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WHO NEEDS A LEPRECHAUN WHEN YOU HAVE A GRANDMOTHER?



Shamrock
"Hey!" Seven-year-old Blake could hear his twin, Kathryne, yell from the next room. Blake scrambled in to find her waving a post card.

"Whoa," he said. "Let me see." It was a note from their Irish grandmother, Nancy—better known as Baby Grandma.

"Way cool," Blake said after he read it.

"She will be here for St. Patrick's Day," Kathryne said doing a little twirl.

"Yeah, she can go to the parade with us. But, only if she helps us find a leprechaunfirst. If you catch one, he'll give you a coin, so you'll let him go. I need money to buy a birthday present for Mom."

"Oh, you're such a silly. Everyone knows that leprechauns are just make believe."

Kathryne pulled a face. "Baby Grandma told me about her uncle who saw one in his garden in Ireland. They are little old men who make shoes and eat corned beef and cabbage, and they have lots of money they carry in wee leather pouches."

Just then, their older brother, Spencer, bounced in. "I hear Baby Grandma is coming to visit—that's so cool."

"Kathryne wants her to help us find a leprechaun, but that's so dumb."

"Who knows," Spencer said with a grin. "I've read lots of stories about them. They have red hair, beards, and wear little green coats all trimmed in gold."

Kathryne nodded. "And shoes with pointy toes—and hats circled by black bands and centered with big gold buckles."

Blake's mouth dropped open. "You are fooling me."

"Besides," Spencer said, "if you catch one and NEVER take your eyes off of him, he'll promise you a gold coin so you'll let him go."

Kathryne nodded. "But, we'll ask Baby Grandma about leprechauns when she comes. She knows everything."

"Our teacher," Blake chimed in, "said that if March comes in like a lion—all blowy—it might go out like a lamb. I hope Baby Grandma doesn't come in like any old lion. Lions roar, you know."

The next day, Baby Grandma came, and Kathryne climbed on her lap as soon as she sat in the rocker. "I'm glad you act more like a lamb than a lion," she whispered. Blake giggled.

"Do you know about leprechauns?" Spencer said leaning close.

Baby Grandma smiled. "They are wee men who hide gold in pots at the rainbow's end. They are mischievous, though, and if they get caught, they promise their captor a coin if they will let them go; but as soon as they are free, the coin magically returns to the naughty leprechaun's purse."

The children stood listening—wide-eyed—as she continued. "I know a fellow named Sam who caught one. Sam knew that the leprechaun couldn't escape as long as he kept his eye on him. But a bee buzzed overhead, and Sam glanced up to shoo it away. As soon as Sam glanced away, that sly little guy escaped."

"Oh, no!" shouted Blake.

"Wish I could find one," Kathryne said looking serious. "I need some money."

"Just find a rainbow, and you can have a whole pot of gold," Spencer said in a big brother voice.

"Next time there is a rainbow, let's all go and find the pot, and we can divide the coins," Kathryne said as she jumped down and twirled across the room.

"That sounds fun," Baby Grandma said with a smile. "But tomorrow, let's go to the park and search for a shamrock, so we'll have good luck in finding one."

"Right on!" they shouted. It was so fun to have Baby Grandma there visiting. She always gave them each a few coins before she left. So maybe, if you have a grandma, you don't need to find a shamrock or a leprechaun after all.

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