Today is National Tooth Fairy Day in the U.S. Who knew there was such a thing?
From Feb 28: Celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day by Joseph Karbousky:
Everyone growing up as a child has heard of the mysterious Tooth Fairy. She was the only reason kids didn't mind loosing teeth! Most kids would place the tooth that had fallen out under their pillow at night, and wake up to find that the Tooth Fairy had taken the tooth and had left money in it's place!
In mythology, fairies are always believed to be kind and giving, but the history behind the Tooth Fairy is a very interesting one.
In the early days of Tooth Fairy existence, many people believed the fairy was a mouse! The very beginning myth of the fairy is believed to have started in France, and depicts the fairy in the form of a mouse from the fairytale "Le Bonne Petite Souris."
In the fairytale, the mouse would change into a fairy to help the queen overthrow an evil king by knocking out all his teeth while he sleeps. Doesn't sound like a pretty picture!"Le Bonne Petite Souris" is a tale by Madame D'Aulnoy known in English as "The Good Little Mouse." I have two different translations of it on SurLaLune, here and here.
I'm throwing in images of tooth fairy books and films into this post for imagery, but the best book on tooth lore in gernal is Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World.
The Straight Dope also has a great article on tooth fairy history which actually, gasp, sites an article in American Folklore. I adore competent journalists! The article covers just about all you'd want to read for a short reading break on a Monday...
And here are more books:
And who can forget these odd film takes on tooth fairy folklore?