Singhtong (the puppy formerly known as Miracle Merle) has been losing baby teeth on a regular basis. This morning I heard one fall out of his mouth and plink on the kitchen floor while was I cleaning. It was a molar and I was surprised because usually he just ends up swallowing them.
He doesn’t get any money but then neither did I as a child. My mother had never heard of the Tooth Fairy. There was, however, such a thing as the Tooth Mouse.
I was always terrified of losing teeth. I never wanted to pull them and prayed they would just fall out of their own accord. Every time I discovered one loose, I felt a familiar dread rising. I was also forever getting cavities, and I think Mom was glad to see those babies go.
When I finally worked up the nerve to wiggle it free, I would go outside to the porch and toss the tooth over the roof, watched as the tiny white speck quickly disappeared from sight. Before the tooth left my hand, I would whisper, in my native tongue:
Little mouse, little mouse
take this ugly tooth and bring me back a pretty one!
I often wonder if I would have been more excited to lose teeth if the incentive was quarters rather than prettier teeth. I had to get braces anyway.