I used to think they weren't. But now I'm not so sure.
A couple of years ago my oldest daughter (then seven years old) and my wife got into a heated debate about the authenticity of leprechauns, and The Girl made some pretty good points.
It started with The Girl talking about making a leprechaun trap so she could catch a leprechaun. The conversation then went something like this:
The Wife: "You know leprechauns don't really exist, right?"
The Girl: "No, they do exist. They're real. I know it."
The Wife: "What makes you think leprechauns are real?"
The Girl: "Well, we had a leprechaun come last year and mess up our classroom." [Note: She's talking about her first grade classroom.]
The Wife: "Okay, but...."
The Girl: "And in preschool Shaun-Shaun the Leprechaun came and we tried to catch him."
The Wife: "Did you ever see these leprechauns?"
The Girl: "No."
The Wife: "Because they aren't real."
The Girl: "No, they're just super fast and sneaky."
The Wife: "You didn't see them because they don't exist."
The Girl: "They do exist. They just don't like to be seen. They hide really good."
The Wife: "They're make believe, like fairies and goblins and dragons. They are imaginary characters."
The Girl: "I think they're real."
The Wife: "They aren't."
The Girl: "Maybe they'll exist in the future."
The Wife: "No, they won't."
The Girl: "They might."
The Wife: "No, they won't ever exist."
The Girl: "Well, the United States didn't always exist, and now it does. So maybe if leprechauns don't exist now, they will sometime. In the future."
The Wife laughed at that. She had no choice. She was not prepared to get into an argument with a seven year-old about the existence of leprechauns, let alone a philosophical debate about what may or may not exist in some far-flung future.
|A leprechaun! (Not an actual photo.)|
(Not because they don't exist, but because they're super fast and sneaky and it's hard to get a picture of one.)
So, do leprechauns exist? I don't think so. Will they exist at some point in the future? I doubt it. But, they might. (So, just in case, I'm going to keep all of my gold hidden.)
Have a happy St. Patrick's Day!
Edited from a post originally published on 3/15/16.