A dragon covets gold.
| A Luck O The Irish Tail
Caeli woke up abruptly. A cacophony of strange sounds was assaulting her ears. Sitting up, she exclaimed over it.
“What in the name of the Auld Sod is that noise?”
If she’d been able to, she’d have covered her ultrasensitive ear holes with something. Her wings were useless to shut out noise. Her legs and claws were not made for the purpose either.
“Maybe if I ignore it, it will stop,” she decided.
But that was easier said than done. Hard as she tried to go back to sleep, she found the persistent sounds made it impossible. Waking up before her time always made her grumpy, not to mention instantly hungry.
“I think I’ll go and look for me breakfast! While I’m at it, I’ll put a stop to that excruciating sound. Perhaps both if me Irish luck is with me!”
Taking off from the landing area of her mountain home, Caeli turned toward the sound that had disturbed her. Gearing her flight to near silence, she used her power of great vision, both mental and physical to find the source. As she approached a shamrock filled grassy knoll, the sound got louder and more irritating.
“No two ways about it, whatever beastie is making that buzzing noise will be my aperitif,” she snarled while shaking her great head futilely.
She folded her wings and dived. Landing beside a heap of green, she poked it with a claw. The bundle snorted and rolled over to reveal a leprechaun, still sound asleep. Caeli poked him harder with a little more claw point.
Grunting he opened one eye. The dragon huffed steam at him, which made him open both eyes. Leaping to his feet, he stared and stared.
“Sure you must be a nightmare, born of too much poteen” he said as Caeli pinned him to the ground by one of the tails of his swallowtail coat.
“No tricks, wee mannie! I know who and what you are! I’ll have your gold now!” the dragon ordered.
“Me have gold? Me name is Seamus and I am but a poor Irish cobbler,” the little man in green said, weeping giant tears.
“Don’t give me crocodile tears! Either I’ll have your gold for me hoard or you for a wee snackeral,” Caeli said licking the drool from her slavering jaws.
The leprechaun began to search his person frantically. Caeli watched in amusement.
“Do you think me addled, mannequin? I know you don’t carry yer gold in yer pockets!”
“No, but I carry this,” the sly shoemaker said as he pulled out his hammer.
Before she could move, he began to hammer on the tip of her tail which was curled around her and near to hand. The pain was so excruciating, Caeli roared her mightiest Celtic dragon roar. But still she kept hold of the leprechaun’s coat.
“Let go of me coat! Else I’ll mash yer tail flat, then how will ye steer when ye fly?” Seamus shouted and began jumping up and down.
The loud tearing sound made him stop.
“Me coat, me only coat! Now look what ye done?”
“You jumped up and down not my talon!” Caeli latched onto the other tail of the coat and re-pinned him to the ground.
Now where were we? Ah yes, I WANT YOUR POT O’GOLD!” the dragon enunciated slowly.
Seamus gave a huge sigh.
“Faith and Begorrah, I give up! It’s a long way, you’ll have to take me there!”
“Done!” Caeli said and whipped him onto her head with the claw he was caught in.
"Remember, no tricks! Or because you are a mere crumb on the tongue, I will be forced to roast and eat your whole family for a midday snack!”
Keeping the eyes in the back of her head on the slippery little fellow meant she saw him disappear.
“I know you’re still there, for a shoemaker who makes only left shoes must be a basically lazy fellow and not want to risk injury by flying off me!”
Seamus slowly reappeared.
“What be yer name, wicked serpent?” the leprechaun asked conversationally.
“Caeli, if it be any of your business,” she replied tersely.
“So you like a good party then? Why don’t ye land just below and I’ll get me gold then you can party for joy. I play a mean flute, if ye like.”
“Are you sure this is where your gold is?” the dragon asked suspiciously.
“O’course! I swear on me mither’s life!”
“You can uncross your fingers, little cheat! What you say better be true, or down into me gullet you go!”
So Caeli landed and Seamus hopped nimbly off her. He ran to a large rock and disappeared behind it. Caeli lumbered over to it, and turned it over. Nothing.
She looked down the hole and saw a glint of what looked like gold.
With great bites of her jaw, she scooped up dirt and spit it out over and over. Just as she was coming to the gold, a sharp series of pains attacked her tail. Turning to look, she saw a large group of leprechauns pounding at her poor appendage with their hammers. From the looks of them, they were all related.
“When I told me family about your threat to take my gold and eat us all, they were anxious to meet you in person,” Seamus roared over the hammering.
When she could take no more, Caeli abandoned the gold and flew away. Her steering was bad because of her battered tail, so she was not as fast as she would otherwise have been.
She warned all other Celtic dragons who wanted to add to their hoard, never to take it from a leprechaun. As for hammers, she shuddered when she saw one and wouldn’t have one in her cave for any price!