THE TROLL AND THE LEPRECHAUN

Once upon a time there was a troll that could always be found at the end of the rainbow. He liked being at the end of the rainbow because he could observe people. Now granted, some of the people you find at the end of the rainbow are not of the best sort. In the first place, they have this glint of greed in their eyes, since they are lusting after the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Also, they are generally sweaty and out of breath, since they have often run some distance at great speed in order to be the first to get to the pot of gold they believe must be there at the end of the rainbow. Thus, they seldom saw the troll hidden behind a large rock or an old stump. The troll knew there was no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but he did not tell people that. Otherwise, the only creatures he could observe would be boring monosyllabic trolls back in the large caves of Scandawegia.

Of course, always being at the end of the rainbow is not that easy, especially for trolls. The ends of rainbows touch down in different places, and there is often insufficient cover for a shy troll. Also, trolls do not run very well, but only scamper rapidly, taking small steps with their short legs.

One day after a particularly violent storm there was a magnificent rainbow. The troll was well-positioned in a glade right at the end of the rainbow, curled up into a ball to look like a stone, when up saunters a little man on short bandy legs. At first the troll did not see the little man, since he was clothed all in green, and blended in with the background of the forest glade. It was a leprechaun. A leprechaun is a sort of Irish troll, in the same way that a troll is a sort of Scandawegian leprechaun.

"Well, my man," said the leprechaun. Leprechauns have very sharp eyes especially for well-hidden trolls, "and what may ye be doing at the end of my rainbow?"

"Thy rainbow!" grumped the troll, standing up straight. "I was here first. Go find thine own"

"Begorrah, this end of the rainbow was designated mine by the glorious St. Patrick," said the leprechaun. "Your place is at the other end. That's where the pot of gold must surely be."

"Most Dumb," said the troll. "There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And who, grump grump, is St. Patrick?"

"The glorious St. Patrick? Why he was the one who drove all the trolls out of Ireland," said the smiling leprechaun. "And what do you mean there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Sure and begorrah now if it isn't that you miserable trolls always manage to be at the wrong end."

The troll looked at the rainbow arching across the sky, then at the grinning leprechaun, grumped three times, and scampered off as fast as his short legs and small steps would carry him toward the other end of the rainbow. However, before he could get there the rainbow had vanished.

MORAL: There's a dumb troll born every minute.