A long time ago, before Santa met Rudolph, Frosty and some of the other friends he knows really well today, Santa was out one Christmas Eve night making his normal deliveries of presents to children all over the world. The weather that night was strange. In some areas it was nice and clear and he was able to move in and out with no issues. While in other places the weather was horrible; high winds, snow, and sleet. It was just miserable, but he was used to this and was getting through it just fine.
As he was approaching Ireland, he hit one of those bad storms. He had to slow down the sleigh since the sleet he was flying through was stinging his skin so badly and the poor reindeer were having issues seeing through the precipitation in the sky. As he was crossing over the Isle of Man, he noticed something strange in the sky in front of him right over top of the Cooley Mountains where he was heading. He could see that the winds were shifting in the opposite direction and the clouds, snow, and sleet were starting to swirl. These were definitely the kind of areas he did not want to fly into, but he had to make his deliveries.
Before he knew what was happening, he heard the reindeer let out a loud moan and the sleight just shot straight up in the air and started spinning. He looked back towards the ground and noticed that he lost his entire load. All of the presents were falling towards the ground and were being blown in various different directions. Once he regained control of the reins again, he arched up in the air and circled back around trying to get the sleigh to dive down and come up under the falling gifts. Whenever Santa pulls these kind of dangerous maneuvers, the reindeer just close their eyes and trust Santa’s commands and follow the reins. They don’t even want to watch what is going on.
His special flying maneuver was somewhat successful since he was able to catch about half of the presents, but he could see off in the distance a lot of them just falling down and crashing on the ground. He gained a little more height, and just brought the sleigh into a slow hovering speed so that he could survey the issue at hand and the damage that he had to now deal with while trying to get all of the presents back.
Back then, there were no sophisticated communications back to the North Pole where he could call for help and assistance. There were no reloading satellites that he could just go to and get more presents. He was just left there in the storm by himself with no help but the reindeer to fix the issue. He yelled the command to the reindeer to just stay there and slowly hover. He stood up and opened up the seat of the sleigh. He pulled out his flashlight and started looking through all of the supplies he had on board in order to find his binoculars. Once he found them, he turned off the flashlight and used the binoculars to get a better look at the ground to see if he could locate all the presents and figure something out on how to retrieve them all quickly.
As he looked over towards the North East, he noticed a bunch of figures walking out of the forest carrying lanterns. As he tried to focus in to see what was going on, he noticed that it was a bunch of little men dressed in green, carrying packages. Luckily they could not see him floating up in the sky as the moon was blocked by the dark clouds. He was worried about the sound coming from the sleigh bells, but realized he was too far up for them to hear them. As he took a deep breath, he noticed the little men sitting down their lanterns in a field. They were setting them down side-by-side. After a few moments, he noticed that they were making a landing zone.
Once he realized what they were doing, he decided he would get a closer look. He put his binoculars into his coat, sat down, and grabbed the reins. With a loud cracking sound and a yell, he got the reindeer moving forward again and turned them hard left towards the field. He knew that he didn’t want to land right away, just in case this was some kind of trap, but he wanted to fly over a little closer to see what exactly was going on.
As he flew over the field, a lot of the little men were waving at him while others were holding the presents up in the air to signal to him that they have his lost payload. He sped up again and circled around to come in for a landing.
After he landed the sleigh, he made sure the reindeer ok and were calmed down. He rubbed each one on the head and gave them each a carrot. He looked over as one of the little men started to approach him. Originally he thought that maybe these little men were elves that did not migrate up to the North Pole, but as the little man got closer, he noticed it was a leprechaun.
“Why hello there kind sir,” said the little man, “me name be Lucky. Lucky the Leprechaun. And ye must be Santa, correct?”
“Yes, sir, I am. Nice to meet you,” replied Santa.
“We saw what happened up there. You have some good flying skills there, but you need to watch the whirligigs,” said Lucky.
“Whirligigs?” ask Santa with a shocking reply.
Lucky walked over and started petting Cupid as Cupid appeared very noticeably shaken up from the flight. “It’s okay there girl; you are okay now. It’s all good. Just relax a wee bit there,” said Lucky as he kept petting her.
“They did have quite a fright there for a bit,” said Santa. “Things did get a bit out of control. I appreciate the landing zone, but if you don't mind, I have to find a bunch of missing presents.”
“Oh no, ya don't." Lucky replied quickly. “I think we got them all for you. There were a few that were broken up pretty badly, but my mates are working on them now. They should be along shortly.”
Santa looked back at the sleigh and noticed the other Leprechauns putting the presents back in the sleigh. It takes a lot, but Santa was a little shaken up himself.
“Well I appreciate your help,” said Santa; “All of your help,” as he yelled to the others a little louder.
“Oh, it is no problem at all. We know your mission, and we are honored to help you,” replied Lucky.
“Before you take off, I have someone I want you to meet Santa,” said Lucky as he looked over at an older gentleman who was wearing a crown and was walking toward them. “Your highness,” said Lucky to the older Leprechaun, “this here is Santa. Santa, this here is Sheamus, the king of the Leprechauns.”
Santa looked over at Sheamus and bent down and shook his hand. “So honored to meet you, your highness. You have some very nice people here. On behalf of the children here in Ireland, I thank you very much for all of your help tonight.”
“Oh, Santa," said Shamus in a very weak voice. You could tell that Shamus was very old. “We are proud to be a part of tonight’s mission. We have been following along with you for some time now. You see I have some distant relatives that moved up North there with you, as elves and Leprechauns are distantly related in some fashion.”
Santa looked up and rubbed his chin with the expression that he just learned something new. “I was not aware of that; that is interesting.” and he nodded.
Shamus interrupted him by saying, “You really need to keep your eye on the whirligigs tonight my friend. You don’t want this to happen again.”
“Whirligigs? There is that word again. What is that? What do you mean?” asked Santa.
“It’s the wind patterns. That’s what we Leprechauns call them. We can actually see them pretty well. You see, we are not able to make a rainbow if there are whirligigs around. The magic just doesn’t work right for some reason,” said Shamus, “and a night like tonight. There are whirligigs all over and they are quite dangerous to be flying through.”
When Shamus said that, the reindeer started to act up and moan, as if they were telling Santa that they didn’t want to fly anymore. “It will be alright girls,” said Santa, “You know we have a job to finish tonight.”
“I have an idea,” said Shamus, “Once we get you all loaded up here and ready to go, why don’t you take Lucky there with you; at least as you get through the skies of Ireland. It would be much safer for you as he could point out the whirligigs before you fly into them.”
Santa looked over at Lucky and said, “That would be great. Are you alright with that Lucky?”
“Well of course I am, “ said Lucky. “What a great adventure that will be.”
After all of the presents were accounted for and the reindeer were all rested up, Santa had to say goodbye and get back to his deliveries. Lucky flew with him the rest of that night pointing out the whirligigs as they approached them and Santa was able to guide the sleigh around them. He was able to get all of the deliveries in Ireland done in record time that night and they soon headed back to Lucky’s home and the other Leprechauns.
“So, what do you think Lucky? Do you want to help me again next year?” Santa asked as they flew through the air.
“Again sir, I would be honored to help you. I'll be ready. Just pick me up, “ replied Lucky.
When Santa and Father Time were talking about forming the Assembly of Legendary figures, Santa remembered his little Irish friend. That Christmas Eve when he stopped to pick him up, Santa had a nice conversation with Sheamus and explained the newly formed Assembly. He told Sheamus that he wanted to know that he thought about Lucky being an ambassador for the Leprechauns to the Assembly. Shamus agreed without even thinking about it.
Santa and Lucky have been great friends ever since.