Day 17: The One About a Leprechaun

I walked into Maddie’s room at daycare, and my eyes quickly scanned the scene.  I spotted Maddie at a small table with her friends and headed in that direction.  “Maddie, your mom is here,” one of her friends announced.  Maddie stood and turned to walk toward me.  My smile quickly faded and my brows furrowed.

“Maddie, what’s wrong?” I asked when I saw her tears.  “What happened?”

She ran towards me and buried her face in my shoulder.  I heard her quick breaths between sobs.  I squeezed her tight and looked questioningly at her teacher.  The teacher shrugged and looked as confused as I felt.

“Maddie?” I asked gently.

Her words came quick and full of tears.  “They’re making leprechaun traps and they’re gonna try to catch the leprechaun so they can find out where his pot of gold is and they’re using tape and they’re setting traps and I don’t want them to catch him and trap him because I really like leprechauns…”  She wept into my shoulder.

I didn’t know what to say, so I just listened and tried to nod sympathetically.  Surely, something else must have happened.  Surely, she must be hungry or tired or worried about something unspoken.  Surely, this can’t really be about the injustice of catching a leprechaun.

Can it?

“Ssshh, it’s okay, Maddie.  Take a deep breath.  Come on, sweetie,” I took her hand and led her towards her cubby to gather her coat and backpack.  “Let’s go get Katie, and we’ll go home and play outside for a bit.”

Maddie wiped her wet face and nodded solemnly.

Was this really about a leprechaun?

I’ll never know.  We never spoke of the leprechaun again.


I’m writing a Slice of Life Story every day for the month of March as part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge. See more at Two Writing Teachers.


15 thoughts on “Day 17: The One About a Leprechaun

  1. Dana, I love your daughter’s sensitive soul and how you captured her distress and your bemusement. My slice today was all about the leprechaun-catching fervor in my classroom. I’m still wondering, When did leprechauns become such a big deal?

  2. When they’re between the real & the imagined, it’s hard, isn’t it? If she really believes, it sounds bad to me too, but. . . Glad it seemed to be over quickly.

  3. “…leprechauns that supposedly live in the caverns of Carlington Mountain. The EU has granted heritage status; they now have their own protected sanctuary nestled in the mountain. The directive also protects the animals and flora in the area to help keep the biodiversity of the land safe.”

    No joke. If it comes up again, she can take comfort in knowing they have their own special sanctuary:)

  4. Sweetest story…such a tender-hearted soul that her heart broke over the leprechaun in danger (adorable!). I could just imagine those other little girls plotting the capture of the leprechaun…for heaven’s sakes! That is unsettling!!!

  5. What a sensitive soul! I never understood the big deal about catching a leprechaun, or a dragon for that matter.

  6. I was in a school today and the K classes set traps –it was very fun — they found out within 30minutes that they escaped and were happy to help them recapture their gold. They are a bit older– I think she cared about the leprechauns and I think that is pretty cool!

  7. First of all I love the Friends reference with the title of your post today.. that is what you were going for right??
    But most importantly… I think Maddie might know something we don;t know.. about leprechauns.. 🙂

  8. Such a sweet soul! Sounds like my Chelsea! She cried tonight because she almost stepped on a ladybug. And, as you know, she’s 16! I pray her sweetness stays forever! You may be wiping tears more, but in my mind it is well worth it!

  9. I wonder if it was about leprechauns?! I can relate. I was and am sensitive. I can’t help but think of those times when upon seeing my mom, the tears just started to flow.

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