It's been eons since a human has caught a leprechaun. It's even unusual to catch a glimpse of a leprechaun, so careful they are. But just because you don't see a leprechaun doesn't mean one hasn't been close by. Leprechauns are especially likely to come by on the eve of St. Patrick's Day when their beloved Irish symbolism is all about. Do you know how to determine whether one of these wee folk has visited on the eve of St. Patrick's Day? If you suspect a leprechaun's been sneaking about, look for some or all of these seven clues to confirm your suspicion:
* On St. Patrick's Day morn, you may encounter a tiny felt leprechaun hat that fell off the wee creature's head as he ran away to avoid being discovered.
* Wee muddy footprints, about the size of a baby doll's, might appear on a hard floor if a leprechaun's come by on St. Patrick's Day eve.
* The very lucky one might find himself the leprechaun's pot of gold. Contrary to what is shown in the movies, a leprechaun often uses a small clay pot to carry his collection of shiny coins. The coins may not be actual gold, but may be shiny copper which glints in the sun like gold.
* The shamrock is the symbol of Ireland and is thought to bring a bit of good fortune. No true Irishman would be without a shamrock coming up on St. Patrick's Day, including your leprechaun. If you find a shamrock (clover leaf) in your house on March 17, you can be sure a leprechaun must have dropped it in his haste to depart.
* Would you be finding a small coin purse with a silver coin in it? If one of these is in your home on St. Patrick's Day morn, a leprechaun must have dropped it, for these are standard accessories for leprechauns. If ever caught by a human, a leprechaun will offer the silver coin for his freedom. But as long as the leprechaun retains the coin purse, the coin is destined to magically return to the purse once the leprechaun is free.
* If you awake after a bad dream on St. Patrick's Day morn, a close relative of the leprechaun, the Far Derrig, has been about. The Far Derrig is sometimes known as the red leprechaun for he dresses all in red. Don't fret over this visitor, for while he engages in some preliminary mischief, he is committed to bring good luck to those whom he has visited.
* A leprechaun is a cobbler by trade, and he cannot stand to see shoes out of order. If a leprechaun has been in your home, the shoes will be lined in a row when you wake up on St. Patrick's Day.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day and best of luck to you in finding that leprechaun!