Not all tooth fairies are created equally.
|After finishing two years of classroom training it took Stuart only fifteen simulated lessons to earn the right to fly solo. Yes, it took most other TFIT (Tooth Fairies in Training) three or four tries, but hey, at least he got there eventually.
“We’re going to give you three neighborhoods and two hours,” said Faith, Stuart’s mentor. “Just remember: look for the teeth under the pillows, on the nightstands and in the dressers. Take the tooth or the teeth and leave a dollar for each tooth you take. If you don’t find a tooth, but find a note or your sensor tells you one has been lost, leave a bill as well. And most importantly – don’t get caught.”
“I’ve got it! I promise I won’t let you down!” said Stuart as he flew from the window sill out into the night toward his assigned neighborhoods. Stuart’s GPS registered all the houses where children from the ages of five to thirteen years lived. As taught, he hovered over the first house on his radar, turned on his tooth sensor – which worked much like a metal detector from long distance – and waited for any signal.
For the first few houses on Blossom Street the signal stayed silent. But then at 15 it sounded so loudly in Stuart’s ears, the shock nearly caused him to fly into the chimney. “Finally! My first tooth!”
Stuart phased through the walls to the bedroom from where the sensor indicated. He took a tooth from under a pillow, replaced it with a dollar, then turned to leave. But his sensor sounded again in his ear. “there must be more lost teeth in this house,” he thought to himself.
He flitted to the next room to find not one tooth, but an entire set! “Neither in the classroom, nor during the simulations did anyone ever report finding a whole set of teeth! Today must be my lucky day. Wait until Faith finds out; she will be so proud of me!”
Stuart pulled the set of teeth from the glass jar. “I guess their owner was cleaning them for me. I’ll just leave the $32 under the glass, but that only leaves me a couple of more for the rest of my rounds. I hope this is the last full set I find tonight.”
Stuart continued on his rounds until his money ran out. He flew back to headquarters feeling quite accomplished. Not only did he remain undetected – not even a stir from the lucky recipients of his visits – but he was pretty sure had collected more teeth in one visit than any fairy before him.
He flew directly into Faith’s office and spread his take on her desk, then, beaming, looked at her, eager to hear her effusive praise.
Faith looked at the collection of teeth and gasped. She then looked at Stuart. His countenance caused her to temper what she was about to say.
“Wow, Stuart. You have done quite well for your first time out alone.”
“I thought so too!” Stuart replied. “Did you see that full set of teeth I brought you?” He picked them up to show them to her just in case she had missed them.
“Um, yes. But there is a slight problem here.”
“A problem? How can there be a problem? I left $32 under the kid’s pillow and she never knew I was there.”
“Well, Stuart, that is all good, but these are not from a child. This is a set of dentures that belong to an older person.”
“But my lost tooth alarm went off twice in the same house – I did everything you told me to do!”
“Yes, Stuart. It is not your fault. (Even though most other fairies know the difference between dentures and children’s teeth.)” she said under her breath. “I should have taught you the difference.”
“So why shouldn’t the older person get money too? Isn’t it an even bigger deal when they lose their teeth?”
“I suppose,” said Faith. “But you see, Stuart, these teeth aren’t the lost ones. These are to replace the ones they lost. And when their owner wakes up in the morning and finds there are no dentures in her jar, she is going to wonder what happened to them AND not be able to eat much other than liquid foods. Let’s just say this person will be under a lot of stress.”
Stuart slumped into the chair behind him. “Oh. Those other fairies were right – I am a failure at this tooth business. I give up.”
Faith said, “You are not entirely a failure. The rest of these teeth belonged to children and you managed to get through the night without anyone noticing you. Chin up Stuart. We will just adjust your radar so it indicates when not to take the teeth as well.”
Stuart lifted up his head, “You still think I can do this?”
“I do. But first you need to return those dentures to their rightful owner. Meanwhile I will have tech work on your radar system.”
Stuart’s smile returned to his face. “I won’t let you down.”