Childhood should be filled with magic and whimsy. During your next story time, add a bit o' Irish by focusing on leprechauns. These two, original stories will have you checking around just to make sure that you don't see any leprechauns. The stories also appear as printables. To print, click on the thumbnail. If you need help downloading the printables, check out these helpful tips.
A Family Tradition
Sammy hated his red hair, his freckles and the fact that he was short. He was half the size of the other boys in the second grade.
"Everyone in our family is short," his mother said. "Short people can do things tall people can't."
"Like what?" From what Sammy could tell, being short wasn't an advantage. He couldn't see around crowds, he couldn't reach things on tall shelves and the other kids made fun of him, calling him shrimp and pipsqueak.
His mother just smiled and never answered him when he asked her what short people could do.
It was a chilly March day when Sammy finally figured out what his mother meant. The school day started like any other day. The bell rang, kids shuffled to their desks, the teacher passed out papers, and they said the Pledge of Allegiance.
"Did everyone wear green today?" the teacher asked.
It was St. Patrick's Day and the tradition was that you wore green or someone might pinch you. Sammy intentionally had not worn green. Instead, he had on blue jeans, white athletic shoes and a blue tee shirt. He knew if he wore green, with his short stature and his red hair that the other kids would have made jokes about him being a leprechaun.
It didn't matter, though. The jokes started at lunch and continued onto the playground.
"Can I have a wish, Sammy?" Megan Night skipped around him, laughing at what she thought was a funny joke. Sammy didn't think it was funny.
"Sammy the leprechaun," Marc Catz taunted.
A Fateful Wish
This time, Sammy didn't cry and he didn't go back inside to hide from the other kids. He got angry at how unfair they were being. He couldn't help being short. It wasn't as if he had chosen his looks. The anger simmered and simmered, growing hotter and brighter inside him until Megan reached out and pinched him on the arm for not wearing green.
"I wish you were short, so you'd know how it feels," Sammy said.
With a rush of air and a shimmer of movement, Megan shrank three inches instantly. Her green dress that had sat just at her knees now hung to her calves and the sleeves covered her hands.
"What did you do to me?" Her voice was even smaller than it had been, coming out as a little screech instead of a shout.
"I don't know." What had just happened? Had he just wished someone into being shorter? Sammy felt terrible. He wouldn't hurt anyone on purpose. They had been words - just words - and he hadn't thought they'd come true. Still, if wishing her shorter had worked, perhaps wishing her tall again would work as well?
"I wish you were taller," he whispered.
The rush of air was faster this time with an underlying roar. Megan disappeared in a blur. Sammy closed his eyes and when he opened them, Megan was six feet tall. Her dress was super short and the sleeves were so tight that they had started to rip at the seams.
"Oh! Sammy, stop. Make it stop!" Tears filled Megan's eyes.
"I wish Megan was her normal size."
Instantly, Megan returned to the size she'd been before he'd made a wish.
"How did you do that?" Megan put her hands on her hips.
"I don't know." He was going to ask his mother. Was this what she meant by short people being able to do more than others?
Sammy Discovers the Truth
That evening, he asked his mother about what had happened on the playground. She laughed. "Finally. Your father and I wondered when you'd finally get your leprechaun powers."
"Yes, we are short because we are leprechauns. Now that you can wish things into happening, though, you must be very careful with your words. What if you had wished something really bad on Megan? That would have been horrible."
Sammy agreed and knew after seeing how upset Megan had been that he'd never use his words without thinking about them first. Now that he knew the family secret, being short didn't seem like such a bad thing anymore. Especially since he could wish for that new video game he'd been wanting since January.
Worn Out Shoes
Shoes are funny things. One pair will fit just right and be comfortable and another pair of the same size will pinch and hurt. That's why Sarah loved her new shoes. They were comfortable. They were cute and they made the best little clacking noise when she walked. Her mother had called them clogs. The little wooden heels helped with the clacking sound and the leather top was open in the back, so that she could slide her foot in and out with ease.
Since her mother liked her to take off her shoes when she got home from school or came in from playing, Sarah would kick her shoes off by the door and then slip them back on again when she was ready to go.
One morning, she went to get her shoes, which were still by the door, but she noticed that the wooden heels were completely worn down. Sarah didn't understand what could have happened to her shoes.
"Mom, look at my shoes." She showed her mother the worn down heel.
"You have worn them a lot," her mother said, "so, we will go get another pair when you get home from school."
Sarah's grandmother, who lived with them, laughed and said, "You have a leprechaun who is getting those shoes and dancing a jig all night long until he wears the shoes down."
Her mother laughed at the thought and promised they'd get a new pair to replace the old ones.
Sarah had to wear her old shoes, which weren't nearly as comfortable. At recess, she missed being able to run around in her clogs and hear the clickity-clack on the pavement. When she got home from school, she had to stop, untie her shoes and pull them off. She glared at them as she set them by the door.
Later that night, her mother took her to the shoe store and they got another pair just like the ones that were worn down. She set the shoes by the front door and went to bed.
In the morning, Sarah rushed down to put on her new shoes, happy that she'd have her favorite pair back. She picked them up and realized the heels were worn down. Had her mother put the old pair back out?
"Mom, where are my new shoes?" she asked.
"They were by the front door." Her mother's eyes widened as she realized the heels were worn down again. "What in the world?"
Sarah's grandmother smiled. "I told you. Leprechauns love to dance and they also love clogs because of the sound they make when they are doing a jig."
After that, Sarah kept her shoes in her closet, but she always wondered what the leprechaun might be wearing to dance his little jigs.
More Leprechaun Stories
Want some additional stories to put you in the Irish spirit? Try these:
- The Leprechaun Trap: Highlights for Kids offers this cute story about a man who traps a leprechaun but quickly learns that the leprechaun is smarter than he is. This story is best suited for six to nine-year-olds and is a contemporary story.
- A True Leprechaun Tale: Leprechauns are crafty and fast as is proved in this story about a grandfather who captures a leprechaun only to be tricked into letting him go again. This tale is suited for school-aged children and is a contemporary story.
- Mad Lib Leprechaun Story: Fill in the blanks to create a one-of-a-kind story all your own. Modern story best suited for children who are familiar with parts of speech, which would be about third grade and up.
Not Just for St. Patty's Day
Even though St. Patrick's Day might be when you traditionally turn to leprechaun stories, the magical tales about tiny beings who guard the gold at the end of the rainbow are magical enough to read any time of year. Read through the stories here and then see if your child can create a story or two of his own.