Joe was growing up. Last year he was 5, now he's 6, and soon (very soon, in fact!) he will be 7. One way a person could tell that Joe was growing up was looking at the amount of teeth remaining in his smile. Every few months the number would get smaller. The smile would still be as big and bright as ever, but there just weren't that many teeth in there to twinkle and sparkle.
"I guess it's a part of growing up," Joe said to himself one day. With so many teeth missing, Joe decided that eating had become a problem. He went to his mom and asked her to buy him a blender.
"What do you need a blender for?"
"Well, I don't have enough teeth to enjoy carrots and cauliflower and all of those crunchy things I loved to crunch." Just the thought of it made him break down. "I'm afraid I may never get to crunch another crunch again!" And with that, Joe crawled up into a little ball on the floor next to his mom's feet, and had a little cry.
"Oh, Joe. Don't you know that you will get bigger and better teeth?" His mom explained.
"You've lost your baby teeth, and soon your adult teeth will grow in, allowing you to crunch and munch even more. Even as much as your Dad could crunch!"
Joe's Dad was a master cruncher. He crunched any vegetable. Go ahead, name one vegetable.
Onions? That's too easy!
Carrots? Not a problem!
Rutabagas? In his sleep!
Joe's Dad had walked into the room. Joe didn't know why, but lately his Dad looked different somehow. He thought about it for a moment and realized that his Dad had a lot of new things to wear. He noticed his Dad's sparkly new watch that he bought a few months ago, and now he saw a shiny new necklace hanging from his neck. In fact... New suit, new tie, new hat, new socks, new moustache, new fingernail polish, new glasses, new everything. Joe's dad was fannnncy!
"Hey Champ! Any loose teeth today?"
He would always ask him that, and now that he had time think about it, with all of the new clothes and jewellery, Joe became a little suspicious.
"Yeah, this one in the front." Joe replied as he wiggled said tooth back and forth with his tongue.
"Sweeeet doggie!" His Dad yelped, as he jumped up in the air and slapped his knee. "I'll go fetch the string."
Soon enough, Dad was back with a spool of string, and faster than you could say 'Hot sauce on a mean boss' and without even one little ouch, Joe's tooth was yanked out.
His Dad picked up the tooth and held it up to the light. He pulled out a magnifying glass to examine it with.
"Oh, yeah. This little number is going to fetch me quite a pretty penny."
"What do ya' mean, Dad?"
He must have forgot that Joe was standing right there, for when he turned to answer Joe he had a look that seemed to indicate that he really didn't want to answer Joe's question. In fact, the next moment he acted like Joe didn't even ask a question at all.
"Um, uh... I really must be going. I have an appointment with my fashion consultant."
Joe knew that he himself was the one to profit from this tooth business. And before his mother told him that he would get new teeth to replace the old ones, Joe didn't think it much of a profit at all to trade all his teeth just for a few bucks. He was relieved to know that he would be getting adult ones to replace them.
For each pulled tooth, a strange and mysterious creature named Tooth Fairy would come into his room at night and, in exchange for the old tooth, give him a shinny Toonie. He kept every one in his hockey card box, as he was currently saving up for a new Bob Maplesauce hockey Jersey. The Jersey cost $40 and so far Joe had $6, so he was going to have to lose a lot more teeth before he would be able to skate around in a Sunland Golden Hammers' #63 jersey.
So all this talk about his Dad getting money was strange. Very strange indeed. Joe was going to have to do a little investigative work. A little bit of night-time investigation.
That evening, Joe rode his bike to the local coffee shop and ordered 4 super strong, super large, super energy coffees. He chugged 3 of them in the parking lot and sipped on the last one as he rode home.
At home, he played it cool. He was wide awake, but to trick his parents he yawned a lot, rubbed his eyes at just the right time, and even complained a bit about not wanting to go to bed just to throw them off his track. He brushed his pee and went teeth... I mean, he brushed his teeth then went pee, and then he was off to bed. Oh wait; he went pee one more time. That was a lot of coffee, remember?
Joe lay awake. He was curious of what he would see. Maybe his dad had a deal with the Tooth Fairy. Maybe he did some accounting work for her. Maybe he was helping her with her taxes. There was a lot to think about for Joe. How could his dad possibly be working for the Tooth Fairy?
It got so late that eventually Joe did fall asleep. But the coffee had worked because around 2 in the morning Joe awoke to a small "click". Joe stayed perfectly still, like a sleeping statue, only moving his eyes around like little marbles in his head.
The "click" was the bedroom door opening. A faded light slowly grew brighter and brighter as the door creaked open. And there she was! Tooth Fairy floated in with her wings, hovering no more than 2 feet above the floor.
She wasn't graceful, bouncing into the wall and knocking over some stuffed bunnies and a plastic turtle with no face. She seemed to be disorganized, like she was late for school. She had a bag that hung around her waist and some sort of magical looking dust seemed to be leaking out and onto the floor. She stooped down and tried to scoop up what she could, but as she shoved it back into the bag some of it got in her eye. She scratched it and then some got into her mouth. She spit it and then some got into her nose. Then she sneezed and felt down onto the floor. Out cold.
‘What on earth is happening?!’ thought Joe. It must have been some sort of sleepy dust. She had accidentally put herself to sleep!
Minutes went by until she finally woke up. She floated back up into the air and dusted herself off, careful to hold her nose while she did. Then she looked in Joe's direction. His eyes slammed shut.
He could feel her warmth getting closer. She was right next to him when he felt the warmth go under his pillow and snatch up the tooth. Joe peaked to see her examining the tooth with a glass, just like the one his dad had only much, much smaller.
Up close Joe could see that Tooth Fairy was like a grandma. She must have been working at her job for a long time. She must be tired, staying up so late, he thought.
Finally, she placed the tooth deep into her pouch and at the same time pulled out a very small change purse. She clicked open the clasp and pulled out a big, crisp 200 dollar bill! It looked so big as she attempted to balance herself while holding it, which was like a big piece of drywall for her. Yet she was able to roll it up and placed it under Joe's pillow. She scribbled down some notes in a little pad she had hanging from a string dangling from her neck, and dusted off her hands.
Down she dropped, floating back like a feather onto the floor. There must have been some magic dust still on her hands! She's such a silly and forgetful Tooth Fairy, thought Joe.
Immediately, another sound could be heard from the doorway. There was Joe's Dad, sneaking into the room dressed all in black! He tip-toed across the room like a sneaky ninja, picked up the Tooth Fairy by her legs, and started shaking her upside down! Coins, big and small rained down onto the floor. His Dad could be heard giggling as he continued to treat poor Tooth Fairy like a salt and pepper shaker.
Once the stream of coin clink sounds died down, he placed the Tooth Fairy on a shelf and scooped up all of the coins on the floor. He dug through them in his hands until he found a nice, shinny Toonie. Then he switched it with the 200 dollar bill from under Joe's pillow!
What a Skunky thing, thought Joe. But he was too tired to say anything. Some of the dust must have fallen onto his head during the robbery. Yes, robbery. That's what it was, as far as Joe was concerned. His Dad had robbed the Tooth Fairy. Took everything she had. And then he stole from Joe, too!
But wait! What was happening now? As Joe's Dad was busy giggling and counting money in the middle of the room, Joe could see that the Tooth Fairy had woken up. And she was not happy!
She got up and fluttered herself above Joe's Dad. She dusted him good, and he dropped like a pile of crumby bricks. The money spilled everywhere. His head hit the toy shelf and toys went everywhere! Stuffies, race cars, robots, and golden toy stars crashed down onto the floor, and on top of a very unconscious, and a very greedy Dad.
In all of the commotion, the cat walked in and he must have thought that all of the magical dust on top of Joe's Dad was actually litter box sand. He bounced up on top of him, peed, and then flicked the dust onto Joe's Dad's face! Then the cat fell asleep!
Meanwhile, the Tooth Fairy had gathered all of the coins up, and returned Joe's $200 under his pillow. And before you could say 'Strawberry Fodder, A monkey's Got er',' she disappeared!
In all of that commotion, the dog strolled in. He sniffed Joe's Dad, the sleeping cat, and must have thought that the dust on them was some sort of fancy dog food, because he licked it, and fell asleep!
So Joe's dad had a sleeping cat on his neck, a sleeping dog on his legs, and yucky, sticky magic dust on his face! Joe thought that that was a pretty good punishment for stealing. What a bad Dad he was being.
Suddenly, Tooth Fairy had reappeared. She had brought another Fairy with her. This Fairy looked like a Doctor Fairy because she had a stethoscope hanging from her neck and she was wearing a lab coat with holes in the back of it so her wings could poke out. She began taking Joe's Dad's vitals; checking his pulse, processing blood work, and cleaning out the ear wax from his ears.
After writing down her notes, she suddenly swooped down and into Joe's Dad's left ear! In she crawled until she disappeared! Joe could see her travel further into his Dad's head because her glow shone through his skin. When the glow reached the middle of his head, his eyes opened. Joe couldn't hear anything, but Dr. Fairy must have been speaking to him from inside his head. His face looked like someone had him in a "stick up". He didn't dare make any false moves.
"No ma'am." His dad answered the voice in his head.
"Yes, I am very sorry. I am most certainly not a good dad. Stealing from you and from Joe is wrong. I will never do it again. I feel so much shame."
Now Joe could see tears in his eyes.
"Yes, I know. I know. He is such a good boy. Yes, I will buy him his very own Sunland Golden Hammers #63 Bob Maplesauce jersey." He whimpered.
"Ok, yes, I will put the money I stole into an account for Joe's College fund and I will buy him ice cream whenever he asks."
With that, the glow popped out of the left ear. The 2 Fairy's looked over in Joe's direction, winked at him, and then disappeared.
Joe didn't know what happened next because all he could remember was waking up in his bed the next morning. He was very tired. Leaning over he saw that the $200 was still there. The rest of the room was empty. No dog, no cat, no fairies... and no Dad. The shelf was fixed, the toys were in their right place. All seemed well.
It was the smell of bacon that drew Joe out of the room and into the kitchen.
And there he was; Joe's dad busy making pancakes and bacon, pouring coffee for Joe's mom, and smiling away.
"Hey, little Joe! Good morning! Can I get you some pancakes? How about some crispy bacon?"
Joe smiled big. "Dad, all I really want is some ice cream."