Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Tooth Fairy

When she was of a tooth-losing age, the Tooth Fairy was late collecting one of her teeth. Instead, the Tooth Fairy sent a letter apologizing, saying that she got caught in a typhoon. Or was it a monsoon? One or the other. Anyway, she loved that letter. She showed it to everyone. Imagine! Getting a letter from the Tooth Fairy! Everyone else just got quarters.

Thirty years later, she remembers that letter from the Tooth Fairy. Gingerbread Boy #1 lost a molar, and there they were, in a real live typhoon. Rain and wind and more rain. It was easy to see how the Tooth Fairy could get blown off course. Thankfully, she didn't get blown off course this time; she delivered a 1,000 won bill promptly, placing it by the note the Gingerbread Boy wrote.

Two weeks later, Gingerbread Boy #2 lost a tooth. He placed it in the drawer of a lacquered box, his prized possession here, purchased with some extra funding from mom. He carefully wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy:

"Dear Tooth Fairy,
My tooth is in the box.
[Gingerbread Boy] [heart, heart]

He let his dear mother know at bedtime that he hoped the Tooth Fairy would bring him some paper as well. The Tooth Fairy procured some paper from the reception desk at the hotel that says "Casaville Shinchon," and placed it and a 1,000 won bill by his note, along with a note of her own, saying, "I received your tooth. With thanks, Tooth Fairy. Post-script: Please find paper as requested."

The Gingerbread Boy was so thrilled, he immediately set about writing long and complicated and indecipherable notes back to the Tooth Fairy, apparently directing her to put an X on a piece of paper and leave that paper over the particular item she would like to have. He spread out an array of silly bands and Korean trinkets, ready for her choosing.

After stories and prayers and lights out, he lay in bed for some time.

"Mommy? Can you do something for me?"

"What would you like me to do?"

"Can you get some more paper?"

"Why do you need more paper?"

"So the Tooth Fairy can choose five things. She needs to put an X on five pieces of paper."

"She can't possibly carry five things. She has all those teeth to carry, and she's much too small."

"But she could take one tonight, and come back every night for five nights."

How can she dampen such enthusiasm? His sweet face looks up at her in the dark, and she explains to him how the Tooth Fairy is busy, collecting teeth all over the world, and asking her to come back five times would be too difficult for her.

He accepts this, lies back down, and lets her kiss him.

Then he wiggles another tooth.

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