A leprechaun is a tiny elf or fairy from Irish folklore who is supposed to know the whereabouts of hidden treasure—usually a pot of gold. A leprechaun is typically pictured as an old man wearing a bright red vest, an old-fashioned cocked hat, a leather apron, and heavy leather shoes with silver buckles.
According to most legends, a person who catches a leprechaun and threatens him may be able to convince him to reveal the location of the treasure. However, finding a leprechaun is not easy. The best way is to sneak up while he is mending his shoes, the only time he sits still for very long. After catching a leprechaun, a person must stay alert because leprechauns are very clever and can easily outsmart humans.
Leprechauns are great mischief makers who often play pranks on people, such as riding their sheep or dogs during the night or causing small accidents around the house. Occasionally they "adopt" a family and faithfully follow the members during their travels. However, if not treated well, a leprechaun will abandon the family after causing trouble. Some stories claim that leprechauns are the offspring of evil spirits and bad fairies. However, one legend says that the leprechaun is actually the Irish god Lug. After the Irish people forgot the old gods, Lug became a fairy cobbler named Lugh Chromain, which means "little stooping Lug."