Ah, me Dairlins, did I ever tell ye the time I was visitin me loovly ancestors in dear old Ireland, when I was bewitched, BEWITCHED I tell ye, by a band of the Wee-Peeple and their mischiefs??... well, one misty morn, I was out for a stroll and some quiet time by myself. I was whistlin a tune and feelin pensive-like about the beautiful landscape and the quiet surroundins, when suddenly, out pops a little fellow dressed all in green (what else!?). His duds were all mixed patterns and prints with stripes butted up against polka-dots, chevrons, curly-cues, paisleys, checks, harlequinades, skeetlebarts, floopsie-loos and embellished with sequins, rhinestones, ric-rac, and all manner of gew-gaws, pasties, ribbons, ruffles, frills, and sillies.

         I knew instantly by his ridiculous togs that not only was he a Leprechaun, but quite possibly a "Mary-Maker" as well.... (you know, the kind of Leprechaun who lures young lads away on drunken weekends and likes to re-do a woman's home or hair when she's fast asleep, sometimes in a very naughty way!!). Though he was only 20 polpits high or so, he gave a sweepin bow, flourishin his befeathered cap and introducin himself as "Breehan O'Really", a respectable enough name for so cheeky a fellow, but I checked my purse and pockets immediately out of habit, for I have met his like many o'time oer the years in all sorts of disreputable places like Bingo halls and emergency rooms in Doll Hospitals. Mr. O'Really wished me “a gracious goo'day” and asked me where I was bein off to, and I dished him some blarney about lookin for a cappucino and croissant in the vicinity which brought him (and me!) to loud laughter and shared winks! ....and then, after a slight and pregnant pause, Breehan drew my attention to the huge tunnel that was right beside me, but that I hadn't noticed before!

        How had that suddenly come into view? Even in reverie, or recoverin from a “tipsy”, I'm an observant soul, and I couldn't imagine how I had missed that great a vision so near to my path??? Little Breehan's eyes shone brightly as he beckoned me close...much more brightly than your usual Wee-lette, and as he spoke, those deep green eyes shone bigger, and brighter....with a bit o’ menace in them, if truth be told. I bent low to see into them more clearly, and to show wee Breehan that I wasn’t a-feared of him, though he had a tad o’ the Devil himself in those twinklers! He asked me if I liked wearing pretties, “bein a loovly lass myself”. Well I gave him my best askance and told him to “go on!”, but I was glad for the compliment (for a lady of any age likes to be told and not have to pay for it at a local pub or in an alleyway). And then, right there, I heard them! Breehan’s fellow-magicals, singin their plaintive tune, their sweet harmonies a-driftin out o’ the tunnel’s great mouth. I could na see ‘em, but their angels’ voices rose and rose more and more as if they were gettin close to comin into view! And angels’ voices they had too! For never have ye heard a sound so close to dyin and wakin in the clouds with St. Peter’s hand on yer heart welcoming ye home! I confess, I was lured by their sweet song, almost a prayer-like, and then, as if through a mist, the first of ‘em began to come out into the grey morning light. In procession, but not formal, just amblin along, smiling at me with their faces open and friendly, and one of ‘em was holdin a huge cushion in his outstretched hands. It was beautiful, dark green velvet with trims and braids and tassels all on it fit for a king’s coronation, and I wondered if Breehan and his pranksters had stolen it!...and when I saw what was nestled down inside the lushness, I was very sure there had been some thievery…or at least a wee bit o’ finger-friskiness. For there, as delicious as candy, was the most gloriously green arc o’ emeralds ye’ve ever seen, arranged in a tiara-crown.

        Even in the dull grey of the mornin mist, it twinkled and nearly danced on its pilla, the light in it as merry and laughin as that dangerous spark in the eyes o’ the Wees that brought it towards me. Oh yes… for that is how green fire can be, and indeed the color green itself, doncha know? Green is the color of the Lord’s own trees and every leaf upon ‘em in His good world, God bless ye, but it also can be the color o’ Envy and Jealousy … and Coveting…and Money….and green can be the sickly color of somethin’ deadly or dyin and left in a dark place to rot and corrupt. But, oh, how I stared at that beautiful crown and its laughin emeralds, even as I remembered my catechism and all the lessons that nuns and nicer folks had taught me well through love and ruler whacks….

        And then, wee Breehan whispered ever so gently and lovin-like, “Would ye care, dear Lass, to try it on? I daresay it looks just yer size, and the twinklettes match yer eyes so!”… and… well…. I knew in my heart ‘o hearts it might be wrong, or at least it might be what Sister Mary Bernice had warned me against at my eighth birthday party when I gave Johnny Brannigan an extra piece of my cake if he’d show me why boys were different than girls…. It might be like that. Tryin on that tiara and lookin at Johnny behind the church in all his glory… they might be the same thing. …and I thought of Sister Mary Bernice! But I couldna resist! Neither when I was eight!.... nor when I was a grown lady and had seen many glories in the passin years. We’re mortal, aren’t we, made of flesh and bone, and prone to mischiefs, and temptations, and bruises, and beauty. God protect us, Beauty!...maybe the most dangerous injury of all on this fretful journey. And when we are first born and set sail in each our own fragile vessel on the great sea of life, to be buffeted about as whim will have it, how guilty of wrong are we when our crewmen include the Breehan O’Reallys of the world? They stow away in the hold, and jump out at all the wrong times to vex our better natures and set our destinies at odds with what our stars and souls would better like. But there it is!

       ...and so, as the glorious cushion with its fantastic cargo was held before me, and I stared into the invitin eyes of each of the little minions that ringed me, I took a deep and quiet breath. I smiled back, as sweetly and deeply as I ever have, finally settlin on Breehan’s upturned face. I slowly reached out for the tiara with both my tremblin hands, and lifted its surprising weight up… and towards my brow, all feverish now with expectation. I lowered the crown of gold and diamonds and emeralds upon myself, and Yes! It fit perfectly!.... I felt it there, substantial and filled with glory, but not encumbering or hurtful. Almost like a loved-one who had come home after a long absence, and was now sittin exactly where he was meant to be. I slowly rose up and stood before the gathered magicals around me, their eyes watchful, waitin….AND I RAN! RAN with my treasure clutched tight to my head so as not to lose it on the rocky path that I tore down like a meteor shootin through the night!..... and the last thing I heard as I rounded a stone wall was the yowled rage of the Wees as they realized that sometimes, on rare occasions, the world that holds the teachins of Mary Bernice, and ruler whacks, and croissants and cappuccinos, and Johnny Brannigan, and the likes of a lass like me…. That world sometimes gets the better of THEM for a change! And the Wees and the Magicals and the Tricksters have to dance the same jig as the rest of us… in front of the Great Maker.

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