Baiting A Leprechaun, Catching A Cricket

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This should have been our year. We had 12 months since the last invasion to devise a new plan for catching leprechauns. But despite our best efforts, come St. Patty’s Day morning our traps were empty.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying. My 6- and 4-year olds perfected their leprechaun traps for days as we all were forced to tiptoe gingerly throughout our living room.

After some training from his grandpa (who lived in Ireland for 2 years and is somewhat of a leprechaun expert) my oldest went for a traditional stick-propping-up-the-bucket trap. He used my mopping pail and a slingshot he found camping.

My 4-year-old’s trap was much more complex. He crafted it by using a giant dowel, a small whicker basket, yarn, and two toy grenades tied to the tip of a string.

How those mini men made it past the pair of grenades, I will never know.

Each night for a week before St. Patrick’s Day we would set the traps in hopes of catching a leprechaun. Each trap held chocolate as bait.

But it was all in vain.

The leprechauns made off with the chocolate and left a trail of mess behind.

How do I know that it was leprechauns? Because we have proof.

Caught in each of our traps was a small, bright green leprechaun hat. The hats must have fallen off as they tried to escape.

According to my 6-year-old, those hats are our proof. We also have tiny green and gold shamrock treasures that those pesky men scattered throughout our house.

In the kitchen and bathroom they danced around barefoot, staining the floor with dark green footprints. They hopped onto our kitchen table and left a note and some golden nugget candy pieces.

More proof.

I never know how my boys will react when something evades them, but this time they were thrilled. They sat back, popped a chocolate nugget in their mouths and dreamed of what the leprechauns may have done in our home.

Then we set off for church.

Little did we know that’s where we’d all witness the catch of a lifetime.

Toward the end of our first meeting I spotted a black cricket bouncing up the aisle next to our pew. My boys love creepy, crawly bugs so I pointed it out to them.

Big mistake.

The next thing I knew my oldest jumped over my lap landed on top of the cricket and cupped it in his hands. Then he picked it up by one of its hind legs and swung it within inches of my face.

Keep in mind this all happened in what was supposed to be the most reverent meeting of the day. Oh, and I don’t love creepy, crawly things nearly as much as my boys.

Trying not to squeal, I grabbed him, held him at arm’s length and told him to get that bug far, far away from me. He stood up tall, held his head up high and walked through the congregation pinching that cricket by its leg- all the while smiling from ear to ear.

I had to fan myself with a drawing pad to keep from turning beat red. Then tears streaked down my cheeks as I tried to quietly laugh it all off.

What are the odds that a cricket will enter the chapel? That I would see it? That my son would pick it up and fling it around? Only in my life.

All in all it was an exciting, successful day. Even though my little boys were slightly deflated when they woke up to empty leprechaun traps, they were energized by their new undeniable leprechaun proof.

And what’s better than catching a leprechaun? Catching a cricket in church.

They are both lucky, right?

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