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The Story of the Pooka

In Rooster we learn the story of the butterfly pooka as Tom and Janice watch Rooster's race from the top of their camper.

Jan was holding Sparky on her lap, when suddenly the blue butterfly lit before them on the edge of the roof. “Do you see it, Tom,” she whispered, “Do you see the blue butterfly?” “I do see it,” he answered softly, “a blue butterfly, surely enough it’s a pooka. I’ve not seen one since I was a child in Ireland.” “Did you know, Janice,” he continued with a timber of reminiscence in his voice, “that long ago, Ireland had great forests of spruce, fir, and yew. There was blackthorn and oak, hawthorn, alder and downy birch, all with an understory of buckthorn and goat willow, and shrubs of silver queen with bright red berries in the winter, and red cascade with orange berries in autumn…forests not unlike those that rim this here course. In these forests dwelt leprechauns and woodland sprites or pookas that were animal spirits incarnate. “Then, the forests were hewed and timbered for the ships of England’s navy …there are no more forests in Ireland today, you know…and the leprechauns and sprites had nowhere to live. The leprechauns simply made themselves invisible. They still live among the Irish today, once in a while actually delivering a promised pot of gold as ransom to the child that catches one while dreaming. But the sprites did not have the power of invisibility, or any pots of gold to pay their ransom. In order to conceal themselves from those who might capture and cage them, the sprites changed their form, becoming blue butterflies.”

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