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Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Luck O' the Irish


M is enthralled by St.Patrick's day, leprechauns and Pots o' gold in a big way this year. The idiot box has been contributing its share to this fad as well, pushing images of shamrocks, leering leprechauns and fake Irish accents for the last week. M fell for all this hype and pestered us with questions about shamrocks, leprechauns and the like. To top it all, she came home crying from school because the Leprechaun bypassed her classroom for a visit.(Very likely triggered by a brag from a schoolmate with a teacher creating a treasure hunt for her class!)

She grabbed a sheet from the printer tray and industriously wrote a letter to the leprechaun.
"Dear Leprachan, please leave a treasure hunt in my house. Write your name in the blank ___________ Love, M".

"Amma, are leprechauns real?"
"Do you think they are?"
"I think so. They leave pots of gold at the end of rainbows too. Can you put this letter outside the door for the leprechaun?"
"Honey, it's cold and snowy outside, how about placing it between the storm door and the main door?" - not wanting to open the storm door to a blast of icy cold air.
"No, no,no- it has to be outside!! Otherwise the leprechaun won't get it" -Start of tantrum in sight. I crack open the storm door and place the sheet of paper between the doorpost and the door, hoping that it wouldn't fly off into the snow. It stayed in place.

The next morning, she flew to the door and peeked. The sheet dangled, its end wet in the snow. Disappointed but unfazed, she ran off. "Maybe the leprechaun will come later!". After a good breakfast, I took her to the local Balavihar class for an hour or so.

When we got back, S announced excitedly to his sister "The leprechaun's been here and left you some clues for a treasure hunt". M started following the trail of handwritten notes around the house, leading finally to her favorite 'warm spot' next to the sofa, where she found a cache of ...day-old candy that she instantly recognised.
"Anna..." ( Elder brother)- she roared in dismay.Peering closer at the notes, "This is Anna's handwriting- You tricked me! This isn't the leprechaun's treasure hunt."

Oops! Red faces and hilarity all around, except for M who was extremely miffed that S had tried to fool her.
"Never mind, perhaps the real leprechaun will only come in the night", he soothed. Still a little annoyed, she nevertheless chose to believe that and ran off to play.

Another window of opportunity came in the afternoon, when I had to take M to a birthday party. I dropped her off at the party and after a leisurely round at the local Kmart, entered the dollar store next door. I called my husband on the cell phone."Is there anything I can get for the leprechaun's treasure hunt?"
"How about a pot? I've got some candies for the hunt"
I managed to find a suitably rustic pot and a handful of golden mardi gras beads, and sneaked them into S's hand as soon as we got back "Don't let M see this till it's ready!"

The next morning, again a mysterious trail of clues. M followed them eagerly to her 'pot o' gold' in the dining room, festooned with the gold beads and a cute little green bunny. "Oooh the leprechaun did come after all! And his name is Figgle!. Here's his picture on the last clue. I think he must have typed these on the computer though- it looks like a computer printout."

I sneaked a peek at the clue sheet- "Go to the room of dining, and ye shall find ye treasure that ye desire...Figgle"

She was floating around in a haze of glory the whole day. At night, while putting her to bed, she said "Amma, can I take Lepra to school tomorrow and tell my friends about the leprechaun's treasure hunt?"
"Take who??"
"Lepra- that's what I named the bunny Figgle left me. "
"Mm..I don't think that it would be a nice name for a bunny. Can you think of another name? How about Shammy?"
"Why isn't Lepra a good name?"
"Because it sounds like 'leper', which is a word for someone who has an illness called leprosy."
"I think I like Shammy. It sounds better than Rocky too, for this is a girl bunny and Rocky sounds like a boy's name."

And so, Shammy it was, as M drifted off to sleep, perchance to dream of smiling leprechauns with pots of gold at the ends of rainbows. Irish blood may not run in our veins, but S did a great job of capturing and distilling the luck o' the Irish for his sister.

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