Of the Baker City Herald

Leprechauns are tricky little imps according to Irish folklore. If you catch one he can grant a wish or reveal his secret treasure to you.

Unfortunately, they are hard to catch without a leprechaun trap. At least thats what the students of Keating School have learned this week before Sundays St. Patricks Day.

Its an opportunity for them to use their imaginations, said Stacy Gambleton, the Keating teacher. She said the 13 students at the school have come up with some very innovative ideas in their traps. All the traps take advantage of the leprechauns reputation for being greedy. They are always looking for more gold to add to their hoards.

Of course, theres not too much free gold lying around loose in Keating Valley, so the students have used gold and silver glitter.

Its very unstructured play, said teaching assistant Debbie Radle. We just let them go. Well be sweeping glitter up for weeks.

Savanna Phillips, 9, built a very large trap and baited it with lots of glitter.

The leprechaun, she said, climbs up here (on the roof) to get the gold and he falls through the hole. Its like a trapdoor. Then Im going to dig out the glitter. There is a chair inside for the leprechaun to sit on while he is waiting for Sarah to release him, and gold to distract him.

Sarah Tognoli, 7, also included a little bed for the Irish elf to use because he falls in theres a pot of gold inside, but if he gets trapped Sunday he doesnt have anything to do. At least he will get some rest.

Coleman Lay, 8, built a simpler trap, just an open box with a sheet of red cellophane over it. Theres a little pile of glitter in the middle.

He walks over it and he falls in, explained Coleman. Another boy, Chas Lowery, 7, included a ladder made of drinking straws that the elf can climb, then he falls through a trapdoor in the top.

All of the children agree that leprechauns can be tricky. Last year, the students said, they came and left footprints all over the school, turned some things upside down, left messages all over and played a few tricks on them. They also left some chocolate candy behind so the children are hopeful for more of the same this year.

Tylee McCauley, 8, built a trap too, with sticky tape on it that will trap the leprechauns shoes, but Tylee doesnt want to make the leprechaun give her anything.

I dont want a wish, she said, I just want to ask him if he can disappear. Then Ill let him go.