Last year my girls tried to catch a leprechaun.
The sneaky little fellow refused to be caught, though. That failure resulted in some extensive planning; my girls have been hoping that he would make not only a return trip, but also some mistakes.
Sure enough, last week some “evidence” starting popping up. Sadie, who is 8, discovered some tiny paper shamrocks on the bookshelf that weren’t there the night before. 7-year-old Josie found some magically delicious marshmallow clovers from a box of Lucky Charms in the mailbox. And someone mysteriously repaired the torn picture of a rainbow and a golden egg in one of Adelaide’s books.
After writing down a list of evidence, Sadie asked, “Mom, why do so many magical things happen at our house? I mean, seriously, think about it: fairies, leprechauns, elves, Santa…we’ve got it all. There’s magic everywhere.”
My reply: “I’m pretty sure it’s because your mother has a great imagination. Or maybe it’s just because she’s nuts.”
Earlier this week, all three of the girls went to the library with their dad to build new (and hopefully improved) leprechaun traps. They also got to play games, learn interesting St. Patrick’s Day facts and bring home their own box-propped-up-with-a-stick-traps, “gold coins” and glittery shamrock stickers.
When they got home, they burst through the door to show me their treasures. I heard Sadie explaining to one of her sisters, “Unfortunately, this trap is not what you would call an automatic trap. Since the string is tied to the stick, someone has to man the trap. And I am pretty sure Mom is not going to let me stay up all night to pull this string myself. Maybe the leprechaun will trip on the string and trap himself.”
As they were baiting their traps, Sadie told me, “Leprechauns are born cobblers, you know. They love to make shoes. So he’ll know which one is mine, because mine is very fashionable.”
Josie set hers up in the hallway. She explained: “Well, I have decided that I need to bait it with more than just food, since last year’s didn’t work. So I’ve put in a little bed, a tiny pillow, a picture of a shiny shamrock on the wall and some Lucky Charms. What leprechaun can resist this?”
Adelaide showed me (very specifically) how to set up her trap: “Well, you take this thing and you put it here like this and then you turn this thing this way and put this thing over there and then you set it up like this and then when the leprechaun comes, you yank the string and then BOOM! You got him!”
Then she informed me that when you trap a leprechaun, “you have to lick him on the eye when you catch him. Like this.” She squinched her eyes shut and darted her little tongue in and out like a lizard.
“You do what!? Why?” I asked, completely baffled at this bizarre leprechaun-catching strategy.
“I don’t know… that’s just what the library lady said. To lick him on his eyes.”
After a sudden moment of silence, Sadie and Josie simultaneously burst into laughter. Doubled over, Sadie managed to get out the words, “Not LICK him on his eyes! Haha! LOOK him IN his eyes! Hahaha!”
Adelaide processed this and responded, “Oh. Whatever.”
I told them that I hope they catch one, because I could sure use some gold. I was reprimanded: “They don’t carry their gold around with them, silly. It’s at the end of the rainbow!”
Regardless, there are three new (and improved) traps set all around my house. Here’s hoping that I’m one pot of gold richer by the weekend.
And even if I’m not, there’s magic everywhere.