I don’t know about you but I like odd holidays, like today’s Tooth Fairy Day, which is celebrated on both February 28 and August 22. Although here in Italy, we’d have to call it Tooth Topolino Day, in honor of Italy’s very own tooth mouse!
No one seems to know the origin of this holiday or even why it started. But I think probably it all began in Spain, with Pérez Mouse, who worked for the king. Back when the king sold all his baby teeth to Pérez.
Now, tooth buying may seem like an odd business. But old Pérez Mouse must have made it work somehow. And any job is good, as long as it’s honest!
But let’s move on to our Italian tooth mouse…
Our Italian Tooth Mouse
Known simply as Topolino (Little Mouse).
I’m not sure just how Pérez Mouse’s grandson wound up in Italy. I doubt anyone really knows. But it probably had something to do with a shortage of jobs in Spain. The tooth mouse seems to go through clients pretty quickly. It really doesn’t doesn’t take kids that long to run out of baby teeth. And of course, it wouldn’t do to start sneaking into houses with pliers to go after those adult teeth. No, that wouldn’t do at all!
So Topolino probably decided to try a less worked area. But at any rate, he’s been here, working nights, a long time now. Sneaking into houses, and searching for hidden baby teeth, which he usually finds under pillows. Although some kids are pretty clever, and hide them in tiny holes in the wall or floor. Or even under a table leg!
None of that gets Topolino down though. No, not him! He comes from a long line of tooth hunters. And there’s never yet been a tooth he couldn’t find!
But tell your kids, “Never fear!” For this good little mouse is no thief in the night! He knows stealing is wrong. So he never departs without leaving at least one coin under the tooth owner’s pillow.
How much does he pay?
Well, that depends on the tooth’s condition!
If the tooth is none too clean, he only leaves a small reward. Along with a note saying something like, “What’s the matter, did you lose your toothbrush?” Or, “Haven’t you heard of dental floss?”
But a clean, shiny tooth gets a better reward. With more money and a note of praise. “Great job! Keep up the good brushing!”
And for a tooth with cavities, the child should only expect a penny and a giant frown face. Although perhaps a new toothbrush and toothpaste would be more in order; that kid surely needs them! And poor Topolino. I doubt he finds much resale value in rotten teeth!
Some try to say that Topolino sometimes leaves candy instead of money. But I don’t believe a word of it! That would be like working himself out of a job. All the other teeth would rot and fall out. And then where would he be?
At any rate, Italian kids love their Topolino as much, I’m sure, as Spanish kids have always loved Pérez Mouse! What kid wouldn’t love such a plucky little mouse? Although the money they get might have something to do with it too!
What?? You don’t believe in Topolino?
Shame on you! He’s been to our house many times! And at any rate, we find even greater proof in Madrid. For there, at Arenal Street, number 8 hangs a plaque in memory of Topolino’s grandfather Pérez Mouse!
It reads: Pérez Mouse lived across the street from Arenal number 8 in the basement of Carlos Prast, right in front of a large pile of Gruyere cheese… It sounds like Mouse Paradise, doesn’t it?!
There’s never yet been a tooth Italy’s tooth mouse, or Topolino, couldn’t find!Tweet