Leprechauns are the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of the Irish holiday St. Patrick’s Day—even before green beer vomit. They’re viewed as generally harmless creatures who tend to spend their days making shoes, laughing with a thick Irish brogue, and hiding all their money in pots at the end of rainbows because JP Morgan Chase does not give checking accounts to mythical fairies. When a rainbow appears in the sky, children are often told to “look for the pot of gold at the end” because, like the tale says, some leprechaun has tucked away his life savings there.
Children, however, should beware. Leprechauns enjoy mischief, a character trait that isn’t widely spread when their folklore is relayed, and the whole idea of putting some alleged “pot of gold” at the end of a rainbow is classic baiting to lure people to them, like a sketchy Craigslist ad, or one of those Nigerian email scams that promise to make you rich, only to leave you with an empty bank account and an even emptier soul.