A shudder had run through Tooth Fairy Land. News had just reached that little Monica had lost her third tooth. And no one wanted to go and fetch it. Well, almost no one.

‘What a bunch of pansies!’ smirked Pippin, the boastful Tooth Fairy. ‘Afraid of a little girl. I’ll go and get it. My sure shot formula never fails.’

‘But she’s a monster,’ gasped Tipkin, dropping his clove cookie. ‘Gherkin was sent for her first tooth. He still wakes up at night screaming.’

‘And who can forget Mitkin’s case?’ gulped Boppin, almost choking on his peppermint pastry. ‘He went the second time. The poor fellow’s teeth haven’t stopped chattering since.’

‘Ho hum,’ yawned Pippin, getting up. ‘You guys wait right here. I’ll be back in a jiffy.’ And he set off to the Land of Humans.

Pippin stood atop the window sill of Monica’s bedroom. He was feeling confident. After all, he had revised his formula thrice along the way.

Suddenly, Pippin heard a tiny snore from under a thick pink blanket. A wide grin instantly spread on his face. And he had spotted the pillow as well. The tooth was always under it. But before he could lower his two-and-a-half-inch long self down the curtain, he heard a lazy growl.

A dog lay curled up in his path. Pippin tapped his right foot impatiently. Pets always complicated things. But then he heaved a sigh a relief. A cobweb was hanging down from the ceiling right in front of his nose.

Pippin grabbed it and swung towards the bed. He could feel the cool breeze brush against his cheeks. But alas, a snap. And down down went Pippin.

Splat. He had landed in something soft and stinky. The dog’s food bowl.

When Pippin looked up, he found himself staring into the half open eyes of Buddy, Monica’s fox terrier. Quick, he had to think of something before he was chased out.

Within seconds, Pippin had jumped beside the dog, scratching under his ear and crooning the only lullaby he knew. ‘Brush your teeth and go-ho to sleep, go-ho to sleep.’

Buddy’s half open eyelids slowly slid downwards. And soon, his tense muscles had relaxed and become wobbly like jelly again. Buddy was back in dream land.

Pippin patted the dog and tiptoed backwards. But then he realized that he couldn’t lift his left leg. Pippin stared down in dismay. His foot was caught in a piece of sticky chewing gum.

Pippin twisted and tugged. But it was no use. He finally caught hold of his leg and yanked it hard.

Pippin tumbled backwards and fell with a plop. Straight on Monica’s colour palette. Poor Pippin’s backside had turned red. Just like a baboon’s.

But what Pippin saw next cheered him up. The end of the bed sheet was dangling in front of his face. He caught hold of it and scrambled up. Monica was fast asleep with her face turned away.

It was time to put his formula into action. Now what was it again? First, tickle the child on the nose. Second, when the child turns over, lift the pillow. And third, which was the easiest, take the tooth.

Pippin crept over to the other side. Alas, Monica was sleeping with Jumbo, her stuffed grey elephant. And Jumbo was covering her face.

Pippin slowly slipped the feather through the small gap. But he stuck it up a little further than he had meant to.

‘Aa…aa…aa…achoooo,’ sneezed Monica.

Buddy was up and dashing madly around the room in a thrice, searching for the source of the funny noise.

Pippin instantly dived under the pillow. And bang. His head hit something very hard. It was Monica’s tooth. But Pippin was a wee bit too late.

‘Grrr,’ went Buddy, standing absolutely still like a statue with his snout pointing at the pillow.

‘What is it, boy?’ yawned Monica, sitting up and rubbing her nose. And then she saw Pippin’s feet sticking out from underneath the pillow.

Buddy grabbed the corner of the pillow and hurled it away.

Monica flung her hands together. ‘Oh, it’s an itsy-bitsy fairy,’ she cried, pulling Pippin’s cheek.

Pippin’s ears turned pink with embarrassment.

Monica suddenly giggled.

‘What’s the matter?’ frowned Pippin.

‘You’re a boy fairy. And you’re wearing tights.’

Pippin scowled. ‘I’ll have you know that this is the latest style in Tooth Fairy Land. Now if you please, I need your tooth.’

Monica crossed her hands. ‘I know how this works, mister. Where’s my gift?’

Pippin brought out his wand. But she held up her hand. ‘I want a magic pencil that can do all my homework.’

‘But you’ve lost your third tooth. You get a doll for that.’

Monica stomped her foot. Then she smiled slyly. ‘Okay, first the doll.’

A shower of pink sprinkles blew out of Pippin’s wand as he chanted:

Strong white teeth, healthy gums and all
Please hear my plea, bring Monica a doll

Monica squealed in joy as a beautiful doll appeared beside her. ‘I’m going to call her Mary-Ann.’

Buddy immediately let out a whine and shot under the bed.

‘Ahem,’ said Pippin. ‘Can I have the tooth now?’

Monica put her ear to the doll’s mouth. ‘Oh, is that so?’ she said and looked up sadly. ‘Mary-Ann says she’s lonely. She wants a friend.’

Pippin’s eyes had gone as round as saucers. ‘Another doll! But I can give you only one. I need the remaining magic to return home.’

Monica glared at him. ‘Then I’ll throw the tooth out of the window. And you’ll never ever find it again.’

Pippin gulped. If he failed, then he would be banished to Cavity Land. Even the thought of the squiggly evil Germions who lived there was scary. ‘Okay,’ he finally sniffed. ‘You win.’

Pippin had to walk all the way back to Tooth Fairy Land. It took him five whole days. But from that day, there wasn’t a pip out of Pippin. And when Monica lost her fourth tooth a month later, he didn’t turn up for work.


© Copyright Prashant Pinge 2014. All Rights Reserved

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