Who Makes The Rules?


"Michael O'Patrickson! Stop that at once!" Boomed the art teacher.

"What's wrong, Mr. Hannigan?" asked the young boy. He had been intently working on the day's assignment. It was one which he had daydreamed about often.

"You aren't following the rules. You were instructed to paint what you want to be when you grow up. And instead, you painted a leprechaun - wearing a crown, no less! And sliding down a rainbow, into a field of four leaf clover..." Replied the frustrated teacher.

"But Sir, that's what I want to be." he replied earnestly.

"Maybe so... But this exercise is about what you actually plan to do as an adult." said Mr. Hannigan, in a voice which even young Michael knew was patronizing.

"But that isn't what you said." the intelligent child replied, reasonably.

Beat at his own game, Mr. Hannigan walked away. "Kids... Why can't they just follow the rules!" he muttered under his breath.

"Why can't adults understand us? And have some fun sometimes?" mourned Michael.

After school, Mr. Hannigan walked up to Michael, with a smug look on his face. "Michael, I would like you to take this home to your parents. I need to talk to them about your behavior today."

"Yes, Sir." he replied meekly.

"Oh, and one more thing: you really are talented. It would be a shame if you didn't realize your full potential because of daydreams that can never become reality."

"Dad! Hello, how was your day?" asked Michael, grateful to finally be away from his strict teacher.

"It was wonderful, as always! And how was your day?" asked Dad, his green eyes twinkling in the evening sun.

"It wasn't wonderful. And my teacher said for me to give this to you." he replied sadly, as he handed over a sealed envelope.

"And what did you draw that made him so upset?" asked Dad, frowning.

"This..." replied Michael, slowly pulling out the colorful painting.

"Ah, I see... You just leave this to me! Shall we go for a stroll in the park?" he asked, with a wink.

Michael smiled, and soon they were alone amongst tall trees, and thick shrubs. A flash of golden light, and they disappeared.

Where there had once been a man and a child, stood a leprechaun. He was dressed in the finest suit imaginable, with a magnificent crown on his head. His attire was a dark, dignified green. Next to him was a smaller leprechaun, only half of his height. Both were laughing merrily as King O'Patrickson called a rainbow with his Shillelagh.

As Mr. Hannigan prepared for bed, he set his alarm clock, then surveyed the bedroom. It was neat and orderly, like him. He smiled, and climbed into his king size bed. Soon he was fast asleep.

King O'Patrickson visited the confused man's dreams. He had never given myths much thought. His mind wanted to reject what he was seeing, but he was a firm believer in what you see is what you get.

"What is this?" he asked.

"Allow me to introduce myself. My name is King O'Patrickson" replied the leprechaun, with a mischievous smile.

"And I am here to say that you don't have the power to declare what anyone can or can't do with their own lives. If a child wants to daydream about being our king one day, who are you to squash that?"

"But you're not real! Nobody can rule over a myth." he argued, without even realizing the irony.

"Then why are you talking to me?" replied the king, with a hearty and joyful laugh. He then held up his Shillelagh, and a rainbow appeared.

Mr. Hannigan awoke with a start, and sat bolt upright. To his utter disbelief, the entire room was filled with four leaf clovers. And covering his alarm clock, was the finest hat he had ever seen, made of dark green silk.

Cover image made in Canva using their gallery

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