Once at a kid’s group, surrounded by young girls, the leaders were instructed to ask one simple question – “What do you believe in?”
I don’t know what piece of intense knowledge they expected to gain from this question.
I got exactly what I expected.
The Tooth Fairy.
Generations ago, well more like centuries ago, the Tooth Fairy didn’t even exist. Instead children were encouraged to burn or bury their fallen teeth in order to prevent the presence of evil in their life.
The exchange of money for milk teeth began with the Vikings. Making necklaces from the teeth of children supposedly gave luck and strength within battle.
After this, getting closer to our current generation of youths, came the ‘Tooth Mouse’. An 18th century French fairy tale titled ‘La Bonne Petite Souris’ or ‘The Good Little Mouse’, depicting a brave mouse, able to transform into a fairy, with the intention of defeating an evil king. After hiding under a pillow in wait, this newly formed fairy, destroyed the villain by knocking out every single tooth he possessed.
Other countries began publishing similar stories, for example Spain’s ‘El Raton Perez’ or ‘Perez the Mouse’. The creation of these characters began to enforce a link between a fairy and teeth.
Then came this generation’s Tooth Fairy.
Beginning with Esther Watkins Arnold’s 1927 play, first performed in the States, titled The Tooth Fairy, and continuing with Lee Rogow’s 1949 story of a matching name. Suddenly this mythological collector of fallen teeth was becoming well known and solidified into childish culture.
Now believed as confidently as Santa Claus, especially by the group of six year old girls who were sat in front of me, the Tooth Fairy, with her wand in hand, fairy dust in her wake and pennies ready to trade, was given her own celebratory day.
February 28th 2016 was the day of The Tooth Fairy.
Sad is the day when another generation loses the Tooth Fairy.
Sad is the moment the child realises that it is in fact mummy or daddy placing the pound coin under the pillow.