“I’m bored,” said Captain
“Me too,” cried Finnegan,
crossing one leg over the other before settling onto the couch.
“Well, we’re not going
anywhere until my ears return to normal,” said Hamish as he glared at
“I decided that you look
rather dashing with your new ears. Besides, I don’t feel like you’re sorry
for what you said to me last night,” said the leprechaun.
“I’m sorry!” Hamish’s face
turned beet red.
“See?” Finnegan waved at
Grams. “He’s not sorry at all.”
“Hamish, you really should
apologize.” She coughed several times and held a handkerchief to her mouth.
Once the coughing fit ended, Grams wadded up the cloth to hide the tiny
spray of blood on the white material.
Hamish never noticed. “But
how was I supposed to know he was a real leprechaun? I’ve never seen one
before and everyone assumes they don’t really exist.”
“But I told you he existed. I
wouldn’t lie to you,” said Grams.
He sighed. “You’re right
Grams.” He turned to Finnegan and said, “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you.”
Finnegan nodded. “Apology
Hamish fiddled with his pants
and met Finnegan’s gaze from beneath dark eyelashes. “So…can I have my
normal ears back?”
Finnegan twirled on the tips
of his black leprechaun shoes, scattering gold dust throughout the room.
“Consider it done.”
Hamish sneezed before
grabbing his ears. “Great! I’m me again!” He leapt to his feet and ran
toward the mirror that hung in the hallway. “Oh, thank goodness. For a
minute there, I was worried it might be permanent.”
Finnegan shouted from the
living room. “Are you doubting me again?”
“No, I’m just paranoid,” said
“Okay,” said Finnegan. “Can
we do something now?”
Grams reached for her purse.
“Let’s go for a spot of tea and maybe have some lunch near the ocean. I
dearly miss the sea.”
“I like the sound of that,”
said Captain Malcolm. “Let me get Snack from his cage.”
“Hurry up will you? I’ve been
cooped up on a ship for awhile and now I’m stuck in this cottage. I need to
breathe some fresh air,” said Finnegan.
Hamish slid into the
passenger seat after holding the door open for Grams. He gave her directions
to the harbor. Grams drove around the area, cutting off cars until a parking
spot became available next to the tea shop.
“This will be lovely. I can
replace my tea,” said Grams.
“How ‘bout we eat at the
Scottish restaurant again?” Captain Malcolm slammed the car door shut behind
him before walking into the shop.
“McDonald’s?” Hamish arched
his brow when Grams handed him her purse as she rummaged through the tea
“Aye.” Captain Malcolm turned
to Finnegan. “They have the best food in the land. Even better than haggis.”
Grams eyed the tin of English
tea, mumbling while she read its contents. “Why don’t we eat at a café near
the water? We can eat at McDonald’s for dinner.”
Captain Malcolm grumbled.
“Okay, but we better go somewhere with decent food.”
Grams led the way down the
street and into various shops. Whenever she saw something that caught her
interest, she made the others wait while she popped into the store for a
closer look. The afternoon grew late and the sun hovered on the horizon.
“Can you wait for several
minutes?” Captain Malcolm said as he ducked into a nearby pub on the
“Wonder what he’s doing?”
Grams sniffed the potted flowers in front of an antique doll shop while
waiting for Captain Malcolm to return.
“Probably getting a drink,”
said Finnegan. “He’s been sober for several days now, so you know it must be
Grams snorted. “It was his
drunkenness that got him into trouble with you in the first place. He needs
to learn from his mistakes.”
Just then, a group of
tourists approached, exclaiming over Finnegan’s attire. “What a cute
outfit,” said a lady who wore a flower print sweater and a floppy hat. “Will
you be in the parade?”
Finnegan tapped his foot on
the sidewalk. “Aye, I will.”
Grams found a nearby bench,
sat on the hard surface and riffled through her purse for a ball of yarn and
knitting needles. She paused to stare at the pub entrance, shook her
shoulders to loosen the tight muscles, and began knitting while waiting for
Captain Malcolm to return.
Finnegan posed for several
pictures with the tourists before joining Grams on the bench. “I love this
country called America. I don’t have to hide because everyone thinks I’m in
costume for Saint Patrick’s Day.”
She continued knitting and
said, “They’re a friendly sort, they are. It’s good to see that the Irish
and Scots who immigrated here so long ago, haven’t forgotten their
heritage.” She leaned over to whisper out of earshot of Hamish. “I was quite
worried that everything would be so rushed and neon colored, but it’s quite
lovely and relaxing here. Oh, but I do miss the cool breezes coming off my
Finnegan tugged on the edge
of his collar. “It is a bit warm here. I feel like I’ve sweated a pint of
whiskey from my body.”
A wail of sirens sounded in
the distance, growing ever closer. Seconds later, several police cars and
one police paddy wagon came to a stop in front of the pub.
“Oh dear.” Grams shoved her
knitting into her purse. “What has Captain Malcolm done this time?”
Captain Malcolm entered the
darkened interior of the pub. The smell of old pine tables, furniture polish
and spilled Irish whiskey filled the air. He sighed and strolled over to the
counter. “I’d like a pint of your finest Scottish whiskey and make it
snappy.” He turned to face the shadowed inhabitants of the room and said,
“I’m the captain of a ship and I’ll be needing a crew. Any takers?”
A voice called from the back
of the room, “What’s the name of this captain who’ll be needing a crew?”
Captain Malcolm narrowed his
gaze on the small shadow, but the sunlight coming from the window blinded
him. “I’m Captain Malcolm, the greatest Scottish pirate to ever sail the
The voice sneered. “Captain
Malcolm. Now isn’t this a twist of irony.”
Captain Malcolm wrinkled his
brows. “Have we crossed paths before?”
King Rogan stepped into the
light that filtered through one of the window blinds. “You could say that we
have a common interest, and it involves a treasure that you have and that I
The bartender poured a shot
of whiskey into the glass and handed it to the pirate. Captain Malcolm
reached for the bottle and cringed as he smash the glass against the counter
top. “Tis a waste of good spirits.” He held the broken bottle before him as
a weapon. “King Rogan I presume.”
The king hopped onto one of
the tabletops and waved the other leprechauns toward Captain Malcolm. “You
Before the other leprechauns
could jump the pirate, the bartender grabbed the phone and dialed the
police. The man lowered his voice and said, “I’ll not be having any trouble
in my bar. If you have issue with each other, take it outside.”
Captain Malcolm nodded at the
man and backed away from the oncoming leprechauns, bit it was too late. The
leprechauns jumped the pirate, pulling and tugging on Captain Malcolm’s hair
and clothes. The Captain grabbed one of the chairs and swung it at the
leprechauns, knocking several to the floor. The furniture crashed against
the wall. The bartender shouted, drowning out the wail of the police sirens.
Six police officers rushed
into the building while Grams, Finnegan, and Hamish crossed the street for a
Grams peeked through the
doorway, clutching her purse tightly to her chest. “Oh dear,” she repeated
with each crashing sound that came from within the pub. She turned to
Hamish. “It seems that Captain Malcolm has had a bit of a run-in with the
“Here in America we call them
police,” said Hamish as Marvin flew squawking from the pub; landing on
Hamish’s outstretched hand. “Did that bad pirate upset you?” He stroked the
back of the parrot’s neck. “Maybe you should keep better company.”
“Move it before I do
something you’ll regret,” said a police officer as he shoved Captain
Malcolm, who now wore a pair of handcuffs, toward the back seat of the
“But those heathens started
“Yeah, yeah, I heard you the
first time when you said you were trying to find a crew when the leprechauns
jumped you.” Behind Captain Malcolm’s back the police officer met the gaze
of another officer, tipping his hand to his mouth, pretending to be drunk. A
moment later, the officer leaned Captain Malcolm over the trunk of the car
and patted him down to search for hidden weapons. “Where’s your pirate
ship?” The officer chuckled.
“I mean to commandeer one
from the harbor,” said Captain Malcolm.
“You mean “steal” it?”
“If you want to put so
negative a twist on it, of course it sounds bad,” said the pirate.
The police office sputtered
with indignation. “I should charge you with criminal intent.” As he assisted
Captain Malcolm into the back seat of the police car, the officer said, “I
don’t know about Ireland, but here in America we frown on stealing.”
Captain Malcolm shouted
before the officer closed the door, “I’m Scottish, not Irish.”
Several more police officers
came out of the pub, escorting the leprechauns to the paddy wagon.
“I know,” said an officer to
Gobban, “the pirate started the fight, but he says you guys started it, and
since all of you tore up the pub, we’re taking all of you to jail.”
Gobban gasped as he stumbled.
“What’s wrong with jail?”
Hamish turned to ask of Grams. “The Captain and the daft leprechauns could
use a night or two in jail.”
Finnegan ducked behind
Hamish’s leg, whispering as he tried to stay out of sight. “You don’t get
it. If the leprechauns are stuck in jail with Captain Malcolm, they’ll try
to find out where my treasure is and that can’t happen.”
“Aren’t you being a bit
paranoid? Captain Malcolm is selfish and who cares if they take your
treasure. You’re a leprechaun and you can steal more.”
Finnegan clenched his jaw.
“My treasure has grown over the years and since I’ve never been able to
spend any of it, it’s quite huge. By all rights, I’m probably the richest
leprechaun in the whole world. Now I ask you, do you want that sort of guilt
hanging over your head?”
“Captain Malcolm said he
didn’t steal your treasure,” said Hamish.
“Do you really believe
anything he says?” Finnegan arched his brows.
“I see your point. Give me a
minute will you? Oh, and hide behind Grams.” Hamish strolled over to one of
the police officers and spoke to him for several minutes before returning to
Grams side. “We can go by later this evening and bail the Captain out of
jail. The officer said he should be ready to leave in a couple of hours.”
“A couple of hours? What
should we do till then?” Grams clutched her bag, tighter to her chest.
“Let him rot,” said Hamish.
“Well that’s not very nice of
you,” said Grams.
“I agree with Hamish,” said
Finnegan, hiding his smirk.
An unexpected giggle escaped
from Grams lips. “He really is a bad pirate. Maybe he should spend several
hours in there being annoyed by King Rogan. That’ll convince him to tell you
where your treasure is.” She nudged Finnegan.
Hamish glanced at his watch,
and then at the retreating police cars. “Well, since we have some time to
kill, I say we go to this McDonald’s for dinner. There should be one near
the police station.”
Grams rifled through her
purse for the car keys. “Did you happen to get the address for the police
Hamish nodded. “Aye and it’s
not too far from here either.”
“Then let’s be off. Mind if I
do a little knitting in the restaurant? I’m making Arran sweaters.”
“As long as you make one for
me,” said Hamish.
“What about me,” said
Finnegan. “It’s still winter in Scotland.”
“Did you doubt it?” Grams
patted Hamish and Finnegan’s shoulders.
Hamish grinned. After an hour
of shopping, Hamish slid onto the car seat while Grams started the engine.
Cooled air blew from the vents.
“It’s a bit warm in this
country,” said Grams. “I do believe I miss the cool air of Scotland.”
“Me too,” said Finnegan from
the back seat.
“Dad say’s it’s much colder
in the northern parts of this country. In the south, where we live, it’s
known for its heat, humidity and bugs.” Warming to his story, he turned
toward Grams and held out his finger and thumb, two inches apart. “These
flying roaches called Palmetto bugs are this big.”
Finnegan tilted his head.
Hamish shuddered. “They’re
the creepiest bug you’ll ever see. They’re as big as your thumb…and they
fly. Many a night I’ve heard the buzzing of their large wings outside my
window.” Hamish lowered his voice. “Sometimes they hit the glass and I think
someone is outside trying to break in.”
Grams steered the car into
traffic while she said, “I do believe I’ll not extend my visit then.” The
rest of the car ride was completed in silence.