"A book is the best of friends, the same today and forever." ~ Martin Tupper

Monday, March 14, 2016

Have You Seen a Sprite?

Dillon goes West

               From his perspective in the modest back yard, the winter had not been kind or practical for gardening. And yet, as he leaned in the shade of a red and yellow dotted concrete mushroom, he figured, at least, the silly lawn art had survived. Where Dillon came from, people didn’t need such fanciful adornments, because things like vividly colored mushrooms, Blue Bells, Dandelions – and Leprechauns, like himself – flourished naturally.
          Dillon shook his head to clear his mind. He had work to do, as he did every year at this time. He just never knew where his work would take him. His first impression of this region of the world was the forbidding nature of the vegetation, which consisted of all manner of thorns, needles, spikes and heavily pungent aromas. He’d have to be careful just walking around in this territory.
          Just for fun, he tipped a concrete lawn boy - holding a blue umbrella, on its side so that the boy appeared to be caught in a terrific windstorm, his black buckled shoes (just like Dillon’s own) pointing straight out and off the ground. Then Dillon got to work.
          Inside the small adobe home, an elderly woman was preparing to chop an onion. She laid a sharp knife on a cutting board and ran cool water over a small towel, presumably for the tears she knew would come when she cut into the onion.  When she turned back to the task at hand, she found a carefully placed piece of chewing gum beside the knife. Dillon watched a smile come across the woman’s face as she fondly remembered the last time she’d had a piece of gum in exactly her favorite flavor. For a worrisome moment, Dillon was afraid she’d throw it away, not understanding where it came from. But she promptly unwrapped it, popped it in her mouth and began to hum as she chopped, then diced the onion. And the tears never came. Good! One down, two to go. Dillon thought things were going rather well.
          In the front yard Dillon came upon a conflict between a young boy and an apparent stray – and disagreeable – dog. Without a single barrier between the two, the small child picked up the nearest object at hand to use in his defense; a garden hose, which hung loose and useless in his hand. Until Dillon turned the water on – full blast- and the mean old dog soon ran away.
          Dillon was pleased with his productive day until the child turned and grinned at him. He’d been seen! Oh, pickled toadstools! He’d been SEEN! Thinking fast, with the eyes of the boy still upon him, he quickly spun the water off and vanished in the split second it took the kid to look at the suddenly limp hose and back again. Whew, that had been uncomfortably close!
          On the run with one to go, Dillon snatched the metal flag from the mailbox as he left the neighborhood.
          “See you again then, Arizona!” he sang with an Irish brogue.
Generally considered an untrustworthy trickster, the Leprechaun (or Sprite) is seen mostly around St. Patrick’s Day. Some people believe that Leprechauns keep full pots of gold at the end of springtime rainbows, but you have to follow one to find it. If you’re lucky enough to catch a Leprechaun and keep a steady gaze, he must truthfully tell where his gold is. If you lose eye contact he will escape and run away.

Would you like to find a Leprechaun?  Would you take his pot of gold? Do you celebrate the Irish holiday?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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