Here’s yet another story fairy tale, this one in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve been telling a version of this at SCA events, but I finally wrote it down. Some form of it will likely end up in the Watchmage anthology. Enjoy.
(BTW, The first book in the Watchmage Chronicles is still only 99 cents. If you like these shorts, support your humble writer friend and pick the book up.
One day, I fell in love with a fair maiden, but she would only marry me if I brought her a present of great worth, one that no one else could ever possess. Being the man that I am, I swore that I would bring her a piece of the rainbow, the most powerful of charms, or never return.
I sailed to find the end of the rainbow, where I could chip off a piece. Who would miss a tiny piece? I thought. So, we sailed to the North, the West, the South, and the East. We sailed in the circle…we were all pretty drunk.
But I followed that rainbow. I went by sea and by sail, rode over hill and dale…even over Chip. Finally, I came to the end of the rainbow. It ended at the roof of a stone guard house, and in front of the guardhouse was a fierce leprechaun, armed with a mighty hammer that he held with two hands. Around his neck was a tiny piece of the rainbow.
The leprechaun growled as he waved his hammer at me. “Ye canno’ have me gold, b’hoy. Leave, afore I squash ye flat.”
“I don’t want your gold, only a piece of the rainbow.”
“Wha’?” He stepped forward to squash me flat, or at least my kneecaps.
“I brought gifts” and I retrieved four bottles of whiskey from my cart.
“Leave da whiskey,” he said. “Now move yer feet backward.” He slapped his hammer against one hand.”
But I knew a secret about leprechauns. They can’t resist a challenge. I looked at the stone wall of the guard house. “I’ll wager with you that I can knock down this wall with four strokes. If I win, you give me a piece of the rainbow. If I lose, I’ll give you this whiskey, and you can squash me flat.”
The leprechaun laughed. “Wager accepted! These walls have lasted a thousand years. That whiskey and yer squashed head are mine!”
So I went to the wall and stretched as if I was ready to perform some great feat of strength. I raised my hand over my head. “Here goes…”
*knock* upon the wall. *knock* in front of my eyes. *knock* at my waist. *knock* at my knees.
I turned around and grinned.
The leprechaun looked at me dumbfounded, his hammer fell to his side, for he knew I had won. I knocked down the wall.
curing in Gaelic, he snatched the piece of the rainbow hanging from his neck and threw it at me. I left him the whiskey, for I knew that he’d need to drink his sorrows away.
And I returned to my love and presented her the piece of the rainbow, the most powerful of charms. But she refused me. She instead chose a man with a…bigger charm.
And that is why I wear this chunk of rainbow around my neck. It’s not the size of the charm that matters. It’s how you win it.