Once upon a time while strolling through the enchanted forest looking for the Fire Lily I needed to make a charm for abundance, I happened upon a runty, wrinkly little man. At once, I knew he was a leprechaun. He wasn't one of those diminutive elf looking sorts; more the bulbous nose, wart on the chin, big belly type. I soon learned that he had a long-winded story to tell everyone he met, whether they were old friends or total strangers. All were equally assailed by his tall tales upon any chance meeting.

Some of the inhabitants of the forest who knew this pint-sized being would laugh along with him as he spun yarns of his wild and wooly youth. Most, though we ourselves were an odd assortment of witches, gremlins, wolfines or worse, found him just peculiar enough to be off-putting; some took a disliking to him and that was that.

Even I myself found him disquieting and took paths through the forest that he wasn't known to wander…until I met his lovely, lilting wife. No urchin nor even fairy she, but human woman and a wonder to behold. “Such an elegant creature cannot be connected in any manner to this oafish gnome!” I thought to myself. But she had jumped the besom with him many measures ago and the light of love shone from her eyes when she looked at him or spoke of him.

Her happy giggle oft greeted the ear before his gruff barrel-chested laugh as the two of them approached. He brought forth her laughter. And she was devoted to him.

Once when I found myself alone with this runty greenish fellow, he told me of his esteem for his beloved consort. This was a story of special bearing. I beheld that his bright blue eyes shed tears of joy as he declared: “I told her many years past that I would let her go the moment she found someone else who was as good to her as I.”

But through the many seasons, she had always chosen to stay.

The love he demonstrated for his marvelous mate transformed him in my eyes. I no longer noticed the pushy ways or the all-too arrogant attitude. These became minor flaws that could and in fact should be completely overlooked. Even his hobgoblinesque appearance slowly began to change.

Whereas before he had been oafishly stout, now he seemed little more than pleasingly plump. His unattractive nose, reddened by drink, simply became the feature most nearly adjoining his amazing smile, the one he flashed when his darling was near. And who was I, a Crone who had long ago traded youth for wisdom, to criticize a few facial moles, after all?

Watching the two of them, I knew I was seeing one of the great love stories of all times…for a man who adores his woman is a man of profound beauty.

Published in Australia  1984 - 1990 - In Seattle & Sydney 1990-1994
Sydney/Seattle Webzine 1999
Copyright Shadowplay 2000. All rights reserved.
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