"" Writer's Wanderings: So What Is A Leprechaun?

Monday, March 01, 2021

So What Is A Leprechaun?

 St. Patrick's Day is approaching. And while I don't resemble a leprechaun in any way, I feel like there must be some kinship since I was born on March 17. It has led to my dislike of the color green however since everyone naturally assumes that the best way to celebrate is to give me something green--green cupcakes, green mints, green cookies, green carnations (the worst!). 

The color green has long been associated with leprechauns although in my research, there are said to be leprechauns that do wear red. Apparently leprechauns belong to the fairy family. Small in size and prone to mischief, They are said to be descendants of Tuatha De Danaan, a group of magical beings that served under the Gaelic goddess Danu. According to legend they lived in Ireland long before humans.

There are no female leprechauns. It is said they are they unwanted fairies, tossed aside by the community. They are described as grouchy, untrusting, solitary creatures. Doesn't sound anything like the guy on the cereal box. 

Pot of gold? Leprechauns are cobblers and I guess there's a lot of money in making shoes. They are also the bankers of the fairy world. who take care of the money supposedly for the other fairies who would just spend it frivolously. And of course there are always stories of people trying to steal a leprechaun's gold. (No wonder they're grouchy.)

They are sneaky little creatures though. One story tells of a man who forced a leprechaun to show him where his gold was buried. The man tied a red scarf around the tree trunk the leprechaun showed him and ran off to get a shovel to dig it up. When he returned to the forest, he found that every tree had a red scarf tied around it.

Ah, the stories abound. But wait! There's a whole other story about where they came from and who they are. Looks like my work here is not done. There's still time to explore before St. Paddy's Day.

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