temper.â
âI donât want to fight; I just want to know who you are,â I said.
âMicheael Donnegan, Who are you?â
âPatrick OâConnor, I own that home up there.â I pointed up the rock ledge to my house.
âAn Irishman are ye? Well, nice to meet ya Patrick.â He stuck out his hand.
The small manâs hand disappeared into my fist.
âWhat brings you to Maine, Michael?â I asked.
âGold, what else, why would a leprechaun leave his native soil except to chase after gold? I saw the rainbow, and I got in me boat and… well, here I am.â
âYou came all the way across the Atlantic in this small boat?â
âThat I did Mr OâConnor that I did. I turned into this here cove, and a huge wave took me boat into this rock; knocked me out and stove up me transport.â
âI am sorry for your accident, but I donât think youâll find any gold in Maine, our gems are mostly tourmaline and quartz.â
âAye, but the rainbow ended right here in this cove. Thereâs got to be gold here, Mr OâConnor, and I intend to find it.â
âGood luck,â I said.
âDonât you want your three wishes granted?â
âWhat three wishes?â I asked.
âThe three wishes you get for catchinâ a leprechaun of course.â
âI didnât realize I captured a leprechaun.â
âAre ye blind, Mr OâConnor? I am a leprechaun, and yeâve got me in yer clutches.â
âLeprechauns are not real; you bumped your head too hard,â I said. âMy grandfather, a native of Ireland, used to tell me stories of the âwee people,â but he also told me they were foolish folk tales, didnât exist.â
âMake a wish, and Iâll prove to you I am a leprechaun, go ahead, make a wish, Mr OâConnor.â
Thinking to humor him, I asked for a new skiff mine was old and leaking water. Before I could say new skiff, a forty foot yacht appeared in the cove next to the little manâs boat.
âIs that big enough fer ye, Mr OâConnor?â He asked.
I could not believe I was looking at this yacht that probably would have cost over four hundred thousand dollars if I had to buy it, and it was mine.
âHow did you do that?â I asked.
âAh, itâs a secret, Mr OâConnor, a secret. Now, You have two more wishes to be granted.â
âI know how to row a boat, but I donât know how to operate a ship this size.â
âNo problem, Mr OâConnor.â With the snap of a finger four men appeared on the deck of the yacht, each one saluting me.
âIâm the first mate, Sir, Henry OâMalley at yer service.â
The other three men nodded.
âIâll be yer captain, Sir, if thatâd be all right with ye,â OâMalley said.
âFine, thank you… Captain,â I said.
âAye, aye Sir.â
âOne more wish… be careful, take ye time, Mr OâConor, tis important for you to make the right wish, cause it be ye last one.â
I thought about money, the idea of owning enough to buy whatever I wanted without the worry of depleting my bank account almost caused me to make a wish for wealth, but, too much money can corrupt a person. I thought about more land, but decided I had all the land I could maintain without hiring help. I thought about a girl to marry, but Iâve been a bachelor so long; set in my ways, I wouldnât make a very good husband I am afraid. What could I ask for?
âTake yer time, Mr OâConnor, take yer time.â
Suddenly, I thought of my third and final wish; it felt right, comforting and should be easy for the little man to perform, though I doubt he will perform it happily.
âIâve got it,â I said.
âWhat is it, Mr OâConnor, what is it?â
âI wish… I wish you had never been here, and the day would return to a normal, March day in Maine, with only the magic of a beautiful springtime.â
âYou realize that means, no yacht, no crew and no… me. Wait a minute, I would be gone too; leave without me gold. Please, Mr OâConnor, make another wish.â
âNope, that is my wish.â I watched as first the yacht disappeared with the crew, and then the little man, a sad look on his face, and last, his punt. Poof, they were all gone as if they had never been here.
I woke the next morning and gazed below at the cove. Was it all a dream, or had I met a leprechaun? I guess Iâll never know for sure, but it doesnât matter I am just happy I made the right decision. Doesnât the bible say not to trust in uncertain riches? One should be happy with what one has I always say, but it sure is fun to run my fingers through the gold coins in this large iron pot here in my garage.