The tooth fairy

My son lost his first tooth this morning. I woke up to find him with his nose pressed against the mosquito net. In the half dark, I could just make out his open mouth.

“It just came off!” he sobbed, his hand cradling a tiny tooth.

I tried to comfort him as best as I could. I cracked jokes about pirates. I hugged him, and for a moment could remember all the teeth I had lost, before dentists could get their pointed instruments on their eventual replacements.

Then I remembered the tooth fairy.

We didn’t get as far as a tooth under a pillow this evening. Instead, it nestles on a saucer, on his bookcase, waiting to be whisked to a place where everthing is available for barter. An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.

And by tomorrow morning, there will be three euros, in place of Jacob’s tooth, to buy another Roald Dahl book, and another story to spin.

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