Bad Behavior

Molly was an impossible leprechaun. Impossible because, as we all know, leprechauns are delightful, mischievous little beings whose behavior on their worst days brings smiles to our faces and songs to our hearts. But Molly was different. She was, for one, female. Leprechauns portrayed in literature and stories are almost entirely (and quite possibly always) male. And, though she cobbled shoes, she loathed her job because it entailed working with her nose in footwear that reeked of sweaty, unwashed feet. She eschewed the traditional green outfit, too, opting instead for cobalt blue, decorated with orange and yellow starburst designs. Perhaps most surprising of all was the pot at the end of her rainbow. Instead of gold, it was filled with dried rabbit-pancreas-parts. When asked why she loaded her pot with dried pieces of dead rabbits, Molly scowled and bared a set of sharp pointed teeth, sending the inquisitor away in terror.

Jim Dandy, a carnival barker turned real estate broker, came upon Molly one hot November afternoon. He asked her to repair his obscenely expensive ostrich cowboy boots. Molly flashed with anger. She opened her impossible leprechaun mouth and, with her razor-sharp teeth, seized Jim Dandy’s left arm just below the elbow. Molly shook her head side-to-side in a frenzy, the way dogs do when trying to wrest a rope from their masters’ grips. The motion of her head, coupled with the sharpness of her teeth, had the effect of tearing Jim Dandy’s lower arm from his body.

Now, all of this took place in a crowded public park in Berlin, not the kind of place one normally encounters leprechauns. Fortunately for Jim Dandy, a German civil servant named Gunther Schubert sprung into action, slapping Molly hard with his right hand, sending her flying backward. Gunther grabbed Jim Dandy’s right arm with one hand and the bottom portion of Jim’s left arm with the other and rushed to the DRK Kliniken Berlin, where orthopaedic surgery is as common as Berliner kartoffelsuppe mit knacker.

“That is impossible,” the surgeon shouted, as Gunther told him the story of Jim Dandy’s leprechaun attack and Gunther’s heroic intervention.

“That is impossible! That is impossible! That is impossible!”

Jim Dandy heard the surgeon’s repetitive shouts for what seemed like an eternity. But, finally, Jim awoke from the dream in a state of confusion. Covered in sweat and panting like a dog in a hot car, Jim pondered what he had seen and heard. He swung his legs off the side of the bed, slid his feet into his slippers, and stood up. He turned to look at the cage in the corner. She was still there. Molly, his rainbow rabbit, sat munching on a carrot. The German potato salad Jim had placed in the cage the night before remained untouched. The dye Jim had used to color Molly to go with his Halloween costume had faded considerably from her white fur, but the starbursts remained visible against a dull blue background. Next to her cage, Jim’s ostrich boots, worn and bedraggled, seemed out of place.

Molly looked up at Jim. He would have sworn she smiled at him, revealing teeth like razors. In her eyes, Jim thought he saw rage.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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