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Monday, March 9, 2015

Watching Out for Leprechauns

  I started out my post-college career as a kindergarten teacher and despite the intervening years, I sometimes still think like someone who's been hanging around five year olds all day.
       It's March. Time to watch out for leprechauns, I've always said. One March I was out walking with a certain pint-sized curly-top who found a glittering gold button ~ what we were sure belonged to a leprechaun. We knew a lot about leprechauns. You never see one, but they like to play tricks. Sometimes, they're careless. They drop things. We agreed that the button must have belonged to a leprechaun.
  In my classroom, leprechauns hid the chalk and turned the books on our shelf upside down. What else did they do, I'd ask, shaking my head.  At recess my five year old charges would scurry around the room looking for anything out of place. Invariably someone would discover they left us a box of cookies and a book we hadn't read yet. We'd eat our cookies, read our book, then march around the room singing our leprechaun song:

There's a little bit of leprechaun 
in all of us,
A magic little spot in all our hearts.
There's a rainbow and a pot of gold 
for all of us -
so let's thank our lucky stars!

       I left teaching a long time ago. I wonder if leprechauns still visit kindergartens or if they've been scared away by learning standards that leave little time for imaginative games.
At least at home the leprechauns know they are always welcome. My kids are grown but the leprechauns still visit. They leave small surprises and always turn the milk green. 
       It's been a long winter. This year I'm afraid any glittering gold buttons dropped by careless leprechauns will be lost in the snow. Still, it's March. I'm watching for leprechauns, faithfully looking for my rainbow, and searching for my pot of gold. 

 leprechaun  treasure from years gone by...

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