The Rainbow and the Leprechaun
Written by Susan Browne, illustrated by John Arcus.
Bee- zee the elf was busy as usual. He was writing a book about elementals living in the area, and the ones he had met so far were: fairies, elves of course, sprites, goblins, hob-goblins and even dragons. He had a new idea today that he wanted to meet a Leprechaun and find out about the end of the rainbow and about gold which he had never seen before either. He had heard about Leprechauns but he wasn’t sure if they really existed. He heard that they were to be found at the end of the rainbow but every time he saw a rainbow the ‘end’ seemed to move further and further away as he moved towards it. And he never saw any leprechauns or anybody at all at the end of them. But he was only 367 and there was time yet. And it would really make his book very interesting, and complete! So he got hold of his friend Charlie the blackbird, and they set off up into the air for an adventure to find a leprechaun. Charlie wasn’t sure either, but he said he would try with Bee-zee to find a leprechaun. He had found him a dragon before, so Bee-zee had great faith in him. First, they tried the Mountains of Auron since Bee-zee hadn’t been there since he was two hundred and two. And at that time he was on a completely different mission and might not have spotted them.
‘Bee-zee let’s stop here at this lake, I am very thirsty and I feel tired.’ ‘Ok, here is fine.’
The bird lowered his orange beak down to take some of the cool lake water lapping against the shore.
It made Bee-zee thirsty too watching him, so he bent down and scooped up some water to drink out of his hands. It was delicious!
‘This place looks deserted,’ said Bee-zee. ‘I don’t think there is anyone here, not to mind any Leprechauns,’ he sighed.
‘Have patience Bee-zee. Whoever lives around here may be hiding since they don’t know us.’
Suddenly a small female character came out from the trees; she was about the same size as Bee-zee but not an elf that was for sure. ‘Who are you?’ she asked. ‘My name is Bridgín.’
‘Hello Bridgín, I am Bee-zee and this is Charlie. We are looking for leprechauns, have you heard of any.’
‘Yes of course, I am one after all.’
‘Oh… a girl leprechaun!’ blurted Bee-zee rather rudely.
Bridgín looked offended.
‘Oh Bee-zee didn’t mean to upset you,’ said Charlie. ‘It’s just we have never heard of a female leprechaun. We never met any. And the stories we heard were all about, well, round short men with beards and pots of gold.’
‘Yes that stand around looking for or being at the end of the rainbow,’ added Bee-zee, carefully. ‘I didn’t mean it to come out like that.’
‘Ignorance!’ said Bridgín. But her face softened and she smiled at the two visitors. ‘Well you have much to learn. Are there only male pixies?’ she asked, laughingly. ‘Well no of course not, there is male and female,’ said Bee-zee, not realising she was joking. ‘Bridgín, I hope you don’t mind, but I want to ask you about rainbows,’ he said. ‘What rainbows?’ she asked, gesturing to the clear blue sky that surrounded them. ‘Well, I know there aren’t any today, but I was hoping you could tell me about leprechauns and rainbows. I am writing a book about elementals and I need to know about this to make the book really special.’
‘Will I be famous then?’ asked Bridgín, smiling.
‘I hope so,’ said Bee-zee. ‘We’ll see.’
Charlie was hopping from one leg to another impatiently. ‘It’s okay Charlie; will you be able to collect me later? I know you have things to do too.’
‘Okay, I’ll be back for you later,’ he said and took flight back up into the sky and over the mountains.
‘Well I suppose you’ve heard all sorts of funny stories about leprechauns and pots of gold, at least that’s what the big folk dream about, which is why we are extra careful to build our homes away from the big people,’ she explained. ‘Many of them don’t understand what the real gold is.’
‘What is the real gold?’ asked Bee-zee, not even sure what the other type was since he had never seen any.
‘Not the kind that can be heated up and shaped into rings and jewellary,’ she shook her head passionately.
Bee-zee was lost. He hadn’t seen rings and jewellary before.
‘Oh Bee-zee, I’ll show you exactly what I’m talking about. Just follow me, and stop worrying about things.’ She led him along the edge of the lake. They seemed to walk for a very long time and Bee-zee hoped Charlie would be able to find him later. They left the lake along a small path and through some trees there was a beautiful pool of water with a small waterfall dashing down into it. She led him along another smaller path where they could actually stand behind the waterfall. It was very beautiful.
‘Now look up at the sun peeking through the trees and wait for the rainbow.’
Bee-zee did that and sure enough a beautiful rainbow appeared before him in amongst the mist that the waterfall made. ‘I can see the rainbow Bridgín but I can’t see anything gold.’ Bridgín placed her index finger in front of her and she pointed to Bee-zee’s heart centre. ‘There! There it is! Told you so.’
‘Where? I don’t see it?’ he said, examining himself thoroughly.
‘Stop trying so hard, it’s a light which kind of glows from you.’
‘A gold light?’
‘Oh yes I think I see it. What does it mean? What happens next?’
‘Just enjoy it. Stop waiting for what comes next. That’s what the big people do, that’s why they never see the gold, and there is plenty for them too. They’re looking in the wrong places!’ she said, and with a big smile on her face she disappeared into thin air.
‘Hey Bridgín, where are you? What do I do now?’ asked Bee-zee. But she was gone. So he stopped worrying about it and looked down at the gold light. It was nice. It made him feel really good. It made him feel like it would be easy to write his book. Easy to do anything. Because when he saw the gold light he felt like he had special powers to do anything that was good. And he was right. He moved to the left to see if it would go away. And then to the right. But the gold light stayed. Even when he could no longer see the rainbow he could still see and feel the gold light. He hopped along to the end of the path behind the waterfall and the gold light stayed with him. He trotted back along the path towards the lake and still it stayed.
‘Hello,’ said a voice, and what he could certainly guess was another leprechaun popped out from behind a tree. ‘Enjoying the gold from the end of the rainbow are we?’
‘Yes, how did you know?’
‘I can see it too,’ he said. He had a beard and a big round belly just like Bee-zee had expected leprechauns to look like.
‘How long does it last?’ Bee-zee asked, regularly checking to see if it was still there.
‘The truth is Mr. Elf, it is always there. It was always there and always will be there. The golden light you see, is yours, and the rainbows end with the help of a leprechaun just helps you to see it. So now you have seen it, you won’t go forgetting about it now will you?’ ‘No. No, I’ll never forget. I’m so glad I met Bridgín.’
‘Yes Bridgín, that niece of mine. She’s a good lepregirl.’ And with that he disappeared into thin air just like Bridgín had.
When Charlie came to collect Bee-zee he hardly knew him he was so excited. He wanted to show Charlie but Charlie told him he knew about the light already and that he was in a hurry to get back to his family. They stopped for some twigs to line his nest and Bee-zee didn’t mind holding them for him.
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