Fairies so small they can hardly be seen, except for the laughing child within. Fairies so happy and kind, so gentle and wild, so go on and dance my wild fairy child.

 

Leprechaun stories

Breaking news; Leprechaun sightings in Co. Roscommon

 

There is something strange going on in the woods and parks of Roscommon. Have you ever seen a Leprechaun? How much do you know about Leprechauns?

 

I did a bit of research on them and studied their behaviours for a long time. It is very difficult to even know where I would encounter one. I eventually I did and I found out so many things about them, that I bet not many of you knew either.

 

There are many different types of Leprechauns. Every country has Leprechauns, but they may be known by different names, such as Trolls or Zwerge. In Ireland they are more commonly known as Leprechauns. The most famous Leprechaun is of course the one we spot on St Patrick’s day. Well disguised as a human wearing green. These are the simpler ones, as they only ever tell you the same story. How rich they are! How much gold they have! That it is to be found at the end of the rainbow!

 

They ones I encountered are very different. They engaged with storytelling and are well behaved. Their favourite game (its actually compulsory they play it) is hide and seek. And that is how I fell over Gwendolin on a sunny evening while he was trying to hide.

 

That is how I met them all. Such fun characters. They like to dress in colourful clothing made from sheep’s wool. This keeps them warm in winter and cool in summer.

 

The range in size from 20cm to about 50 cm. The older they are the smaller they get. Which makes sense. It is easier to hide when you are small as you can’t run as fast.

 

Leprechauns are still very shy and are actually not permitted to show themselves to the human race.

 

Children up to the age of 10 spot them much easier. Adults find it increasingly difficult as they get older and loose their imagination.

 

The Leprechaun council gave 20 Leprechauns a special license to be more visible during the next few months in forests and parks in Co Roscommon

 

So, treat them well and with respect, because all misbehaviours will be reported back to the Leprechaun councils headquarters.

 

And you do not want to be addressed by them let me tell you. This is their story.

Gwendolin’s  life as a Leprechaun was not always an easy one.

 

He only recently moved to this area; therefore, he often gets lost. Please help him should he ask for directions.

 

He originates from the Aran Islands. He did not like living there. The strong winds would blow him often over the cliffs and into the sea. Swallowing seawater made him very sick.

 

After a particular traumatic experience. Gwendolin applied to be relocated somewhere which was much saver for him.

 

The Leprechaun council agreed that it was not save for him to remain on the Island and so he was subsequently moved to this location.

 

Well ….Gwendolin is over the moon. Can’t you tell by the cheeky grin on his face. But to feel really save, he brought something with him. Can you guess what it is?

Hi, I am Aris   

 

I took the name from Aristoteles but my fellow Leprechaun friends shortened my name to Aris.

 

As Aristoteles himself, am I a deep thinker.

 

I may not look like it, but I studied philosophy for many years. I only play hide and seek with the other leprechauns as it takes them forever to find me. During that time, I can read my books in peace. Do you read? Reading is so important. I am always discovering things I did not know. Imagine that, as I am 367 years old.

 

I have seen many things in my life. To be honest, I do not give much to all this technology that you guys use nowadays. But it makes my life easier as you prefer to scroll your phones than look about you as you walk.  Which is great for me because I don’t have to keep hidden as much.

Hi, I am Luther. I have a very important position in the area. I am the guardian of all the animals here. I am in demand for parental advice and for the sick creatures also. I am particularly busy at springtime. The swallows give me a headache every year. They are very demanding every spring. It takes a lot of negotiation until they are all happy with their nest allocation. They insist to use the same nest every year. Just not feasible for all the swallows coming home.

 

Could I send some of them to your home? That would make my job so much easier.

I am Egomus. You would never guess what I do for a living. I have the best job ever. I am only busy for one week in springtime.

 

The Easter bunny is my boss ( or so thinks he is) We are the best of friends. I am solely responsible for colouring all easter eggs. I get help from others too, but ultimately the responsibility lies with me. It can be a bit stressful; I am not lying. That is when I start to eat lots of chocolate. Once I ate so much of it, the Easter bunny had none left on Easter Sunday. That nearly lost me my job. Thank god we were able to source more chocolate from the Easter bunny in Switzerland.

 

When you see the Easter bunny, say hello to him and he may grant you an extra special Easter egg. I will not eat It! I promise!

Ronnie is 556 Years old. I know you would not think it.

 

Ronnie is the fairy tailor. He mends and stitches new clothes for all the fairy folks in this area. He loves his fashion. The more colours the better.

 

Recently he got himself glasses. The tiny stitches for a fairy dress were too much for his aging eyes.

 

He pinched them of someone else he told me.
You may wonder where he gets his fabric from or the thread he needs for stitching.

 

Have you ever felt a pull at the hem of your trousers as you walk along? Yes, you guessed right. Ronnie is only waiting for people to pass by him. He gently tugs at your clothing to get himself some more thread or fabric pieces. It’s not the thorny bushes that hold you back….. it’s Ronnie.

I am Samuel, but you can call me Sam.

 

I work as a fireman. I do not always have time to play hide and seek with the others. Especially during spells of dry weather, I can get very busy.

 

People still throw away burning cigarettes buts and do not cringe a smouldering BBQ fire pit.

 

The burning cigarettes buts are a real pain for my personally. As you can see. I patrol barefoot through the forest. Not so lucky for me when I stand right into the smothering butt of a cigarette. Like look at my toes.

 

All red from being burnt and my eyes bulging because of the pain. Nowadays I always bring a bottle of water with me in case it happens again.

 

Fire pits are also a problem for my big nose, I get burned there easily too. Glowing red through the trees, anyone can find me.

 

So please think of me the next time you flick you smouldering cigarette but into the shroubs.

Max is my name.

 

I collect acorns and nuts. It’s my passion. I store them safely away for the winter months. When I have collected enough nuts for myself, I then sell them on. The other Leprechauns are too busy playing hide and seek. I prefer to  gather nuts. I have a problem hiding  the nuts from all the squirrels in this location.

 

I don’t mind sharing the nuts, but the squirrels don’t give me gold nuggets for my efforts like my Leprechaun friends do.  I do like the gold nuggets. I would even go insofar to say more than the nuts.

 

This brought me to a desperate situation a few years ago. I got greedy and sold so many nuts to my Leprechaun friends, that I had none left for myself. I soon learned that I cannot eat gold. I lost a few pounds around my middle (I hope you noticed that at least). Now I only sell nuts if I have enough to get me through the winter. 

Hi, I am called Silas

 

I know, I have been told that I should loose a bit of weight. But I am so in love with the juicy black berries, forest strawberries and Elderberries. There are berries for almost every season. Some of the berries have a real problem me picking them. They prick and hurt me. Yes, its very sore. My poor arms are all scratched.  You can tell those mean black berries, they won’t stop me!

 

When it rains on a warm summer day. I can get the scent of fruits from far away. My rather big nose is trained for such smells. But today I will go and help Max find some nuts. We share our collection of edible goods from time to time. Then later on we join the others for hide and seek before dawn.

I am Theo. I am very proud to say I am the most important Leprechaun here; I am the hide and seek training coach. Hide and seek is a life skill that needs to be learned by all Leprechauns. Regular training is mandatory. If you get caught by a human and you missed your training, then you are on your own. Only these who have completed their full  training will get support from the Leprechaun council to have them released form the humans. The amount of gold given for your release will depend on your effort into playing hide and seek.

 

Please report any Leprechauns found not playing hide and seek immediately.

Hi, I am Bluebell

 

Everyone calls me blue though. I got the name from the bluebell flowers and my toes are slightly blue too. I am not a native to this forest. I grew up down in Knockvicar in a wooden area full of bluebells in spring.

 

I had a wonderful time there until one day….

 

As I was minding my own business and talking to the bluebells an old grumpy man appeared. He has even less hair than me. The rude man commented that because of me the bluebells are thinning out.

 

He even said I should go back to my own forest where I came from and that I did not belong here. As you can imagine, I got very upset. I grew up in this forest. I know every corner and bluebell here.

 

As I was in contact with a human, not a very friendly one with that, I needed to report the incident to my local Leprechaun authority. After filing the complaint about rudeness, the authority squad team will lay traps to catch the rude grumpy old man.

 

The squad team is not to be messed with and an appropriate punishment has been implemented.

 

In the meantime, I am taking a well-earned break from minding the bluebells before I head back home. The grumpy old fella will have hopefully by then learned his lesson. He may still look for his way home………

Fionnnn with 4 n’s is my name.

 

Psssst don’t tell anyone what I am, or better who I help. I am the tooth fairy’s secretary. That’s right.

 

All fallen out teeth report to me their location and time of edentulism.

 

I then have to inspect the availability of a spot check on the tooth’s condition. All teeth are being collected, but the best ones are more valuable, and I need to have the right coins ready. The tooth fairy is a very busy lady and has no time to stop and examine each room for hiding spots should a child awake. My fellow work buddy Eddie covers that problem. Eddie then must report back to me with a risk assessment on each room. Yes it’s a full time job, but we get lots of practice for our hide and seek training. Could I please just ask the children to leave the cats out of their bedrooms. Cats chase us and it is not a fun game as we fall over your shoes, books and everything else that is on the floor in your room.

I’m Eddie

 

I help Fionnnn with4 n’s.

 

Fionnnn thinks he is so important. He can be a bit stuck up. I am waiting for my promotion in the tooth fairy department. I really think I have a much better eye for selecting well looked after teeth than Fionnnn.

 

But I suppose I love my job. Sussing out hiding places for the tooth fairy is a lot of fun. I got her in a bit of bother though a few days ago. She brought the wrong teeth. Grandad Peter was not impressed to find coins instead of his dentures. It took a while to find them again. Pour granddad had no teeth for a few days. But mostly we are pretty good at our job.

I am Xavar

 

I don’t know if I have a purpose in life other then being happy. Because being unhappy does not make me happy. Every day when I get up I start to look at all the beautiful things around me. In Spring it’s the green fresh leaves that are bursting with energy. In Summer it’s the smell of fresh cut grass. In Autumn I collect berries they are so juicy and delicious. And in Winter I chase snowflakes. No matter what life throws at me, I always turn it around to see the positive. You should try it too.

I am Arnie and I am the caretaker of this trail. I walk it every day. Sometimes behind you, sometimes in front of you and sometimes beside you. I am hard to see, and I don’t want to be seen. I just enjoy your company. But if you want to talk, then I will listen. I bring lots of gold nuggets on my walks as I get easily lost.  I drop one every now and again. If you pick them up, I will probably get lost on my way home. A better idea would be to bring me some more and leave them behind you on your walks. That way you too will always find your way back home.

Hi, I am Kevin

 

Well, my real name is Sansibar. But who names a Leprechaun Sansibar?

 

I am a massive fan of the local GAA club St Kevin here in Castlerea.

 

That’s the reason I changed my name to Kevin. Like a proper fan. Ohhh and I like to see them winning. Every now and again I give them a bit of a hand. If they play at home, I go up early in the day and prepare the ground at Cloonkeen.

 

When the game starts I am at the side shouting as much as I can to show my support. Sometimes I run in between the legs of the opposite team. I am a very fast runner, and it happens so quick that nobody sees me. That gives St. Kevin players a chance to catch the ball and score. I know, it’s a bit of cheating, but I am a bad looser. Anyone here can tell you how grumpy I get if they lose a game. One time I got so grumpy that my hat caught fire. I let off so much steam.

 

Ronnie helped me design the St Kevin’s outfit I am wearing. This helps me to blend in during a match and I am not easily spotted.

 

Playing hide and seek during a match is not much fun. I rather watch the game and help St Kevin’s if I have too. I would like to take this opportunity to thank St. Kevin’s for keeping me entertained since 1968.

Barbados is a neat and tidy Leprechaun. He loves this place to be rubbish free. Have you ever heard his feet stamping when he sees someone dumping papers, gum and other rubbish on the ground? It drives him mad. He is on the walking trails every day picking up rubbish that humans leave behind. Some off the things he finds are useful and he tries to resell them to his fellow Leprechauns. And some things that are left behind make him very sad. Like a stuffed animal toy that he knows will be missed when bedtime come along.  Thank god, nowadays his life has become a bit quieter.

 

He is delighted that children are now thought in school ways to look after their environment. That rubbish belongs into the bin and not on the ground. He hates nothing more then to get stuck on gum that he accidently puts his foot into. He needs help to pull his foot out of the gum. Once he was stuck on gum for ages till help arrived and pulled him off. No wonder he sees a red flag when he sees someone throwing gum on the ground. So be good when out and about and bring your rubbish home.

Hi I am Alfonso.

 

I look after the young and small trees here. They need alot of care and attention. They are an important aspect of our lives here in the forest. After all they protect us and give us shelter. Never mind being an excellent hiding place when we have to practice hide and seek.

 

Every big, wide and tall tree was once small. I am good at nurturing small things. I talk to them every day and during dry spells I bring them water. In return they grow big and strong. They give me shelter and nuts to eat on a winter’s day.

I am davivio Da Vinichi

 

I am a painter of a special kind. Twice a year I get very busy. Every leave on every tree has to get painted. Bushes too, but fairies do the shrubs for me. I don’t think I would get finished otherwise.

 

All that lush green on the leaves in spring are my masterpiece. My brush strokes. As the days get warmer, the paint gets darker as it dries. During the summer months I can relax and admire my work. But as soon as the days get shorter I have to busy myself to get the work done. Thank god alot of the leaves are on the ground, so the ladder can stay at home some days. Especially after a bad storm. Now, I do have one problem. During the shorter days in autumn, I have not enough light to paint. For an artist, light is everything. But I have no choice. To get the job done I have to paint the leaves, even as it gets dark. Now you know why the leaves are never an even colour in autumn. I can’t see what I’m doing. I must guess. Is this yellow, red, orange or brown paint I stick my painting brush into.

 

Now I do hear people admiring my artwork when they see the beautiful colours, but honestly, sometimes I cringe at the thought I did it all wrong again. Every year I promise myself to start sooner, but somehow that never happens.

Hi there. I am Tabito. You may have spotted that my Leprechaun friends have no shoes. Yes, it’s a problem alright. I am trying for years now to come up with a design to stitch shoes for every leprechaun. But as soon as I think I have it mastered, their toes grow again. Especially the big toe is a constant worry. Most have given up on the idea of ever owing a pair of shoes. But some still hope that I will come up with a special shoe for big toe feet. Toes get very cold on winter nights. I mean, I am a trained cobbler making shoes for everyone else, but Leprechaun’s feet are a challenge.  Have you an idea? Please help me out. And if you find a solution please let me know. A special reward is awaiting  for any good suggestion. Just don’t tell the other ones that I am actually looking for human help. But I am getting desperate.

Hi, I am Bobby. I am super happy to be living here in the Demesne in Castlerea. I love it even more since the instalment of the percussion instruments. What a joy hearing a child playing on it. I am a fine musician myself. It’s my job to tune the instruments every day.  Have you never heard my fellow Leprechauns giving out about me? I wake them all up you see. Rise and shine early is my motto.

 

I am also a big fan of the Eurovision song contest. I watch it every year. I sneak into town to watch it spying through someone’s window. I think I may apply myself to take part in the Eurovision. Dustin the Turkey gave me some inspiration and hints on how to get to the final. I think I could well win it for Ireland.

 

I have only one terrible problem. Stage fright. I am shaking like a leaf just thinking about it.

 

Yes, just made up my mind. It is not for me. I will stay put and keep entertaining my Leprechaun friends.

Commissioned by Roscommon County Council Creative Ireland Programme for Cruinniú na nÓg 2021