Susanne Dubhthach says the happiest day of her life came when she married a real-life leprechaun in 2013. But her dream wedding has turned into a nightmare thanks to her meddling in-laws who believe she’s a “gold digger.”
“They think I just married Gwrtheyrn to get my hands on his pot of gold,” Susanne told a Belfast newspaper tearfully. “But that’s not true. I love him with all my heart – and those two little monsters are doing everything in their power to drive a wedge between us.”
Susanne, 26, charges that mother-in-law Genovefa Dubhthach and her husband Corraidhin have pulled every trick in the book to torpedo her marriage, including:
* Tossing the traditional meal she’d prepared for a major festival in the garbage because it had “too many turnips. “
* Calling her a “barren wench” in front of a cottage-full of relatives for failing to produce grandchildren in four years of marriage.
* Stranding her for hours in a deep wood said to be inhabited by banshees.
* Using “the olde magyck” to turn her once porcelain-white skin an ugly beet red.
“I spent two days in the kitchen preparing that dish of rumbledethumps for the Grand Feast,” Susanne recalled. “When Genovefa tasted it, gave a look of disgust and threw it in the trash, it brought me to tears. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”
As late as 1957, leprechauns were widely believed to be merely mythological creatures. But that year, anthropologists stumbled across a small population of the clannish, reclusive folks in a clutch of hamlets in Tipperary County. Experts believe the diminutive humans with distinctive pointy ears are descendants of the pint-sized inhabitants of the British Isles who dwelled there before the coming of the Celts in the fifth century B.C. Remarkably, many less-well-educated Americans still believe leprechauns are purely fictional. In a 2014 survey, a whopping 66 percent of Americans with a high school diploma or less agreed with the statement, “Leprechauns do not exist.”
“Leprechauns prefer to be known as ‘The Lurigadawne,’” reveals reporter Colin O’Meadley, who interviewed the Dubhthaches. “They rarely wear green and they’re not too fond of the way their kind have been exploited by the tourist industry.”
Gwrtheyrn, 34, and his family operate a successful shoe-making business. He met attractive, redhead Susanne when she was working as a barmaid on the outskirts of the county, which leprechauns still call by its ancient name, Contae Thiobraid Árann.
“He came in for a pint, we talked and hit it off immediately,” Susanne recalled.
But when the pair began dating, Gwrtheyrn’s protective mom tried to put a kibosh on the relationship.
“She immediately ran credit and criminal background checks on me,” Susanne said. “She spent hours grilling me about my ‘intentions.’ That woman as much as accused me of being a hussy who only was interested in a man two feet shorter than me because he has this huge ‘crock of gold’ somewhere.”
The marriage ceremony held by a pond in Fairie Wood in May 14, 2013 was like something out of a fairytale.
“We stood barefoot as a white witch tied our wrists together with a silver sash,” Susanne remembered wistfully. “I wore a garland in my hair and a band played traditional leprechaun music with pipes and drums.”
But since then, Susanne says nothing she does ever pleases her demanding mother-in-law. Mrs. Dubhthach insists her daughter-in-law is making a mountain out of a molehill.
“First of all, I think it shows how little Susanne has bothered to learn about our culture that she would suggest all leprechauns use ‘magic,’” she said. “If you have fair skin, red hair and decide to sunbathe in a skimpy swimsuit on the meadow where all the neighbors can see, of course you’re going to turn red.
“I’ve done everything possible to welcome Susanne into our home, despite her background, and one would think she would appreciate that.”
For his part, Gwrtheyrn only wants peace under his roof.
“I just want Susanne and my mother to get along,” he told the reporter.
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth
If you enjoyed this whimsical tale by C. Michael Forsyth, you might enjoy his blackly funny thriller The Identity Thief.