LESLIE CRISS: Mutant clover eludes for more than five decades

By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal

“Diligence is the mother of good luck”
– Benjamin Franklin

“I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky?”
– Stanislaw J. Lec
St. Patrick’s Day has passed and the greenest thing left behind is my grass which will soon need mowing. But there’s something on my mind that could be loosely related to the patron saint of Ireland.
My friend and co-worker Crissy Bland walked into my house Tuesday evening smiling and holding something small and green between her thumb and index finger.
My eyes are 54, but my bifocals work well, so I knew immediately what she was holding. And I was not happy.
“That is not a four-leaf clover, is it?” I asked her in a rather snippy tone.
“It is,” she answered, with a grin much larger than a leprechaun.
She allowed me to hold it and get a closer look. It was, indeed, a four-leaf clover, plucked from my own yard.
In all my years, it was the first time I’d seen a Trifolium repens up close and personal. And I was amazed.
When I was a little girl, I remember spending hours sitting in colossal clumps of clover in my grandparents’ large yard in Grenada, searching for four-leaf clovers.
I’d think I’d found one and pluck it from the earth, only to discover it had three leaves instead of four.
After repeating this process with the same outcome many, many times through my youth, I lost faith. I no longer believed my mother or my grandmother when they told me four-leaf clovers brought good luck. In fact, I began to suspect it was their way of keeping me out of their hair – “Go outside and find a four-leaf clover.”
I began to doubt the very existence of such a symbol of good fortune. And if there were such a thing as a clover with four leaves, I was not destined to find one.
Last Tuesday I explained all this to Crissy so she might understand my incredulity at her stepping out of her car and into my yard, glancing at a patch of clover, leaning over and plucking the elusive bit of green known as the “original shamrock.”
Nevermind the fact there are about 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every four-leaf clover.
I’m sure it was not her intent to add insult to injury when she asked, “Do you want me to go find another one?” As if it were that easy.
“I do not,” I answered. “I certainly do not.”
I learned later in the week that, on her mama’s side of the family, Crissy’s lineage can be traced straight back to Ireland.
Well, faith and begorrah.
Maybe that explains it.
The girl simply has the luck of the Irish.