The pot of gold coins
Tale from Ireland.
Once upon a time there was a man who was out working in the forest. Suddenly he caught sight of a little red-haired old man dressed in green and with a triangular hat on his head. The man immediately understood that this was a leprechaun, one of the fairies' cobblers. He also knew that each leprechaun guarded a pot full of gold and that if the little old man was captured, he would have to reveal where he hid the gold! So the man carefully crept closer to the little green-clad figure, who sat on a stump and dangled his legs.
Finally, the man was so close to the old man that he could grab hold of him with his hands. The leprechaun was enraged and ordered the man to immediately release him. "Oh no, little old man!" laughed the man. "Now I have you in my power and I'm not going to let you go until you tell me where you hide your gold!" The leprechaun knew this to be true - he must obey if caught. "Well," sighed the old man, pointing to a tree. "There, under the roots of that tree lies a large clay pot filled with gold coins buried. It is my treasure.” The man was happy and went to the tree to see it. "I have to run home immediately and get a shovel," he said. “But now you have to promise not to dig up the treasure before I get back. Remember that I have you in my power!” The little old man promised and the man finally let him go.
To remember which tree the treasure was under, the man tied his red handkerchief to one of the branches. Then he rushed home to get his shovel. But when he came back, his face became long. The little old man had kept his promise not to dig up the treasure. However, every single tree in the forest had a red handkerchief tied around one of its branches! It was quite impossible for the man to find the right tree and he had to go home with his shovel.
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