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Paul R. Dawson


Many years ago, on a deserted country road, a leprechaun was waiting for a bus. I was standing next to him and asked about his secret pot of gold. He told me that everyone has a pot of gold within. Said that inner-gold is more precious than the metallic kind. If I wanted real magic I should transform my hidden thoughts into words on paper. Assured me that if I tried he would help. He gave me a large, plastic, gold-colored coin. There were words stamped on one side and a large four leaf clover printed on the other.

I heard the bus coming. I looked up and the leprechaun was gone; vanished without a whisper. I put the coin in my pocket and later nailed it to the wall above my word processor. It reads: The bearer of this faux gold coin has permission to be. Sometimes, late at night, I hear a tapping at my front door. I hesitate answering. When I do the porch is empty and a scent of old gold and clover lingers on the night air. My friend the leprechaun left a subtle reminder that I stick to the words on the coin and keep working. I do. I don’t want him to take back the coin and revoke my storyteller’s permit. I worked on my stories for years. Wrote them for Self and read them to anyone who would listen. A friend suggested I get them published. I searched for a title. I needed something that would give my collection of observations a direction. It wasn’t until I re-read the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel that I understood what my stories were about. Remember “Hansel and Gretel”? The wicked stepmother wanted to lose Hansel and Gretel in the forest. Hansel used bread crumbs to leave a trail to find their way home by. Birds ate the crumbs and the children got lost. A wicked witch, who lived in a gingerbread house, kidnapped the children and fattened Hansel for dinner. Gretel tricked the witch and pushed her into the oven. There were pearls and gems on the roof of the witch’s house and birds gave them to the children. They finally found their way back home and the stepmother was gone. The children and their loving father lived happily ever after. What you hold in your hand was written as a trail of “thought crumbs to find my way home by.” Thought crumbs that cannot be eaten by thoughtless birds. These crumbs are set down as originally intended. I have not changed any names or places and have only covered those who, for reasons you will clearly see, need hiding. I have occasionally bent the truth a bit; if a well placed fantasy serves my purpose best then I don’t hesitate to use it.

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