The tooth mouse

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.


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