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Little People of the British Isles (The)

36 37 Of all the little people encountered none is more widely known then the leprechaun that appears in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the North of England. Several possible Gaelic roots point to the origin of the name, referring to lugh corpan, body of light, leith bhrogan, the oneshoemaker or luacharman, pygmy. Leprechauns are between an inch and a foot and a half tall, wear green clothes with a threepointed hat and have old wizened, bearded, faces with red noses and twinkling eyes. They are usually heard tapping away with their tiny hammers, busy at work fixing a shoe. As the sole keepers of the knowledge of all hidden treasures they only reveal the location to whoever is lucky enough to catch and keep hold of them. Their petty cash is stored in crocks at the rainbows end. Near hopeless to outfox, they always manifest some trick to divert their catchers vision elsewhere and then promptly vanish, quick as a wink, laughing. Sometimes they may gift the sparn na scillinge, or purse of the shilling, a fabulous purse which never empties of money. The cousin of the leprechaun is the cluirchaun, appearing in better apparel than his cousin but, ironically, without any of their wealth. Mainly preoccupied with causing much mischief in the world of man for their own amusement, which they often do to excess, they favour food, money and particularly drink, along with stolen things. This last, when taken in their usual excess, leads to the chaos they can create overnight around the house and land. the mIsty meAdoWs echoes of leprechaun laughter
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