Lewi Gerone was a deeply hated man. No one really knew why he was hated, just that for as long as he was alive, everyone hated him. What does he do? No one can answer that either, they just assume he is an assassin or something of the sort. Actually, they didn’t care who he was, where he came from, or that he even existed. All anyone knew was that he was a child-eating, womanizing, bear-wrestling maniac. Or, that’s what the neighborhood children said about him. Even though the parents knew it was ridiculous to think that someone ate children, they still warned their kids about playing near old man Lewi’s yard.
Now, what makes Mr. Gerone an out-of-the-ordinary old coot-of a neighbor, was the fact that he was missing half of his leg. Still no one knows why it’s missing. Even more, they didn’t bother to ask. They just assumed a bear had bitten it off while he was wrestling.
One day, while crooked old Lewi was hobbling down the road with his cane, he came upon a most odd sight. A small man, no higher than the stub of his leg, dressed in all green, was running duck-footed up the road, his flaming red beard blowing behind him like a crooked ascot. Without knowing it, the little man ran right into Lewi’s good leg.
Eyes glinting with pride and suspicion, the man says in a thick accent, “G-day sir. No time to talk I’m ‘fraid, must be off to hide me pot of gold from those scavengers behind me.”
Now Lewi wasn’t normally the kind of guy to take advantage of those in need of help but the thought of gold can twist any decent mind to the dark side. He formed a most devious plot in his head and said, “Now sir, let me take care of those varmints for you.”
He stood up tall, his shadow looming over the cowering figures below, he glared forcefully at the children.
The five boys, whose faces were once hungry with the thought of gold, forgot their greed and stopped dead in their tracks. “It’s mad old Lewi! He’ll eat your liver for dinner!” One of the boys shouted, frightening his companions and they all did an about-face and scurried off, their feet barely touching the ground.
“I do believe I owe you a thank you kind sir.” The man squeaked, holding out his hand in a majestic sort of way. Lewi took hold of the man’s hands and suddenly felt a rushing sensation in his body. Like a white hot iron was stabbing at his stump of a leg. Flesh began to materialize where air was seconds before.
Lewi stared down in numb shock at his fully restored leg. “I, I don’t believe it.” He mumbled to himself, shaking his head in disbelief. “Thank you,” he finally added to the little bearded man who simply smiled and said, “Well, I’ll be off then to find a good hiding spot for me gold.”
Hearing this, Lewi said, “Well, I know the perfect place to hide your gold, somewhere where no one will try to find it.” The man, who seemed interested, asked where. “Well, under my house of course! No one’s been near there for years! It’ll be safe and sound there.”
The man, who seemed to trust Lewi, agreed to follow him and see where this house was. When they reached Lewi’s house, Lewi walked in front to open the basement door leading to moldy and decaying cellar. “Quite a home you have here.” The little man stated in a serious tone. Lewi rolled his eyes and motioned him to come through the door.
The little green man walked through the door and looked to see a concrete covered floor. Puzzled, he turned back around to ask Lewi how they could possibly bury gold in concrete, and saw him lock the door and throw away the key.
“Now ‘good sir’”, Lewi began tauntingly, “I have a proposition to make to you. You give me the gold, and I’ll let you leave unharmed.” A mad glint shone in Lewi’s eye and the little man quivered where he stood. “No sir, I shan’t let you have me gold. Now step outta the way and YOU shall not be harmed.”
Lewi guffawed at the man’s statement and headed forward towards him with his new-found strength. There was a sudden ‘POP’ sound and the world seemed to spin around Lewi’s feet. With a jolt, everything stopped again and Lewi found himself bare, standing in the middle of the forest where his house, a leprecahun and a pot of gold were seconds ago. He looked down and saw that his beautifully recreated leg had been replaced with wood. Lewi hung his head and sat on the leaves in despair, now wishing he hadn’t tried to take advantage of the little man.
If ever you come across an old gnarled-looking tree no taller than your grand-father, you’ll know exactly where the leprechaun hid the gold.
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