Darby the Tailor
Darby the tailor lived in faraway Ireland, he did. He was a tailor known far and wide for his ability to make the finest of clothes. But, for all the fine clothes Darby made for others, he never seemed to have enough money to make suitable clothes for himself. Others would laugh and shake their heads when Darby walked by. Why, he looked like a ragamuffin! But, Darby never paid them no mind. You see, Darby was paid well for his services, but Darby had a big heart. And, when anyone needed money for this or for that, Darby was there to open his heart and his wallet. So, he never seemed to have enough money to make himself a nice suit of clothes.
And for all that, Darby was a dreamer. Everyday he went to the yard in the back of his little shop, and there he sat on his favorite rock to dream his favorite dream. And his favorite dream was this. Darby dreamed he was chosen to lead the St. Paddy's Day Parade. There he'd be wearin' his long, green coat with a stand-up collar, and six shiny, brass buttons (1-2-3-4-5-6!) And wouldn't he look fine with the girls a whirlin' and twirlin' and the boys a playin' the fife and drums. But, then Darby would awake from his dream he would sigh..."Ah, twas only a dream!" For, who would ever choose Darby who wore tatters and rags!
Well, one day, Darby was sitting on his rock dreaming his favorite dream, he was, when he heard a wee small cry. "nnnnk mm" "nnnnk mm" Darby looked about - under the rock, behind a bush, up a tall tree...and that's where he saw it -a leprechaun, as I live and breathe! He had fiery red hair and was wearing a bright green suit. His britches were tangled in the branches of the tree, and he was calling out "Help me! Help me!"
Now, Darby had a few years on him but that didn't mean he couldn't climb a tree! So, he took hold of the trunk and quicker than you can say "May St. Patrick bless you," he was at the top of the tree. He untangled the leprechaun from the branches and before he could get back down, there was the leprechaun sittin' as big as you please on his favorite rock.
"Ah, Darby! Ya' saved me life, you did. And for that I be givin' ya a wish - any wish at-all. But, I bet I know what your heart's desire is - I bet you want to be knowin' where I keep me pot o gold."
"Nah," said Darby, "you can keep your gold. For if I was a rich man, I never know who was my friend and who wasn't."
"Ah, Darby, I can see that you are a very wise man. Then, perhaps, you'll be wishin' for a fine castle."
"Nah," said Darby, "me poor, dear wife would have to spend her days cleanin' the place, now wouldn't she,"
"Well then, Darby, what, pray tell, do you wish for?"
"If I had my heart's desire, I'd wish for a bolt of cloth as green as all of Ireland. And, if it wouldn't be too much trouble, six, shiny brass buttons to boot."
"Ah, Darby, you're wish is my command!" And that leprechaun disappeared. Darby looked by the rock and under the tree, but there was no cloth nor buttons to be seen.
"Ah," said Darby, "twas a tricky leprechaun to be sure."
Darby went inside to his workshop. He stopped short when what did he see on his work table...why a bolt of cloth as green as all of Ireland and six shiny brass buttons (1-2-3-4-5-6). Darby got to work at once. He got out his silver scissors and he began to cut. He cut and he cut and he cut-cut-cut and he cut that coat right out. Then he got out his needle and he sewed and he sewed and he sewed-sewed-sewed and he sewed that coat just so.
And wasn't it a dandy coat to be sure. Why when the people of the village saw Darby walk by, they were so impressed they'd say, "Why Darby, aren't we lookin' fine today?" and, don't you know, that Darby looked so fine that the village decided that Darby should lead the St. Paddy's Day parade. There was Darby in his fine green coat - as green as all of Ireland and his six shiny brass button (1-2-3-4-5-6) a marchin' down main street with the girls a whirlin' and a twirlin' and the boys a playin' the fife and drums. Darby's dream had come true.
Well, Darby wore that coat and he wore that coat, until he wore it clean out. And one day, he was ready to pitch it aside, when he looked at the coat and said, "I think there is just enough material here to make meself a jacket." So, he picked up his scissors and he... cut, and he cut, and he cut-cut-cut, and he cut that jacket right out. And he picked up his needle and he sewed, and he sewed, and he sewed-sewed-sewed, and he sewed that jacket just so. And he wore that jacket and wore that jacket until he wore it clean out.
Darby was ready to pitch that jacket away when he looked at it and said, "Why, methinks there is just enough material to make this into a vest. So, he picked up his scissors and he... cut, and he cut, and he cut-cut-cut, and he cut that vest right out. And he picked up his needle and he sewed, and he sewed, and he sewed-sewed-sewed, and he sewed that vest just so. And he wore that vest and wore that vest until he wore it clean out.
Darby sadly took off that vest and was ready to pitch it aside, when he said, "Why methinks there is just enough material here to make meself a cap. So, he picked up his scissors and he... cut, and he cut, and he cut-cut-cut, and he cut that cap right out. And he picked up his needle and he sewed, and he sewed, and he sewed-sewed-sewed, and he sewed that cap just so. And he wore that cap and wore that cap until he wore it clean out.
He was ready to pitch that cap aside when he said, "Why methinks there is just enough material here to make meself...a button. So, he picked up his scissors and he... cut, and he cut, and he cut-cut-cut, and he cut that button right out. And he picked up his needle and he sewed, and he sewed, and he sewed-sewed-sewed, and he sewed that button just so. And he wore that button and wore that button until he wore it clean out.
He was ready to pitch that button when he said, "Why methinks there is just enough material to make a story. And that's just what he did. He stretched that bit of green and he stretched that bit of green until it spread all over Ireland. And he told that story to his son, who told it to his daughter, who told it to me...and now I'm tellin' it to you.
I filched a bit from stories of leprechauns, a bit from the story "The Three Wishes, a bit from the story "Just Enough," and a whole lot of Blarney to make this Irish stew of a story. It's best for preschool to Kindergarten classes. I usually practice the repetition in the latter part of the story and use hand actions to go with the scissors cutting and the needle sewing. I offer the story to you to tell - for stories, like fairy's gold, are best when shared with others. Please write to me and tell me how the story went. Marilyn
Ideas for St. Patrick's Day
For a coloring pages with leprechauns and St. Patrick's Day:
For downloadable images of a leprechaun like this one:
Go to: http://www.bry-backmanor.org/holidayfun/leprechaunclips.html
For information about leprechauns go to:
Directions for a leprechaun crafts:
|http://www.kidsdomain.com/craft/leprechaun.html - a leprechaun trap|
|http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/stpatrick/Leprechaun.shtml - a jumping-jack leprechaun|
|http://www.dltk-holidays.com/patrick/crafts-lep.html - Easy crafts for kids|
|http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/stpatrick/Hat.shtml - a leprechaun hat|