I am going to try to make you understand that we are not faeries with magical powers. We are ancient, red blooded human beings just like you. We are canny people, we have to be to survive and this has led to the false stories told about us. Have you heard the story of a man catching a leprechaun and ordering him to show where the pot of gold was buried? The leprechaun showed him and the man tied a piece of cloth to a corn stalk so he could find the place when he returned with a spade to dig up the pot of gold. When he got back, there were bits of cloth tied to several corn stalks so the man couldn't tell which the right one was. Was there anything magical about that? Of course not. It was probably something you would have done in a similar situation.
Talking about the 'Pot of Gold', yes we have pots of gold and silver too. It is our security, like you have money in a bank, under the mattress or in some other safe place. Some of you hoard silver and gold in case cash becomes devalued or useless as has happened in some countries. Gold and silver collecting has been part of our heritage. We seldom have a use for it but it’s there if we need it and we are not about to let someone to take it from us it because one of our kind has been careless enough to get caught.
We are always portrayed as wizened old men. (The story tellers must think our world could survive without women and those are the people you choose to believe). Everyone in our society is equal and can dress as they like, provided when going out into the 'normal' world they wear a shade of green. Women frequently choose to wear clothing that is identified as male, as a form of protection. I suppose this is why leprechauns are always thought to be male but I can't understand why they believe we are ugly - wizened old men indeed, what an insult? Perhaps this is another form of bias.
We are a people of small stature because that is the race from which we evolved. We lived above-ground but a race of taller people conquered our land and tried to annihilate us. They succeeded in killing many of our people. Some of us out-smarted them and moved underground. In order to protect our communities, we encouraged them to believe that we had supernatural powers. They were superstitious people and believed what they thought they saw. It was their eyes, ears and minds deceived them, not us.
Another misconception is that we are all cobblers (shoemakers) always hammering away at a boot or shoe on a last. If we had a glut of such artisans we could make a fortune in your world. How hard is it to find someone to repair your shoes when they need mending?
Our communities consist of hunters and gatherers just like ants and other creatures that live in confined conditions. I know you blame various pests when your veggie patch or orchard is raided but guess what – my people are often the culprits? We have to live and you would not tolerate us in your society.
We have tailors, bakers and candlestick makers too. We have no need for advertisers, lobbyists, politicians or lawyers. We have no soldiers but we do have sentries to guard our borders in case some pesky person stumbles across our portals. The sentries are skilled in confusing the trespasser, leaving him to doubt his senses and unwilling to tell anyone what happened, that's if he could remember. We rely on the old Brehon Laws if a dispute arises. We are a tolerant people, willing to understand and accommodate individual differences.
You will never see a photo of a leprechaun. We do not like photos as they discriminate against people who are not photogenic. People the camera 'likes' will start feeling they are better that others just because they look good in a photo. Look at the world around you. The 'beautiful' people are lauded and acquire more than their fair share of wealth and possessions. Some ugly people also benefit from the image the camera portrays. They will use their perceived difference to their advantage. That can be threatening, sorrowful or pleading. They play on your fear, compassion or benevolence to achieve their aim.
We have a trick, literally up our sleeve, should a camera be in our vicinity. I can't reveal what it is because Tech Savvy people would feel challenged to hack our database to find the technology in order to modify it to their advantage.
If you think of us at all, you probably think we are primitive. You are wrong. We keep up-to-date with what is happening in the world today. Sometimes we 'inspire' men or women in your world with ideas that our people consider beneficial to us but can only be implemented in your world. Actually this occurs more often that is realised. I won't say any more about that or I may be labelled a blabber mouth.
When you see a drawing or a sketch of a leprechaun he is always wearing green with perhaps a touch of red. The reason we always seem to be wearing green is for practical purposes. Just like armies wear mottled green or khaki in regions with leafy vegetation and beige in desert areas, we choose various shades of green as camouflage. If we have a neck scarf, bandana or ribbon in another colour it is because of a need to identify to which clan we belong.
We frequently have fleadh's (feasts of music, song and dance) where men and women find their life partners and it’s essential not to get attached to the wrong person for genetic reasons. In-breeding is not acceptable and a record of genealogy is maintained. A boy or girl can see at a glance which clan to focus on for a potential partner. Very simple and effective.
Our housing needs are met by dwellings built underground with cleverly concealed portals. We live in communities, somewhat like the 'hippies' of the seventies and eighties envisaged but unfortunately their greed, lassitude and illicit drug use caused them to fail. Our only weakness is an occasional tipple. The Uisca beatha (water of life aka whiskey) is a bit difficult resist especially when it’s so smooth it glides down one’s throat.
Now my story is at an end. Perhaps you are wiser and will be more flexible in understanding us and maybe sometime in the future, world events will cause people like you to seek our way of living and unite with us both above and below ground.
Eilis Ui Ciarain (Elizabeth Kearns)