Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Saint Patrick did not, in fact, drive out all of the snakes in Ireland. The Shileadi still remain, albeit hard to detect. Their distorted form resembles the well-known walking stick known as the "shillelagh". Many people have mistakenly reached for one of the Shileadi, thinking it to be a common tree branch, only to have it escape into the underbrush. Attributing the unusual sighting of a crawling Shileadi to the magic of leprechauns, the snakes are largely unmolested and thrive in the hill country. They are non-poisonous, and keep many farms free of rodents. When rats are not available, they will eat a leprechaun or two.