I spotted him last night. He was lurking behind the overgrown weeds that come up between the cracks in the sidewalk. I said hello. He remained silent. I moved to the left. His beady, black eyes followed my movement. I moved to the right. His gaze followed. He wasn’t talkative and that was okay. He was there to do his job and I left him to it.
Early this afternoon I returned from an errand and found him again. This time he sat on the bottom step. I greeted him with a smile and said hello as I walked around him and went into the house.
This silent creature with the black beady eyes makes me smile. He most certainly is a great, great, great grandchild of the legendary Algae. (Algae was one of the best guard toads that ever took on the invading hoards of ants.) I’ve yet to learn the name of the new enforcer of the steps but once he becomes comfortable in his new position, and with me, I’m certain he will share it.
He grudgingly allowed me to take his photo but soon became impatient with his new celebrity and started to hop away. But here he is, my new guard toad.
The new enforcer.
I’ve been reading the book “What-the-Dickens” by Gregory Maguire. It’s a book for older kids, I’d say the 8-12 year old set. As a kids books it’s a fairly fun read. The gist of the story is this: a cousin is watching his three much younger cousins through a hurricane. While the cousins ride out the storm he tells the kids a tale about an orphan Skibberee named What-the-Dickens. The cousin weaves a tale of the orphan and how tooth procurement fits into his life.
In the book the skibbereen, aka tooth fairies, trade cold cash (coins) for the lost tooth. In my days it was only a quarter. I’ve no idea what children are given these days but I’m certain they are overpaid for their baby teeth. Anyway, as I’ve been reading this book I’ve been wondering what the tooth fairies are going to use in the future for trade. Eventually we are not going to use money. Even now the Canadians are phasing out their penny. Soon it will be their nickels. And most of us are using debit cards to make purchases. I don’t remember the last time I used cash.
In the future what happens when Junior loses his tooth and puts it under his pillow? What will he expect to find in the morning? Will he recognize currency? Coins?
What’s the option for the tooth fairy? Debit cards for 5-year olds? Gifts like the future version of I-Pods? I-Pads? Bicycles? Will they go simple and hand out candy? They can hardly do that. That would horn in on the Easter Bunny’s gig.
Whatever happens, I hope the tooth fairies figure out what their new trading item will be otherwise they will go the way of fairy tales themselves and live on the edge of extinction.
(Somewhere deep within the Black Forest of Germany there lives a lonely fairy tale. It spends its days seeking a partner to procreate with and replenish the species. Godspeed tooth fairies and fairy tales of all kinds.)