With Saint Patrick's Day coming up, what better time to learn a little about the Leprechaun, a type of fairy from Irish folklore.
Legends of the Leprechaun date back to the eighth century. Commonly described as a little bearded old man or "wee folk", dressed in green (although earlier versions see him in red) with buckled shoes. He's solitary by nature, a humble cobbler (shoemaker) with a weakness for beer. Only the sound of hammering betrays his presence. He's a trickster and in some cases is described as untrustworthy and lacking morals. Often associated with great riches, each leprechaun is said to have his own pot of gold which can be found at the end of a rainbow. Anyone lucky enough to capture a leprechaun can barter his freedom for his treasure, or he may grant three wishes in exchange for his release.
If you'd like to add a little leprechaun inspired fun to your fairy garden this St Patrick's Day, then check out the Pot O'Gold Terrarium tutorial over on Farmhouse 38. The rainbow is simple but effective, and as you may have already worked out we are big fans of repurposing for DIY accents in the fairy garden.
If you don't have access to Shamrock or Clover plants then try decorating with leaf picks made of green card attached to a skewer or wire. You could fill the pot or chest with chocolate coins for a sweet treat for the kids to discover.
St Patrick's Day is a cultural & religious celebration for the Irish. Traditions include wearing green ribbon or shamrock and green clothing and accessories. You could expand on your leprechaun theme by adding a tavern and seating, fishing equipment or gardening tools and extra DIY accents - just remember green, green and MORE green!
Will a Leprecaun leave his pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow in your fairy garden this St Patrick's Day?
THE LEPRACAUN; OR FAIRY SHOEMAKER
Little Cowboy, what have you heard,
Up on the lonely rath's green mound?
Only the plaintive yellow bird
Sighing in sultry fields around,
Chary, chary, chary, chee-ee
Only the grasshopper and the bee?
Scarlet leather, sewn together,
This will make a shoe.
Left, right, pull it tight;
Summer days are warm;
Underground in winter,
Laughing at the storm!
Lay your ear close to the hill.
Do you not catch the tiny clamour,
Busy click of an elfin hammer,
Voice of the Lepracaun singing shrill
As he merrily plies his trade?
He's a span
And a quarter in height.
Get him in sight, hold him tight,
And you're a made
You watch your cattle the summer day,
Sup on potatoes, sleep in the hay;
How would you like to roll in your carriage.
Look for a duchess's daughter in marriage?
Seize the Shoemaker--then you may!
"Big boots a-hunting,
Sandals in the hall,
White for a wedding-feast,
Pink for a ball.
This way, that way,
So we make a shoe;
Getting rich every stitch,
This keen miser-fairy hath,
Hid in mountains, woods, and rocks,
Ruin and round-tow'r, cave and rath,
And where the cormorants build;
From times of old
Guarded by him;
Each of them fill'd
Full to the brim
I caught him at work one day, myself,
In the castle-ditch, where foxglove grows,
A wrinkled, wizen'd and bearded Elf,
Spectacles stuck on his pointed nose,
Silver buckles to his hose,
Leather apron-shot in his lap
(A grasshopper on my cap!
Away the moth flew!)
Buskins for a fairy prince,
Brogues for his son,
Pay me well, pay me well,
When the job is done! "
The rogue was mine, beyond a doubt.
I stared at him; he stared at me;
"Servant, Sir!" "Humph!" says he,
And pull'd a snuff-box out.
He took a long pinch, look'd better pleased,
The queer little Lepracaun;
Offer'd the box with a whimsical grace,
Pouf! he flung the dust in my face,
And, while I sneezed,
References: http://www.livescience.com/37626-leprechauns.html and http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leprechaun