“ALVIN, ALVIN WHERE ARE YOU? YOU ARE LATE FOR YOUR SUPPER! ALVIN YOU ARE IN SUCH TROUBLE YOUNG MAN! ALVIN!!!”
“I’m here mama, I’m here.” The quiet voice almost whispered the words he desperately wanted his mother to hear. But she could not. Alvin opened his eyes to a beautiful sunny day but could only feel the tear drenched pillow beneath his head and his very heavy heart. Alvin wanted to go home.
“Alvin are you awake? The sun is up and I found a really neat flower! Alvin are you awake?” The excited voice that Alvin could now truly hear belonged to a small chipmunk named Monty. They had met many weeks after Alvin had arrived in the New World from Ireland. They found in each other a kindred spirit: fun-loving and mischievous. Unfortunately Alvin wasn’t feeling particularly fun-loving this morning. He had had a dream about his mother and he was sad. He was a leprechaun trying to make his way in the New World without his family.
Alvin stayed tucked in his bed, his face hiding from the Sun. His friend Monty knew something was up but wasn’t quite sure what he should do. So he gently scampered over beside Alvin and sat down. He knew Alvin was sad and all he could offer was his friendship, so for the next several hours the displaced leprechaun and the wild young chipmunk kept each other company, the way friends do.
By the time Alvin was fully awake the sun was high in the sky. He still felt the remnants of his unsettling dream but things always look different in the full light of day. What was odd was the strange snuffling noise and occasional squeaks that Alvin could hear nearby. As he swung his legs over his bed they stop short of the floor. The squeaking became quite pronounced, more like a grunt.
“Alvin are you really awake now?” The voice and the grunting belonged to Monty. As he stretched and yawned, the young chipmunk picked up the conversation that he had started several hours earlier: “I found a really neat flower you need to come and see!”
Alvin smiled. He could always trust Monty to concentrate on the here and now. So he smiled and nodded his head. All he said was “show me.” And Monty took off like a shot with one quick glance over his shoulder to see if Alvin was following.
The unlikely pair made their way across the lawn of the big house to a large garden. It seemed that the strange flower was hidden amongst the hundreds of flowers planted by the owners of the big house. There were roses, and lilies, and daisies, and hundreds of other flowers that Alvin didn’t know the names of. He thought it amusing that somewhere in the midst of this beautiful flower garden was one strange flower. But Monty was convinced.
“Oh okay, it’s here, right around, ummmm, shucks, maybe it’s this way!”
Monty’s sense of direction was questionable but his passion was all-consuming. Alvin grinned and followed. He was still thinking about his dream. He missed his mother and his father and all the other leprechauns. Here in the New World he had not found another like himself. He was isolated. He didn’t know what was going to happen to him. There was no one to teach him how to be a good leprechaun. He had no one.
“It’s here! It’s here! See I told you!” Monty’s tiny body could barely contain his excitement!
As Alvin approached Monty’s find, he was sure he would see nothing more than an odd rose or two headed daisy. He was not prepared for what he did find.
There are no greater story tellers than those from Ireland. And there are no more strongly held legends than those of the leprechauns. Perhaps the strongest legend is that of the four-leaf clover. It is an uncommon variation of the common, three-leaved, clover. They say that such leaves bring good luck to their finders, especially if found accidentally. According to legend, each leaflet represents something: the first is for hope, the second is for faith, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck. In a little patch all by itself stood a very singular four-leaf clover.
Alvin couldn’t move. He was overcome with sadness and with happiness. Monty stood slightly off to one side gripping his paws tightly. When Alvin did finally move he turned abruptly to Monty. The little chipmunk took fright and jumped back.
Alvin let out a laugh that caused the birds to fly off from the trees.
“This is a wonderful Monty! A little bit of Ireland is here with me! I am not alone. I just couldn’t see what was right in front of my eyes and you reminded me of that. I have everything I need right here! ”
Monty looked on wide eyed, he didn’t really understand what his friend was talking about but he knew his friend was happy. That was all that really mattered.
A moment later Alan burst into song “I’m looking over a four leaf clover that I overlooked before . . . .” he danced around his precious clover and without any warning hugged little Monty.
Monty started to smile. The birds that moments ago had lifted off from the trees came back to watch what was happening. Other creatures from the forest were also starting to gather. Everybody liked a good party! When Alvin finally ran out of steam he lay down next to his clover and smiled at everyone.
“I may not be with my family in Ireland but I have my family here in the New World. Thank you Monty for reminding me of that,” and he continued to whistle:
I’m looking over a four-leaf clover
That I overlooked before.
One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain,
Third is the roses that grow in the lane.
No need explaining, the one remaining
Is somebody I adore.
I’m looking over a four-leaf clover
That I overlooked before
Monty looked a little bewildered, “I just thought it was a really neat flower.”