*The theme for my A to Z is Childhood Stories. Some are real, some are embellished, some are downright fictional but are based on the kind of things I imagined when I was younger.*
I’m guessing most of you reading this had a toothfairy come to take your milk teeth from under your pillow when you were growing up (or if you didn’t please tell me what creature you had!). In France, we have a little mouse (La P’tite Souris).
Now the problem with La P’tite Souris is that unlike the toothfairy, she doesn’t have wings. Which presented me with quite the conundrum when I lost my first milk tooth. You see, my bed had legs (hence space for goblins to hid beneath it), and for a little mouse, it really was quite high up. I was VERY concerned that La P’tite Souris might not be able to make the climb.
My bed was wrought iron too, so the legs were smooth and there was nothing she could hold on to with her paws to help her climb. I was really very worried.
Thankfully my parents came to the rescue, and we made stairs out of Duplo (really big lego for younger children). The stairs would allow La P’tite Souris to get all the way into my bed safely without any risk that she might fall and hurt herself. On top of that, just to be safe, I slept with my head directly on the mattress so that she wouldn’t have any issue in getting my tooth. My head was pretty big compared to a mouse after all – what if I rolled over in my sleep and squashed her while she was retrieving my tooth?
You’ll be glad to know it all went according to plan: when I woke up there was a comic book under my pillow – it was Yakari, a comic book about a young native American boy and his pony Petit Tonnerre (Little Thunder). I was thrilled.
For my second tooth, I was faced with another conundrum. I lost it at school, and then I actually lost it, despite wrapping it in a tissue and putting it in my pocket. So I came home in tears with a new hole in my mouth and no tooth for La P’tite Souris to take.
My parents solved the problem again, by suggesting I could write her a letter to explain what had happened. Which I did, in extensive detail, and with a grovelling apology for having lost my tooth and suggesting she look into my mouth as I slept to check that I had in fact lost a tooth. La P’tite Souris was very gracious and understanding: she left me another Yakari comic, despite the fact that I didn’t have a tooth to give her. She took my letter though, and I guessed that was a fair enough trade.
Then fast forward to my very last P’tite Souris memroy, for my last tooth. I was a pre-teen by then, although I was already well into teenage pain-in-the-ass-dom. I had stopped believing in La P’tite Souris, so instead of putting my tooth under my pillow, I stood in the kitchen with it in my hand, and demanded my parents give me money for it, since I had outgrown the Yakari comic. My parents insisted that I put the tooth beneath my pillow as tradition dictates. I rolled my eyes, moaned about them being lame, stomped about the kitchen for a while, etc. (insert usual annoyed teenage behaviour)
And then I forgot to put my tooth under my pillow.
Finally, a few weeks later, I finally put it under my pillow one evening and yelled down at my parents that it was ready. I went to brush my teeth, and Lo! while I had been in the bathroom La P’tite Souris visited. She left me a note, and a single penny. The note said: ‘since you took so long to put your tooth under your pillow it’s now old, and is only worth a penny.’ It was signed with a little mouse drawing.
At the time, I had what is known as an epic sense of humour failure. Looking back I find it hilarious, and very well deserved!!