The Leprechaun Legend:
Real Irish Luck or
Just a Bunch of Blarney?

The Irish leprechaun legend has stood the test of time.


The most famous (or infamous) Irish fairy of them all is the stuff of many a fantasy and folktale and one of Ireland's most beloved symbols. The leprechaun legend is especially popular around St. Patrick's Day. Here's a brief overview of this famous Irish legend.

Standing only about two-feet-tall, this little old shoemaker with twinkling eyes and rosy cheeks looks friendly, but they're actually quite the tricksters.

According to Colin Chapman, leprechauns are "given to excess, nothing appeals to a Leprechaun like a binge of whiskey, Guinness, pipe tobacco and snuff, and despite their small stature they can handle surprising quantities of alcohol."

If you could really use a good laugh, check out the dialogue with a drunken leprechaun at the bottom of Colin's article, "Leprechaun".

Being aloof and unfriendly little fairy souls, Ireland's leprechauns aren't easy to spot. They spend all their time busily making shoes, and stashing away all the money their craft brings them in a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Everyone's heard of the legendary pot of gold, and the only way to track one is to follow the sound of a leprechaun hammering the shoes. They say if you catch one, he'll promise to take you to his pot of gold if you can just keep him in your sights.

But these tricky little fellows know just how to get you to look away.

Once you do, they've disappeared and your chance of riches is gone!

The Legend of the Leprechaun
By Sheri Amon

Oh, the leprechaun, a mysterious fellow,
An Irish fairy he be.
An unfriendly sort who keeps to himself,
A miserly fellow is he.

Making shoes for his living, not a bit does he spend,
Instead stores it all in a pot.
At the end of the rainbow his hiding place is,
And to find it will bring you good luck.

If you happen to hear a shoemaker's hammer,
tis the sound that a leprechaun makes.
Find him and corner him,
he'll tell you his secret,
If a stare you can maintain.

Look not away for this fairy is tricky,
He'll attempt to sway your glance.
Gone will he be, look away for a moment,
And you'll lose your one only chance.

Reprinted with permission by author S.L. Amon
© 1998 S.L. Amon, Amon Party Collections

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