Previously published March 5, 2010 on Associated Content / Yahoo Contributor Network
Wesley was probably around 5 or 6 (probably 2001) when my daughter (his mother) asked him to tell me about his tooth.
"It's been under my pillow for THREE DAYS and the Tooth Fairy keeps forgetting to take it."
I sympathized with Wesley and empathized with his mother. The Tooth Fairy had been negligent on many occasions in my home as well, even with Wesley's mother. All of my kids, at one time or another, suffered from the Tooth Fairy's failure to remember a missing tooth.
I patted his head and nodded knowingly and affectionately.
"Show Grandma the tooth, Wesley," Keeley suggested.
Wesley ran into his bedroom and retrieved his treasured tooth from beneath his pillow.
"Well, it sure looks like a good enough tooth," I said. "Surely worth at least 50 cents, if not a whole dollar."
"Yeah," Wesley agreed, "that's what I thought."
"Take a really good look at the tooth, Mom," Keeley added.
The tooth was shaped exactly like a tooth. The color was right and it matched the teeth inside Wesley's mouth. Wesley raised his eyebrows and smiled as I spun the tooth around my hand, holding it up to the light and placing it back in my palm for further investigation.
Upon closer inspection, the tooth looked more like a piece of shale than it did a tooth. I looked at my grandson who feigned an angelic pose. I could see the wheels spin inside his brain as he asked himself if Grandma would believe his story.
Could a child trick the Tooth Fairy into believing that shale was a tooth, thereby enabling himself to pocket some extra cash? And, depending on how much shale he could find, might little Wesley have found himself his own little goldmine?
"I have an idea," I told my daughter after Wesley left the room.
The next morning, along with his "tooth" the Tooth Fairy left behind, Wesley found a note under his pillow.
Keeley read it to him: Dear Wesley, I don't appreciate being lied to, and I take only real teeth. Don't try this again. Signed, the Tooth Fairy.
Epilogue: Wesley is now nearly 13 years old. He learned a valuable lesson: Don't mess with the Tooth Fairy.
UPDATE: Wesley was 13 when I wrote this blog. He is now 18.
(photo of Wesley was taken a couple of years before the Tooth Fairy incident)