S: Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun
BC: This is PJ Bouchard's second book in the Lucky Liam Series. Her trips to the Emerald Isle have inspired her writings as well as other facets of her life. The mischievous nature of the main character in the series, mirrors herself during her time in Ireland. | Photo taken on the grounds of Blarney Castle
FC: Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | PJ Bouchard
1: A Dedication From The Author This book is dedicated to my great-nephew, Liam Lyden Ricker, for his second birthday. It is my continued hope that he becomes inspired by the Lucky Liam series, and develops a true passion for his family's country of origin, Ireland.
2: Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun It was a gem of a day in the small village of Lyden in County Galway. The sun was shining, the heather was in bloom and the soft ocean breeze brought with it, the aroma of brack to Lucky Liam’s nose. “Ma’s baking me favorite bread!’ He squealed to his dog Angus. “Tis a special day it is Angus. Me and ma, and da are taking a trip to County Limerick to visit Blarney Castle!” | Page 1 | Angus could sense the excitement in his master’s voice, but had no idea what was being said to him. He tilted his head as if straining to understand, as Lucky Liam continued. “The castle is over 600 years old, Angus! I can’t wait to see the dungeon! It will be a real adventure exploring a medieval castle!” Just then, with another scent of the brack, Lucky Liam was reminded of breakfast . “Let’s go Angus! My stomach needs fillin’-up before a day of sword fighting and jousting.”
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4: Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | Lucky Liam and Angus ran from the barn and arrived at the table just as his mother was about to call out for him. “There you two are. Lets be cleanin’ those hands before ya sit at me table”, scolded ma. Lucky Liam and his parents ate their hearty breakfast and ma packed a lunch for the trip. | Page 3 | When they arrived at Blarney Castle, Lucky Liam & Angus jumped out of the car and ran for the entrance. "Wait for us!" ma yelled out. They paid the fee and waited with the rest of the tourists for the guide to begin. They made their way through the grand entry way and the dining hall, all the while the guide giving bits of historic facts about the castle's history.
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6: Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | Lucky Liam was mesmerized by the ancient artifacts found all over the castle. He imagined himself living back to the time when this was a thriving home and fortress for the area. He would have been a knight, he was sure of that. His bravery in battle would have earned him that title! After all, only knights could compete in jousting competitions, and he would have been the best and most feared jouster in the kingdom! | Page 5
7: Page 6 | Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | As his imagination was taking Lucky Liam's thoughts back in time, his feet were taking him further away from his parents and the rest of the tour. Soon he and Angus found themselves alone in a long dark corridor somewhere in the castle. But where, he did not know. Then, he heard a voice that seemed to come from the walls themselves."Hello dare me boyo", the voice said. "Do ya be lookin' for someone? Or something, maybe?" The voice asked. Lucky Liam was startled. He looked all around the corridor but saw no one. "Where are ya?" Asked Lucky Liam. "Why, I'm right here me boyo!" The voice replied. Lucky Liam was confused and mite bit scared. "Where exactly is 'right here'?" Lucky Liam asked again. "Here!" shouted the voice. Just then Lucky Liam felt a tug on the pant leg of his britches. He looked down to see what was pulling at him, and what he saw made him think his imagination was still at work.
8: Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | There, standing right next to his leg, no taller than his knee, was a tiny man dressed in the most peculiar way. The little man was looking up him, hands on his hips and a big grin on his face. Angus started to bark at the wee small creature. "No!" shouted Lucky Liam to his dog. He was afraid the little man would run off. "Don't bark at him Angus. You'll scare the wits out of the wee man!" The little creature turned to Angus and said, "Not only that, but you'll wreck me hearin too!" Lucky Liam turned and said to the wee man, "Excuse me, but who and WHAT are you, sir?"The wee little man looked up at Lucky Liam, and in a tone that was most surely sarcastic, said to him, "WHAT AM I?! Well let's see. Am I a goat? NO! Am I a sheep?! NO! Are you an Irish boyo or not? You know what I am! You just cannot say the word! Or, is it you WILL NOT say the word?" | Page 7
9: Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | The little man stopped his ranting and stared up at Lucky Liam for a response. Lucky Liam knew what he thought the wee creature was but, could it be? Finally he spoke. "Yes, I think I do know WHAT you are, and if it is so, I also know NOT to say the word!" The little man laughed. "Aw, so you be afraid to say it? Is that it? Well, you'll be right! A leprechaun is what I am! But, you don't really believe those ancient stories of the powers we leprechauns have, do ya boyo?" The leprechaun asked fiendishly. | Page 8
10: Lucky Liam thought for a moment. He remembered ma & da warning him about the leprechauns. If ya eva meet a leprechaun me boy, DON'T say the word! This gives the creature magical powers, and who knows what it will do with those powers! "No. Of course I don't believe that old time rubbish!" replied Lucky Liam. He did not want the leprechaun to think him a foolish and gullible boy, so he fibbed. The leprechaun slapped his knee and laughed. "I thought so me boyo! You're a bright one! Good for ya, not believin the terrible stories about such honorable ones like me-self! Now that we have that outta the way, me name is Cronin. Son of Cronin, grandson of Cronin and great-grandson of Cronin! Pleased ta meet ya! | Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | Page 9
11: What's ya name boyo?" The leprechaun asked as he held his tiny hand out for a shake. "Liam, Lucky Liam, I am called by most. Pleased to meet ya as well," Lucky Liam replied as he took the leprechaun's hand in his. He noticed, not only how small Cronin's hand was, but also the strange fingernails. They were long and thick, almost like a talon. This gave Lucky Liam the creeps for a moment, but then remembered he was in the middle of an introduction so he shook it off. The leprechaun was sneering, because he noticed the boys hesitation. | Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | Page 10
12: "Well, what da say to some fun me boy?" Asked Cronin. Lucky Liam thought for a moment, looked back at his parents with the tour guide and replied, "Sure. What did ya have in mind?" Cronin the leprechaun lead Lucky Liam to a set of steps. "These me boyo, are called the 'wishin' steps', explained Cronin. All ya have to do is make a wish, and it will come true!" Lucky Liam cried with excitement. "Really, that's all I have to do is wish?" Cronin answered, "Well, there is one more little thing ya have to do me boy, just one little thing." | Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | Page 11
13: Cronin explained to Lucky Liam that the wishin' steps only work for leprechauns, but there was a way to trick the wishin' steps. "How?" asked Lucky Liam. "Well, you must quickly say the word leprechaun right afta ya ask for ya wish, and this will confuse the steps. Lucky Liam knew that tricking was not a bad thing to do, as long as it didn't hurt anyone, and he could not think of anyone who would get hurt by the wish he was planning on making. So, forgetting his parents warning about the leprechauns, Lucky Liam stood at the top of the wishin' steps and yelled, "I wish me ma & da had a brilliant home and the healthiest sheep, and the best milkin cows and laying hens in the whole County..." and then very quickly he yelled "LEPRECHAUN!" | Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | Page 12
14: The next thing Lucky Liam knew, he was at the bottom of the steps with two skinned up knees and NOT A SHOE on either foot! "What happened to me shoes?" He screamed out aloud. Lucky Liam was stunned and panicked. What have I done? He thought to himself. I've been tricked! That dreadful little creature tricked me outta me only pair a shoes! Oh no. Ma & da will be wantin me hide for for this! Lucky Liam stood up & wiped the sod from his britches. He HAD to find his parents. | Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | Page 13
15: When he finally found them, he was looking a mite bit ragged. "What, for the love of St. Patrick himself, has happened ta ya son?" Ma asked. Lucky Liam looked up at his parents and with shame in his heart and despair in his voice, he told them the whole story of the nasty leprechaun called Cronin, and the trick that the wee creature pulled on him. Ma & da looked down at Lucky Liam's feet. Da shook his head and spoke, "Son, do ya know how hard ya ma & me work to keep decent shoes on ya feet? Did we not warn ya bout the sneaky leprechauns and the tricks they use on us?" Lucky Liam was feelin real bad that he disappointed his ma & da, and in a weak voice replied, " I am real sorry that I eva listened to that nasty leprechaun, da. I just wanted me wish ta come true so very bad. But the only wish I want to come true now, is that I had never met Cronin the leprechaun!" | Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | Page 14
16: All of the sudden, Lucky Liam felt himself being lifted up in the air and then plopped back down like a handful of turf! His ma & da were stunned by what they had just seen, and even more stunned to see SHOES on Lucky Liam's feet! "Holy shamrocks & harps!" Cried da. "What just happened to ya me boy?" Lucky Liam looked down at his feet and there they were! His own two shoes right back where they belong! "I don't know, da!" Lucky Liam answered with excitement. He stood up and looked around, wondering if that nasty leprechaun was lurking. Lucky Liam thought maybe Cronin was playing another trick on him. Then suddenly a voise shouted out, "Don't know whatcha lookin fer boyo, I'm not comin out ta greet ya this time! How did ya know that ya had TWO wishes on the 'wishin steps'?" It was Cronin speaking. | Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun | Page 15
17: Lucky Liam looked at his parents and smiled. "Remember I said 'The only wish I want to come true now is that I had neva met Cronin the leprechaun?" Well, that wish came true! Now I have me shoes back because I really neva met him!" Ma, da & Lucky Liam laughed with pleasure for beating the sneaky leprechaun at him own trick. | Page 16 | Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun
18: "If only me first wish had come true." Lucky Liam said sadly. "What was your first wish?" Ma asked. "I wished for you & da to have the most brilliant home, the healthiest sheep and best laying hens in the county!" Lucky Liam said. Ma & da looked at each other and smiled. "Son, you will learn as you grow that it is not what you have that matters, it's who you have that's important. Your ma & me would rather live in a cave with you than live on a fancy estate without cha." Ma then spoke. "Son, do have enough ta eat every day? Do ya have warm clothes on yer back when it's cold? Do ya have a bed ta sleep in?" Lucky Liam shook his head yes to all ma's questions. "Good, I'm glad ya realize it. There is one more thing ya have that many people do not. Do ya know what that is, son?" Lucky Liam thought for moment and shook his head no. "Well, ya have a family that loves ya very much." | Page 17 | Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun
19: Lucky Liam smiled so big, he thought his cheeks would touch his ears. "You're right ma, and da so are you. I am loved and ya know what, so are you! I love ya more than all the three and four leaf clovers in Ireland!" The three of them hugged as they walked toward the exit of the castle. "This sure has been an exciting day!" Lucky Liam said to Angus. "But I am ready to go home where I always feel safe and warm and there is no one there trying to trick me!" Ma & da laughed as Lucky Liam ran ahead to jump in the car with Angus. Just as they were about to drive off, Lucky Liam yelled, "Stop!" Da hit the brakes and turned to the back seat to see what Lucky Liam was all in a fuss about. "I just thought of something else I am lucky to have." Said Lucky Liam. "What is that, son?" Asked da. "ME SHOES!!" laughed Lucky Liam. | THE END | Lucky Liam And The Limerick Leprechaun