One morning the baker was walking along the road and carrying a large basket of fresh bread in his arms. Handy O'Toole crept up quietly behind the baker as he paused to catch his breath.
"Surprise!" shouted Handy and the Baker was so startled he threw all the bread up in the air and the basket landed on his head.
"Ah ha-ha," laughed Handy heartily.
"Why you!" said the baker whose face was red with anger.
"Off I go!" said Handy and he quickly scurried away from the baker while still laughing.
The next day a pretty young maiden came along with a large basket of eggs that she was carrying to the market. She was day-dreaming about a handsome farm boy who had smiled at her that morning so she did not notice when Handy O'Toole crept up behind her.
"Look out!" shrieked Handy. The maiden gave a scream and dropped the basket of eggs which broke nearly every one of them.
"Handy O'Toole, you are very, very bad!" she shouted and her pretty face was scrunched up in an ugly look. She quickly stooped to pick up some unbroken eggs and hurled them at Handy. He was much too fast to be hit by them though. He merely skipped and jumped away while laughing.
The next day the king himself was walking along the road with his trusted knight, Sir Cuthbert. Handy O'Toole crept up behind the king and yelled, "Long live the King!"
The king jerked violently at the sound and the crown tumbled down off his head and plopped into the mud.
Handy O'Toole rolled on the ground with laughter. The king was furious and said in a solemn voice, "Sir Cuthbert, I command you to spank that leprechaun!"
"No, no!" shrieked Handy O'Toole and he took off running. He ran quickly down the road and after a mile or so he stopped to catch his breath and look over his shoulder. There behind him he saw Sir Cuthbert in his shining armor still coming after him.
"Oh no!" said Handy and he left the road to run towards the river. Once he got to the river he jumped in the only canoe there and quickly paddled to an island in the middle of the river.
"There!" he said. "Sir Cuthbert will never follow me out here. The river is much too high and fast for him to get me." But Handy was wrong.
Sir Cuthbert stepped into the river and plowed through it one step at a time until he was almost to the island. Handy jumped up and got in the canoe and paddled furiously for the other side of the river. He jumped out of the canoe when he got to the shore and ran up the side of a tall hill nearby. Exhausted, Handy sat down at the very top.
"Now!" he said. "Sir Cuthbert will never find me here." But Handy was wrong. When he looked down the hill he saw Sir Cuthbert walking straight up it towards him and getting closer!
Handy ran, slid, bumped, and thumped down the other side of the hill, falling down a few times since he was in such a hurry. He quickly ran into the forest and traveled two more miles until he came to the tallest tree in the forest. Using all the strength he had left he climbed to the top of it.
"Whew!" he said. "Sir Cuthbert will never be able to get me now." But Handy was wrong. Chop, chop, chop--Sir Cuthbert was chopping the tree down!
The tree fell with a mighty crash and Handy jumped out and tried to run but Sir Cuthbert caught him by the back of his shirt.
"No, no, no! Don't spank me!" shouted Handy O'Toole but Sir Cuthbert turned him over his knee and swatted his bottom three times.
"Whaa!" cried Handy. "I am so sorry! I should have never scared all those people. Please forgive me."
Sir Cuthbert hugged Handy and told him, "You are forgiven. No more mean surprises though."
"OK," said Handy. "I promise."
But on occasion Handy cannot contain himself...
"Happy birthday!" shouted Handy and Grandpa nearly fell over dead with shock. Everybody else in the room smiled and laughed as they brought out the cake.