Rafferty O’ Reilly

Just down a bit from North Strand Road, over on Marrowbone Way, in the forest outside Dublin is the cottage where I stay. It is not too big or fancy, my quaint cottage in the pines; merely four walls, roof and flooring, nothing special but it’s mine. And there’s no one lives there with me – it’s just me myself and I – Except a neighbor down the hill, a curious little guy. Some say that he’s a leprechaun, some people call him a gnome; he busies himself making shoes in the cave he calls his home.

His hair’s as red as summer’s sun and he’s decked all out in green, and no one comes to visit him – he’s quite surly and he’s mean! I met him first there in the glen while out for my daily stroll; I saw him on his knees digging near a tree up on the knoll. From the hole, he pulled out a pot – it was black and full of gold – it’s hard to say how much was there, ‘hap a million bucks, all told! The moment he pulled out the pot, a bright light flashed ‘round this guy, then a rainbow shot from the pot and spread out ‘cross the sky!

I snuck on down to where he was, as stealthily as a crook, where I peeked over his shoulder so’s to have a better look. There and then, I lost my balance and reached out to right myself; in the process of my falling, I fell on that evil elf! He struggled and he bit my arm and he cursed me for a fool, but I only held him tighter, yes! I caught that little ghoul! It was then when greed gripped my heart, I could not believe my luck; visions of riches filled my mind and my avarice ran amok!

“Let me go!” he screamed and hollered, but I tightened up my grip; “Only when I get my wishes, you indignant little pip! For I know how this game is played, and I won’t let go for free; you’ll give to me your pot of gold or you’ll give me wishes, three!” The fairy elf thought for a bit, then he looked me in the eye, “Aye, three wishes be fair enough,” came his short and sweet reply, “but if ye dare to play me game, ye shall play it by me rules, as leprechauns be many things, but one thing we’re not is fools!”

“I cede to play this by your rules, fair is fair and good enough, but don’t dare try your tricks with me, that’s a warning, not a bluff! Now, my first wish is for your gold, so hand over that there pot.” “Of course!” he said, “but let me ask, why not wish for all I’ve got?” “Ah! I told you you’ll not trick me, for I am no fool myself – if I had asked for all you had, ‘twould make you an angry elf! I’m simple, my needs aren’t many and one pot will do me fine; asking for just a little bit will ensure I keep what’s mine!”

“I see that ye were not lying; ye are as wise as ye are old,” he said as he reluctantly handed me his pot of gold. “So what now be ye second wish? You’ve a fortune, how ‘bout fame; a bit o’ notoriety; for the world to know ye name?” “No, I have no need for fame now; I’ve a fortune and my life. With my second wish I ask you to bring me a faithful wife. And don’t you be getting tricky, I don’t want her fat and mean; bring me a young and pretty girl, and I wish her to be lean!”

Between us came a puff of smoke, and a girl stepped from the haze. She was golden haired and lovely, ‘nuff to keep this old man’s gaze! But I dared not look away or break the gaze of this wee eld, for looking away would break the magic with which he was held! “I trust that ye be satisfied?” he inquired of me then, “I have one more wish to give ye so we can leave this here glen.” “Yes, I’m ready with my third wish, I wish to again be young,” but the leprechaun was laughing as the words slipped from my tongue!

“Hehe! Aye! Ye be a wise one, but not near as wise as I!” My wife and gold had disappeared with the rainbow in the sky! “You dirty trickster! Where’d they go, the rainbow? My wife? The gold? I thought that we had a deal; to your promise you must hold!” “Aye, ‘tis true I gave me promise, but I warned ye I’m no fool. Ye miscounted your three wishes and the fourth one broke the rules!” “Fourth? How’s that? I did no such thing, I distinctly counted three! What gives you the right to renege and take what you gave to me?”

“I might have tricked ye, but did not; your carelessness got to ye. While wishing on your second wish, ye actually wished for three. ‘Bring me a girl to be my wife, but not one who’s mean or fat’ and then you wished her to be lean, and that, my fine friend, was THAT! So now you’ve lost ye gold and wife and I, from your hold, am freed … and from this, me lad, ye should learn one cannot get rich by greed!” And with those words, he disappeared from that spot there in the glen, and I haven’t seen hide nor hair of Raff’ O’Reilly again!

Last Modified: March 20, 2014 at 06:27 pm
© ThePoetDarkling – all rights reserved


Published by: The Poet Darkling

The Poet Darkling is an award-winning poet, lyricist, author, editor, and freelance writer. She is currently working on her fifth poetry and monologue anthology, as well as her memoirs. In 2013, The Poet Darkling had the distinct honor of writing an introduction and closing poem for the short story anthology, “Broken Spokes along the Way,” by author Vance R. Farrell. She is also an esteemed member of several writer’s groups, including Writers-Network, and All Poetry, and was featured in the All Poetry anthology “Rewrite Sunlight” in 2017. Born in Chicago, Illinois, The Poet Darkling currently resides in Northeast Tennessee with her family, her pet black widow spider (whom she calls “Walter”), her imaginary muse (whom she hasn’t named), and her many diverse personalities. Since her childhood, The Poet Darkling has survived all manner of physical and sexual abuse, as well as mental illness, drug addiction, and long-term homelessness, and her poetry reflects this. With a steady voice, diverse subject matter, and the singular intent of helping others not only survive the darkness, but thrive there. The Poet Darkling appeals to a wide range of readers. She speaks for the traumatized soldier, the weary mother, the confused teen, the abandoned senior, the disenfranchised minority, the serial killer, and anyone who has suffered heartbreak, addiction, abuse, mental illness, and even the sting of death – and all in perfect rhyme and meter…or not. Following her own doctrine of “Live first; learn later,” The Poet Darkling is currently working on her M.A. in Creative Writing/English, with a concentration in Poetry at Southern New Hampshire University, where she also earned her B.A. in Creative Writing, with a concentration in Poetry and a minor in Professional Writing, graduating summa cum laude in 2017. The Poet Darkling is proud to be a member of the Sigma Tau Delta (Alpha Pi Psi) and Alpha Sigma Lambda (Sigma Psi) honor societies. When she is not writing, or plotting her bid for Poet Laureate of the United States, The Poet enjoys talking to herself, wandering around aimlessly and poking dead critters with sticks.

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