Potato Hustler

Hope you enjoy this silly (mostly stupid) St. Patrick’s Day Story!

Story by Maureen Smith

Money was nothing in their colony. The dimes and nickles were like toys, and the dollar
bills were just green paper. The only thing of real value were potatoes. The brown, dirt covered spuds were priceless due to the raging famine that consumed the colony. It was survival. People would do anything to acquire these potatoes, but some took it to the next level. This is the tale of one of those people. Henry Bowen, an overgrown leprechaun, had a wife and 3 kids that he cherished his time with. But the time he had left was scarce since their own stomach’s were slowly consuming their body. The thought of growing up was considered simply foolish wishing for his kids.

He was lucky enough to work for a kind farmer who paid him with potatoes, or at least that was the half-truth that he told his family. Now Henry did work for a farmer, but he wasn’t taking care of the farmer’s crops. With good ole’
leprechaun magic, Henry was picking off the farmer’s rivals by turning them into potatoes, and in return he was allowed to take them home for his family to eat. It was the only way to keep his family alive, and even that was barely working. So Henry began to work for other people too, and became known as the Potato Hustler in the shady world of the colony. Soon his family was healthy with full bellies, and his kids were finally able to dream of growing up again.

His family was thankful for the kindness that their fellow colonists showed to them and decided to host a dinner at the farmer’s house. Meanwhile Henry placed a charm on the house of his next victims, but he found that there were a few extra potatoes! Although confused about the unaccounted for guests, he took all the potatoes home in his sack and fantasized about the lovely potato stew he could make with 4 extra potatoes.

However once he returned to an empty house, his confusion soon turned into horror. For on their tiny kitchen table was a piece of paper with crude handwriting, probably written by his youngest daughter. The note read,
“We’re having dinner at Mr. Walter’s house, see you there Daddy!”. The potatoes in his sack consisted of Jack
Walter and his wife, meaning that the four extra ones were his own family.

For the next few weeks Henry did not eat the four potatoes and carried on with business. But the mysterious
disappearances of colonists sparked concern in residents, and some suspected Henry as the cause. So many of the colonists began to move away (or had been turned into potatoes), and Henry was soon the only one left in the colony. He was starving, back at square one, but now he had no family to cherish his time with. Soon the hunger became so painful that he took out the four potatoes and made a delicious stew, mixed with Henry’s tears. It was a family recipe. Then he used the energy that the stew gave him to create a rainbow that could be seen hundreds of miles away, many travelers were attracted to the rainbow and followed it. At the end of the rainbow, they met one lone person (an overgrown leprechaun mind you) who offered them a potato and a place to stay. Now the Potato Hustler was back in business.