St. Patrick’s Day, an important day of the year to a six year old for one reason: leprechaun hunting. For both kindergarten and preschool, he cleverly evaded my traps, mocking me by leaving those silly gold chocolate coins like an insulting consolation prize. This year would be different though, I was certain of it. As the green decorations of shamrocks and streamers littered my school and my house, I knew it was time to prepare my trap and so I began work on it and as the days passed, more and more decorations were put up; their only purpose was obviously to motivate me more. I gathered the materials I needed: three boxes, three sticks, and fishing line. I painted the boxes green and decorated it with gold glitter and shamrock sequins. A finer trap couldn’t have been made and there would be no kid at school with a better snare. It was the best tradition school had started for me. Every year all of the kids would make leprechaun traps, but no one had ever caught a leprechaun.
Finally, St. Patrick’s Day arrived and I was ready for my victory and glory. Before I left for school I set up two traps, one in my front yard and one in my backyard. At school, we were all told to set up our traps along the hallway wall outside the classroom. I wanted to place mine in a more inconspicuous location, but I was unable to per my teacher’s instructions. Clearly, she never had a dream and was so blinded by jealousy of my dream that she wanted to impede my chances by having me put my trap with all the other kids’. However, I wasn’t letting her bitter envy spoil my resolve and I would sneak a peak in the hallway to see if I had caught a leprechaun, but it was a very long day and so far there was no sign of anything.
Finally there was fifteen minutes till school ended, we were told to go check our traps and, of course, every trap had been undone. I rushed to mine. This was it! The moment had come! But when I lifted the box, I only found a small toy leprechaun. Curses! What kind of mockery was this? Not even delightful chocolate to munch on while scheming for next year. But here, I held an even more insulting consolation prize.
No matter. I had two more traps at home as well. They would not fail me. When I got home, however, I found both traps in a in a heap on my porch. I ran to my mom and asked what had happened when she announced she moved them to mow the lawn. I threw my arms up in exasperation and cried, “What is the point?” I sulked off to my room, feeling miserable.
Another year, another failure. After pouting for what felt like several hours (but was really fifteen minutes) I decided I needed a new target since the leprechaun was too clever to catch. My new target would be the tooth fairy. And I wouldn’t fail.