April Story Contest

Elder and the Laughing Leprechaun
By: microphone
Age: 11

"Amy!" I sighed as I heard my mother's call. It wasn't for me, fortunately, but if she called 'Amy' in that tone, it meant something was up with my teenage sister. I heard my sister get up from where she was reading Eldest by Christopher Paolini. I honestly don't know what she sees in those books - too much blood and fighting. Plus - what's up with dragons, elves, dwarves, magicians, and love anyway? I'd rather read a good old horse book any day. Give me Heartland or any book about horses - informative books, story books. The only series I liked that wasn't about horses was Warriors by Erin Hunter.
"Amy!" I looked up from Warriors - Omen of the Stars - The Fourth Apprentice. "Amy, you should go down. Mom'll be even worse if you don't." Amy turned on me.
"Alexis! This is totally not your business!" Amy shouted.
I sighed, "But Mom'll take it out on me as well!"

She flicked her hair back and strode across the room in a teenager-like manner. Boy, I'm glad I'm only 13. Maybe 16 year olds are all like that! I hoped I wouldn't be like that. Suddenly I heard a strange sort of giggle. I looked around, suddenly afraid. I heard it again, behind me this time. I turned, quick as lightning, but nothing was there. I suddenly decided I'd go read in Elder's pasture. I made my way quietly downstairs, unseen or heard by my Mom or Amy. They were shouting about something teenagers do. I shook my head, sighed, and jumped into the yard! I ran to Elder's paddock, and sighed as the black Arabian stallion trotted towards me.

"Hey Elder," I said as I stroked his soft, delicate nose. He snorted and looked towards the big Maple tree in the center of his pasture. "Of course," I answered, "I'm coming to read," I climbed over the fence, jumped down, and raced Elder to the tree. He beat me, but not by much because he liked to make me think I would win, then speed up at the last second. I doubled over and panted, my face red with the effort. When I'd calmed down I sat beneath the shade of Old Maple and began to read again. I could still hear separate words that my Mom was shouting at Amy, and Amy shouting back.

I looked around me at the forest of pines lining the large pasture, yard and entire property. Tulips and roses and daisies popped up everywhere along the driveway, and the driveway itself was scattered with oak, maple, elm and pine leaves and needles.

"Alexis!" It was Amy - obviously she'd discovered I'd escaped while she and Mom were fighting. I sighed - she couldn't see me from the reading-room window. But if she went in my room... I jumped up! I'd read in Elder's stable, with the horses, to avoid detection.

Dad and I ran a breeding farm. We had several pregnant mares, and several foals that were only a couple weeks old. I sprinted to the stable, and checked on all the different horses. Snowflake was one of the pregnant mares. She was a gorgeous silvery-white, with a long mane and tail. She was my second favorite, apart from Elder, of course. Next was Everest, the palomino stallion who sired all Snowflake's foals. I patted his golden neck and continued on. A muddy-bay mare was next, staring out of milky white eyes. She was blind, but since it was cause by injury, not by genetics, she was a good broodmare. Dander already had her foal, Flower, in her stall. Flower was pure black, with no markings. She was suckling noisily but looked up when I entered Dander's stall.

Next was Dander's breeding partner, Domino. Domino was a tri-colored paint, with the colors being dark brown, golden brown, black and white. He was not a quad-colored paint because paints automatically come with white. He had one blue eye and one brown eye, and a black forelock, brown mane, and white and tan tail. He was a stunning horse with a great career behind him.

I checked on the other mares and stallions including Fender, Sandy, Nano-T, Robo-T, Kettle and Velum. Elder's stall was empty, since he was still in the pasture. I took the opportunity and cleaned his stall, gave him fresh water and some hay and oats. Suddenly I heard Elder's clip-clop of hooves on the cobblestones of the stable. I must have left the gate open! I realized. But Elder wouldn't run away. I settled him in his stall and then released Domino. I settled in the hayloft and began to read.

The hours quickly disappeared as I absorbed myself in Erin Hunter's words. I heard the stable door open, and hid myself behind some hay bales. I watched as the person strode across to Elder's stall. He seemed exquisitely small. I crawled over, quietly as I could, and spied down into Elder's stall. The strange man was tying something around his neck. I shivered with fear. Ignoring all caution I began to climb the ladder, going down to interrupt the man. Halfway down I heard the man giggle. I stopped. It was the same giggle I had heard earlier. I heard the man exiting the stall. I jumped off the ladder and stood in the middle of the hallway, hands on hips, staring angrily down at the strange man. He was a very strange man indeed. He wore a green velvet suit, black shoes with gigantic gold buckles, a green velvet hat with a black belt and gold buckle clipped to it, and red hair. He's a leprechaun! I thought suddenly.

"Oh - hehe - hello - Sorry to have disturbed you - hehe," The leprechaun said, giggling.
"Why were you in my horse's stall?" I asked furiously. Why was he giggling? The situation was not funny at all.
"Oh - no matter - hehe - just giving him a message - hehe - that he can - hehe - give to you."
"Why are you giving me a message?"
"Because - hehe - you will have to find out - hehe,"
"Come with me right now," I said, taking hold of his arm. "Now that you're here you might as well show me a pot of gold."
I grabbed a shovel - I knew if I didn't I'd never find my way back again. "Now - show me."

The leprechaun sighed, giggled, and led me away into the forest. He led me to a huge, old oak tree. I began to dig, furiously scraping away the earth. What I found was not a pot of gold, but a treasure chest full of $100 bills!

"So now - hehe - that you have - hehe - found those - I shall go,"
"Wait!" I grabbed his arm, "first I'm going to the bank to see if these are counterfeit. You are coming with me,"
"Fine, - hehe - I suppose,"
"And stop laughing! It's extremely irritating!"
"I can't - hehe - it is a curse - hehe - that was laid upon me - hehe - when I was only a child - hehe,"
"Well, just don't speak and try not to giggle at the bank."

I set out on foot towards the bank, the chest of money in my arms, holding on to the leprechaun by his arm. When we reached the bank, I pulled out some money and gave it to the counter.
"I want to know if these are counterfeit or not," I said.
The woman stared at me, then proceeded to examine the money. "They are real. Where'd you find them?"
"I don't really know,"
"Hehe," I turned to face the leprechaun, anger burning in my eyes.
"Sorry," he said.

We made our way home.

"What's your name?" I asked.
"Lindory the Laughing Leprechaun,"
"Hmm... I'm Alexis - Alexis Wheeler."

The End

Part 2 is coming soon!