Written By Anika Punjabi (Grade 8)
‘Green’. That was the first thought that came to her head. Rita last remembered reading her bedtime book for eight-year-olds. She looked around with quizzically. She was surrounded by bright green four-leafed clovers. With a deep breath she inhaled the scent of luck, it seemed to be all around her. On the right was a beautiful rainbow. She could feel all its vibrant colours as if they were right next to her. Suddenly she saw a small gnome-like figure standing in front of her, with its back turned on her.
She was curious to see who this was. She slowly knelt to its level and said, ‘Hello’ in a cheerful voice. With awe, she saw this small creature turn around. He wore a suit, just like one of her fathers except it was green in colour and was very tiny. He had a fair complexion with button-like black eyes. His face was scrunched up in an angry frown, making him look very much like a friend of hers. In a high-pitched voice, this man started shouting at her, ‘How did you find me! These people are just so troublesome. Now I will have to grant you a wish. Don’t you dare ask me for my pot of gold! I will never give that to anyone. Never!’
Listening to this Rita got scared. She remembered that her mother had told her not to speak to strangers. She suddenly really wanted to go home. Unknowingly tears clouded her vision, seeing this the small man’s voice softened. He smiled at her and said, ‘Don’t be scared. My name is Gogo and I am a leprechaun. Well, now that you have seen me, I can make one wish of yours come true. So, wish away.’
Hearing this, Rita’s muscles relaxed. She processed what the figure in front of her had just told her. From the day her mother had explained a segment on the news to her since then, there had always been one thing she had wanted. With a deep breath, she spoke. ‘I wish that my family and I will always be safe. I don’t want anything unfortunate to happen to us. I…I don’t want those bad men to get us. Mama has told me about them. I…I never want to be taken away from my…my family.’ As she finished her voice cracked and tears rolled down her cheeks.’
The leprechaun looked at the little girl with kind eyes. He understood why she felt so scared. He knew humans and their ways. He knew that they couldn’t be happy unless they were taking it away from someone else. With a gentle smile he replied to the girl, ‘That is a wonderful thing to wish for dear. But you see, I can’t make it make true. I’ll tell you why. There is always a little bad in everyone. Those who act on it are the ones who cause harm. The least I can do is prevent you from becoming somebody who causes harm. And what you can do is prevent your family from also becoming such people.’ He continued, ‘Here take this charm bracelet. Remember, that as long as you believe that nothing will happen to you, nothing ever will.’
Rita was listening to this man very carefully. She clung on to every word he said. Carefully she received the bracelet. With a stunned face, she looked at it. It was the most gorgeous thing she had ever held. It was silver in colour with small emerald charms. As she put it on, she felt safe.
Although there will be scary things waiting for her in the future, the leprechaun knew that belief would help her get through everything. With a bright grin, the small man waved goodbye. With a snap of his fingers, glitter swirled all around her.
‘Green’ that was the last thing Rita thought before she went back home with her charm bracelet.
Note – Please do not make anyone feel like they need a charm bracelet. Stay safe.
Featured Image Courtesy – ABC News