No More Leprechaun Traps!


Mr. Rasmussen’s son and his very own leprechaun trap!

Meghan Merlino, Online Editor

As an elementary schooler, I would always dread Saint Patrick’s Day. Of course, I was always excited to celebrate my heritage and eat my grandma’s famous Irish Soda Bread. However, there was one thing that made me dislike this day. The only thing that caused this dislike was The Leprechaun Traps.

Every year, without fail, my elementary school teachers would force us to create leprechaun traps as a “fun” activity for Saint Patrick’s Day. I would go home, stress about catching a mythical creature, and make a mess of every room in my house.

Maybe I was just a naive and gullible child, but these traps made me believe in a leprechaun. If I did not have to spend every year trying to catch a mystical creature, I would not have been set up for disappointment at an early age. When I learned that the leprechaun was a myth, I became less trustful towards the adults around me. I know I sound dramatic, but I spent so much time chasing the leprechaun. After constantly failing, I felt that I could not get that time back.

Another problem is how messy these things are. I remember coming home from school every year with this assignment and showing my mother what had to be done. I remember seeing her fearful-looking face as she imagined how much green goo she would have to clean up. I also vaguely remember not helping her clean up, which may have been partly my fault.

The biggest problem with these traps is how they can easily create jealousy in a school environment. Our teachers would not only pretend to be a leprechaun, but they would then choose one student’s trap and pretend that they “caught” the leprechaun. All the students would look at this trap in awe, gazing at the green sparkles that the leprechaun “left behind” in the student’s trap.

It made this one student feel great for being smart enough to catch a leprechaun for a few seconds. However, it made everyone else feel jealous and unintelligent. Obviously, I was never able to catch a leprechaun, and I am still bitter about it all these years later. At such a young age, I became stressed about school. All because I could not catch a tiny, mythical creature. I believed that just because I could not do this one assignment, I was not going to get into college, where I so desperately wanted to go.

Looking back now, I see my naivety and ignorance. However, my experiences show how this one thing caused turmoil in my elementary school career. I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Other former elementary school students have thoughts from the same vein as mine.

“In my opinion, they’re just plain stupid. Imagine the disappointment on a child’s face when the leprechaun doesn’t make a mess of the trap, yet it does for other kids. I can, unfortunately, understand this from experience,” states Middletown High School South Sophomore Jay Fielding.

Another South sophomore, Kayla Rogers, states, “It was really exciting and fun at first, but not being able to catch a leprechaun was so disappointing; I remember one kid crying because of it. I felt like I was a failure. I couldn’t even catch a stupid leprechaun, so how could I do anything else in life?”

So, is this really just a fun assignment? Or is it something darker that sets up children for disappointment?