He wasn’t all that difficult to catch. I heard a noise from the basement and found him rummaging round my beer brewer, sampling all ales, and stumbling around. He’d climbed in through the window, which I shut and latched, and then it was a simple matter of racing around the unfinished room with a broom, whacking at him until I managed to knock him straight into the washing machine. I snapped the door shut and peered in through the glass window. Oh he was so pissed, swearing in a tongue I’d never heard before. After he started to calm down, he pleaded to be let out, or at least be given another bottle of my beer. I said no, he knew the rules and I wasn’t letting him out until he gave me his gold.
“Gold?” says he. “That I can do. Why, you let me out, give me another bottle, and I’ll turn your whole house gold!”
This seemed perfectly reasonable to me, so I made him promise, and when I opened the washing machine door, he steps out, brushes himself off, accepts a bottle, and after he drains it, begins dancing around in a circle, waving his hands in the air, and chanting some conjuring words. Nothing happens, which I point out, and this seems to spur him to greater effort. Pretty soon, he’s moving so vigorously, that his feet start to smoking and before I can yell Faith and Me Mother, the basement is on fire!
The little man and I run up the stairs and out to the front yard to escape the conflagration. “Look what you did! My house is on fire!”
“Nice, isn’t it? All golden like that?” And he spits in my eye before he races down the street and into the night.