The Leprechaun's Gold

This is a short story I wrote as an English assignment in high school.

      There was a man named O'Doyle. O'Doyle was a sensible man. Didn't believe in silly things like the pot of gold under the rainbow and such. He was therefore surprised one day when he encountered a rainbow just outside the woods behind his Skibbereen famhouse. Underneath this particular rainbow sat a pot of gold.

      "This can't be possible," he muttered. "There's no such thing as Leprechaun's gold!" He pinched himself because he must have been dreaming. Alas, he was without a doubt conscious and the leprechaun's gold still sat before him. "I'll just take it to the house, then." He picked up the rather heavy little pot and, with no thought to whom it might have belonged, carried it away.

      The next morning, the rainbow was still there. A little man sat where the pot had been only the day before. He was an unusual little man, impossibly short with a green tinge to his skin. He hopped up from the little stump upon which he sat.

      "Ye've stolen my gold!" he cried, pointing an accusatory finger at O'Doyle.

      "You're gold? Why, I found this gold yesterday!"

      "Under the rainbow?" asked the little green man.

      "Yes," said O'Doyle. "What of it?"

      "That, sir, is leprechaun's gold. Ye've stolen me gold!" the small man repeated.

      "I found this gold and I'm keeping it."

      "Fine." The leprechaun narrowed his eyes. With a malicious grin, he said "keep the gold" and, with a snap of his fingers, disappeared, leaving nothing but a whisp of green-tinted smoke.

      The next day, O'Doyle went to the market. With his newly acquired gold in tow, he passed from stall to stall while onlookers eyed him jealously. He browsed until he spotted a fine looking sheep.

      "How much do you want for that sheep, man?" asked O'Doyle as he approached the stall.

      "I'll take a little o' tha' gold ye got there," said the sheep salesman, eying the fat little pot.

      Without a thought, O'Doyle agreed. He scooped several gold coins from the pot and placed them in the man's outstretched hand. After tying a rope around its neck, he led the sheep away, intending to finish his shopping before night fall.

      That night, there were several knocks at his door. Standing in his yard were the sheep salesman, the cobbler, the baker's wife, and several others from whom he couldn't remember what he had bought.

      "Ye didn't pay me for tha' sheep!" cried the sheep salesman.

      "Nor me for the bread, ye scoundrel!"

      "Nor me for them fancy shoes!"

      After several cries of "nor me", O'Doyle heard a loud crack. Just behind him, the leprechaun had appeard.

      "Help me!" he begged the small man. "I don't know what to do!"

      "Ye have to give it back," said the leprechaun with an amused grin.

      "What?" spluttered O'Doyle. "But I paid for it all!"

      "No. Ye only think ye did. "'Tis the way o' leprechaun gold. If ye use it selfishly, it disappears.

      So, reluctantly, O'Doyle returned the material things he had come to treasure in such a short time. To this day, he still avoids the rainbow and the leprechaun's gold. The moral of this tale? Beware the pot of gold beneath the rainbow.

The End

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