Luck And Blarney
By Allen McGill
“So, I’ll give you four wishes,” the leprechaun said to me, “bein’ it’s St. Paddy’s Day, and all. And you bein’ the fine Irish lad that y’are.”
I didn’t know whether to trust him, leprechauns having the reputations that they do, but I really didn’t have much choice. I’d trapped him while he lay asleep beneath a tree. He’d been smoking those dried shamrocks, don’t you know, along with a hefty pint of stout.
“But all the wishes must be granted today,” he continued. “And all at once. Sale day, if you will. And no makin’ a wish that you can have ten or twenty wishes later on, either.”
I studied the little man. He’d look silly, ordinarily, wearing his green knickered suit, white stockings and buckled shoes, topped off with a feathered cap. But today he looked right properly dressed. I let go of his collar, freeing him after he promised not to run.
“It’s a deal,” I told him. He didn’t look all that bright, at least not enough to fool me, a second-year college student. “What are you doing here, anyway?” I asked him. Why aren’t you in Ireland instead of in the U.S.?”
“I came over to visit relatives in Boston, nosy,” he replied. “Then I decided to come down to New York to see what the parade here was like. Too much celebratin’. Fell asleep here in Central Park, I did.”
He looked extremely embarrassed, but rallied quickly enough. “Well, come on. Let’s get on with it. I have to catch the Aer Lingus flight back to Shannon in a few hours. They give us a special rate.”
“All right,” I said, growing a bit impatient myself. “First, I want money, lots of money, in a suitcase that I can carry away from the park. American money in big bills, but not too big.”
“Fine,” he said. “Give me all your wishes at once and I’ll grant them together. I don’t have time to waste.”
“Second, I want an expensive, rare car waiting for me outside the park. Then, I want the deed to an exotic island with beaches and palm trees that I can use whenever I want. Finally, I want wisdom to use all these things to their best advantage.”
“Done,” said the cheerful little guy. With a snap of his fingers, he produced a suitcase from nowhere, a folded sheaf of papers that said DEED and a car registration. “Here are all the tangibles you wished for. As for the wisdom, just keep going to school and you’ll acquire it.”
“Wait a min….”
“One bit of wisdom I will impart,” said the man with a twinkle in his eye. “Never assume you’re smarter than your elders, m’lad. That’s always a mistake. Now, I must be goin’. Enjoy the festive day, m’boy. Faith and begorra.” With a click of his heels, he whirled into the air and vanished.
I opened the suitcase eagerly, to find that it was packed with Confederate money, worthless for more than a hundred years. I opened the DEED and studied it carefully. It seemed legal enough, but gave absolutely no hint as to where the island might be located. Nor did it state where the DEED had been issued, no way to track it down.
I dashed from the park to the street. The car was there all right. And it was exotic, by some tastes, and certainly rare. It was an Edsel, a car that was a dud before it ever hit the streets.
So much for bein’ a fine Irish lad, I thought.
“Well, see?” I heard a voice in my ear. “You’re gainin’ wisdom already. And here’s one last bit of wisdom for ya. The luck of the Irish isn’t necessarily good luck, don’t ya know.”