Vol. 3 No. 2 March-April 2012

Later, as he was sitting beside the rock pool in the garden and a strange a elfin face appeared in the water. At first Fuzzy thought the leprechaun was looking up at him from the pool. Then he realized that what he saw was only a reflection and that the elfin creature himself could not be far away. Cautiously he looked around and found the real creature peeking at him through the leafy branches of a tree. I must catch him, thought Fuzzy, for he is a green leprechaun and they are mischief makers. I must get him out of the retreat grounds or he will grow bold, and next thing you know he will come into the camp every night and put knots in our hair and lumps in our food and pepper in our pie. Ahhhhhhh, if he were only a gold leprechaun it would not matter, for gold ones are always good luck.

After Fuzzy lost sight of the creature, he told Shakey what he had seen. Shakey's response was to say: "You'd probably drunk one too many green beers today." Nonetheless Shakey joined Fuzzy and the two cautiously climbed up the tree where Fuzzy had last seen that elfin face. But try as he might the creature was nowhere to be found. Perhaps he jumped into the next tree, young Fuzzy thought; then as he went towards it he stumbled over a big root and fell flat on the ground. Shakey couldn't resist laughing you know, the kind of belly laugh that once it starts it's hard to stop. Fuzzy lay on the ground; he taken a hard fall and he wasn't getting up quickly. All the while Nora and Petal had been observing the two from a distance. After a good look and a shared brief snicker, they were concerned that Fuzzy had taken a rather hard fall. "Perhaps we should go get Uncle Shamus suggested Nora". Petal agreed and the two ran off.

Meanwhile Fuzzy still lay on the ground and looked angrily at the root that tripped him. It seemed to go into the ground at his feet and out again at his head and was bending with crooks and knots and ran up to meet the big tree, and it was not the only root in sight. Fuzzy began to wonder and why the tree had so many big, twisted roots pushing up out of the earth. He thought it looked like he could almost crawl in under them. He considered then it might very well be a good place to hide, were he a leprechaun. So instead of getting up, he wiggled over to the tree on his tummy and peered down under the roots to see what he could see. And there was a kind of dark void -- maybe a cave.

How exciting! Fuzzy began to wriggle nearer to get a better look. Then he felt hands firmly grabbing him by the ankles. "So what is it you think ye're bein' after?" asked uncle Shamus. Shakey went on to explain, that Fuzzy claimed to have seen a leprechaun. "A leprechaun was it?", said Shamus, "so what color was it?". Much to Shakey's amazement it would seem uncle Shamus did not find this silly at all. In fact he seemed rather excited and somewhat concerned. "So boy, tell me what color,?" asked uncle Shamus again.

"Green," replied Fuzzy. "Well then we had best find him, I am too old and too wide to sit through their antics. Are you a brave boy?" he asked Fuzzy. "Yes sir," responded Fuzzy with no hesitation as curiosity had the best of him. "Well then, have a look see what you can find."

And with that Fuzzy wiggled nearer and nearer; he peered into the darkness, and he thought he could hear something humming down under the tree. He stopped and lay very still. It was a noise like an insect's hum, but it was not a cricket or grasshopper song, for there seemed to be real words mixed up with the humming. Fuzzy was sure someone was singing. A tap tap tapping sound with a long imperfect time joined the pleasant little tune.

A leprechaun without a boot Once sat up on a twisted root.
His face was wrinkled as the bark,
His eyes shone yellow in the dark.
Oh leprechaun, what do you do?
I'm cobbling a fairy shoe.

Yep yep yep, there was no doubt about it. It was the green leprechaun singing. Fuzzy wondered just how long had he lived under the tree. Fuzzy knew all too well that no good can come from a green Leprechaun. His shadowy figure loomed up in the darkness of his hole. Fuzzy thought there was nothing to do but to creep up quietly on all fours and grab that little man by his coattails. After all he shouldn't be hard to catch, since he was so much smaller, and in this cave. Fuzzy had crept only a few feet, and then found himself wriggling out between the roots at the other side of the hole out of the shadowy place into the daylight again.

"You are not trying to catch me, are you?" Asked an impish voice overhead.

Shamus, Shakey and the girls ran to the other side of the tree. All looked up and saw the little man sitting in the treetop again. Shakey nearly fainted, the girls giggled.

Fuzzy unabashed, looked up any answered. "Honestly, yes that is just what I was trying to do, catch you.!! "But don't you know you cannot catch leprechauns ? Nobody can, laughed the little man," looking down at Fuzzy.

"You mean nobody has yet," said Fuzzy. "It is the same thing", declared that little man.

"No, it is not," insisted Fuzzy, "you may be caught someday. After all there is a first time for everything."

"We'll see," smiled the little man, "why do you want to catch me anyway?"

"Because I do not want you bothering campers, here at the retreat when I go home. I know what you green leprechauns do. You annoy everyone," said Fuzzy somewhat heatedly.

The leprechaun let out a great laugh. "As if you could stop me from teasing."

I think I could find the way," said Fuzzy. "Too right!" added Shamus.

"Well then it is a challenge it would seem, and it's been long years since anyone challenged me", said the leprechaun. "Still what would ye if ye captured me, I have no gold, keep me prisoner? Is that which ye have in mind for me?" As he uttered the last word the leprechaun and gave his tiny hammer a great swing, and plop! It slid out of his hand onto the ground. Shamus picked it up quickly.

Fuzzybottom clan reunion
Toss it back to me!

"Toss it back to me" cried the little man who had seen Shamus take it. The little man was angry, and he began at once to climb down the tree, as he wanted his hammer, for it was a gold one. When he was near enough, Shamus stretched out a hand and tried to grab him, but the leprechaun slid through his fingers as easy as, say, sand.

"Can't catch me after all, can you? The little man was laughing, now, in an I told you so way.

"Nope I can't catch you", admitted Shamus, "you're too slippery."

"Give me back my hammer!" commanded the leprechaun. "I must get back to my pounding. I have many shoes to make."

With that, Fuzzy looked to Shamus, and Shamus look to the rest of the little group. "On three?" said Fuzzy "On three," said Shamus. And with that the four bound for the door of the canteen as fast as their little legs would carry them.

"Quick Joe," cried Shamus, "bring me the rat trap the one that's like a cage." Confused, Joe did as Shamus asked. Then Shamus put the little golden hammer in the middle of the trap right where the cheese usually went when they wanted to catch a rat.

"Everyone we must hide," whispered Fuzzy. And they waited and they waited. But the little man never came.

It was sometime later that Nora found a note on the door of the canteen. It seems that the little man had a better plan than being caught in a trap. He had taken Fuzzy's brand new air ship and was headed to steam city.

"Clever they are indeed," said uncle Shamus, "looks like we're off to the city."

Fuzzybottom clan reunion
The Fuzzybottom Clan

Now the family had to get back to Steam City without the airship. And Fuzzy vowed to all that he would find that leprechaun, and would get everyone in Steam City to help him. How will this crusade go? Be sure to read the next issue of the Gazette to find out! (You can even participate!)

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