The Origin of the Tooth Fairy (A fairy tale for Julien)

Photo by Mimipic Photography on Unsplash

“No!  Not like that.  Gently, gently.  The children will be sleeping and you mustn’t wake them.”

“Why?” Frannie asked her forehead all wrinkled with concentration.

“All I know is what they told me when I was training.  Both you and the children will be cursed from that day forward if the child sees you.”

“Because of teeth?”

“Because they saw the magic. The children are led to believe that we exchange the teeth for money.  Very few of them ever ask what we want the teeth for.  They mustn’t know that we turn the teeth into money. 


No!  Stop. I don’t know why. It just is.  Think of it as a rule.”

“I’m never going to be able to do this.  It’s too hard.”

“It is not. It just takes finesse.  Let me show you again.’

Florence used her wand ever so gently to brush the tooth out from underneath the pillow.  She circled the tooth clockwise three times with her wand, and then lightly tapped the tooth. In a moment, the tooth was transformed into a pile of gleaming quarters.

“That’s more than the last one. What’s up with that?” Frannie asked.

“Don’t know. The wand decides how much money.  It’s always different.” Flossie then used the wand to sweep the gleaming quarters under the pillow one by one. ‘Sometimes it’s paper money.  That’s a little trickier to get under the pillow. Most of the time I just use my hand.  Slow and careful like. “

“That’s enough for today.  Help me put this stuff away.”  The two fairies bustle about placing the child doll in the cupboard and making up the bed.

“So, what do we do with this money?”

“Alms for the poor.  One of the retired fairies will take it to the church.  There’s a cookie jar in the kitchen, put the quarters in there.  Someone will take care of it.”

“Seeing how it’s money from magic, are there rules on how the children can spend it?

“Nope. Spends like real money.” 

“When do you think I’ll solo?”

“Not for a while yet.  You’ll shadow me for a couple of weeks.  We’ll practice with the doll during the day.  Then it will be your turn, but I’ll shadow you for two weeks to help you with technique and any problems that arise.  Then you’ll go solo.”

“Problems?  What problems?”

“I didn’t want to get into that yet.  It’s practically inevitable that you will wake a child while learning.  It will be my job, to drag you out of the child’s line of view.  It’s usually easily accomplished, but every now and again it gets tricky.  But knock on wood, I haven’t had a cursed child or cursed fairy yet.” Florence knocked on the wooden wardrobe where the doll was kept.

“Can we take these clothes off now?”

“Yes, go put jeans on and we’ll talk some more in the kitchen.  Don’t forget the quarters.”

“If we can’t wake the children, why do we have to wear this frilly get-up?  I’m not really the frilly type.’

“Protocol and tradition, I guess. Every profession has a dress code. This is ours.  Tooth Fairies have been wearing the gossamer and glitter since the beginning of time.”

“So, how did this whole thing start”

“That is a mystery, but there are plenty of rumors.  The one that makes the most sense to me is that a fairy heard about St. Nicholas and wanted to do something magical for children.”

“But why teeth?’

‘I dunno.  You ask too many questions.  It is what it is.  If you don’t want to be a tooth fairy, you can decline the appointment.’

“No!  I do!  I want to do it.  I want to be good at it and for me being good at something is dependent on understanding what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.”

“Child, some things are a mystery. Just do the magic and don’t ask so many questions.  You’ll be happier.”

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