In the country of Ireland, there lived a man named Edward England. Not much is known to historians about his early life. In fact, it would seem that the only being who would live for centuries afterward to tell the tale was a small magical creature...

As a child, Edward was bullied by other boys in his neighborhood. They made fun of his name and threw pebbles at him in a field. He felt a bit of pain from those three boys.

"Come on, Eddie!"

"You should leave and go to England!"

"Yeah! And drown on the way there!"

"Leave me alone!" Edward said.

Watching from the top of a hill was a Leprechaun. He did not normally feel sympathy for others, but this was just a child. He felt that he had to intervene. He ran towards the bullies who were cornering Edward on the ground.

"Please!" Edward pleaded.

The Leprechaun jumped in front of Edward. The bullies were left with stunned expressions. They were terrified.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but all shall pay my golden loans!" the Leprechaun said.

The bullies ran off. The Leprechaun stretched out his hand. The ten-year-old looked at it. It looked brown and wrinkled, just like the Leprechaun's face. Sharp fingernails were noticeable.

"Go on and grab it, you coward!" the Leprechaun said.

Edward nodded and did so. The Leprechaun pulled him up. He was shorter than the boy.

"What are you?"

"What do I look like, me lad? See the hat? The buckles on me shoes? Why, I'm a Leprechaun!"

"I have heard of Leprechauns. I just did not expect them to be so...so..."

"Ugly? Tales tend to change in these here lands."

"Do you have gold?"

"Not at the moment. I would like some. Just the thought of it would make my head numb."

"Can I help you?"

"Perhaps. If you become a sailor, you just may fit the bill. All in good time, see ya over the hill."

In good time indeed. As an adult, Edward England joined a trade sloop. The Leprechaun found his way aboard. England was half-surprised to see him. The Leprechaun did the sentimental talk.

"Miss me?"