Rainbow's End

by Sharon Clay © 2001

"Where on earth are you going?" asked my father.

"To the place where the rainbow ends!" I hastily replied. "See you in about three days!"

I had packed already, so was eager to be off. "You'll never find it! Even if you do, itů" he shouted, but I wasn't really listening, the last few words faded into the back of my mind. After all, that was just the kind of negative retort I expected from him.

I arrived at exactly 1500 hours, on the 6th day of the 2nd month, of the year '03. My first port of call was the river valley; I had been told that it was the best place to find the beginning of the rainbow; therefore, I thought it wise to start there, to find the end, that is!

It was a strange place, where the rainbow began. As soon as I arrived, it started raining, the sun shining through the clouds. Suddenly, there it was, the beginning of the rainbow. I couldn't believe my eyes, what luck to have come at just the right time.

"Oi, you! What do you think you're doing?"

The voice startled me. I looked over my shoulder to see a little man with a green face and clothes to match. I believed it to be the first leprechaun I had ever had the misfortune to encounter. I had heard about the little fellows, how conniving they were, how they could get you to believe the sky was made from cotton wool.

I must admit, I was a little worried; after all, I had travelled a long way to find that pot of gold and didn't want something as obtuse as a leprechaun getting in my way.

I conjured up a plan, a quickly thought out one, mind you; so, there was a huge chance it would not work, but I was willing to take that chance.

I told the leprechaun, "Oh, so you've found me out! There was I, believing I had done what no leprechaun had done in all his years of trying. Finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, first time." I could see from the look on his face, he was taken in. he believed every word of it.

"Ay, lad. I have at that. Ye'll never pull the wool over the eyes of old shamus O'Leary, by god, you won't. Now shift ye self out there an' let me see!"v I slowly moved forward, towards him, dropping coins out of my pocket, that my master had given me. "Ok! I'll do what you ask, but you must promise to let me go free from harm."

Shamus laughed, a yawning, self-aggrandizing laugh. "Ay, lad. I'll do that all right, so I will. I'll definitely do that." his short legs and long arms, his over-exaggeratedly pronounced belly slowing and wobbling him, as he waddled towards me.

"What's that you're droppin' there then mi lad? Already stole some of the money did you?" "Yer won't pilfer from me, yer little runt! 'And it over ere!"

As I bent over to pick up the coins I had dropped, I leant out my hand and grabbed his trouser bottom. I tugged, he fell onto his back; feet in the air, his little legs kicking like flies legs when they die; his arms flapping in the air.

Now was my chance to escape; I figured it would take him an hour, or two to roll onto his belly and get up from the floor.

"Come back you scrawny, pathetic devil! Does you 'ere me? Come back 'ere!" I was off in a flash, up the side of the rainbow.

As I reached the end of the rainbow, I could not believe my eyes. There, right in front of me, was the pot of gold. I had made it, without much of a hitch. My master said I would never find it, what a fool he was. Now I could buy back my freedom and return home.

I extended my hand to the rim of the pot, swooped it up in a second and was off. But, wait a minute! I noticed my hand turning green, my legs shortening. "Oh, no! It can't be!" I yelled, realising what a fool I had been.

My father had warned me, before I left, but I was too arrogant to believe. I thought back to him shouting, "you'll never find it!" then I realised his warning that I tried to ignore, "even if you do, it will turn you into a leprechaun, the instant you touch it!"

I ran as fast as my shrinking legs would take me, to the beginning of the rainbow. The leprechaun was still there, still trying to get up off the floor.

" Please, help me! How can I stop it?" I screeched at him.

" Oh, but lad, you thought I was funny, made a fool outa me. How do you expect me to help you?" he still couldn't get up, but now it was because he was laughing at me; the same yawning, self-aggrandizing laugh.

"Anyway, there is no helping you, as your father knows well."

" How do you know my father and what he tried to tell me?" I snapped.

" Take a look at my shoes. There lies your answer." He said.

I ogled those shoes, as if they were monsters; with the realisation that the leprechaun was my father. He knew what would happen and couldn't bear the thought of me, alone, transformed, so he decided to be here first.

What a huge price I had paid for my greed, not only my own life, but my father's.

Take heed young man, before you climb over, heed the reason I am sitting guarding the rainbow, why I am telling you this tale! (If you believe that crock of codswallop, you'll believe anything. I'll do whatever it takes to keep my gold!)

x x x




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