One warm day, Janet, who was six years old at the time, went up to her Mother to show her something exciting.
“Mother!” Janet exclaimed. “Look, my tooth has fallen out.”
Mother looked up from her computer, where she had been working for the last few hours.
“What did you say?” said Mother, tiredly.
“I lost my first tooth,” repeated Janet. “It finally fell out.”
“That’s nice dear,” her mother said, as she went back to work.
“Well,” Janet said a few minutes later. “What would you like me to do with it?”
“Do with what, dear?” Mother peered at Janet.
“My tooth!” Janet wailed. “You haven’t heard a single word that I have said, have you?”
“Look dear,” Mother said. “I’ve got this deadline with the paper to meet. If I don’t get this article done by tonight, I won’t get my pay cheque. Now, please run along and we’ll talk later.”
Janet had an idea. She had seen her older brother Billy, put his tooth between some tissues and put it under his pillow. She went into the washroom, grabbed three or four tissues and wrapped her tooth up very tightly. Then she put the tooth under her pillow. Mother was still typing away on the computer by the time Janet was finished. Both Mother and Janet forgot that the tooth was under Janet’s pillow.
Janet played outside for a few hours and then when her Father came home from work, they had dinner. As a special treat, Daddy had brought home some fried chicken for supper. He knew that Janet’s Mother would be pretty busy with her article tonight.
On deadline nights, which happened quite frequently around Janet’s home, since both her parents were writers, the family often had a take-out dinner. Janet helped her Dad set the table. Once that was done, Janet was allowed to choose her favourite piece of fried chicken out of the box. She loved chicken legs.
Janet put the juicy leg into her mouth to take a big bite and suddenly …
“Ouch!” cried Janet.
“What happened?” Daddy asked.
“It hurts to bite,” sobbed Janet. “I lost my first tooth today.”
Just then, the telephone rang. The call was for Janet’s Father and he went into the den to take the call.
“Nobody cares about my tooth!” Janet sobbed to herself.
She got down from the table and went into her bedroom. There, she lay down on her pillow and gently cried herself to sleep. In the morning, Janet got out of bed and went out into the living room. Daddy was just leaving for work.
“You be a good girl for Mommy today,” he said, as he kissed her on the cheek.
It was then that Daddy finally noticed that Janet’s tooth was missing.
“Your tooth!” Daddy exclaimed.
“I lost it yesterday,” said Janet. “Everyone was so busy that they didn’t have time for my tooth.”
“Well, I’m sorry, dear,” Daddy said picking up his briefcase.
“Look, I’ve got to go to work now. You’d better go check under your pillow and see if the tooth fairy left you anything last night.”
Janet rushed into her bedroom and threw her pillow onto the floor. There, under her pillow was her tooth, still all wrapped up in the tissue that Janet had put it in.
“Maybe I wrapped the tissue up too tightly,” said Janet to herself.
Janet took the tissue from her bed and gently opened it up. There, inside the tissue, was her tiny tooth. Carefully, she laid the tooth on top of the tissue, put it back on her bed and very gently placed her pillow over it.
At noon Mother, Janet and Billy sat at the table eating their lunch. Mother glanced over to Janet, who was smiling away. That was the first time Mother noticed Janet’s missing tooth.
“Janet!” exclaimed Mother. “Your tooth! It’s gone.”
“Yeah,” laughed Billy. “Janet lost her tooth yesterday and the tooth fairy forgot to leave her something.”
“Oh no,” said Mother. “Oh poor Janet. How could the tooth fairy have missed you?”
“Well,” said Janet. “She was probably very busy yesterday, just like everybody else around here.”
“I see,” said Mother thoughtfully.
“I got three dollars for the last tooth that I lost,” bragged Billy.
“Billy, that’s enough,” Mother scolded.
“Well,” said Janet. “The tooth fairy will come to me! She may not have come to me last night because I had the tooth wrapped up too tightly in the tissue.”
“Oh?” asked Mother.
“Yeah,” said Janet. “This morning, I took the tooth out and laid it on top of the tissue. I’m sure the tooth fairy will be able to see my tooth now.”
“Why don’t you go check?” asked Billy, smartly.
“Alright,” Janet said, angrily. “I will!”
Janet marched into her room and there under her pillow was a five dollar bill.
“Wow!” said Billy when he saw what his sister was flashing around in her hands. “Next time I loose a tooth, I’m going to set it on top of the tissue, too.”