The Drinking Fairy’s Diet

Leprechauns are omnipresent at this time of year, despite the fact that they don’t really have anything to do with St. Patrick per se. I think it’s mostly just that they’re of Irish origin and look good on decorations and greeting cards. Really, since the conversion of Ireland to Christianity resulted in the fairy folk being demoted from minor deities to breakfast cereal mascots, they might not be too fond of the old saint. It’s enough to drive a fairy to drink. And that brings us to today’s mythological topic, the Clurichaun.

Also known as Clobhairs and often referred to as “His Nibs,” these beings are either a sort of leprechaun or a close relative. They’re notorious drunks, and while leprechauns are also often said to drink heavily, they also have day jobs, usually being employed as cobblers. Clurichauns, by most accounts, are basically layabouts. They live in beer and wine cellars, and will guard them and the homes they’re in, as they provide homes and libations for the fairies.

Clurichauns are generally said to be cranky and irritable, but they can apparently be friendly when treated well. If you offend them, though, all bets are off. They’ll even make your entire liquor supply go bad, despite the fact that this is hurting them as well. One story has a clurichaun beating up the cook when she feeds him an unsatisfactory dinner. If you try to move to get away from an angry clurichaun, he will follow you. There are worse sorts of fairies you could have living in your basement, to be sure, but it pays not to provoke these mean drunks. If you’re wondering what they look like, they’re said to dress mostly in gold-laced red caps made from plants, knee-high blue stockings, and shoes with silver buckles. They’re also famous for taking drunken joyrides on dogs and sheep.

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