Plummer Cobb is a writer and communications consultant based in Arlington, Texas.

Brewer's Gold

Frank Brewer had a saying that although the universe consists of the four elements of earth, wind, fire, and water, the primary element is beer.

Coincidentally, Frank Brewer himself was mostly made up of beer. Which made sense considering that his surname and his profession were the same.

Running a small neighborhood brewery had long been a dream of his, but a year after opening, he had a problem: he just couldn’t seem to compete.

He made very good beer, of course, and he had a steady crowd, but financially, his brewery was just breaking even.

One day, while brewing a batch of his favorite golden ale, the answer to his problems came in the door.

“Top of the morning to you, sir!” said the little man in the doorway.

“Hello!” said Frank with his usual happy-to-see-you expression. After that, he lost his words because before him was a person who could not have been anything other than a leprechaun.

“My name is...not important,” he said. “But I would like to make you an offer."

Frank began to think he was hallucinating.

“An…offer?"

“Indeed, sir, indeed! I hear you make some very fine ale, and being a fan of good ale m’self, and seeing that you’re a hard worker, yes you are, I would like to help you out. Would you be at all interested in seeing your beers become the most popular beers in town?”

Of course Frank wanted that. He asked what he needed to do.

The little man produced a small vial of liquid. “Drink one drop of this every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to sleep.”

Frank followed the little man’s advice.

The next day, Frank felt incredible. He was optimistic and energetic, and his brewing operations seemed to go more smoothly than ever before.

A month later, when his latest batches of beer were ready, he served them to the public, and word spread quickly that his beers the best around. He even noticed that he was having trouble getting his beers brewed. It was more tiring than he remembered.

The Leprechaun appeared again. This time he seemed to be a bit prouder, standing taller and straighter.

“Happy with the results, I take it?"

“Yes indeed!” Frank said.

“Wonderful! I will be back later to claim my compensation for services rendered."

"You'll see."

In the days to come, things went well for Frank. His brewery saw amazing success. He even made enough to hire some additional help. Which turned out to be necessary as he started to have trouble moving things around the brewery. He also found his hair going lighter. Was he turning grey?

Eventually, the leprechaun returned. It was morning and no one had arrived at the brewery yet. At first, Frank didn't recognize him. He stood tall and proud, and his appearance had changed.

"I've come to claim my reward," said the leprechaun.

"And what is that?" asked Frank.

"Your brewery."

"I will never give you my brewery," said Frank.

"You won't have to," said the leprechaun.

At that moment, one of Frank's assistant brewers arrived. He looked at the leprechaun and said "Good morning, Frank. You're looking well today. Haven't seen you looking this healthy in weeks."

Then he looked at Frank and introduced himself.

Frank's jaw dropped. "But I'm Frank," said Frank.

"Yeah?" said the assistant brewer. "What a coincidence. That's my boss's name, too." And he gestured to the leprechaun. That was when Frank realized the leprechaun didn't look much like a leprechaun anymore.

Frank turned and looked in a mirror. Reflected there he saw the image of the leprechaun.

"Nice doing business with you," said the leprechaun, who now looked exactly like Frank, to the Frank who now looked like a leprechaun. "And good luck finding that pot of gold. I've found mine."

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