The Prince and the Leprechaun

In my pursuit of the perfect tree, I met a leprechaun who was kind enough to disabuse me of the faulty notion that the colours of the rainbow were arranged by some physical law that divides white light by its hidden seams.

‘The divisions, your highness,’ he explained, his tiny bronze pipe clicking in his teeth, ‘are emotional: Red, the color of love and blood-rinsed bones, hates Yellow so much…’ his eyes widened ‘…that Orange is less a “colour” than the radiative expression of Red’s rage. Violet, on the other hand, adores Red, but not for legitimate reasons, or even comprehensible ones, as Violet has never actually seen Red–such is the nature of existence in the first dimension…

‘…This is why the verses “Roses are red/Violets are blue” unsettle anyone who really thinks about it: violets are violet, not blue; however, the colour which affords these flowers their inky iridescence is quite despairing, blue, if you will.’

‘What about Yellow?’ I asked.

‘Yellow, the colour of our local star,’ we both looked up, ‘can’t—again, first dimension—appreciate its chromatic kinship with the mighty solar deity, consigning it to terminal dejection.’

‘And Green?’ 

‘Green!’ he stiffened proudly, ‘—the color of pickles, pines, and grape-clustered vines! Of envy and hope itself. It is so deeply in love with actual Blue, which shares its tint with both sky and sea, that the two are slowly becoming one another.’

Love, I thought, looking up into the river of cambering colours: I could almost feel their awareness, of indigo, the colour of our royalty, the weight of my tilting crown, of my father, of all fathers, bearing down. ‘How did any of this become your concern?’ 

The leprechaun took out his pipe, looked up at me through the sweet smoke and pointed to a tremendous iron pot hidden among the distant hills.

‘Yellow,’ he explained, ‘forever arcing through the desolation between love and hate, routinely pours forth its glittering contents into the three-dimensional destructor we call Gold.’

The prince narrowed his eyes, focusing on the distant glimmer. Smiling, he removed his jewel-heavy crown and rested it before the leprechaun’s buckled shoes. ‘What tree, dear leprechaun, could bear the weight of this?’   

Author: Dr. Furnell slept through school until his awakening between pages 1 and 2 of Clarke’s 2001 (required reading for a remedial community college class). That summer he locked himself in the library and read 63 books on astrophysics. Writing about the space between stars has since become his secret life.

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