Multiple legends surround the mythical Irish fairies known as "leprechauns," such as the beliefs that they guard hidden stores of gold and that they grant three wishes to anyone capable of capturing one. Leprechauns are often described as small, sprightly creatures known for their proficiency at making shoes and their crafty nature.
The origin of the word "leprechaun" is not entirely known, but some researchers claim that the word is derived from the eighth-century Irish term "luchorpan," which referred to small water spirits. Others believe that the word comes from the term "leath bhrogan," which means shoemaker. Despite the fact that leprechauns are often depicted as wearing green garments, many of the original legends described them as wearing primarily red colors.
Although leprechauns are often described as very tricky and difficult to catch, many of the stories detail great rewards for those who manage to capture one. One legend states that when the Danes invaded Ireland they left gold scattered across the country, and the leprechauns salvaged this loose treasure and hid it away for themselves. Another legend claims that a leprechaun is obligated to grant anyone who captures him three wishes, but the difficulty of this task should not be underestimated, as many of the legends end with the leprechaun outsmarting his pursuers and escaping.