Every country ahs its own myuths about fairies and wee folk, but the Irish leprechaun is the undisputed king. To some, he is an impish figure full of harmless mischief, forever guarding his elusive crock of gold. To others, he is an evil gnome, bent on disrupting the lives of mortals with his black magic and malevolent acts. Historian and folklorist Bob Curran looks at the origins of this hero of Irish folklore - fallen angel, diminished god or sone of fairies - and at his habits, occupations and characteristics. He explores the superstitions surrounding the leprechaun and his enduring place in popular culture.