There is no
mention to be found of female leprechauns in traditional Irish
legend, so as to how they came to be .. your guess is as good
aged, diminutive men are hard-working cobblers, turning out exquisite
shoes for other sprites. If you happen across an industrious little
fellow hammering out a shoe, look closely - for he may be a leprechaun.
for leprechauns will avoid humans, knowing us to be foolish and
I.D. Your Leprechaun
dresses in old-fashioned clothes of green, with a red cap, multi-pocketed
leather apron, and buckled shoes.
He is quite
fond of a smoke from his foul smelling clay pipe which is always
close by, and he is frequently in an intoxicated state from home-brew
leprechaun never becomes so drunk that the hand which holds the
hammer becomes unsteady and his shoemaker's work affected. If
you hear the sound of a hammer from behind a hedgerow you know
you have found him.
As well as
cobbling, his other trade is banking, and he is guardian to the
was left by the Danes when they marauded through Ireland,
and the leprechaun buries it in crocks or pots.
reveal where pots of gold are hidden, so he will sometimes spend
all day moving crocks from one spot to another to elude the tell-tale
end of the rainbow. If you catch a leprechaun, don't let him out
of your grasp before he reveals his gold. He'll try to distract
you with all manner of tricks and, in the blink of an eye, will
dash out of sight. For such a sturdy little chap, he can move
with the speed of a rabbit.
two leather pouches. In one there is a silver shilling, a magical
coin that returns to the purse each time it's spent. In the other
there is a gold coin for bribing his way out of difficult situations.
(Don't accept this coin - it turns into a rock). But he can be
generous if you do him a good turn. Your kind deed wil be repaid
with a wish.
This might work.
him by, for he never
has any money, or any idea
where treasure is buried..."
come in two distinct groups - leprechaun and cluricaun.
A cluricaun dresses very stylishly with a jaunty cap, large silver
buckles on his shoes, beautiful gold laces and pale blue stockings.
You will never see him wear an apron or carry a hammer. He has
a jolly grin, a slightly pink-tipped nose and is almost always
drunk and cheerful. Pass him by, for he never has any money, or
any idea where treasure is buried.
cluricaun will steal or borrow almost anything, making merry and
creating mayhem in your house during the hours of darkness. He
will happily busy himself raiding your kitchen, pantry, larder
and cellar and after dinner he will harness your sheep, goats,
dogs and even your domestic fowls to ride away.
countryside he will race them, over the fields and into the bog.
Leprechauns denounce cluricaun behavior, but it has been said
that cluricauns may just be leprechauns on drunken sprees.
How to Trap a Leprechaun
You can make
a trap with common household items. Take a net, a cardboard box,
green paint, green tissue paper, some pennies and an old shoe.
Firstly, paint the cardboard box green and place the old shoe
inside. Cover the opening with thin green tissue paper. Carefully
lay the pennies on the tissue paper. (If you don't want to use
real money, you can easily substitute chocolate gold-wrapped
coins or make your own by cutting circles out of cardboard and
painting them gold).
the trap near some trees or hedgerows. Make sure it's disguised
well and blends into the surroundings. When the Leprechaun sees
the coins he will try to collect them. He will step onto the tissue
paper, it will break and he will fall into the box. Now quickly
throw the net over him.
You can also
try to lure a leprechaun with some poteen instead of an old shoe.
When he falls into the box he will drink the brew, get drunk and
then you can grab him.
No one has
yet caught a leprechaun, but don't be discouraged. Start looking
Good luck !!
Susanna Duffy is a Civil Celebrant, mythologist and storyteller.