St. Patrick's Day, Leprechauns, and Gold

 President Barack Obama is reflected in a mirror at the Dubliner, an Irish pub in Washington, D.C., with his Irish cousin, Henry Healy, and Ollie Hayes, a pub owner in Moneygall, Ireland, on St. Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama is reflected in a mirror at the Dubliner, an Irish pub in Washington, D.C., with his Irish cousin, Henry Healy, and Ollie Hayes, a pub owner in Moneygall, Ireland, on St. Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Saint Patrick’s Day occurs on March 17th and is a pop culture celebration of all things Irish. There is a wonderful Irish pub in Washington, DC, near Capitol Hill, named The Dubliner. In 2012 President Obama snuck into its cellar room to drink a pint of Guinness on Saint Patrick’s Day with one of his Irish cousins to celebrate his (part-)Irish ancestry.

And I’ll bet you thought Mr. Obama was from Kenya!  ;   )

Nothing is more Irish than the lore of the leprechaun, a kind of wee folk immutably associated with gold.  As LiveScience neatly describes them:

Leprechauns are often described as wizened, bearded old men dressed in green (early versions were clad in red) and wearing buckled shoes, often with a leather apron. Sometimes they wear a pointed cap or hat and may be smoking a pipe.

In their book "The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures," John and Caitlin Matthews trace leprechaun legends back to eighth-century legends of water spirits called "luchorpán," meaning small body. These sprites eventually merged with a mischievous household fairy said to haunt cellars and drink heavily.

Other researchers say that the word leprechaun may be derived from the Irish leath bhrogan, meaning shoemaker. Indeed, though leprechauns are often associated with riches and gold, in folklore their main vocation is anything but glamorous: they are humble cobblers, or shoemakers. Shoemaking is apparently a lucrative business in the fairy world, since each leprechaun is said to have his own pot of gold, which can often be found at the end of a rainbow.

According to Irish legends, people lucky enough to find a leprechaun and capture him (or, in some stories, steal his magical ring, coin or amulet) can barter his freedom for his treasure. Leprechauns are usually said to be able to grant the person three wishes. But dealing with leprechauns can be a tricky proposition.

As one classic story of an encounter, that from Irish Wonders 

by D. R. McAnally, Jr. (1888) has it:

"Mind ye," said a Kerry peasant, "the onliest time ye can ketch the little vagabone is whin he's settin' down, an' he niver sets down axceptin' whin his brogues want mendin'. He runs about so much he wears thim out, an' whin he feels his feet on the ground, down he sets undher a hidge or behind a wall, or in the grass, an' takes thim aff an' mends thim. Thin comes you by, as quiet as a cat an' sees him there, that ye can aisily, be his red coat, an' you shlippin' up on him, catches him in yer arrums.

"'Give up yer goold,' says you.

"'Begob, I've no goold,' says he.

"'Then outs wid yer magic purse,' says you.

"But it's like pullin' a hat full av taith to get aither purse or goold av him. He's got goold be the ton, an' can tell ye where ye can put yer finger on it, but he wont, till ye make him, an' that ye must do be no aisey manes. Some cuts aff his wind be chokin' him, an' some bates him, but don't for the life o' ye take yer eyes aff him, fur if ye do, he's aff like a flash an' the same man niver sees him agin, an' that's how it was wid Michael O'Dougherty.

"He was afther lookin' for wan nigh a year, fur he wanted to get married an' hadn't anny money, so he thought the aisiest was to ketch a Luricawne. So he was lookin' an' watchin' an' the fellys makin' fun av him all the time. Wan night he was comin' back afore day from a wake he'd been at, an' on the way home he laid undher the hidge an' shlept awhile, thin riz an' walked on. So as he was walkin', he seen a Luricawne in the grass be the road a-mendin' his brogues. So he shlipped up an' got him fast enough, an' thin made him tell him where was his goold. The Luricawne tuk him to nigh the place in the break o' the hills an' was goin' fur to show him, when all at wanst Mike heard the most outprobrious scraich over the head av him that 'ud make the hairs av ye shtand up like a mad cat's tail.

"'The saints defind me,' says he, 'phat's that?' an' he looked up from the Luricawne that he was carryin' in his arrums. That minnit the little attomy wint out av his sight, fur he looked away from it an' it was gone, but he heard it laugh when it wint an' he niver got the goold but died poor, as me father knows, an' he a boy when it happened."

Or as HelloKids.com summarizes it,

Among the most popular of beliefs about leprechauns is that they are extremely wealthy and like to hide their gold in secret locations, which can only be revealed if a person were to actually capture and interrogate a leprechaun for its money.

Fancy becoming extremely wealthy and having your gold hidden away in “secret locations”? No longer is there a need to capture and interrogate a leprechaun (from which, If you look away for even a moment, he will be gone and you will “niver get the goold.”)! You’ve come to the right place.

At Responsible Gold and GCoin.com you can acquire, at zero fees, the purest and most ethically mined gold. That gold will then legally belong to you – you own in your own title every gram, not just a claim against an undifferentiated pool.

And you may be serene that your Responsible Gold is securely stored for you in a in armored and highly secure vault. What could be better?

Yes, yes. Switzerland is better known for its gnomes. Gnomes are also associated with gold and are distant cousins to the leprechauns. The leprechauns are certain to envy the security of your pot of gold.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Meet you, and cousin Barack, at The Dubliner for a pint with which to toast to the leprechauns… and to your very own pot of gold?