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Fagin was in charge of all of Ireland’s shamrocks and, by extension, wish fulfillment. He had to see that shamrocks grew abundantly everywhere; that they stayed the correct shade of green and, if anyone in Ireland stumbled upon one of the rare four leafed variety, it was his job to see that that lucky individual got to make a wish. For that was the rule in Ireland and had been since the first Irishman walked those emerald fields—find a four leafed shamrock and you get your wish.
People reacted strangely to Fagin’s odd and sudden appearance. Most people thought it was a joke or some kind of sales gimmick or, worse yet, a scam. Some, little children mostly, got frightened and ran off crying. Often people mistook Fagin and his funny green costume for a salesman. They would slam their doors in Fagin’s face before he had a chance to explain why he was there; or, if they took the card from him at all, they would say something foolish like, “I wish you’d go away” or “I wish you’d leave me alone”, which of course Fagin did, gladly, disappearing in a flash of green light leaving the card holder in the ridiculous position of having wasted a perfectly good wish.
One day, as it usually happens in this kind of story, Mary, a beautiful, star crossed young woman was out in a field somewhere looking for a four leafed shamrock for, although she was young and beautiful, she badly needed a wish. She was hoping against hope for true love to come and save her from her wretched fate. Her father had promised her to Seamus McDougal, the richest, meanest old miser in Kilkenny. She figured only a wish could save her so she came to the meadow south of the village where legend had it four leafed shamrocks were to be found. The field was a cow pasture that covered several acres and, coincidentally, belonged to that same rich miser to whom she was promised. She walked along staring desperately at the ground her search made more difficult by her tears.
After an hour of fruitless searching, Barr was tired and bored. “This is a complete waste of time, boss,” he said. “I’m hot and thirsty. What say we head to the nearest pub and drink a pint or two? A cold beer will do you more good than a magic charm.”
At the top of the rise they met Mary climbing up the other side. The two young people looked at each other and, as always happens in these kind of stories, they were instantly drawn to each other. Their eyes met the music soared. After a moment Patrick spoke and the spell was broken. “What brings you here fair maiden?” he stammered.
“Then let us search together and agree that whichever of us finds a lucky shamrock will share it with the other.”
“I agree,” answered Mary without a second’s thought. Mary blushed and looked away. Patrick looked down at his crippled legs. There was a moment of awkward silence, broken by Barr who called out, “Hey! Is this what you were looking for?” He bent and plucked a four leafed shamrock from the ground and held it up for all to see. “Wasn’t all that hard to find,” he said and handed it to Patrick. “Here, you take it. You need it more than me.”
Mary and Patrick were stunned. There was the answer to all their prayers and it was Barr who found it. They stared at the big man speechless for what seemed a long time but was only a few seconds. There was a pop and a green flash and there stood Fagin card in hand. Now Fagin was no dummy. He sized up the situation in a second. Patrick held the shamrock in his lap but it was obvious that he didn’t pick it. Only the picker was eligible for the wish. The wish was not transferable to anyone else. That was the rule and Fagin was a stickler for the rules.
“Which one of you picked it?” Fagin asked.
“That would be me,” answered Barr, “but I gave it to my mate, Patrick.”
“Oh yeah? Says who?” Barr didn’t like rules and he didn’t like a small green person telling him what he could or couldn’t do.
Fagin handed him the card. Barr thought a while. Patrick and Mary moved close together wishing one of them had plucked the shamrock. Barr closed his eyes and held the little white card in his hand and said in a loud clear voice, “I wish Patrick and this young lady would find shamrocks of their own.”
Now Fagin was confused. Was this wish against the rules? No one had ever made such a wish before. It wasn’t a selfish wish which was good but it was a strange wish which was bad. Fagin thought about what to do. He shrugged his tiny shoulders and let the magic happen. In short order Mary gasped and bent down to pick her shamrock. Moments later, Patrick let out a whoop and, bending as low as he could, picked a lucky four leafed shamrock of his own.
There was a great deal of laughing and smiling amongst the three. Patrick and Mary thanked Barr over and over for his unselfish act. Fagin, who expected this outcome had stayed around and handed wish cards to the two young people.
Mary closed her eyes. She was about to wish to be free of her engagement to the miserly old man she had been promised to. But when she looked at Patrick, sitting in his chair she thought how much greater his need was than her own. And so she pressed her wish card to her heart and said in a loud, clear voice, “I wish that this young man could be made to walk again.” Patrick was thunderstruck. He sat in his chair and took Mary’s hand and kissed it, declaring his love for her.
“And what was it you would have wished had we not met?” Patrick asked her.
“I’d have wished to be free of my betrothal to the old miser Seamus McDougal.”
“Then that is what I wish for,” Patrick said.
Fagin was pleased that no rules were broken, three good, unselfish wishes had been cast. He vanished with a pop and a green flash back to where he came from. And because all three wishes were unselfish ones, they all came true immediately. And everyone, I might add, lived happily ever after.
esullivan240 - Very nice. Uplifting. A good clean happy ending is needed sometimes.
r.tornello - cute, very cute.
micheledutcher - I love the playful way this story is written. For instance, the following sentence: "One day, as it usually happens in this kind of story, Mary, a beautiful, star crossed young woman was out in a field somewhere looking for a four leafed shamrock." Fun way to start out the March edition.
micheledutcher - mark211 wrote: This is indeed a very cute tale and has a lot of the right ingredients that a good fairy tale should include - and though I enjoyed it as an adult, I can actually well imagine this being read to a primary school audience and the kids enjoying it greatly.
micheledutcher - laurabeaz wrote: Outstanding story!! I love the character's names. The ending is the best part. Very sweet and clever. Moves along at a nice comfortable pace. The characters are distinct.
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