St. Patrick and the Dying Leprechaun

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The emerald green eyes of the leprechaun puddled with tears. His little lips quivered and his nose sniffled. “I don’t know what’s happening,” he said, “But I’m not the first to go like this.”

Patrick stroked his long gray beard. “What do you mean you’re not the first to go like this?” He asked the tiny creature.

“Ever since the humans have been noticing us a strange sickness has taken over. At least 20 across the whole island have died already. We get noticed. Then we get sick. Then we die. I’m going to die.” The leprechaun broke down into gut wrenching sobs. His bright orange beard was soaked with tears. “All we ever wanted was to bring good luck and happiness, maybe cause a little mischief, but now we can’t because the humans make us sick.”

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Patrick patted the back of the leprechaun. “Now now there,” he comforted,”I’m sure there is an answer to all of this trouble.” He sat for a moment consoling his distraught patient before standing and walking to his desk. “You say that whenever a human looks at a leprechaun, the leprechaun gets sick and dies. Now I suspect, since humans and leprechaun’s have both been cohabiting this land for some time, that it’s not the look that’s making you sick, but the disbelief. A hundred years ago a human look wouldn’t have sickened you. They believed back then.”

Taking a rest from his violent sobs the leprechaun looked at Patrick, “So what do we do?” With a big smile Patrick leaned over his desk. “We change the rules little one. Make it so that the disbelievers never see you.” Confusion and skepticism filled the tiny fey’s eyes.

“I can see you think I’m crazy, but I have been thinking on this problem for some time. You’re not he first leprechaun to come crying to me. Unfortunately they all died before I had a solution. Lucky for you I have one now and can not only cure you but change the fate of leprechauns everywhere.” With a satisfied smile Patrick leaned back in his great oak chair. The legs creaked with the weight shift.

“What is the cure?

“Flowers.” Patrick beamed. He stood and a swish of dust floated off the floor with him. “Come with  me little one. Let me show you what I mean.” The leprechaun stood and followed patrick through the iron doors and out into the expansive garden beyond.

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Patrick’s garden was filled with every sort of flower imaginable. There were roses, daffodils, dandelions, daisy, bluebells, and countless others all blooming and thriving wherever they pleased. As they walked through the mess of flowers Patrick reached into his brown robes and drew out a petite, crystal via. Inside was a golden red liquid. “Here drink this.” He said handing it down to the leprechaun. Without question the creature popped the cork off the top and swigged the fluid down.

“That tasted awful,” he blurted,”Like bitter wine or old fruit.”

Chuckling Patrick patted the mop of orange hair. “It has cured you as well as given you protection. I have many more such vials that I will give to you to disperse amongst the other leprechauns.” They had come to the end of the garden. There was no fence or hedge to signify the garden’s end. Instead it dropped off in the sky. Patrick stood at the edge looking down into the puffy clouds below. “From now on whenever a human looks at you little one you shall burst into a flower. They will only see you as a flower and nothing more. Then as soon as they’ve looked away you’ll return to your original form free to perform whatever mischief you please.”

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The leprechaun’s jaw hung slightly open. “You mean that if all the leprechauns take this juice they too will turn into flowers when a human sees them?

“That’s right. Beautiful flowers. And have no fear of being picked. The humans will find that they have a hard time picking you. I added a small aversion spell to that potion as an insurance that that would never happen.” Patrick answered.

A laugh bubbled up in the leprechaun’s chest and came bursting out. “I can’t believe it. we’re cured.” He cried. Bursting into a jig he danced back into the garden. Patrick followed also laughing.

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A little bit later the leprechaun was laden up with thousands of vials filled with the magical potion to cure the leprechauns. Patrick summoned a rainbow and watched as at the tiny creature skipped his way down back to earth. Smiling Patrick wave a withered hand. He enjoyed helping. Today had been a success. The leprechauns would be able to live in peace and it was all because he had found a cure.

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St. Francis and the Singing Fish

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I could feel the skepticism of my newest creation hanging about the room like a heavy coat. At first I though that maybe the red spots were to much against her scaly skin. Then I  wondered if maybe she was to corpulent. But now as I scrutinized this full figured creature, I realized the her tiny wings were out of place against the rotund body. They looked a little to much like duck feet.

“She’s so beautiful Francis, I simply adore her. She sings like a nightingale!” Emory never had a negative comment about  my work. I’d made him that way.

“Seriously Emory, she’s disgusting. So fat and fishy, not to mention that voice sounds like a cage full of drunk monkeys.” Paula, Emory’s twin, was always negative. Nothing was ever good enough. Both cockatoos ruffled their glossy white feathers in annoyance to each other’s comments. They sat, one on each of my shoulders, constantly commenting on my latest creations.

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“Well in the end it doesn’t really matter what you think Paula. If Francis likes it then down to earth she goes.” Emory always liked to get the last word in. With a rude squak Paula flapped her wings.

“Hush now, I’m trying to think. You’re both right. She is spectacular but something is wrong.” Dutifully the birds turned their attention the singing fish. She was on a pedestal in the center of my spacious studio. It was a large white stone cave with a gaping entrance looking out over a sparkling blue ocean. A warm breeze blew in and washed away the smell of fish. The floor was littered with bits and pieces of fish skin, bat wing, ruby dye, and other various ingredients used to make this strange piece of art.

The fish’s voice was hard to listen to. Paula was right. It was high pitched and whistley, like  wind blowing over the top of a small tube. My ears ached.

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“Turn it off Francis. I simply can’t take the noise anymore.” Paula whispered into my ear so Emory wouldn’t hear her. I shook my head.

“No Paula I need to figure out what needs to be done to fix that voice. If I can fix the voice then she’ll ready to be presented before the others and then hopefully sent down to earth.” Emory’s head bobbed in agreement. The fish began to flap her leathery wings in time with her song.

“She can’t fly away with those can she?” Emory asked.

“No, no. There’s no chance of that. She’s to obese.” But as if to mock the words I’d uttered the instant they left my lips the fish began to rise up off the pedestal. The cockatoos excitedly flapped their wings and bounced their heads up and down.

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“Look Look she’s going to fly away.” Paula screeched. Stunned I watched as the singing fish lifted up and flapped her little wings wildly. Before I could react, she had fluttered out of the cave entrance and was skimming her way over the calm water. Her voice was still echoing in our ears.

For a moment the three of us just watched. Nothing like this had happened before. “Oh my, how unexpected.” Emory broke our shocked silence.

“I wonder where she’ll go.” I said.

“Perhaps we should just cut our losses and continue on with the next project.” Paula didn’t seem to sad to see the fish leave. With a shrug I turned back to my desk and picked up my quill.

“First let me write a letter explaining what just happened and then we can continue on. I’d like it to be noted that this was a complete accident. Just in case she finds her way to earth.” I scribbled down a letter explaining what had occurred. I rolled it, sealed it, and tied it the leg of a letter dove. As soon as the dove left with my note I turned back to the pedestal. “Emory, Paula,” I said,”Get the fish clay. We’re going to make another one.” The cockatoos bobbed their heads in happiness and flew about gathering the materials. No matter what happened in the studio, or how strange things were, the work could never cease.

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