“Be vewy vewy quiet, we’we hunting lepwechauns,” Horace intoned, creeping along the lush grass covered path. He ignored the birds perched in the trees overhead, although he did growl when bird poo plopped on his head.
“Dude, you have got to stop watching cartoons,” Puff muttered, nudging him with his ear.
“Those cartoons are classics,” the gargoyle informed him, looking at the paths branching off. “We need to go left.”
“We go right,” Fluff argued.
“Hello!” Puff rolled his eyes. “We stay on this path for three more kilometers.” A small map hung from his ears.
“Dude, didn’t you ever hear of GPS?” Horace hooted, flicking his claw at a map corner.
“Dude.” Sarcasm dripped from the word. “Did you ever hear how our magick and electronics don’t mix?”
“Plus Krebs wouldn’t let us use his,” Fluff muttered. “He said we already ruined four of them and he didn’t intend to see us screw up a fifth.”
Horace came to a stop and stared at Puff, tipping his head to the side so far he almost fell over. “You dummy, it’s upside down!” He snatched the map and turned it around.
“Why’d you do that? Now we have to go back the other way!” Fluff smacked his brother slipper with his ear and flipped around. “And look there!” He pointed upward where a colorful rainbow hung in the sky.
The threesome already knew their destination was the end of that rainbow.
“We’ve got to get there before someone else finds it and demands the leprechaun give up his gold.” Horace rubbed his claws in gleeful anticipation. He already had plans for his share. Big screen Hi Def TV topped the list.
“How do we know he even has a pot of gold?” Fluff asked, starting to slow down.
”Because if someone gets the gold, the rainbow disappears,” Horace told him.
“Are you sure? My feet hurt!”
“We don’t have feet, dork.” Puff hip checked Fluff.
“Doesn’t matter, something hurts. And there’s rocks here,” he whined.
“Quiet. We’re getting closer and we don’t want the leprechaun to hear us,” Horace warned them. He began to wish he’d done this hunt on his own. But he needed Fluff and Puff’s magick along with his own just to get them to the Emerald Isle. Maybe he wouldn’t have to split the gold three ways. Rabbits can’t count all that well, can they? He vowed to keep a mega gargoyle share.
Lilting sounds of a flute reached Fluff and Puff’s ears first. They mined shushing Horace and the trio fanned out along the path finally reaching the center of the forest where they came upon a small glade covered in perfect four leaf clovers.
Bands of brilliant color ended in a large cauldron holding a dazzling amount of gold coins.
“Gold,” Horace whispered with awe, his eyes glowing avarice.
“We can buy a chocolate company,” Fluff breathed, staring at the pot.
“We can buy the world.” Puff was close behind.
Except seated on a nearby rock was a three-foot high red bearded man dressed in an emerald green jacket and breeches with a green bowler perched on his curly mop of rusty red hair. His round cheeks glowed red as he played a lively dance tune on his flute.
Horace tapped a clawed foot in time to the music.
“Mine, all mine.”
“Ours,” Puff reminded him.
“Why’re ye here disturbing Seamus’s playing, magickal ones?” The leprechaun looked up from his playing.
“For your gold.” Horace stepped forward with the slippers on either side of him.
Seamus laughed as he set down his flute and hopped off the rock, dancing around the pot. The buckles on his black shoes gleamed the same color as the coins that overflowed their container.
“Ye shall not have my gold, creatures,” he sang out, dancing a jig.
“It’s in the rules,” Horace argued. “We demand your gold. You give it to us.”
“You have to catch me first!” He laughed, continuing to dance. He snatched up his flute and began playing again.
The game was on. Horace, Fluff and Puff fanned out ready to catch the elusive leprechaun. But the little man hadn’t lived these many thousand years without tricks of his own. The gold was his and he wasn’t about to give it up.
Magickal keepaway began and an hour later, Horace was panting with fatigue – after all the gargoyle was more used to lounging around Stasi’s lingerie boutique than doing any form of exercise. Fluff and Puff weren’t doing much better since their idea of activity was taking vigorous naps.
“I told ye!” Seamus chortled, dancing away from them.
But Horace was determined. Damn it, he had that TV all picked out! And a Bose sound system. He ran at Seamus like a linebacker but tripped and skidded through the grass as Seamus winked out of sight and appeared nearby.
“Enough, I have no more time for this marlarky,” Seamus announced. “Ye didn’t even offer me a pint.”
“Then give us the gold!” Horace yelled at him.
The leprechaun stared at the gargoyle. “Ye three didna do me right. Ye three didna leave me sight. Ye three must pay the piper and see the light.” He picked up his flute and played a variety of notes that seemed to fly in the air like glowing gnats and buzzed around the trio.
“Hey!” Horace swatted at the intruders, but they only swarmed closer.
“No!” The slippers wailed as they were likewise attacked.
Just as suddenly, their assailants were gone. And so was Seamus and his pot of gold.
Fluff and Puff stared at each other; their razor sharp toothy mouths wide open. “We’re green!” They turned to face Horace who looked down at himself.
“What the –“ The gargoyle practically wheezed. “I’m – I’m –“
“Gold.” The slippers whispered the word with the reverence they usually only gave to licorice root and chocolate.
Horace threw his claws up to the sky. “I look like an Academy Award!” he wailed, before looking down. “Don’t even think it,” he growled, as the slippers advanced on him with the same intensity Elmer Fudd used in tracking Bugs Bunny. “What are you doing?” He fought the net that covered him as the slippers tipped him to the ground and began slowly, but steadily, dragging him out of the glade.
“Do you know what gold’s going for now?” Fluff asked his best bud as they made their way.
“No, but we can check once we get him home.” Puff ignored Horace’s curses and threats as they hauled their booty back to the magick portal that would send them back home. “We should probably pick up some bleach too. Green isn’t a good color for me.”
Just remember – if you catch a leprechaun and demand his pot ‘o gold make sure you have a dram of whiskey or a pin. Otherwise, might end up green or gold too!