Sito and Hal travel to the Leprechaun’s Park.
Saito, surprised to see Haru at the door—briefly questions their financial arrangement—but clearly Haru was there for him. Glad to have rested very well; he’d awakened early (pleasantly unaffected by jetlag) and packed any tool he thought might be useful, re-combining his belongings from his rolling suitcase into a backpack that he had brought to make it easier to hike about. All morning, he felt an urgent need to get out and lose himself in novelty. Then, to his surprise, there is Haru, and so Saito shouts his name, like a high five on game day.
Once in the truck? Saito gets out his index cards with locations carefully translated into a Western alphabet with the help of Google. But when Haru gets in the truck? Saito realizes that what he truly wants is to just see life in this place; probably nothing that he could find in all his Wikipedia searches; things he wouldn’t have known to search for. Hal is talking and Saito can’t understand him, starting the truck? and Haru doesn’t ask for an ‘address’, so Saito puts the cards away and lets Haru do the driving. In fact, he thinks that would make a nice slogan: Let Haru do the Driving. In fact, he thought 春は運転をやらせます.
And he is tickled with the idea that he can see a whole ad campaign for Haru appear before his mind’s eye.
Haru is talking in his very confident American manner, and Saito assumes that Haru is discussing the rich history of this town called Portland. Saito had done at least some homework before abandoning his lovely home in the ________ district of Tokyo. He knew that Portland had once been considered one of the most dangerous ports in the United States in the late 1700s, back when it was little more than a fur-trader haven. Saito feels like it must have been like Mos Eisley, with all manner of scum and villainy, just beyond the steady gaze of a young United States government; protecterate not yet instituted. For the moment though, the largest difference Saito could see between Portland and _________ was how may large old trees there were. Haru was clearly traversing along back-routes to their destination and the houses were massive mansions, architecually unusual, and hugged by trees.
Hal leads Saito across the parkway, his hand gingerly placed on Saito’s forearm. Hal whispers like a nature guide, “Now, we’re early, yes, but to my knowledge, the Leprechaun only comes out right at dawn or at twilight, so I wouldn’t expect to see one of the—” Hal pauses, looks Saito in the eyes, and slows his speech—”little people.” Saito nods vigorously.
Once across the street, they stand in an island in the middle of Southwest Naito Parkway, where a three foot diameter concrete circle sits; Mill Ends Park—the smallest sanctioned park in the United States. Hal squats and Saito follows suit. Glancing about the park, Hal says, “Yeah, they clean up after themselves real well. Too bad. I don’t see too much evidence here. I mean, you got that tiny soda can over there.” Hal points and Saito takes a picture.
“The fellow who founded the park, George—uh—George Miller—yes, he was a journalist in the 1940s and he founded the park by capturing a leprechaun for himself, and—you may not know this—are there Japanese leprachauns?—but if you catch a Leprechaun, they have to grant you a wish. Good old George Miller was a good man and he didn’t make a wish for himself. No sir, he wished for something for someone else—a noble gesture. He wished for there to be a park for the little people and voilá! Here it is—sanctioned by the government and everything.
Read the whole thread: Saito and the Incorrigible Haru's Ridiculous Tour