For Mandolin O’Dorke it should have been an average stroll in an average wood on an average day. The sun shone in a ho-hummish medium sort of way, Goldilocksian in that it wasn’t too hot or cold. He felt okay, nicely poised between happy and miserable, in one of those fence-sitting moods that can soar with the discovery of a fiver in the inside pocket of your jacket or plummet with the squelch of something clawing on the sole of your shoe.
If he spotted the rainbow at all it was with that part of the brain that sits in reserve at the back reading the Hippocampus times and waiting to see if it’ll be needed. He had almost passed it when something caught his eye. He thanked the something, explaining that his eye had a tendency to come loose on average days and popped it back into its socket.
While Mandolin was temporarily blinded, he failed to see the crock on the path. The trip was slightly above average as trips go but Mandolin did end up on his hands and knees. It was as he began to stand he saw what had impeded him. And then he saw the second crock and then a third.
‘Oh bloody hell.’ Coming towards him was a short red-faced bearded man wearing a leather-apron and waving a tiny hammer at Mandolin. ‘Don’t touch anything.’
Mandolin stood and blinked as the little fella righted the three crocks. ‘You’ve really buggered this, haven’t you?’
‘Are you a Lep… you know?’
‘No, I’m postman Pat’s Irish cousin, you wassock. Of course I’m a bloody Leprechaun and that is a crock,of gold.’
‘What about them?’ Mandolin pointed at the other crocks.
‘Ditto.’ The little guy mopped his face, not able to hide his distress. ‘You don’t have a drink, do you?’
Mandolin offered him his water bottle. The leprechaun goggled at him. ‘I want a drink, not a wash. Look, I don’t suppose you’d just pretend this didn’t happen, would you? Just pretend you dreamt it.’
The leprechaun’s shoulders slumped. ‘Give me strength. You do know this is the end of the rainbow and that’s Leprechaun’s gold?’
‘It’s a thing then?’
‘What? No, it’s not a ‘thing’ it’s 24 carat bloody gold, pillock. You get to keep it.’
‘All of it? I thought the folktale talked about a crock, not three.’
‘Oh so we do know about the gold then? What a surprise.’ He took a deep breath. ‘Look, cards on the table. Normally you’d get the one crock but these aren’t normal times, are they? That’s why I just happen to have three and because I’ve been travelling a fair bit I needed a moment behind that hawthorn which is when you come bumbling along.’
‘Okay, though what’s unusual about these times?’
‘Really? I thought it was only trolls who lived under rocks? Haven’t you heard about Brexit?’
‘Brexit? What on Earth can that have to do with a Leprechaun?’
‘Seriously? You haven’t heard about the Irish border problem if there’s a hard Brexit?’
‘Yes, But only in the context of free flow of trade.’
‘Good. Go on.’
‘I… er… sorry?’
The leprechaun slumped down and sat on one of the crocks. ‘Everyone has been told we need to stockpile stuff until a new set of regulations are in place.’
‘You need to stockpile the gold?’
‘Doh! Yes, the gold. Look, if there’s a rainbow that crosses between the north and south, currently it’s easy to source a replacement crock from the Mines of Munster and split the cost. But if they reintroduce troll guards and such, we could be really embarrassed. Imagine you finding the end of the rainbow and there was no gold in the crock? What would you think?’
‘I suppose I’d think it was like everything else to do with Brexit.’
‘Yeah, what’s that?’
‘It’s all a crock of ¥.’
‘So you’ll take the one, will you? You’ll save me all sorts of explanations if you would.’
‘Better, what if I took the three wishes alternative?’
‘Seriously? Most people wouldn’t trust me not to trick you.’
‘You can’t be worse than Parliament. First up. Can you make my eye fit properly?’
This was written in response to Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt, here