What happened to the leprechauns?
Of all the fae and fairy stories that we hear of these days, the remaking of magic, hobbits, wizards, witches and gremlins, I have not heard what happened to the leprechauns. It makes me wonder- Are huge machines with copper gears and steamy presses manufacturing fairy shoes now? Is the art of cobbling fading into the sunset alongside the elves that migrated out of middle earth? Worlds ago a Leprechaun was a much-needed worker, tapping away as he made a shoe for a fairy, though if he made two he kept one hidden in case he had to flee from a human. He hibernated in the winter, but he loved summer, so with global warming one would think the leprechaun might be seen more frequently. His bright green coat and red hat used to be a merry sight in the hillsides. Now the only thing red we see in the fields are the red poppies akin to the ones that put Dorothy to sleep. I suppose we’re all the better for it. They say Leprechauns hated to be seen. And if they were they would throw the contents of their snuffle box into the poor souls face, which would then suffer a terrible sneezing fit thus allowing the little critter a sure escape. Perhaps that’s why I sneeze when I walk through the grass in the summer. And all this time I blamed it on allergies. Well then, maybe I should think twice about inviting him back. Irish Fae folk.
You’ll see an unusual-to-Americans fae folk (fairy, faeries) in Thread of a Spider. Those of us who grew up in the States are accustomed to the pretty Tinkerbell fairy that, though mischievous, was full of light, enchantment, and fun. I did do my research when I wrote my novel, because I didn’t want to fall into a trope that wasn’t authentic. We’re in Ireland, and in Ireland the tales of Fae are not so quite as innocent as Disney made them out to be. Fae stole babies out of their cribs for who knows what reason. And it was important for people to stay on the good side of them less they pull a prank on you, or steal from you or cause you all sorts of headaches. Fae also warred with the Pixies from Cromwell. It’s true. And this gives them a definite purpose for abducting the older boys, like Tommy and Paddy. I admit I don’t know all the legends, but I have had a few Irishmen read the story, including Lee Brophy, my narrator of the audio book (honestly you have got to listen to it. He does such an awesome job and while recording time and again he told me how enchanted he was with the story!).
I hope this sheds a wee bit of light on the real Fae folk. Enough to make you cautious when you walk in the glen.