The Leprechaun

Sandra's seen a leprechaun
Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblins gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I've had to make myself"

Shel Silverstein,
Where the SideWalk Ends

St. Paddy's Day, not long ago

"Dang Liam, how long have you been barbecuing marshmallows? Is it black enough for you?"

"You don't understand my friend, mallow toasting is a long and respected art in my family."

"Whatever you do, don't throw that at anyone, you might make a dent in something ... like my head!"

"If you take a couple more pulls of that jug, I `spect you wouldn't feel it if I threw a rock and hit your head."

Toby poked a stick in the fire to stirred up some sparks. Liam pulled his well-done dessert out of the fire in feigned protest. Besides, it was done just the way he liked it.

It had been dark for some time. The array of stars sparkled like a billion vivid points of light in the sky. There was no place better to see a March sky than out on the Texas prairie. Both of the riders took a moment to enjoy the spectacular view. Toby took another sip from his flask and wiped his mouth with his shirtsleeve.

Getting up with some difficulty, Toby made his way to the tent. As he unzipped the door, he mumbled, "I have had it. I am going to bed. Wake me when you have a pot of coffee on the fire."

"Oh no, you don't need to bother getting your precious butt out of bed, I'll bring you a nice bacon and egg breakfast with hot biscuits to go along with your coffee."

Toby turned around and pretended he was going to kick dirt at Liam, who put his hand over his marshmallow, turning his body in mock horror. Chuckling, Toby zipped the tent flap and went to bed.

Liam didn't stay up too much longer. They had a big day ahead of them. Toby was supposed to be in Amarillo for a Rally the Gypsy's were putting on. They had asked him to come out and take pictures of the custom bike show they were sponsoring. They would only make travel expenses but since they were long time friends, Toby had agreed to do it as a favor, not for the money.

After banking the fire and checking around the campsite, Liam headed into the tent and collapsed on his bedroll.

As Good As Gold

In what seemed like a few minutes, Liam's eyes popped open and he realized it was first light. Needing to relieve himself, Liam rolled over as quietly as a very large man can, and made his way out of the tent. He could see that it had rained sometime during the night. It looked like it had recently stopped. The glistening droplets fell from the leaves onto the soaked ground. Liam made his way a few yards out of camp into a little clearing. As he was taking care of business a rainbow appeared. The end of the rainbow was right in the middle of the field. Zipping up, Liam made his way toward the rainbow, all the while expecting it to disappear. In the back of his mind he wondered if what mom said about the rainbow was true. Was there really a leprechaun's pot of gold waiting to be found? Not knowing what possessed him to think there could possibly be anything there, Liam picked up a stick and dug down into the soft earth. When his stick hit something hard, he was surprised and encourage. He dug faster. In short order he had uncovered a chest. Liam was dying to find out what treasure was locked away in this mysterious box.

"Now what would you be doin' thar in the dirt? Ya wouldn't be tryin' ta steal' m'gold, would ya fat man?"

In surprise, Liam whirled around to find out who was talking to him. He didn't see anyone.

"Down here, ya obese puddle of humanity."

Liam looked down and there stood a man, no more than a foot tall. He had on a bright green bowler hat, cocked in a rakish tilt, which covered a healthy shock of red hair. He also wore a tailored green jacket over a darker green vest, followed by short trousers, cuffed tightly below the knees. Striped green and white stockings adorned his calves and it all ended in a pair of black patent leather oxfords. The little man had a terrible scowl on his face and his cheeks were crimson red with apparent rage.

"What manner of creature are you," Liam asked.

"Why ya foolish, inflated hippopotamus, I'm a Leprechaun, any silly fool can see that. Whar do you think yer goin' with m'gold?"

"Well I found it and finders keepers. I'm going to take it home, that is what I'm thinking."

"OK fair enough then, I'll stand watch right here while ya get somebody to help you lift that gold out o'the hole. It tis too heavy for the likes o'ya to be totin' it out by yer'self."

"You must think I'm somebody's fool, there is no way I am going to trust you alone with my treasure."

Waving his tiny shillelagh in the air, the little man said through clenched teeth, "If ya don't leave right now, I am going ta turn yer bulbous carcass inta a toad."

Liam laughed at that, he knew better. Leprechauns could not do dark magic.

"Oh no, please, don't be takin' m'gold," he pleaded. "I'll tell ya what, I'll give ya twice as much gold if ya leave that chest be, it belonged ta m'dear 'ol mum," the leprechaun said, magically producing a bag that was indeed twice as big as the treasure filled chest.

"Oh no you don't," retorted Liam, "My dear mother told me about you little people. You will offer me faery gold which disappears at sunset. Thank you very much, but I'll just keep the box. Now be off with you!"

Totally frustrated, the Leprechaun knew he was beat. He was going to have to offer his last ace to keep from losing his precious gold. There was nothing a Leprechaun loved more than his gold. 'Those dad blasted rainbows,' he thought, 'they're always give up me good hiding places. Why oh why does it ever have ta rain?'

While the red headed imp watched with acute sorrow, Liam finished digging the chest out of the ground. It was indeed heavy. That is how Liam knew it was real gold and not faery gold. He was quite pleased with himself and was anxious to get back to camp and show Toby his spectacular find. He knew that Toby would be very proud of him and they both would be living on easy street for years to come.

After lugging the cumbersome chest the short walk back to the campsite, with no help from the sullen leprechaun, Liam shouted out, "Toby, Toby, get out here Toby!"

There was a great rustling of a sleeping bag and a lot of grumbling and more than a fair share of profanity coming from inside the tent. A bulge appeared on the front wall of the tent and it became obvious that Toby was having a heck of a time getting the tent's zipper to work properly. More than once it stuck, each time Toby bellowed a new string of language unsuited for civilized society. Liam and the leprechaun visibly winced at many of his colorful phrases.

At last, the final zip was heard and out popped Toby's head. He saw Liam standing but a few feet away, clutching a wooden chest. Toby fairly leaped out of the tent with a look of wide-eyed wonder, turning to total confusion when he saw the little man. Toby was wearing a set of red long johns, the type with the flap in the back. Liam's puzzled looked reveled his confusion as he could not remember Toby ever wearing anything like that before.

The Leprechaun leaped back in horror. He screamed, "It tis a devil you've taken up with fat man. That's a bleedin' Clurichaun it tis!"

"What in blazes are you talking about pipsqueak?"

"They are the bane of every self respectin' man o'green tis what they are. They are dastardly drunkards who have been known ta take moonlight rides on the back of sheep. How did that one ever get so tall?"

After settling the little guy down by explaining that the red garment was underwear, and filling Toby in as to what had transpired, which Toby seemed surprisingly easy to convince, they all got down to business as to what the two would get if they returned the chest of gold.

"Why ya silly twits, ya get a boon tis what ya get. Ya tells me what you want and I'll be grantin' a wish."

Liam and Toby confer for a moment and they both decided that since they ride so much that they would like to have gas for the rest of their lives. Neither of them wanted to ever run out of gas again as long as they lived, and they told him so.

The little fella immediately said, "Done," and picked up the chest and instantly vanished. Liam was very perplexed as he knew how heavy the box was and the green man picked it up like a bag of potato chips. But he wasn't worried; he knew that leprechauns, once bested, had to keep their word.

The two bikers went back into the tent for a short nap before beginning their trip. All of the sudden they both emitted a cloud of noxious fumes that would mortify a skunk. They had all the gas they'd ever need all right. Both jumped up in an attempt to escape the noxious, fume-filled chamber, banged their heads together, which knocked them silly, both falling back on their bedrolls.

Toby awoke as the sun peeked above the horizon. His first thought was, 'did Liam fix coffee yet?' Looking over where Meanie slept, 'I won't disturb him; he looks like he's having one hellacious dream. This morning I'll surprise him and make the coffee.'

- This has been another saga of
Uncle Meanie and the Motorcycle Man.
Happy St. Paddy's Day!