The Field of Boliauns
The tails on this podcast are dark sometimes. Scary and full of adult themes as a warning the original story of the field of billions features violence and alcohol consumption. Please exercise caution for children. Under thirteen tommy fitzpatrick trudge through muddy bog in southern ireland. The ancient swamp reeked of decay. But tommy barely noticed. He was focused on one thing. The treasure at the end of this path. He stood close behind his guide. George and ordinary little fellow in fact. Tommy held onto georgia's neck for safety but that didn't sit well with george you've got mighty strong grip for a layabout. He groused tommy scowled. He was tired of georgia's insults. He had tried to ignore them all day this time though he don't georgia's head into the brackish water and held it there after a moment. Tommy yanked georgia's head up. Are you done sussing me. He yelled instead of answering. George spit a mouthful of rancid bog. Water into tommy's is tommy screamed. He tried to wipe it away but he couldn't see in the malay. George wriggled free of tommy's grip. He took off as fast as he could across the bog. When tommy's vision cleared he sprinted after george lucky for him his longer. Strides enabled him to catch up quickly. He tackled the little man growling. Try that again. And i'll kill you. George squirmed in defiance until tommy lifted him out of the water georgia's legs flailed in the air but they couldn't make contact with his assailant. Finally george stopped flailing and nodded obediently. Tommy placed him back on the ground. Without further ado. They returned to walking. There was still a long way to go before they reached their destination george's secret stash of gold. Tommy was too distracted by the thought of those stacks of coins to see. The glimmer of malice in georgia's is little. Did he know he was walking. Right into a trap. I'm vanessa richardson. You're listening to tales of spotify original from podcast. Every wednesday we dive into the dark origins of another fairy tale. You can find all episodes of tales and all other spotify originals from podcast for free on spotify. or wherever. You listen to podcasts. Today were taking a walk through the field of billions an irish folk tale about a young farmer. Who finds a leprechaun coming up. Tommy fitzpatrick dreams of escaping life on the farm. This episode is brought to you by fan duel sportsbook. Don't just watch college basketball. Get in the action and shoot your shot with the fan. Duel sportsbook app. There's more ways to play the bracket all tournament. Long new users. Get your i bet. Risk free up to one thousand dollars sign up with code upsets on the fan duel sportsbook app and make your first deposit today. Twenty one plus in present in virginia. I online real money wager. Only for one thousand dollar risk-free bet refund issued us non-withdrawal site credit that expires. In fourteen days restrictions apply. See full terms that sportsbook dot fangio dot com gambling problem. Call one eight hundred gambler before you tune into the next episode. Let mitsubishi motors. Take the wheel for sack redesign. Twenty twenty two mitsubishi eclipse cross is changing everything you think. You know about compact suv's upgraded connectivity with mitsubishi. Connect and head up display sophisticated. Coop like design reliable super only control for smooth confident driving. It's the sleek modern and safe choice designed with humans. I the redesigned twenty twenty. Two mitsubishi eclipse cross. Drive your ambition. Where more at mitsubishi cars dot com. This episode is brought to you by casper. You deserve a fresh start this year. Reset your rest would supremely comfortable mattresses bedding and more from casper. Make twenty twenty one comfortable at casper. Dot com legends. About leprechauns have circulated for over a thousand years beginning around the eighth century in these original tales. Leprechaun's were little people who lived in the sea but over the centuries they evolved from cease bright's to terrestrial creatures and along the way irish storytellers gave them a profession. The little bearded men became shoe. Cobblers that's how they earned their vast sums of gold. In the early days of leprechauns the creatures existed only by word of mouth their tails were told at bed times in pubs and at holiday gatherings one of the first written mentions of leprechauns wasn't until the fourteenth century when they appeared in the story about the king of ulster but it would take another four hundred years for leprechaun's to get a starring role that came in the early eighteen. Hundreds a young irishman named thomas crofton croker decided to compile the folktales that he had heard growing up in eighteen twenty five he published fairy legends and traditions of the south of ireland and at the heart of the collection was a leprechaun tale the field of billions the story featured a young irishman and a leprechaun on a quest to find a pot of gold but croakers saga didn't portray any ordinary leprechaun it featured a special type a cleric on these mythical creatures were distinctly different from the affable green suited. Leprechaun's that most audiences know today. In contrast cleric cons generally wore bright red suits and hats but their differences went far beyond sartorial choices. These little men were trickier and more malicious. They were known to haunt people's homes and cause mischief in villages. Some stories claimed they were violent. Tommy fitzpatrick woke to pounding on his bedroom door. His head throbbed at the sound. He was groggy hungover from the night before wake up. You're no good drunk. He heard outside. The pigs aren't gonna feed themselves. That was tommy's father big tom. Even though tommy was twenty nine years old. He's still lived at home. Tommy yank the covers over his head. He curled himself into a protective ball. He wanted to hide from the world. Today was the day he was supposed to get married but his fiancee shannon mckenna called off a month ago. She was tired of tommy's empty promises about buying their own place and settling down worst of all she had already replaced him with liam murphy who owned a farm down the road. Tommy wanted a place of his own too but there was always something holding him back big. Tom never paid him enough. There weren't any decent plots of land in the county and even if tommy could have afforded a farm. He really didn't want to do the work anyway. he'd rather lounge around and drink so this morning. The last thing he wanted to hear was his father banging on the door. It's almost known for god's sake big tom years again. Time to get your royal laziness of bed after a minute. Tommy dressed and headed out to the kitchen. Look who finally crawled out of the bottle. His father jibed dear. Thank you do some work today. Your highness or is your schedule too. Busy with drinking and sulking. Tommy scowled at his father. Today's a holiday. He pointed out. Nobody's working. I've been up since dawn. Big tom shot back and i saw liam murphy harvesting turnips earlier now. That young man has a work ethic the mention of liam murphy almost made tommy vomit. Don't you dare say that man's name tommy cried. He's not good enough for shannon. Someday i'll make my fortune by a place of my own and then you have anyone to push around big. Tom shook his head fortune. he scoffed. Everyone dreams a fortune but nobody wants to put in the work. If you ever get rich you could hire someone to do your work until then you need to let the cows out to pasture muck out. The barn spread out some new. Hey tommy tuned out his father. He exited the kitchen and strolled out the front door. At first he considered heading into town. There was a holiday. There would be plenty of drinking and dancing but he saw big. Tom watching from the kitchen window. So tommy waved contemptuously and headed across the yard to the barn as tommy trudged. He looked at the vista in front of him. As far as the eye could see there. Were rolling green hills. The sun made them glisten. Like a blanket of emeralds but the beauty was lost on tommy to him. It didn't represent paradise. It was a prison. The fields weren't picturesque. They were acres for him to and harvest. Tommy kicked open the barn door. He let the cows wander out into the field. He was supposed to clean the stalls but he was already tired of work. His hangover was beginning to kick in. He desperately wanted a nap. Maybe if he could close his eyes for an hour he'd get some energy to finish working. Tommy peaked back toward the house. His father was nowhere in sight. This was his chance. He slipped out the rear of the barn down the hill and to the nearby river. He followed the stream. He knew there was an abandoned mill. A short distance away where he could sleep undisturbed halfway to the mill. Tommy hilfiger missiles from the other side of the hedgerow. It sounded like the call of a small bird that first he thought it might be a stone chat but they didn't usually hang around this late in the summer. there was again a little louder and clearer. It wasn't a bird at all this time. It sounded like a person whistling a tune. tommy smirked. he realized it was coming from the edge of liam. Murphy's property that no good home wrecker. Tommy muttered to himself. He picked up a rock and tiptoed closer to the hedge. Let's see how shannon loves him. What he's missing some teat tommy growled. He climbed the hedge and cocked his arm. Ready to throw the rock. But his tommy's is cleared the hedge he didn't see liam murphy at all instead he saw a diminutive man no bigger than three feet tall. Prompt under a willow tree. The man was dressed head to toe in a formal red suit. He had a matching talk pat and a heavy leather apron and he was drinking from a stoneware jug leprechaun. Tommy thought but when the tiny man caught sight of tommy. He didn't run like the legend said. He shrugged and took another swig of his drink. He looked directly at tommy with a menacing gays. He flashed a mouthful of crooked yellow fangs. This wasn't any ordinary leprechaun. Tommy realized goping back. a yelp. eat was a cleric. Han tommy knew about cleric cons. Were dangerous kind of fairy one. That was coming mercurial and even violent coming up tommy battles a mythical creature with a treasure of gold. Hi listeners. it's vanessa from podcast. 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Call one eight hundred gambler now back to the story. Tommy was in shock. He was standing just a few feet from cleric on. He had heard tales of this special type of leprechaun terrifying tales for a moment. Tommy wondered if he was imagining it. Perhaps he was hallucinating. How much did he drink last night. He pinched himself almost tumbling from the hedge in the process. But the mythical creature was still there in fact. The little man winked and said why. Tommy fitzpatrick didn't your father teach you. It's impolite to stare a to ran down tommy's spine. How do you do my name. He stuttered i know all kinds of things the little man replied including the fact that your sneaking away from the farm again which is probably why that pretty fiance of yours left. You tommy gasped. He knew that cleric cons were hateful ferries but he didn't realize the creature might be more malicious than his father. It may tell me head ache even more. All he really wanted to do was take a nap. He considered continuing on his way to the mill to sleep for a while before he jumped back down the hedge. Though something caught. Tommy's i the shiny buttons on the little man's red jacket. They twinkled in the midday sun. A singular thought entered. Tommy's head gold tommy's mind. Suddenly raced cleric cons. Have gold if i can get his treasure. Have enough money to buy a house of farm a whole ranch alwin shannon back. I'll put liam murphy's farm to shame. I'll even shut big tom for good. This leprechaun is the answer to all my prayers. Unfortunately however this brilliant idea hinged on one important factor catching the little man in red. Tommy had heard all the rules. He couldn't take his eyes off him. Clear cons disappear the moment you look away. And they were eerily clever at tricking people into averted their gaze. So tommy clambered over the hedgerow with his eyes glued on the little man as tommy drop to the ground. He smiled at the clara con. I seem to be at a loss. He said trying to sound calm. You know my name. But i don't know yours. The cleric conn took another long sip from his jug. Call me george. He said nice to meet you. George tommy replied. George grinned knowingly at tommy. I don't want to alarm you. He said but your cows have gotten out there ruining your crops. Tommy suddenly remembered the farm. He hadn't put the cows into the proper pasture dig. Tom was going to be livid. He was probably yelling for him right now. Tommy glanced over his shoulder to the farm. When he realized you're trying to trick me. Tommy yelled george shrugged. I'm just concerned citizen trying to save you from a disaster. Tommy skuld this clara. Khan was even craftier that he thought he needed to get close to him before he could snatch him so he decided to make idle conversation. He i georgia's stoneware flask. That's a mighty big jug got there. He said what do you have in georgia's is lit up. He replied the best ale in all of ireland. Tommy had spent a significant part of his twenty nine years drinking ale. He was well versed in the intricacies of brewing. He asked the little man what was in it. He's the clara khan said. Simply tommy howled with laughter. He had heard of making ale from wheat. Corn even honey but never from heath which was just ordinary grassland. George looked offended at tommy's guffaws. It's a secret family recipe he snarled. We learned it from the people of denmark many years ago tommy shook his head in disbelief. Good irish jail from denmark. George shrugged well. If you don't believe me have a we draft yourself as tommy edged. Closer to the cleric on he caught a whiff of the sweet smell of alcohol his mouth watered. His head was still pounding from his hangover. He knew one sip would put him at ease. In all my days tommy remarked. I've never heard of someone making ale. From heath maybe. I will try a little just a nip though. George grinned of course young man. Lean on down here. I was much as you want. Tommy drop down to his knees. He was now at eye level with the ferry. He wrapped his hands around the stoneware jug and lifted it to his lips. It smelled like a field of clover in summer. With subtle hints of pine and chicory. It warmed tommy's soul. He was about to close his eyes and take a nice long drink when he noticed. George tiptoeing toward the hedge. Hey tommy yelled. He dropped the jug and shattered on the ground. The ale splashed everywhere soaking his legs but he dove forward and just caught george by his red jacket. Thought you could trick me tommy cried. Well you've met your match little man. George held up his arms in surrender. You got me. He muttered fair and square. So now what tommy grinned. You know what. I want your gold. He switched his grip from the cleric cons. Johnston it to neck. George winston he replied. I'll lead you to it as long as you don't snap my spine. Tommy breathed a sigh of relief. Now all he had to do was follow the click on the gold and he would be a rich man. His whole life was about to change. Let's get moving tommy crowed. george nodded. He straightened the wrinkles in his suit and pointed upstream. It's quite a track. I hope a layabout like you won't mind a spot of walking. Tommy wiped the sweat from his brow. Don't you worry about me. he spat. Let's get a move on the mismatched. Pair headed off along the riverbank. They crossed several farm paddocks at each new farm. They had to climb over hedgerows an old stone walls at first tommy was invigorated by the track. They were on the way to get his gold but soon he grew tired. Sweat poured from his brow. Wet spots formed on his shirt before long. Tommy was gasping air between his hangover and the noonday sun. He was ready to collapse. George watched him with the twinkle in his little is then. He announced that he had the perfect shortcut for them and lead tommy straight into a bog in the thick bog. Each step was a struggle their feet sunk into the ground and they had to yank them out with an audible pop. It was slow and agonizing and tommy was getting more frustrated by the minute. That's when he lost it on jorge and dumped the cleric cons head in the water. George spit the brackish. Slop into tommy's i and took off. When tommy caught up with him. He swore to kill him gold or not. It happened again. And george apparently chastised suggested that they take a break he had stashed another jug. Avail on the other side of the bog. They could sit and drink. That after. More slogging tommy and george finally made it. They settled down against a low stone wall. George removed one of the rocks and unveiled a tankard of ale. Tommy george passed the container back and forth. Tommy began to breathe a little easier. More than ever he wanted to closes is a nap george. I'd him warily. Why don't you just sleep a little bit. He suggested tommy yawned a little. I would feel nice. He said are nap. What do you. Well george continued. You're probably still smarting over not getting married today. But that backfired on george tommy snapped he threw the tankard against the wall and grabbed the cleric. Han hi take it from a lot of people. He said my father shannon towns people. But i'm not gonna take it from you. George shook his eyes popped wide. He was suddenly out of zingers. But tommy didn't let up. He squeezed the leprechauns neck tighter. George couldn't breathe. He managed to gurgle lor. Never get the gold. If you kill me tommy released george. The fairy gasped and fell to the ground in a heap. Tommy looked him in the eye the next time. You sass me. He said i will kill you. George dusted himself off. He was still shaken and his eyes glittered angrily but he changed the subject. We still have a long way to go. We should get moving after another long hike. Tommy started defaulter again. How much further. He pleaded george nodded to the hill in front of them edged. Just over that hill. Tommy's hard lapped. He could almost feel the golden his hands when they crested the hill. Tommy expected to find a field strewn with gold coins and stacks of heavy bars. But tommy couldn't believe his is stretched out in front of him wasn't a treasure but acres and acres of weeds. The ground was covered in knee. High bowlen's a local ragweed with tiny yellow flowers. Tommy's heart sank. It had to be the least picturesque plot of land in all the emerald isle. george smirked. Well tommy i present you with your goal. Tommy glared at the ferry. He had warned him about treachery now. He was going to kill him. Coming up tommy's greed jeopardizes his treasure tuning into this podcast. Chances are you'll let curiosity drive your life. Introducing the redesign twenty twenty. Two mitsubishi eclipse cross. For all of you. Who want to go wherever your ambitions take you. This changes everything. 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It shows you prices reviews and when they're available in a few taps you can find a great plumber cleaner painter pretty much anyone so fix that broken sake get that accent handle your home projects the same way you do everything else with an app. Download them tack today now. Back to the story tommy. Fitzpatrick looked out over forty acres of irish countryside. There wasn't a pot of gold insight instead as far as the eye could see there. Were bullying the knee. High ragweed seemed to sprout everywhere. Tommy's voice shook with rage his this some sort of joke before george could respond. Tommy snatched him off the ground with one hand. He hosted him high into the air. Tommy shouted i bursted you fair and square. I want the gold. Not a field of boleyn's. Tommy punched george in the eye. He rung his neck then. He slammed into the ground and began beating him. George tried to shield himself with his hands. Stop he cried. I didn't lie to you. the gold is here. it's here just don't hit me again. Tommy lowered his fist. How do i know you're telling the truth. He asked georgia's cheek was red and bleeding. One of his eyes was starting to swell. I can show whimpered. I know she ate much to look at. But if a rainbow lead the way then everybody would find it now. Wouldn't they george gesture the acres of yellow blossoms field of gold to hide me gourd. He chuckled. Tommy didn't laugh. The cleric con touched his cheek gingerly. That's gonna leave a scar he muttered. I'm sorry tommy said suddenly rueful. I shouldn't have hit you like that. I'm just desperate. This is my only chance. George shook his head in exasperation. A chance to steal someone else's hard earned gold he quipped instead of earning at yourself. But that's beside the point a deal's a deal. Tommy nodded george. Lead them into the middle of the bowlen's they won't through hundreds of the rough little weeds. Finally george arrived at one unspectacular specimen this is it he announced. Tommy shook his head in disbelief. The gold is buried here he asked george nodded soberly at him. Tears welled in tommy's is a grin spread across his face. He danced around the bowlen's he'd never been so happy in all his life. George cleared his throat. Well tommy he said. I fulfilled my promise. I brought you to my gold now. I'll leave you to it. Tommy waved him away absent mindedly. He was too busy imagining what he was going to do with all the coins he started digging with his hands. It was rough dry earth with each handful. He only scraped a little away under a few layers. He still didn't see any gold. Tommy turned to george who was strolling away. How far down is it. He asked george told him that it was buried almost five feet down. He didn't want the gold accidentally washing away after a heavy rain. It's too bad you don't have a shovel. George added tommy curse to himself. He didn't think to bring a shovel. He looked around for any kind of tool of flat. Rock or a sturdy log but there was nothing but bow liens. He clotted the ear. The bit more but an unpleasant thought was dawning. He would have to return home and fetch a shovel. But tommy looked around the field. Every boullion look exactly alike. If he left he would never find his way back to this one. He'd have to search for days and weeks and he might never find it again. He collapsed onto the ground scowling his customary scowl but sitting there staring at his feet. Tommy was struck with inspiration. He untied his boot and yanked off his red stocking. He tied the sock around the boullion. He grinned at it now. When he returned he would be able to find it immediately as he turned to leave. He noticed george lurking amongst the weeds smirking at him. Georgia's going to untie it. When i leave. Tommy yelled george removed his hat and held it over his heart by my honor as an irishman. Talking said i vow not to touch your red stocking tommy side and relief. He had finally beaten the cleric on into submission godspeed. George he said may good luck. Find you wherever you go. George smiled back. Goodbye d you tommy. I wish you much luck with all the gold. You find for the first time since coming across. George tommy took his eyes off him without worrying he disappear. It was a relief. He was tired of that bright red suit but as he glanced up at the sky his relief turned to agitation. The son was getting low on the horizon. If he wanted to dig up the gold before nightfall he'd have to hurry. Tommy started running. Across the field of boleyn's he climbed the hill and then back down into the bog. He trudged through the noxious mud on the other side. He traced the river back along. Farm paddocks and meadows the whole way. His legs ached. his lungs. burned tommy hustled. Faster than he had ever moved in his whole life after a while. Tommy finally saw his father's barn come into view he was almost home. He cut across one of their pastures dodging cows and cow patties at the barn. He threw open the door and raced inside. Immediately tommy ran to their bulkhead of tools. He threw aside rakes pitchforks and axes until he located a sturdy shovel. There it is. He yelled to himself at the same moment. He heard a voice behind him there. Reduce indeed it was big tom. There's the laziest most worthless farmer in all of ireland. Tom spat just where the blazes have. You been all day tommy paused. He knew big. Tom was going to lay into an even worse than before but big. Tom looked at his son. Tommy was covered in dirt and mud. He was sweating. His eyes were clear and sober big. Tom realized that maybe his son had been working after all. A genuine smile spread across his face. I underestimated you. Big tom stammered. Get back to whatever you're working on you'll show that liam murphy who's boss after all. Tommy was stunned by his father's reaction. He had never seen big. Tom so appreciative before. But tommy didn't have time to process what had happened. He had to get back to the field of billions. It was getting dark. Tommy sprinted across the field down to the river through the farm paddocks and meadows. He struggled again through the bog this time. His legs felt heavier than before with each step in the mud. He felt like he might be stuck forever but he made it through and finally tommy arrived at the hill. He was so tired. He used a shovel as a crutch to limp to the top but he was excited he was almost back to the field of boll liens. He congratulated himself for the ingenious idea of marking the. We'd with a red sock. Now it would be easy. Worked dig up the gold. But when tommy crested the hill and looked into the valley he collapsed. Tommy wailed at the top of his lungs. His red stocking was still there just as george had promised but now there were identical red stockings. On every boolean there must have been a million red stockings flapping in the wind. It would be impossible for him to find the correct one. George had duped. Tommy once for all to you george. Tommy muttered under his breath but then his defiance gave out. He hung his head in shame. His dreams of gold and riches were dashed. He couldn't buy a farm and rub it in liam murphy's face he couldn't win back his fiancee shannon and big. Tom would never let him live it down. He would nag more than ever. Tommy dejected grabbed his shovel and headed for home. This time. though tommy wasn't in a rush he strolled through the bog and farm pastures. He watched the sunset over the green hills. He actually took time to enjoy the landscape when he arrived home. Tommy was surprised to find that his father had prepared dinner. He even poured tommy a beer to a hard day's work big. Tom said tom he didn't have the heart to tell his father what had happened. With the cleric on to a hard day's work he echoed. But as the words cross tommy's lips. He started to smile. Though the day had been a bust and he didn't have a pot of gold he had worked hard all day and for the first time in years he felt tired and happy tonight. He would sleep soundly and he would wake up the next day. Ready to start all over again. In the eighteen hundreds the field of billions thrust leprechaun's into the spotlight it helped launch the little bearded men into the realm of pop culture phenomena. Over the next two hundred years they headlined more stories. Major motion pictures even became the face of a breakfast cereal but has leprechaun's made the transition to big time. Pop culture much of their original symbolism was lost because in ireland tales like the field of billions weren't just playful adventure stories. They also spoke to a long dark chapter in the national history. In sixteen forty nine ireland was invaded by the british in the century that followed the country was essentially ransacked irish farms were confiscated and became the property of british landowners and then things got even worse in eighteen. Forty five famine struck ireland. Killing almost one million people for irish farmers like tommy fitzpatrick. It was a hopeless time. Many gave up or resorted to drinking. It seemed that only a miracle would let them escape. Their hardscrabble lives a miracle like a pot of gold. The field of bullying is presented a counterpoint. About that pot of gold. Leprechauns gold was a fool's errand. It argued only hard. Work and determination would carry the irish through still in the meantime a cheeky leprechaun story can always provide a bit of laughter to lighten up the dark times. Thanks for listening to tales. For more information on leprechaun's we found deer motto gallons essay the leprechaun and ferries dwarfs and the household familiar a comparative study to be extremely helpful to our research. We'll be back next wednesday with a new episode. You can find more episodes of tales. And all other spotify originals. From podcast for free on spotify. Join me next week. For another dark and surprising. Fairy tale tales is a spotify original. From podcast executive producers include maxon ron cutler sound designed by kerry murphy with production assistance by ron shapiro carly madden and erin larson. This episode of tales was written by jesse harris with writing assistance by nora botanical fact checking by adriana romero and research by mickey taylor. I'm vanessa richardson.