It was on Saint Patrick’s Day in Storyville.All the animals in the village were already awake, eagerly preparing for the gala Saint Patrick’s Day Parade down Main Street later in the afternoon. And, every one of them was very excited.
The Three Little Pigs had finally finished building the giant wooden parade floats at last night.The Three Bears had just finished decorating the floats with beautiful green carnations.The marching band, led by the Ugly Duckling, had rehearsed every last song – just one more time.
The band members – Chicken Little, Turkey Lurkey, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, and the Three Blind Mice had also finished making their beautiful St. Patrick’s Day marching costumes.
And, of course, Mother Goose and her many children had carefully finished baking dozens of delicious green cookies to be distributed at the parade.
But at Police Headquarters, Number 221b Fairytale Lane, Deputy Watson Weasel was nervously pacing back and forth, anxiously awaiting the arrival of his boss, Chief of Police Sherlock Skunk.
Deputy Weasel knew that something was just not right this particular St. Paddy’s Day morning, but he just couldn’t put his paws on it.
Oh dear, what can the matter be? Watson thought, as he nervously peered out the Headquarters window once more.
And that’s precisely when Chief Sherlock Skunk stepped briskly through the front door.Before Watson even had a chance to tell him about his uneasiness, Sherlock Skunk asked his deputy a question.
“Watson, look out that window again and tell me what you see.”
“Why, I don’t see a thing, Sherlock.No one is out and about yet.Storyville is unusually quiet this morning.What should I see?”
“It’s not what you should see, my dear friend, but rather what you can’t see.”
“Huh?What’s that supposed to mean?I don’t understand, Sherlock.”
“Watson, sometimes you amaze me at your complete lack of observation.The lampposts, Watson, look at the lampposts.”
Watson Weasel strained his weasely little eyes and carefully looked up and down the street at all the lampposts on Storyville’s Main Street.
“My Gosh, Sherlock!All the giant green shamrocks are gone!Every last one of them!They were all there last night!This is simply terrible.I knew something was a miss.I just knew it!And how can we possibly have the parade without the shamrocks?”
“Exactly, my dear Watson.I’m afraid that a terrible crime has been committed.”
Just at that moment, Chicken Little burst into Police Headquarters, sobbing very loudly, and trying very hard to speak between her gigantic wet tears.
“The - the - the shamrocks are gone!The - the - the shamrocks are gone!”
Before Sherlock could even offer her a tissue, Chicken Little ran back out into the street, yelling loudly as she waddled nervously along, “The shamrocks are gone!The shamrocks are gone!”
“What do we do now, Sherlock?”
“Why, we investigate, my good man, we investigate.Follow me!”
As the two old friends hurriedly walked down the streets of Storyville together, Sherlock Skunk stopped at every single lamppost in the village.And, at each one, he carefully examined both the pole and the ground around it with his ever present magnifying glass.
Finally, he found what he was looking for.
“Watson!Look at this strange print in the dirt.Have you ever seen anything like it?”
“Why no, Sherlock!That’s not the track of any animal I’ve ever seen.What is it?”
“I’ve no time to explain now, Watson.We must be off!Follow me!”
Soon, Sherlock Skunk and Watson Weasel were heading into the deep dark enchanted forest surrounding Storyville.Watson eventually realized that the path they were taking would lead them directly up to Haunted Hill.No one ever went up there.It was far too spooky.
“Sherlock, surely we aren’t going up on Haunted Hill?What could we possibly find there?”
“The thief, my friend, the thief!Now be quiet and give me your two gold coins.”
“My two gold coins?” nervously asked Watson Weasel.“How could you possibly know that I have two gold coins in my pocket, Sherlock?”
“Very easily, Watson.I heard them jingling about in your pocket.Now, place those two gold coins on that big flat rock over there.Quickly!”
Watson did as he was asked, then Sherlock motioned for his deputy to join him in some thick evergreen bushes near the rock.They crouched behind these bushes as Sherlock whispered to Watson, “Quiet, now!”
Within minutes, they heard something moving very quickly through the forest towards them.It was moving faster and faster.And it was getting closer and closer every second.
Watson Weasel was suddenly becoming very frightened because he knew all the old tales about the many strange and terrifying creatures living on Haunted Hill.
Suddenly, a tiny figure wearing a long pointed green hat and long pointed black shoes jumped up on the rock and eagerly grabbed the two gold coins in his tiny right hand.
He was admiring the coins when Sherlock Skunk suddenly rushed out of the bushes and addressed him.
“Good morning, Louie!You like those coins, I see!”
“Why, uh, it’s Mr. Sherlock Skunk himself!And Good morning to you, sir!”
“Watson, I would like you to meet Louie the Lazy Leprechaun,” shouted Sherlock Skunk.
“Leprechaun?I say! Well!Uh, Oh, Dear! I’m very pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr. Leprechaun, I’m sure!” quickly burst out Watson Weasel.
“Mr. Sherlock, may I inquire as to why you are on Haunted Hill this day?” asked Louie the Lazy Leprechaun.“And why you left these two gold coins here for me to find?”
“It’s really quite simple, Louie.I’ll trade you those two gold coins for the shamrocks you took from all the lampposts in Storyville.”
“What’s that you’re implying?Who said that I took those shamrocks?”
“I did, Louie.I know you!They call you the Lazy Leprechaun because you’re too lazy to make your own shamrocks.Isn’t that right, Louie?Isn’t it?”
“Well, uh, yes.You’re quite right, Mr. Sherlock.Fine.I’ll trade you all those shamrocks for these two gold coins.”
“Very Good.But first you must put all the shamrocks back exactly where you found them, Louie.”
“Oh, all right!”
Within the blink of an eye, Louie the Lazy Leprechaun had disappeared from sight.Before Watson could even ask Sherlock where the leprechaun had gone, Louie suddenly reappeared on the rock.
“Done!Your precious shamrocks are all back on the lampposts where I found them.Thank you for these two lovely gold coins, and Good Day to you, Sirs!”
Louie the Lazy Leprechaun quickly vanished again, this time with Watson’s two gold coins clutched tightly in his tiny right hand.
“Come on, Watson!This case is closed.Let’s get back to Storyville.The parade will be starting soon.”
Watson Weasel was still in a bit of a shock.After all, he had never met a real live leprechaun before.
As he followed Sherlock Skunk back down Haunted Hill and through the enchanted forest, he couldn’t resist asking his boss one more question.
“Now Sherlock, you have really amazed me this time!How in the world could you have possibly known that Louie the Lazy Leprechaun took those shamrocks?”
“Very easily, my dear Watson.First, everyone knows that leprechauns wear long pointy shoes.We found those long pointy tracks by the lamppost.Second, only a very lazy leprechaun would steal our shamrocks, instead of making his own.What better suspect than a leprechaun named Louie the Lazy Leprechaun?And third, everyone knows that leprechauns love gold.They look for it everywhere!”
“Hmm.I see.Why, I guess that’s very logical, Sherlock, very logical, indeed.But I sure wish that Louie had taken your gold coins instead of mine.”
Sherlock Skunk laughed heartily, patted his dear old friend on the back and said, “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you, Watson!”
Watson Weasel laughed too, as he and his best friend in the entire world, Mr. Sherlock Skunk, headed back down the winding wooded path towards Storyville.
It was going to be a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day Parade after all!