Don and Jenny were lounging in Don’s room, reading the comics of Crazy Craig. Don was laughing madly at a certain scene in which Craig is captured by some cannibals who want to eat him but are, unfortunately, out of salt and sauce.
Don looked up when Jenny huffed. “What?”
Jenny sighed. “It’s my loose tooth. It isn’t coming out,” she replied irritably. “I want it to come out!”
Don sat up and looked at his seven-year-old sister gravely. “This is bad news, Jenny. Your tooth has to come out,” he said.
“I know,” Jenny whispered conspiratorially. “Tooth Fairy, right?”
Don nodded seriously, and then rubbed his hands together as if getting ready to go on an adventure. “I have an idea,” he announced.
Fifteen minutes later, Don stood looking down at his little sister, who was tied to the bed with a weathered rope which he had nicked from their father’s garage. Looking rather confident and pleased with himself, he grinned at Jenny.
Jenny lay quite still, then grumbled, “The knot is too tight. It hurts.”
Don did not need to ask her what she meant. He knew she was referring to the string he had tied to her loose tooth, with the other end tied firmly at the headboard of his bed.
“It has to be that way, Jenny, I promise. Now wait here. I’ll get the candle.”
Little Jenny waited till Don returned with the candle. He lit it and shot Jenny a triumphant smile. Jenny rolled her eyes and waited for him to proceed with his plan. She had no idea what he was going to do to her. But tying her up like that seemed a dark ritual from a witch’s spell book. She had read about such things in comics and fairytales. Maybe Don was going to summon the Tooth Fairy directly into their house and ask her to remove Jenny’s tooth.
But when Don, suddenly, brought the candle really close to her face, Jenny shrieked and jerked her head away from the flame.
“Why did you do that, Donnie? I thought we were friends!” Jenny screamed, tears rolling down her cheeks. Her own brother had tried to burn her!
But Don just grinned at her, looking as smug as ever. “Do you feel the pain?” he asked.
Jenny scowled. “What pai- oh!”
She touched her tongue to the empty space where her tooth should have been and giggled. “Why didn’t you just tell me?” she said, making a face when she saw the fallen tooth on the pillow. She picked it up and released it of the string knotted around it. “How much do you think we’ll get for this tooth?” she asked, looking up at Don in giddiness.
“It is a rather big tooth,” her brother agreed. He looked thoughtful for a second, then said, “A dollar maybe?”
Jenny rolled her eyes as if Don was being a child. “Don’t be silly,” she said.
Don shrugged. “Fifty cents then. Whatever it is, you’ll still get ice cream for your bravery and in honour of your fallen tooth.” He took the tooth from Jenny’s hand to inspect it. “What if we break it in half and put one half under your pillow and one half under mine?”
A frown marred Jenny’s pretty features. “That’s cheating, Don,” she said disapprovingly.
“Yes but we’ll get double the money,” Don argued excitedly. Jenny could see that he was beginning to like this idea more and more.
She thought about how to tell him that she was not happy with his idea. She didn’t want him to get angry with her. Whenever Don got angry, he wouldn’t speak to her for days. Jenny always hated that. She liked it when they were friends. But she did not want to be a cheating cheater either. So she said, “But what if the Tooth Fairy finds out? You know, from the broken shape of the tooth?”
Don opened his mouth to counter her but then shut his mouth and seemed to give her concern a serious thought. She was right. The Tooth Fairy was smart, she would totally find out. His shoulders slumped and his face fell. “I think you’re right,” he said, handing her back the tooth. “You can put it under your pillow tonight.”
Jenny stared at him with big eager eyes. “Whatever I get, I’ll share it with you, Don,” she said.
Don smiled. “I know.”
And he went back to reading his Crazy Craig comic.
Jenny stuffed the tooth under her pillow, grabbed a paper pencil from her drawer and wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy. Then she folded the note and placed it under her pillow along with the precious tooth. Her note read –
Dear Tooth Fairy,
My brother, Don, was the one who helped me get my loose tooth out. He’s my best friend. Please give him half the tooth prize. Oh, and please take care of my tooth.