“When we are young, strange things find us from other worlds.” -Intellectual Shaman
When I was 12, I’d go for these walks on the other side of the river, just like I do now. The bushes would move every time I walked by them. Sometimes a rabbit would scurry in front of me, in a hurry to get somewhere. They were brown and small. I’d sit on a log and watch them. If I stopped moving, they would come out and sniff the air. I wondered why the rabbit population was so high. I’d heard the expression, breeding like rabbits, but this was different. That day, the sky was grey and the air was warm. A rainbow arched across the valley and the light in the forest was peculiar. About the time I decided to walk back home, I saw something different. It was a purple hare, much larger than the rest. It looked at me with green eyes. And for a moment, we just stared at each other; that was until the rabbit spoke.
“What?” I said.
“Pleasant day; you are an unusual young man.”
“I don’t think so.”
“But you are.”
“Well, I’m speaking to a rabbit.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m a leprechaun.”
I thought I was losing my mind and then the purple hare transformed.
A little king with a purple robe and a golden crown on his head was grinning at me from ear to ear. Now I knew I was crazy and I started to feel woozy.
“May I offer you two things?” He asked. “A pot of gold or one wish.”
“I thought it was supposed to be three.”
“That’s only for Genies and lamps. The trick is, there is a twenty-year time delay for a wish, and you must find me again when you are 32. Most children forget me or they don’t try to find me as adults; that’s why I advise you to take the pot of gold.”
I knew leprechauns were tricky, so I thought long and hard.
“I’ll take the wish,” I said.
“Excellent. What would you like to wish for?”
I thought about what I’d need at 32. Money? Fame? Good Health? All of these wishes lacked imagination.
Then I hit upon it. “Success,” I said. “Real success at the thing I love to do. I’m not sure what that is right now, but when I reach the age of 32, I will know.”
“Very wise. Very wise,” said the little king. “Like I said, you are an unusual young man. Just remember to find me in 20 years. I’ll be around.” And with that, the leprechaun transformed into a purple hare again and vanished into the nearest thicket.
It’s been 20 years since that time and I’ve never forgotten the little king. I’ve been walking on the other side of the river my whole life and the rabbits have disappeared. But something strange happened last week. The rabbits have been multiplying again. I can see four outside my bedroom window and I know the type of success I want. I’ve just finished my morning coffee and now it’s time to go for a walk.