Never underestimate the ingenuity of a leprechaun.
A wily leprechaun visited Brandy Gulliford’s kindergarten classroom at Parmalee Elementary School last week, and he was so clever that he sprung each of the 26 traps the children made and made off with some of the fake gold coins they left as bait.
The children came into the classroom March 10 to discover that the sprite had been up to his tricks, and they also found that he had left behind a shoe. The children tried on the shoe, and one girl even started doing an Irish jig, because the shoe was magical.
The kindergartners made the traps at home and brought them to school because they knew that if you catch a leprechaun, he will give you his pot of gold.
The elusive fairy dropped gold coins on the playground that the children found, and he left footprints behind in the classroom. He even ate a cupcake that one child left as bait, but still he managed to escape the trap.
The leprechaun traps are part of learning about the March 17 St. Patrick’s Day holiday. And the children’s shouts of delight were a sharp contrast to the quiet of the rest of the building, where the older students were taking CSAP tests.
According to Gulliford, the kids are learning about St. Patrick and the traditions that are part of the holiday, and they have incorporated them into math, reading and writing. The children made rainbow mobiles with patterns by stringing beads, and they read stories about St. Patrick and leprechauns. They wrote their wishes on four-leaf clovers.
Kindergartner Collin Kirkpatrick wished for a German shepherd to go along with his poodle named Sugar. Maya Mosby wanted a chameleon, and Ashlynn Knight wished for a puppy and to catch a leprechaun.
This was the first year that Guilliford had given Parmalee children the leprechaun-trap assignment, and it was a huge success.
The traps were elaborate. Jordan Turnbull put cameras inside his trap to see if he could get a picture of the leprechaun, and he put a tiny fake leprechaun in the back to try to entice the real one inside.
“I had gold right here,” he said, pointing to where fake coins had been attached to the trap near the entrance. “He ripped it off and ran away with it.”
Charlotte London attached fake gold to a pencil and used the pencil to prop up a basket decorated with flowers, butterflies and shamrocks. When the leprechaun moved the pencil, the hat came down. But, alas, it didn’t work either.
“He sprang all of our traps and took all of our gold,” Charlotte said. “I was dreaming all night that I would catch one and have good luck.”