"Two hundred and nine, two hundred and ten, two hundred and eleven..."
Creeping up behind Seville, Mason leaned over her brother's shoulder to ask, "What are you doing?"
"I'm just... Awww... MOUSES! You made me lose count, Mason. One, two, three..."
"Lose count of what? What are those things? They look like gold coins."
"That's 'cause they are gold coins," Seville explained, excitedly. "Darn it. I've lost count again. One, two, three..."
Mason chuckled while turning to leave. "Gold coins. What will he think of next?"
"But they ARE gold coins," declared Seville, standing up on all four paws. He gently bit down on one of the coins and held it out for his sister to see. "Look, my fangs made marks. That means it's real gold, for sure. MOUSES!"
"Let me see that," and Mason grabbed the coin out of Seville's paw. "Oh my mouses, Sivvers. It is real. Where the heck did you find a stash of gold coins? Have you been holding out on us regarding those nip futures or something?"
"Nope," Seville replied smugly. "Come on, guess again. Bet you can't!"
"You haven't... You haven't... You haven't gone into business with the Weasel Syndicate, have you?" Mason asked hesitantly. "I know they're constantly offering get-rich schemes, full of promise and everything, but the weasels are really nasty little varmints, Seville."
"Me doing business with weasels? NEVER. Have a little faith in your brother, Mason. Besides, I learned my lesson 'bout working with them last time. MOUSES!"
"Then where did you...?"
"I found the whole lot of these coins out in the backyard this morning," and Seville grinned from ear to ear, making himself look like the Cheshire Cat. "There there were, sitting in a pot, waiting for me to find them."
"In our backyard?" Mason asked incredulously.
"Yup, right there at the end of the rainbow. If you remember, it was raining this morning and then the sun came out and then there was a rainbow. I was super lucky to discover that its end was right here in our backyard. Very fortuitous, indeed."
"It means," Seville began to explain.
"I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS. Just didn't know you knew what it meant, is all. Besides, I'm not entirely sure that that is how you should describe it. Fortuitous, I mean."
"Mason, I have no idea what you're talking about. All I know for sure is that I need to count up these coins and that once again, I've lost my place. One, two, three..."
"Seville, did you ever wonder how that pot of gold came to be in our backyard?"
"Nope," Seville answered. "I did tell you 'bout the rainbow, right? Mason, it's a well-known fact that pots of gold can be found at the ends of rainbows. Didn't you learn anything in school?"
Mason bit her lip, resisting the urge to smack her brother upside of the head. "Seville, I think that maybe that pot of gold might belong to someone. Pots of gold don't just materialize at the ends of rainbows."
"Actually, they do," explained Seville. "At least I think they do. They must. How else did this particular pot of gold end up at the end of one in our backyard? Mason, do I have to explain everything to you?"
"But," began Mason. "But what if this particular pot of gold did belong to someone?"
"Finders keepers, Mason. It's the law of the jungle, you know. The fact that we don't actually live in a jungle is irrelevant. Fact is, I found the gold and the gold, therefore, is mine. MOUSES!"
"Or perhaps it is his," and Mason pointed to a face peering in through a window.
The two cats stood motionless, staring at the face in the window. The face in the window stared right back at the two cats before gazing down at the pot of gold coins sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor.
"Ummm..." murmured Mason.
"Oh boy," whispered Seville.
"Uh... Um..." Mason stammered.
"That there is a leprechaun," Seville stated in a very low voice.
"A very angry leprechaun, by the looks of it," added Mason.
"An EXTREMELY angry leprechaun who is looking for the marmalade cat who stole his pot of gold," yelled the leprechaun as he opened the back door and marched into the kitchen.
"Excuse me, Mr. Leprechaun sir, but uh... But I'd just like to point out that although I do have a few hints of ginger in my fur, here and there, technically I'm cream. Seville's the marmalade cat around here," and Mason pointed a paw at her brother.
"Way to go, sis," Seville hissed under his breath. "Thanks for having my back."
The leprechaun glared at Seville with beady eyes. "Exactly what do you think you're doing with my pot of gold there, you orange ball of fur."
"I was uh... I was um..." Seville swallowed, hard. "I was... I was merely counting the coins... Making sure they were all still... Ummm... You know, keeping them in safe keeping for you, for your return."
"What happened to finders keepers?" Mason whispered into Seville's ear.
"Finders keepers applies to peeps, other cats and weasels," Seville hissed. "Leprechauns are a whole different kettle of fish."
"Mr Leprechaun," Mason coughed nervously but stood up firmly on all four paws. "It seems to me that we have a bit of a dilemma at paw. Legend has it that if a cat can catch a leprechaun, said leprechaun has to reveal his pot of gold to said cat. Now my brother here might actually be the true owner of this pot of gold. He could make a case that as he found your gold and now we have apparently caught you..."
"He did no such thing!" the leprechaun cried. "He never caught me. I only have to reveal my gold if you catch me..."
And with that, Mason swiped at the leprechaun and caught hold of his jacket with a claw. "Like this?" she asked, holding him up like a cat would hold a rat.
The leprechaun struggled, trying to free himself.
"Not so mean looking now, are you," Mason said and added, "Might I say, you're a very little leprechaun to have such a big pot of gold."
"Let me go! LET ME GO!" and the leprechaun continued to struggle.
"I think you should let him go," Seville told Mason. "Look how red his face is getting. If he was angry before I don't know what he's gonna be..."
"I'll tell you what," and Mason lowered the leprechaun onto the floor, still holding onto him with a claw. I'll exchange your freedom for your pot of gold."
The leprechaun pursed his lips together. "The legend says I do have to take you to my gold in exchange for..."
"But we already have your gold," blurted out Seville. "Got it right here," and he pointed toward the gold.
Narrowing his eyes, the leprechaun said, "But do you have my even bigger pot of gold? The pot of gold that makes this one look like a mere trifling..."
"You have an even bigger pot of gold?" gasped Seville. "Mason, do you have any idea how much nip we could get with an even bigger pot of gold? We could..."
Mason glanced over at Seville, loosening her grasp on the leprechaun for only a moment but a moment was all it took and right before their very eyes, the leprechaun and the pot of gold vanished like magic.
"Awww.... MOUSES!" Seville cried. Sitting back on his haunches he said, "legend also has it that those little green fairies are slippery and sly. Was he too slippery to hold onto, Mason? Is that why you let go?"
"Wrong kind of slippery, Seville," answered his sister. "Never pays to be too greedy, I suppose."
"Nope, never does," Seville stated. The corners of his mouth began to curl up into a smile. "But it does pay to be careless! Looky here. I happened to be sitting on this coin when the little feller and his gold disappeared." Seville bit into it. "Yup, solid gold, for sure. Nip store here I come!"
"I think you mean here we come," Mason grinned. "Come on, we can teleport over in a jiffy and get ourselves a whole gold coin's worth of really good nip."
"We sure can," agreed Seville. "And as luck would have it, we'll get it just in time for St. Patrick's Day, too. MOUSES!"