"I did indeed. Three solid pieces of bright gold, they were.
I put them in my pocket." He patted his hip. "Then I cut the
leprechaun free. And do you know what he did?"
"He complained! Cheeky little bugger. Said I had made a
wreck of his charming beard and that it would never grow back
the same! I pointed out that I was a woodsman, not a barber.
The vain imp! Should have been grateful just to be alive!" Sunday
giggled helplessly at the thought of burly Papa as a hairdresser.
"He would have none of it. Told me that since I had
ruined his good looks I didn't deserve any of his gold. He wiggled
his nose and vanished right there in front of my eyes."
"But you still had the three gold pieces?"
"I did indeed, so I don't feel cheated in the slightest. I
brought them home for you." Sunday's heart leapt for joy as he
reached into his pocket. Whatever treasure Papa had brought
would certainly go to the family, but it meant the world that he
made a show of giving it to her. Mama acted as if she weren't
paying any attention, but she had stopped cutting the bread
"I'm afraid they're a little worse for the wear." Papa opened
his hand and dropped the contents onto the table.
"Bah!" Mama scoffed when she saw. "Fool's gold and fairy
stones. Such has been this family's lot in life. I should have
Sunday's treasure was three small stones. One was smooth
and deep ocean blue run with lines of stark white, one was
splotchy green like moss trapped in pale amber, and one
was sharp-edged and milky pink. Fool's gold or not, these
stones were hers to keep, a thousand times more valuable to
her than any gold ever could be. Inside these stones Papa's story
would live forever; Sunday would remember the tale every
time she saw them. It was just as she'd hoped: the perfect end
to a perfect day.
"They're beautiful," Sunday said over the shiny stones.
"They're yours if you want them."
Sunday threw herself into Papa's arms and hugged
Mama set the platter of bread firmly on the table beside
them. "Enough nonsense now. Sunday, mind the stew. Jack,
bank the fire and call your children. It's time for supper."
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...