You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I must tell someone… and before I forget, too. My mind isn’t quite what it used to be… memories aren’t safe there anymore. Too many years of wandering and second guessing myself have taken a toll upon me. So listen, and tame your disbelief when it first rears its ugly head. What I say here is truth.

It was a damp spring day and I was on my north-facing porch admiring the fog between the trees. Amidst the familiar sounds of nature, I heard a kind of muffled chuckle. It startled me enough to grab the spotlight and grant the direction of the auditory intrusion a closer look.

I only had to step a few yards into the wood to see what was so unnatural for the forest: a group of little green men, a golden horse, and the end of a rainbow. It was as colorful as it was unusual, and it must have been the gasp that gave me away. Forthwith, I was spotted by the little green men and immobilized by their expressions of astonishment directed towards me.

I began to wonder if I had not disturbed some ritual or intruded upon some important holiday… for their disgust was as clear as their surprise. As a matter of fact, I began to feel a little ashamed of myself and turned around so that I could get back inside my cabin.

My first step in that direction, however, set off a terrible cacophony amongst the green men. I was disturbed… not quite sure what to do. So I stood, looking back and forth between my familiar cabin and the strange congregation of little green men. I stood for quite some time.

Eventually, apparently aggravated with my incompetence on how to handle the situation, two of the men walked up to me, took me by the hand rather forcefully, and shuffled me over to the golden horse. I stood there, rather perplexed on the significance of the gesture… and curious, too, about the horse before me.

I reached out to feel it, but was halted by gasps from the strange men. I was at a loss for how to act, or what to do. I wondered why I was brought before the horse if not to touch it. A green man walked in front of me, emitted some vocal gibberish, and then grabbed a stick.

He took the stick to the horse. As quickly and with as much force as he could seemingly muster, he swung right at the horse’s belly, releasing the stick just before it hit. The horse hardly flinched, and the stick fell to the ground, but it was different now… the man picked it up and handed it to me.

I immediately noticed what a terrible mistake I had almost made moments ago. The stick was no longer organic… it had been transformed into a golden rod! I was delighted, sick, relieved, and terrified all at the same time.

How was this possible? What should I do with the situation that was before me? The little green men, as though they could read my mind, pointed to the rainbow, then to each other, and lastly to the golden horse.

My interpretation of their charade came from child-hood stories of gold and leprechauns. I was filled with a nostalgic awe, and thought it quite ironic that I had never believed in leprechauns my entire life. Now, here they had practically sought me out to certify all the lore I once dismissed.

I threw a pebble at the horse, and watched a golden nugget fall amongst the trees. It was perfectly intoxicating, and I began to feel utterly avaricious. I hurled more stones, sticks, leaves, and flowers upon the horse… until, in a moment of apparent insanity I tossed a little green man at the golden beast. He was a horrific statue of gold in an instant.

The others moaned, cried, and screamed with rage and fear… they all fled to the woods. For the first time, the horse began to move… he trotted slowly, and the rainbow moved after him as though bound by some invisible chain.

Frantically, I tried to calm the horse, but it began to pick up speed. I pursued it steadfastly for about a quarter of a mile, when I was struck on the back of the head… and the world went dark.

When I came to it was almost dusk, and I was terribly sore. I peered into the murky sky for any sign of the rainbow that might reveal the whereabouts of my lost opportunity. There was no such band of light.

I ran back to the place where I had transformed pieces of the world into a fortune, but all was lost. Nothing sparkled there, but for a tiny golden nugget. I was certain that the damn green men had stolen my gold as retribution for my greed-fueled act against them.

I sobbed like a child. I was embarrassed because of my stupidity and my poverty. Before the sun set, I packed my bags and set about finding the potential for unlimited gold at the end of a rainbow.