He was an Irishman, fair and proud and true and he had a tale to tell. He was one Shamus Maloney, Chairman of the Society of Leprechauns in Cloca Morra and, in reply to a letter in the International Express, Shamus protested their reference to leprechauns as pixies.
by Margaret Kollmer
He was disgusted, saying that a pixie was nothing but an evil-minded Anglo-Saxon spirit who wore Ali Baba slippers and sat on water-lily leaves and who was probably having an illicit affair with his neighbour, a dreadful garden gnome or, even worse, some horrid painted frog who did nothing but puff and croak all day.
Moreover, Shamus continued, the leprechaun was totally unrelated to the likes of pixies, and would the newspaper kindly refrain from ever using that dreaded P-word again.
(This, despite the fact that leppies are proud, poetic, persuasive, persistent...and probably priestly! That they can also be pimps, ponces or poofs is happily ignored.)
Now, Shamus' letter was seen by one Padraig Magee, who lived way down at the Southernmost tip of Africa.
'Mmmmmmm! Interesting.....' thought Padraig, and decided to reply.
'Ah, me dear Shamus Maloney, ’ he wrote, 'that be a splendid piece of leppy-lingo which, bajasus, gave me a roight royal surge of leppy-proide. Give it to 'em, Oi say! Them 'iggorant Sassenachs! So impressed was Oi, that Oi thought it a shamus, er....a shame, if ye were not informed about our own branch of the Society down here in Africa. Now, don't ye be frettin' an' doubtin' me, Shamus. The African leprechaun be indade the real thing! ’
(Holy St. Bridgit, flail me with yer most foiry tongue, should Oi ever be guilty of tellin' an untruth.)
‘Now, in me own garden, dear brother-in-lep, Oi have a MOST respectable gnome, as well as a perfectly charmin' painted frog but there be no way that me own little darlints would ever be behavin' in sooch a disgoostin' manner as ye descroibe. Indade, we are very fortunate that OUR little leppies an' their garden friends have a God-given rapport, an' to be sure, there be no trooble in this part of paradoise.’
‘Rotund and paunchy be the African leprechaun, ’ Padraig continued, ‘and as green as the spinach on the table of the yellow-spotted caterpillar who dwell in mole-holes, surrounded by pyramids of poppycocks and plattersful of perge. Unloike their foreign counterparts, the African leppy has no aversion to the pixie.....oops! Oi be beggin' yer pardon, yon Shamus, Oi do indade be meanin' the P-word of course, but never meanin' to offend yer sensibilities, would Oi.’
‘What’s more, ye'll be happy to know that our leppies are rather prettily known as the pug-faced pygmy of the Praetorian Pampelmousse Parade and that these little fellows be held in high regard. They are indade. Oi must also be tellin' ye that durin' the Great Election of the year gone by, our little leps were special-loike requested to come out and rest awhile in splendour, midst posies of pansies and petunias, and left to do their thing...if ye know what Oi mean...'
‘The result of their endeavours was a potent pygmy-up of pone which they, so generously, donated to our politicians to give 'em the strength we all knew they were goin' to need. Alas, despoite all the efforts of our leppy community during that critical toime, pone was in terrible short supply, which no doubt accounted for all the poorly prismatic presentations submitted by them little popes and popettes at the Place de la Discord...in a wee village called Kempton Park at the time of the Reformation, so to speak.’
‘Well, that be enough for the moment, Shamus, and Oi shall now be leavin' ye. Pay no moind to them wee garden folk o' yourn, for Oi shall soon be havin' a word or two with St. Patrick hisself.'
Many years passed since the start of Shamus and Padraig's steady correspondence. No matter what the subject they were always in total agreement, until suddenly, Shamus received a fiery-hot letter from his friend.
'Ye were roight, Shamus! Roight all along! An' me too bloind te see what was happenin' straight there afore me very oyes! Oi caught 'em at it! By Holy St. Mary. Oi caught 'em at it! That squint-eyed little garden gnome, deep in the act of consortin' with me own once dear and darlin' little poolside frog! An he, hisself, doin' nuthin' at all to be quellin' that evil gnome's perambulatic passions…..an' him in the pom-pom pixie cap, bein' of the English persuasion an' all.....watchin' em at it! ’
When Oi heard that Gnome an' Frog had been taught all their evil shennanigans by none other than our own African leprechaun......'twas into the drink wit 'em all! Gnome, frog, pixie, leppy. Every single one of 'em.
A year or two passed when Shamus received an excited letter from his friend.
'An' now, ye'll never be guessin' Shamus, Oi've found me a garden mermaid what will never betray me loike them dreadful little traitors. Indade no, for she be the most beautiful little creature wit' her tail all sealed up... wit' the scales o' justice, so to speak!