Georgina and the Leprechaun

It was early morning, and dew still on the grass, when Georgina caught the leprechaun.

At least she thought of him as a leprechaun, for his cap and jerkin were green, and his face like a wizened apple, though she had never heard of leprechauns in Australia.

Whoever and whatever he was, he lay asleep under a flower pot in her wheelbarrow. He wriggled like an eel when she lifted the pot and held him tight - his little rosy face screwed into angry wrinkles.

"Put me down, put me down, or I'll do you some ill - down I tell you."

Georgina was not to be intimidated.

"No." She said firmly. "You can't harm me because I don't believe in you."

At this the leprechaun looked extremely put out.

"Oh, you don't, don't you?" He said angrily. "Well how about this then?" And he turned Georgina into a great fat cat with yellow eyes.

Unfortunately, she still held the leprechaun in her two front paws, and began to play as cats will - letting him go a little - pouncing - batting him with her paws as he tried to run - finally scrunching him between her needle teeth.

"Ow!" cried the leprechaun, and changed her smartly back to herself.

She took him from her mouth and imprisoned him in her fingers again.

"Alright," she said, "how come you're in Australia and in my garden?"

"It's a long story, and I'm not telling it," said the leprechaun looking sulky. "I got into the wrong pocket, didn't I - and me looking for me gold."

"Don't tell me you've lost your pot of gold?" Georgina cried, scandalised.

"Mislaid it - mislaid it, " he muttered with a shamed face. "Look, let me go and I'll give you three wishes."

"I've got everything I need here," said Georgina. "What do I want with three wishes?"

"There must be something?" said the little green man, beginning to plead. "Think now."

Georgina thought hard - then she fetched a long sigh.

"There's only one thing I could do with." she said, "and that's my dear lost love. Golden he was and beautiful. And we loved each other."

"What happened?" asked the little man curiously.

"He died." She said. "And I could wish him back - to see him come along this road like he used to do."

The little man shook his head.

"It's a hard one," he said. "Not me usual at all."

"But...only one wish instead of three?" she coaxed. "Doesn't that count?"

"Oh well - I suppose I'll try then," grumbled the leprechaun. "Put me down first, mind."

Georgina put him gently on the path. He stamped his little legs and waved his little arms and screwed up his little face until his eyes couldn't even be seen.

And suddenly - there he came - her lovely Boy. Over the brow of the hill and along the dusty road - the sun on his golden hair - his full mouth smiling. Nothing bruised and broken as they had told her. Her beautiful Boy.

Georgina ran to the gate, her arms outstretched and a glad cry on her lips.

"Boy - my darling...."

"Whatever did that queer grey-haired old lady want with me?" wondered Boy, as he strode on past the cottage towards the roofs of the town.

Norah Boehme