by Caroline Tuohey
Tully looked in the mirror and smiled. A scary reflection grinned back. Tully was thrilled, because she had finally lost all her front baby teeth and thought her smile was now really cool.
New teeth filled the spaces in various stages of growth, so Tully’s mouth was what she liked to call her ‘work in progress’.
Tully wanted to be a dentist when she grew up and loved everything about teeth.
Most of all, she loved the Tooth Fairy. Whenever she lost a tooth, she wrote her a special letter. And in return, she was given a shiny coin and a sprinkling of shimmery dust. Tully kept the dust in a special container.
Her brothers teased her a lot.
“Tully’s grinning at herself again,” they’d call. Or “Toothless Tully has no teeth” was another one. And recently they’d started with “There’s no such thing as the Tooth Fairy. It’s all made up.”
That one was very hurtful and her mum made all her brothers write a letter of apology. Not to Tully, but to the Tooth Fairy.
“She is real,” Tully said, as she placed the letters on her bedside table.
That night, Tully placed her tooth in the tiny, jeweled tooth chest she had used since her very first tooth, then she wrote her note.
As always on these special nights, she kept the curtains open just a little, so the Tooth Fairy would find her way in. And then, happily thinking about flying through the air, she drifted off to sleep.
The first thing she saw the next morning was her note – still there. She opened the lid of her tooth chest.
“She didn’t come,” she cried.
She sat up, and wondered what could have happened. Her Mum, when asked, was not much help.
“Perhaps she was just too busy, Tully. Leave the tooth again tonight and see what happens.”
Tully felt like it was like the end of the world.
She was very sad, so she went into the garden. She had her very own flower bed and she always felt better sitting surrounded by the pretty plants.
It was while she was sniffling and still feeling sorry for herself, that she heard the tiny cry. She peered through the flowers and came face to face with a very sparkly, but broken spider’s web. The spider sat crouched in the middle. He was sparkly too.
She gently brushed the edge of the web, and the sparkly stuff rubbed onto her finger.
“It looks like fairy dust,” she exclaimed. And then she heard another little cry.
Tully gently moved the lavender bush, and lying in the dirt, was a tiny, tiny creature. Tully gasped.
It was the Tooth Fairy.
“Hello,” she whispered. “Are you all right?”
“No,” sobbed the little creature. “I flew into a spider’s web and became all tangled up. I nearly didn’t escape. Please don’t hurt me.”
“I won’t hurt you,” she replied. “I’m your friend.”
The little fairy smiled and tried to sit up, but her wings drooped and her little tooth bag was caught around her legs.
Tully reached over and gently picked her up. “Come on. You need to have a rest – you’ve worn yourself out,” she said, carrying her inside.
She placed the fairy gently on her bedside table. “Wait here while I find a cloth to clean you up,” she instructed. The little fairy nodded and smiled.
Tully returned with a little bowl of warm water and a face-washer and gently wiped away all the dirt. She did her best to straighten up the worn out wings and carefully pulled the last few sticky strands of spider’s web from them.
“There you are Tooth Fairy, all fixed.”
The little fairy shivered, so Tully helped her climb into one of her woolen gloves and placed her gently in her music box. She wound the handle and as the music started, the little fairy yawned, snuggled down deep into the glove, and closed her eyes.
“My brothers don’t believe in you,” whispered Tully, smiling. “Wait until they get home. They’ll have to believe me now.”
When a door banged, Tully sat up quickly with a fright. When she looked at the wall clock and saw the time, she realized she had been asleep. She turned to the table. The music box was empty. She picked up the glove; it was empty too.
“Perhaps it was all a dream,” she thought sadly. But then, she saw it.
It was sprinkled everywhere, even on her windowsill.
She opened her tooth chest. Inside lay a shiny coin and a little piece of paper. Tully carefully took it out, and peered at the tiny writing.
“Thank you Tully,” she read.
Tully smiled, glad it wasn’t a dream.
About the Author
Caroline Tuohey is an award-winning children’s writer and poet whose main interest is picture books. She has four published picture books in print. She has also been published in children’s literature magazines in Australia and Ireland as well as in anthologies and poetry sites online.
She enjoys holding story time sessions at libraries, schools and preschools and conducts workshops for both school students and adults. Her other interest is bush poetry – which she writes and performs. She lives on a farm in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia with her husband, two children, and a dachshund.