HOW TO CATCH A LEPRECHAUN
I had never seen one or heard of it before, but Mrs. Anderson introduced the leprechaun trap to our family. Mrs. Anderson is one of the finest special education teachers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting—and I’ve been lucky enough to meet three!
So when my son came home from school a few years ago with the assignment to make a trap, the best resource we had was our imagination. The assignment became a family project of sorts with varied ideas and opinions. Even my youngest had to make one of her own to keep up with her older brother. Quicker than you could whistle an Irish jig, the children and their mother were off to the craft store.
According to legend, leprechauns are curious, mischievous and quick with an affinity for hiding behind bushes and hedgerows. Practical jokers they are, they carry leather pouches with a gold coin in them. It’s the gold coin which they will use as leverage to try and bribe their way out of captivity.
To catch a leprechaun you’ll need to be equally as clever and tricky. To lure one close enough to grab, use a trail of four leaf clovers or fake gold coins (chocolate coins in gold foil work best). Be sure to have lots of green around so they feel like they’re in their element. The scent of mint may have effective qualities to attract the elusive leprechaun. Remember, the crafty lad is fast on his feet so have a trap ready as a backup.
If you’ve managed to catch one never listen to what a leprechaun says; they are masters at mind games and will fool you. As lore goes, some say the leprechaun will offer three wishes or the gold coin in exchange for his freedom. Others say for his freedom you might be offered the whereabouts of his hidden bounty of gold. In any case, be sure you never take your eyes off of him, not even for an instant—by doing so, the leprechaun will no longer be bound to the barter and he will vanish!
For St. Patrick’s Day I’ve created a special cake to lure a leprechaun out of hiding to trap him. The way I see it, if it fails to bring him about, the luck of the Irish will still be on my side for we’ll have a lovely dessert to enjoy after a hearty meal of corned beef and cabbage. As we like to say in our house regarding the cake, “It’s blarney delicious!”