A few days ago, the Tooth Fairy was horrified. Mortified. She had messed up, yet again.
The Tooth Fairy, you see, was one of the most forgetful, imperfect fairies in fairy kingdom. She was tired all the time, but can you blame her? She was a morning person with a night job, responsible for all of the children of teeth-losing age who believed in her. And well, she liked to sleep at night. So (as it turns out, from numerous accounts told by parents) she tended to forget a tooth here and there, a child here and there, usually several a night. But she did make an effort to visit all of the children who had lost their very first teeth—they were the bright-eyed, hopeful ones who looked forward to the evidence of her visits with innocent excitement and expectation. The older children? They just wanted the money. And they tended to gradually stop believing in her, choosing to believe that their parents played the role of Tooth Fairy instead.
But three days ago, she missed one. And then the story got blasted all over the internet through a blog and social media. Thankfully (just this once), the mother took part of the blame (of course, though, by claiming that she was the Tooth Fairy). In his note to her, the boy she missed said he thought she kept a mini-cam in his nose to see when teeth came out, but that she had to repair it each time he picked his nose. Ha!!! As if she would have time and resources for that on top of trading teeth for money? Quite an imagination, kid.
That night, the Tooth Fairy stole into the house as the child’s mother was letting the big, not-so-scary Rottweiler out the back door while the kids were sleeping. She didn’t find the boy where she expected to find him, in his room. No, this mother allowed her children to fall asleep in front of the television that night, which was still on. She crept up beside the child, who had conveniently put his tooth in a tooth pillow made just for the occasion. This particular one had to be nearly 40 years old—she remembered when his mother used it for her lost teeth! He also had the note he had written to her next to it, sweet boy. Praying she wouldn’t awaken him (the Tooth Fairy is, after all, a servant of God), she stole away the tooth and the note and slipped a $5 bill into the pillow in its place. Seriously, $5. Thankfully, not all households thought she gave this much money away. If so, she’d be bankrupt in a night!
At the end of the night (which meant it was the next morning), bone- and wing-weary, the Tooth Fairy thought again about the boy. And she did what she had never done before. She snuck back into the house—this time, through a small hole in the bricks wasps sometimes use and were kind enough to show her—to watch the child’s reaction when he awoke and found she had come. It was worth it. The child was overjoyed, and immediately he picked up the money and ran, feet stomping hard, down the hallway to show his mother. (She wasn’t there, though; she was already awake and in the bathroom.) The Tooth Fairy could hear her calling when his mother heard his footsteps, and watched her expression when, just before she left the bathroom and came to see what her son wanted, she took a moment to hide a smile on her face. Almost as if she knew—knew the Tooth Fairy had been there, had come through at last for her son.
Well, that’s about it
That’s the end of the story …
So thank you
*Italicized text quoted from “Oblio’s Return,” a narration at the end of the 1971 Harry Nilsson album The Point, one I grew up with that’s a favorite of mine (despite the fact that Nilsson was admittedly tripping on acid when he came up with the idea for the album!).