When deciding how to catch a leprechaun one must first understand how leprechauns function. Remember that these are very intelligent and wily characters that have a lot more experience with the whole pot of gold thing than most humans do. If you are lucky enough to find a leprechaun and not be noticed don’t assume that catching one will be as easy as running after it and grabbing a hold. While small in stature, and therefore having short legs, these mythical creatures are known for being extremely agile, making them very difficult to catch even for a very fast human. In addition they also know the fairy mounds much better than anyone else, so a quick escape is the most likely way of avoiding capture. However, there are traps that can be made in order to stack the odds higher in your favor.
If you are hell bent on finding a leprechauns pot of gold chances are you will need to catch a leprechaun live and convince it to give you its gold. Making a leprechaun trap is hands down the easiest way to do this, but since leprechauns are highly intelligent this will be a difficult task. To start with, you will need a lot of threaded silver. Yes, once again we find that silver has the greatest ability to capture mythical creatures and the leprechaun is no exception. Not only is it a strong metal (a leprechaun will be unable to cut through it), but silver has a magical property to it whenever it is introduced to any legendary creature. Leprechauns are extremely interested in gold and part of the reason is that they have a natural aversion to silver (as most mythical creatures do), which makes a silver net or cage the most effective tool in making a leprechaun trap. Once this is made, the hard part begins.
Since the pot of gold leads directly to a leprechaun’s lair, it may seem obvious that the best place to set the trap is near the lair itself. The problem with this is the intelligence level of the leprechaun. Imagine if someone tried to set a trap in a forest you had never been in before. Now imagine that same person setting the same trap inside your house. The chances of becoming aware of a trap inside your own house is much higher than in a place you were unfamiliar with. Similarly leprechauns are highly familiar with their home areas and so any traps set there will likely be found and dismantled fairly quickly. No, if you are going to catch a leprechaun you will have to set a trap somewhere it is unfamiliar with, yet somewhere it is likely to go. Since leprechauns love gold, a piece of gold is decent bait for a trap, though shoes that need mending or authentic Irish ale will also lure the wee folk (as they are often called in Irish myth) out to investigate. However you design your trap you will have to make sure you are sneaky enough for the leprechaun not to see it, thus falling into the trap unknowingly.
Once captured, however, the real trick begins. Leprechauns are known for being tricky and nowhere is this more true than when caught. A captured leprechaun will likely make you an offer. It will either offer to give you a single piece of gold from its collection or it will offer to grant you three wishes. Beware! Wishes granted by leprechauns are similar to those granted by the legendary monkey’s paw - even if they come true they will almost always include a catch of some sort. For example, you could wish for the entire pot of gold to come to you only to find your final moment being crushed under the weight of the gold itself. Well, too bad, you didn’t specify that you wanted it next to you and not on top of you. These are the kind of tricks that these wily wee folk will often incur to try to keep from being captured or giving up their hard earned and much beloved gold.
The best advice I can give you is to avoid leprechauns all together. Even if your love of gold rivals that of these green-clad, bearded folk, remember that they’ve been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years, successfully protecting their treasure from any humans who think they are clever enough to outsmart a leprechaun.
If you are still wondering "what is a leprechaun?" then click here to find out. Otherwise, visit our List of Mythical Creatures for more great info about your favorite monsters and otherworldly beings!