You must be a leprechaun to win this car. - 1ST Place
| “Da!” Lamar gasped as he slid to a halt just inside the kitchen door. His father, Lenard, looked up from the table where he’d been enjoying the daily paper and, of course, his favorite brew of green tea. Lamar shook his head, trying to dispel the image in front of him. No such luck.
“Da…?” Lamar choked, fighting to control his laughter. Very little his father did surprised him - ever, but this…
“Now, calm down, me boy. There’s nuttin’ to be gettin’ your knickers in a wad over.”
“But Da, you’re dressed like a… a…” Lamar couldn’t breathe. If his father’s short stature and lengthy red beard weren’t enough, the green suit, old worn apron, and crooked hat sealed the deal.
“A leprechaun, me lad? Oh good, tis the look I was hopin’ for. See, this ad I found in The Gold Tribune? It says I kin win a car, but I have ta be a leprechaun ta claim it. See?” Lenard’s eyes gleamed.
“You’re a kook.”
“Ahh, but what if’n I can prove it, me boy?” A bushy eyebrow rose in question.
“Prove you’re a kook?” Lamar smirked. “Trust me, Da. In that get-up, it should be noooo problem.”
“No, no! What if’n I can prove I’m a leprechaun? What then? Mmmm? I’ll tell ya what. We’ll have ourselves a new convertible. Now, get yur coat on. I don’t have ta work at the shoe store today. That gives us plenty o’ time.” His father rose and headed for the door.
For a minute, Lamar stared after his father. He’s not joking.
If his father’s appearance had stunned him, it was nothing compared to the sight awaiting them at the car lot. There must have been 50 men milling around. A convention of leprechauns - all different sizes and shapes, even a couple black leprechauns and at least one Chinese.
“Oh, ho, ho,” Lenard chortled. “Tis goin’ to be so much fun. Why, I bet nary a one has even stepped a foot on the Emerald Isle.” The two joined the crowd, the air tingling with excitement.
As the owner emerged from the showroom, a cheer erupted. The man stepped up onto a platform decorated with kelly green streamers and shamrocks. Green and white balloons adorned each end, and off to the side, sat a green convertible, glinting in the sun. As the man approached the microphone, he held up his hands for quiet.
“Ladies and Leprechauns! I am William O’Meara, and it’s my pleasure to welcome you to our St. Patty’s Day Give Away.” Another cheer erupted, and again he had to wait.
“Before I begin, I would like to invite those who are eliminated from each round to join my sales associates in the showroom. You’ll find punch, cookies, and a $500 gift certificate.
“All right, for round one, you get to show off your Irish dancing skills.” At his nod, an Irish reel spewed forth from the speakers. For a moment, no one moved, and then a mass of green limbs began gyrating in every direction, looking very much like a bunch of frogs fighting over a lily pad.
All that is except for his father and three others. They folded their arms and began tapping their feet in unison, moving so fast it seemed as one blurred motion. It was these men that were tapped by the judges and escorted to the stage.
“Congratulations,” O’Meara boomed. “Okay, round two. Bring out the measuring sticks. After all, a leprechaun can’t be over 3’5” tall.” Lamar grinned as he watched the giants good-naturedly shake O’Meara’s hand and jump down off the stage. At 3’4” good ole’ Da is still in it. Maybe he’ll pull this one off.
“Round three anyone?” Another cheer rose from the crowd as the spectators rooted for their favorite. “Every leprechaun,” O’Meara continued, “carries two pouches. One has a silver coin and the other a gold. Leprechauns, show me your pouches.” Lenard reached into his pocket and pulled out two pouches. The leprechaun to his left did the same.
Wow, Lamar thought Da must have really done his homework.
“Hmmm, you both look like leprechauns to me, but I wonder?” O’Meara paced up and down the platform, eyeing the two. Finally, he stopped in front of Lenard and leaned down. For a good solid minute, neither blinked. Lamar could feel his own heart pounding as the tension mounted.
Then O’Meara straightened and whirled away, but as he did, he stumbled. After he righted himself, he looked down to see the sole of his shoe had come off.
“Oops! Is there a cobbler in the house?” O’Meara turned and looked right at Lenard, who smiled and held out his hand.
“Why I got me hammer right here in me pocket.” Lenard beamed.
“Really? Because every leprechaun I’ve ever known were cobblers and always carried their tools of their trade with them.” O’Meara glanced at the other contestant, but he shook his head.
“Ladies and Leprechauns, we have a winner!” O’Meara grabbed Lenard’s hand and raised it high above his head! Lamar’s eyes widened. His Da had actually pulled it off! He had won!
Lamar ran and jumped up on the stage, lifting his father and twirling him about. As he dropped his father, Lamar noticed that O’Meara had turned off the mic.
“Years ago a leprechaun did me a good turn,” he whispered. “I’ve been waiting a long time to return the favor.”
“But Da’s not…” A whack to the back of the head halted his protest.
“Mind yer manners, me boy, and thank the man.” With that Lenard shuffled off to inspect the car. Lamar thought he saw a faint sheen of gold trailing behind him.
No, it couldn’t be, he thought.
“Look!” someone from the crowd cried. “It’s a rainbow!”
“Maybe,” O’Meara whispered, “you should look just a little closer at your father. You may just find a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.”
Word Count 998