The Stolen Pot of Gold


“The Stolen Pot of Gold,” Friend, Mar. 1979, 8

The Stolen Pot of Gold

Everyone can enjoy participating in this read-aloud story. Whenever the reader mentions any of the words in italics, the listeners make the appropriate sounds:

Sean O’Riley—Hooray!

Leopold the Leprechaun or the leprechaun—clap hands

Shamrocks—Ahhh!

Pot of gold—clink, clink, clink

Trip the Trolla, or Trip—Boo! or Hiss!

Peat bog—squish, squish, squish

Sean O’Riley was walking through the forest near the little town of Clonkinny when he saw Leopold the Leprechaun sitting on a log. Big tears trickled down the leprechaun’s cheeks and splashed into a soft bed of shamrocks.

“Top o’ the mornin’ to you!” Sean O’Riley called. “Why are you cryin’ on such a beautiful mornin’ with St. Patrick’s Day comin’ tomorra?”

Leopold the Leprechaun sniffled and wiped his eyes on a bright green handkerchief. “It’ll be a sad St. Pat’s Day this year, lad. Not more than an hour ago someone stole my pot of gold!

Sean O’Riley gasped. “’Tis a terrible thing! Who do ye suppose it was?”

“It’s in my mind that Trip the Troll has sneaked up from the peat bog, Leopold the Leprechaun answered, “for I saw his footprints among these very shamrocks.

“Cryin’ won’t help,” said Sean O’Riley, patting the little leprechaun’s shoulder. “Trip the Troll hasn’t had time to go far with your heavy pot of gold.”

“True, true, but what’s to be done?”

Sean O’Riley thought hard for a few minutes. “I’ve heard tell that trolls are afraid of bright, glitterin’ lights. Is it true?”

“For a fact, they are. But the only bright light today is the sun, and Trip has no fear a’that.” Leopold the Leprechaun sighed. “What’s on your mind?”

“I’ll have to run back to Clonkinny and ask all the children to help,” Sean O’Riley said. “Ay, ’tis a sure thing that Trip the Troll will take your pot of gold to the peat bog, so this is what we’ll do.”

Leopold the Leprechaun giggled and snickered after his friend unfolded a plan. He did an Irish jig over the shamrocks. “That’s a fine idea! I’ll meet ye at the peat bog.

When Sean O’Riley explained the leprechaun’s problem all the children of Clonkinny wanted to help. They hurried to the edge of the peat bog to lie in wait for the wicked troll.

It wasn’t long before they heard him coming. Trip the Troll grunted and groaned as he shuffled along, lugging the heavy pot of gold.

“Now!” Sean O’Riley called.

The children stood up holding mirrors into the sun, and sharp, glittering shafts of bright light flickered on the troll’s face. Frightened, the wicked troll dropped the pot of gold and ran across the peat bog until he disappeared from sight.

“Sure ’tis goin’ to be a fine St. Patrick’s Day tomorra! And there’ll be a surprise for each of ye,” Leopold the Leprechaun promised as the children helped him pick up the coins that had spilled from the pot of gold.

When Sean awoke on St. Patrick’s Day, there on his pillow was a shiny golden coin and a shamrock from Leopold the Leprechaun—just as there was on the pillow of each child in Clonkinny!

Illustrated by Shauna Mooney