“Four gold coins?” I asked in exasperation “why ever would you offer these to me?”.
“Ah, well there is a catch to it so there is” the leprechaun grinned “it’ll take four years, that’s one year for each coin”.
I was worried about what I was getting into, I gulped as I asked “and what if I refuse Conarght?”
The leprechaun rose to his feet and stared into my eyes. I felt his voice go straight to my soul as he uttered.
“Be wary of your decision as I shall make your life worse than all the plight of Ireland. Worse than every disease in the known world. The worst luck to ever befall a human being, yes even worse than Cormack Mac Art who was stabbed by his own!” The leprechaun smiled menacingly “or you could do the tasks I ask” he twirled his little finger around his Brown beard. He hummed a little merry tune.
I was scared beyond measure, how could I defy the little creature. He had me ensnared, I knew it and he knew it.
“Well I guess I have no choice Conarght. What are the tasks?” I asked worried about what it entailed.
“Ah!” He sat down quickly “All in good time, what I would suggest is to go home and wait for me. Remember this though, be careful what you wish for!”
With this he snapped his fingers three times, instantly I woke up in bed. It was night time.
The darkness surrounding my room. My six brothers all snoring hard. The racquet could have woke the banshees from their mournful sleep.
I was relieved, happy to know it was all but a dream. I had sweated profusely and the beads ran down heavy from my saturated forehead.
It was too real to be waved away a dream. The little leprechaun talked in a way that was part of reality, too real and his voice was burned into my brain.
It was 1959 and I reminded myself this could only happen in a dream. However, I remember working the whole day on O’Carroll’s farm, was that a dream? I was so confused.
The coins! I reached for my trousers that I had worn in the experience and searched frantically. In my rush I heard four dull thuds hit the wooden floor, I peered over my bed. The moonlight streaming in through the window, illuminating four gold coins.
I was overwhelmed with anxiousness.
A whisper in my ear.
“Await my return Fergal!” The leprechaun said behind my right ear. I heard laughter and a tiny figure bouncing from bed to bed then to the window sill. My brothers did not stir.
With a final menacing look, the leprechaun touched his crooked hat and adjusted it, he then gave me one evil look then hopped out the window.
I jumped out of bed scared witless. I didn’t know what I was doing. I wanted to be free of this little man.
So the next day I went to the church, I lit a candle for the wee folk as I thought perhaps he would know. The candle lit at once and when I said the name of my captor the flame went straight out. The candle never lit again.
The priest watched me in vain and came over to ask who I lit a candle for. I just said Connor which raised even more questions. I didn’t want to be angry with the priest so I politely took leave.
As I got out the church I felt eyes on me, then a voice. The voice beckoned me to the forest by the village.