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The Murphy Stories: The Beginning
By Sheila Helliwell (ISBN: 978-0-9560331-2-3)
Once, many many years ago, Murphy was a typical happy-go-lucky Leprechaun.
Although Leprechaun's are only nine inches tall this enables them to sneak and hide in places that humans can't.
He lived amongst his own kind and was always into mischief.
Murphy wasn't sure when the discontent started, all he knew was that he no longer enjoyed the silly pranks he and the other leprechaun's played on mortals.
Although he and his friends were young in leprechaun years, he always felt himself to be years ahead of them mentally. He was always the first to sort out problems and solve riddles.
If anyone had a problem, it was always Murphy they turned to.
Now their silly squabbles and bickering had started to annoy him. He wanted excitement and maybe even a touch of danger to make him feel truly alive. The same old things all the time were just plain boring.
The only family Murphy had was an uncle who he hadn't seen for many years.
Thinking back to his uncle's last visit, it wasn't surprising that he no longer visited.
Murphy chuckled as he remembered the awful pranks they had played on him.From lacing his malt whiskey with a strong sleeping potion, (he had slept for three days) to putting hic-cup powder in his food and shaving his eyebrows and whiskers while he slept, Murphy understood why he had cut his visit short.
Leprechauns usually sleep by day and only come out once the sun has set but Murphy enjoyed warm sunlight and the sound of the world coming alive.
Murphy's favourite place to think, away from his noisy chattering friends, was a thick branch high up in a big old tree in the centre of the forest.
Here he would sit for hours, day-dreaming of exciting adventures, only occasionally being disturbed by squirrels or a family out walking.
He spent less and less time with the other leprechaun's, which they resented.
"Thinks he's too good for us, lost his sense of humour, he's no fun anymore, he heard their mutterings but chose to ignore them.
Everything came to a head one evening when three from their group decided to go and play some pranks on a mortal family who had just moved into the area.
The leader named Figis dared Murphy to go with them. He was feeling bored and discontented again and finally agreed.
At first they played the usual tricks, scaring the family with unearthly screams and moans in the dead of night and then they started to move furniture around and break mirrors.
The mortals were sure that they had ghosts as the leprechaun's had made themselves invisible to the human eye. Gradually every light in the house was switched on and the sound of young children crying in fear penetrated Murphy's ears.
He told the others that they should stop but they were having too much fun.
A young girl, no older than two, was sitting on the stairs with such a look of fear on her face as a vase flew through the air straight at her head.
Murphy jumped in front of the girl and the vase smashed into his chest.
Things were going too far and he knew he had to stop it. Without hesitation he took the three feathers from his hat and waved them in a figure of eight chanting,
"PROTECT THIS HOUSE AND ALL WITHIN
TAKE THE PRANKSTERS AND FOR SPITE, DROP THEM IN THE NEAREST BIN.
Murphy forgot that he too was amongst the pranksters and all four found themselves dumped into a big bin outside a take-away shop.
It was full of smelly leftover food and rubbish. As they scrambled out Figis saw Murphy still clutching the three feathers from his hat.
There is an unwritten code between leprechauns that you never use your magic on each other.
Word soon spread about Murphy breaking the code and gradually all the leprechaun's shunned him.
He was no longer invited for fun and games in the evenings and no one spoke to him unless it was really necessary.
The final insult was when he found several black Crow feathers in his bed.
To a leprechauna crow is un-trustworthy and they never use crow feathers in their hats. To be given several showed Murphy that was how the rest of them viewed him.
It was about this time that he decided to visit Rakidom more often and visit his Uncle Shamus. 'Hopefully he might have forgotten the pranks.'
Life suited him better there and he never returned to his old home.
The land of Rakidom is a very special place for Leprechauns.
It's where they all gather from the farthest corners of the world.
Official business is conducted by the High Council members and should it be necessary, fines are handed out and in very serious cases --- banishment.
Leprechauns use the magical feathers from their hats to gain access to Rakidom. Within Rakidom there is a special magical place which is only accessible on 'Hoonraki Night.'
All Leprechauns have a crock of gold, (unless they have lost or squandered it) and every full moon they have three wishes which they can use.
Every third full moon, when it's tinged in green, is called a 'Hoonraki Moon,' then and only then, they can use a wish which takes them to the magical place. There they are given three riddles by the 'Riddle Tree' which, if solved, leads them to the Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow. (every Leprechauns dream)
It was on one such adventure that Murphy encountered 'The Dark Wizard.'
Since that time, Murphy and the dark wizard have been mortal enemies.
Under normal circumstances Leprechauns and Witches never mingle, there is a basic mistrust between them.
However Murphy, as you will find out, is not a typical Leprechaun and his meeting with Moragan the witch turned into a strong friendship which even Murphy was at a loss to understand.
At different times each saved the others life and the bond between them was so strong that even the Dark Wizard couldn't break it.
Murphy had to chuckle every time he thought of Moragan.
Now we know that witches are not known for their good looks but Moragan really was one ugly witch!
Every time they met her hair was a different colour and instead of earrings she had tiny live creatures hanging from her ears.
Over the years, Murphy encountered many weird and scary creatures on his Hoonraki Night adventures but in-between he was always content to keep his own company.
Fines from the High Council were part of Murphy's life. He always had to flout the rules and whenever anything unusual or bad happened Murphy was always the first to be summoned to the council chambers.
A lot of the bad things that happened were caused by the Dark Wizard but Murphy could never prove it. Over the years Murphy tired of being constantly blamed and decided to find a new home.
He travelled the length and breadth of the land before finding a big oak tree in a quiet overgrown garden.
Here he made his home and lived contentedly for many years.
When he felt bored or restless he would create mischief up at the big manor house which backed onto his garden.
He still enjoyed the thrill and danger he encountered on Hoonraki Nights and visiting Moragan the witch but he was happy to return to his solitude.
That was until a family moved into the old house where peace and quiet had reigned for many years. The previous owner had been very much like Murphy and liked solitude. He never even ventured to the bottom of the overgrown garden where Murphy lived in his old oak tree.
Now there were constant sounds of laughter and shouting which disturbed Murphy's peaceful life. To make things worse, they were MORTAL children.
He had left the other Leprechauns and gone to Rakidom to avoid human contact and now he had them living literally on his doorstep.
Over the years Murphy had become selfish because he didn't have anyone but himself to consider. Find out in the first book of the Murphy series, 'Hoonraki Moon' how he copes with three mortal children in his life.
Do they become friends or enemies?
Continued in Book 1
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