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Stories by Laura Lagana
Hamish McWallace and the Leprechaun Treasure - Chapter 2

Rogan peered through mist that blanketed the shoreline. A pod of dolphins swam past, but stopped when they heard the leprechaun call out. “I need you to do something.”

The leader of the dolphin pod swam close to Rogan and let out a shrill whistle.

“Today I am to be crowned king of the leprechauns. I will be rich, but I want one thing more than all others and that is Finnegan’s treasure.”

The dolphin flipped his tail in the water, bobbing his head while talking to Rogan in the dolphin language.

“I don’t want to listen to any of your lectures. I will be the most powerful of all leprechauns with Finnegan’s treasure and once I have that, you and all your kind will swim the seven seas in search of sunken treasure for me.” Rogan’s eyes took on an unearthly glow. “I will be all powerful and no one will dare take my kingdom from me.”

The other dolphins shook their head, but Rogan ignored them. “You’ll do as I ask because I will soon be the king. After my coronation, I want you to take Finnegan far from here while I search for the pirate who stole the treasure.”

Once Rogan left the beach, the dolphins swam in a circle, clicking at each other, nodding or shaking their heads as they talked amongst themselves.


“All hail King Rogan!” The crowd of leprechauns cheered the crowning of their new king.

Finnegan hung back and pressed himself against the boulder to blend in with the other leprechauns of his clan. Hatred of King Rogan burned through Finnegan’s veins. After losing his treasure to that rotten pirate Malcolm several centuries ago, Finnegan suffered taunts from King Rogan at every turn. Finnegan crossed his arms over his chest and grumbled. “I am not the first leprechaun to lose my treasure.” The whispering of two leprechauns on the other side of the boulder drew Finnegan’s attention; he shamelessly listened in on their conversation.

“I hear tell that King Rogan is leaving on a quest for Finnegan’s gold,” said a chunky leprechaun named Alpin, with strawberry blonde hair, hazel colored eyes and wearing a green leprechaun suit.

“Well, I heard that King Rogan said that as his first act as king, he was going to clear the leprechaun name, and we all know which leprechaun brought shame to our clan. Gobban, with his auburn hair, shaggy beard and bright green eyes, struck a match against the boulder, lit his pipe and inhaled several puffs.

Alpin lowered his voice, looking around the clearing for signs of anyone listening in on their conversation. “Did the king say when he was leaving?

Gobban spit the taste of clover tobacco from his mouth. “He plans to leave within the week. Once he settles in as king, he will gather the leprechauns and set sail to Scotland in search of the gold.”

“Does Finnegan know what King Rogan is doing?”

Gobban shrugged. “I doubt it. He would probably throw a tantrum worthy of royalty.”

“Then he must never find out. I don’t think he’d be all that understanding,” said Alpin. “What will King Rogan do?”

“I hear he’s sending Finnegan to Limerick County in search of the fabled five leaf clover,” said Gobban.

“Do you think he will suspect why he's really going there?” Alpin paused as he lit his own pipe and inhaled several puffs. “Is there even such a thing as a five leaf clover?” He mumbled as he exhaled the smoke. “I know I’ve never seen such.”

“Finnegan won’t suspect if you keep your mouth shut for once in your life and don’t slip up and tell him.” Gobban arched his brow and looked pointedly at Alpin.

Finnegan clenched his fist as raged washed over him. He tiptoed away from the two leprechauns and once he was out of earshot he ran to his underground cottage, packed a bag, and scurried toward the coastline. Finnegan sat his bag on the sand, cupped his hands around his mouth, shouting in a series of clicks. A lone dolphin swam toward shore and clicked in reply. “I need you to take me to Scotland,” said Finnegan. More clicks came from the dolphin and Finnegan shouted when the dolphin told him of King Rogan’s plan. “He what?’ The dolphins swam close to shore and whistled. “King Rogan thinks he can steal my treasure before I do? And have the dolphins take me away? I think not!” He hopped onto the dolphins back with his bag in hand. “Hurry before anyone discovers I'm gone.” The dolphin blew a few bubbles, flipped his tail in the ocean, and swam for the Scottish shoreline.

Several hours later, Malcolm's old cottage came into view. “Pull into the inlet,” said Finnegan, eyeing the shore for any movement. The dolphin stopped next to a boulder and flipped Finnegan and his luggage in mid-somersault. The leprechaun landed on both feet, before waving at the dolphin. “Thank you for the assistance.” The dolphin chuckled and disappeared beneath the glass like surface of the water.

Finnegan crept along the rocky path that wound up the side of the cliff. Once he arrived at the top, he glanced at the empty cottage. Several hundred years ago when Malcolm lived here, the cottage was small and humble. Not anymore. The old lady who now lived there had planted flowers and added several rooms, along with a new thatch roof. He crept along the stone wall and slipped through a crack in the window.

“Grams, are you there?” Finnegan tiptoed across the wooden floor, taking care to avoid any loose floorboards. He searched the entire cottage, but found no sign of Grams anywhere within. Even her clothes and toiletries were gone. He searched the kitchen last and opened the refrigerator to grab a soft drink. A flash of white drew his attention. After slamming the door shut, he yanked the note off the refrigerator. Finnegan’s pale green eyes scanned Grams’ note. “So, she's off to America is she? And she's given Malcolm to her nephew as a gift for safekeeping? How is her nephew going to keep Malcolm safe?” He finished reading the letter and gasped. “Oh no, not Grams. She can't be sick. She can't be.” A single tear slipped from Finnegan's eye and dripped onto the paper. The letter fluttered to the floor as he sat at the table and sobbed. He lifted his head from his hands and listened to the sound of a bird’s frantic cry. Finnegan wiped his eyes on the back of his sleeve. “What is it?”

The crow landed on the windowsill and called to Finnegan in the bird language. “The dolphin sent me to tell you that King Rogan and the other leprechauns have left sooner than planned.”

Finnegan leapt off the chair and stood in front of the crow. “But that's not possible. I overheard Alpin and Gobban saying they weren't coming until later this week.” He paced back and forth in front of the window. “I don't have much time then. I need to get to America.” He glanced at the crow. “Any ideas?”

The crow bobbed his head. “There’s a ship already on the way to America.”

“If it's already left, how do you expect me to get aboard?”

The crow ruffled his feathers. “The dolphin’s said they will take you to the ship. It only recently left port.”

“Right then. I best be going.” Finnegan retrieved his bag from the entryway and ran out the front door toward the shore, the note from Grams lying forgotten on the floor. A pod of dolphins waited for Finnegan near the rocks. He slung the bag over his shoulder and jumped onto one of the dolphin’s backs. Finnegan held on for dear life as the pod shot out of the waterway like a bullet. After an hour, Finnegan grumbled as he wiped ocean spray from his face. “How much longer until we see the ship?”

The dolphin tossed back his head and made several clicking sounds. “Another hour. I'm tired. You need to ride on someone else.”

Finnegan jumped onto a different dolphin, almost falling into the water. “Sorry. The salt water made your back slippery.”

“No problem,” said the dolphin. “Hang on.”

Time passed by with the sun beating down on his green wool hat. His eyes stung from the salty water, his nose dripped.

The sound of a horn blowing in the distance gave Finnegan a start. “Is that the ship?” His voice cracked as they drew closer. “It's a rust bucket. Who in their right mind would board her?”

One of the dolphins cut into say, “You will. You need to find a way to remove the king from power.”

Finnegan whispered as the pod pulled close to ship. “Why is that?”

“Because the daft king plans on stealing all the treasure from the rest of the leprechauns in your clan and once he's done that he will be too powerful.”

“I see your point.” Once the pod of dolphins pulled along side the ship, Finnegan grabbed a rope that hung over the edge and scrambled aboard. He crept through the passageways until he reached the cargo hold. The stench of animals permeated the air, bringing more tears to his eyes. He tiptoed toward one of the elephants. “Why are there so many animals aboard the ship?”

“We’re part of the circus. The ship is our transport to America,” said the elephant.

“So I have to hide out here with you the whole time?”

“The last I heard elephants don't swim, so I do believe that you are stuck with us.” The elephant chuckled at the dismay on the leprechaun’s face.

Finnegan sighed as he tossed his bag on the floor and settled down onto a pile of straw. “This is going to be a long trip.”

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