Thursday, March 18, 2021

The Leprechaun Trap

 I try hard to be a wise, loving, and accommodating grandfather to three sisters, 7,3, & 2.  I’ve been climbed on, read and told endless stories, helped girls splash and “swim” in the summer, skate and go sledding in the winter, dressed and undressed numerous dolls as instructed, diapered real babies, talked on the phone, danced, sung, and snuggled.  All grandfatherly moments many have shared before me and many more will do so in the future.


St. Patrick’s Day Eve (not an occasion I think I’ve ever celebrated before) brought a new challenge to this grandfather, building a Leprechaun Trap.  Seven-year-old Josephine was intent on capturing one of these little fellows.  I was enlisted as chief engineer.  Josephine was the Steve Jobs of the project, laying out a plan for me to follow.  


I quickly learned a few things, or rather, I was instructed on Leprechaun habits.  They’re greedy, especially as they fervently hunt for gold coins at the end of rainbows.  We had no rainbows at hand in the house, but we did have access to gold(ish) coins.  My suggestion that seventeen coins were appropriate in this instance was accepted.  The first concept was to lay a trail of coins through the house to the trap, a la Hansel & Gretel.  The plan was abandoned when we considered the little fellow would likely satisfy himself with the coins from the trail and give a wide berth to a trap.  But, AHA, they are greedy little guys and they seldom have much luck at the end of rainbows.  What if we put an entire pot in the trap to entice our prospect?  


We located a bowl with two handles (resembling as best we could a gold pot).  We put the loot in the bowl/pot and went to fetch a stick to attach to the bowl.  The stick was outside the front door, in a bundle of kindling for the fireplace.  It attracted more attention than we needed.  Preparing a Leprechaun trap requires a stealthy, whispered silence.  What we got was two little sisters clamoring over who got to hold the stick.  Why, I cannot tell you.  Then Archie, the dog, wanted to play a game of indoor fetch.  Finally, the stick was tugged from muzzle and grips respectively and affixed with a hairband to the bowl.  The stick propped up a large cardboard box.  When the avaricious imp tugged at the bowl to snag all the loot, the stick would fall away and the leprechaun would spend the night trapped in the box. Certainly not what he’d planned to celebrate the day.


We tried a substitute trail of caramel candy leading up to the box but again juveniles and canine intervened.  Only Josephine liked the caramel.  The two little ones spat theirs in the trash.  Knowing that Leprechauns have a keen sense of smell and are potentially gluttonous, we put the candy wrappers in with the coins as an additional attractant. We situated the trap under the dining room table behind chairs so that the Leprechaun might feel safe and unsuspecting in a forest of furniture legs.  This location had the added advantage of being relatively secure from younger sisters Willa and Julia and ever- inquisitive Archie. 


Josephine took the additional precaution of wiping down the entire dining room floor and the hallway so as not to leave human scent that might scare our visitor from the trap.


The upshot.  Partial success.  The Leprechaun seems to have been trapped, at least initially.  Then, it appears he broke open the top of the cardboard box and escaped. Insolent, as so many of his kind are, he left graffiti on the side of the box he ruined, the words “Nice Try” and a poor replica of a four-leaf clover.  To flaunt his escape, he made it painfully clear he’d found at least one pot of gold by leaving three five-dollar bills.  No St. Patrick’s Day payday for Archie.  


He’ll be back.  Wait ‘til next year little guy!    



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