Don't you know the tooth fairy? - Legends life longer
For me, the tooth fairy was always an invention from the Anglo-Saxon world and not really familiar or known to me. As a small child, her alleged existence was then completely unknown to me and when I lost a tooth, my only reaction was to shrug it off and to take it as I thought it should have been taken by a small boy like me at the time. Just like a man, and all I got was the obligatory pat on the back from my father.
But as I had to discover in the course of my life, especially during my time abroad, there might be a completely different truth, which was probably just withheld from me during the most important time in my life. Yes exactly, the story of the Tooth Fairy.
I'm not sure if there are different versions or legends, or if they all come down to the same conclusion. For when I encountered this myth for the first time, that kind of issue was already settled for me and the train had had already left the station, or rather, the tooth had been pulled. But if I summarize the different tales in short, you can probably break down the whole legend in a way that, if children lose a milk tooth, they only need to deposit it under their pillow overnight to receive a little surprise in the form of one or more golden coins the next day. The place may vary if necessary, but the result will be the same or similiar.
Damn, it seems to me that I had missed out on a fortune in the old days. With that reward I could have formed the foundation for my present wealth, which I am unfortunately missing now. But due to adverse circumstances, the tooth fairy could apparently not find me. And I simply assume, that was the case for all the children in my neighborhood. Who else could have got hold of all these coins?
But well, this topic has never really been for me and I have therefore dismissed the mysterious stories as a pure legend. Fairies do not exist! Or do they?
A few weeks ago my wife mentioned to my daughter that the she had to go to the dentist to have a wisdom tooth extracted. My daughter's reaction left us a bit puzzled. My wife should then put that pulled out tooth under her pillow so that she would get some money as a present the next day. How did the (very) little one know about this legend?
Not from us in any case, as the tooth fairy has stayed well clear of Japan up to now. And I also don't assume that there was some secret talk or open gossip about this magical being in kindergarten. And in the shows which she was allowed to watch so far, the good woman did not occur as of yet either.
So we had to investigate the matter and ask our little girl how she came up with the idea, that a pulled tooth could magically turn into some money and who had told her about it. Even after asking several times, she strictly insisted that she had not heard this crazy story from anyone else. "Yes, but then who told you?" I finally wanted to know. And regardless of place, time or person, or even language, the little girl always answered , "My tummy!".
Great answer, which has left us adults rather perplexed and puzzled. Apparently the chosen ones, which I didn't seem to be counted among as a child, know quite intuitively that they can make a small fortune with teeth. My little one made no mention of the name Tooth Fairy in this context, but she knew exactly what to do, and what would happen overnight. I am still amazed!
So there seem to be some things which my simple mind can't explain so easily. There is also no point in calling science, as the Tooth Fairy has not yet made it into the textbooks. Or perhaps she did, and the knowledge about her or better the believe has just rushed past me.
I guess I eventually have to get to the bottom of the whole thing. Because do not all legends somewhere have a kernel of truth?