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On Thu, 23 Dec 2004, In message
, Donna Richoux (Email Removed) writes
Aha. And you did it as a child, as well?

Yes. I received a sixpence for each tooth, or a shilling if my parents were feeling flush. This went up to 5p or 10p after 1971.
I'm wondering now how old this custom is; somehow it feels modern and not something that goes back beyond a century or so.

I've no idea.

Mark Browne
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"Isabelle Cecchini" san ga kakimashita...
Speaking of odd childhood myths: when I was little and ... The association between rodents and dentition is obvious, but still...

In France the coin is brought by the little mouse, "la petite souris"; a clever creature who keeps well aware of economic trends and who knows that the going rate for a front tooth is a one-euro coin.

I wish I knew that when I was a kid! It was a sparrow in Japan, or at least in my house. I used to throw my tooth upward (or downward, depending on the tooth) from the window, singing, "Sparrow, sparrow, bring me a new good tooth". Sparrows indeed gave me new good teeth, but no coin.

Nobuko Iwasaki
Kiki la souris?
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Laura F. Spira filted:
This led to great jealousy from her younger brother who, on the next occasion of tooth loss, left this note: ... He was not pleased to find 10p accompanied by an apologetic letter from a representative of the National Elf Service.

I feel much the same way when I discover that some commercial outfit with a web site and everything requires me to order things via snail mail..r
Speaking of odd childhood myths: when I was little and ... The association between rodents and dentition is obvious, but still...

In France the coin is brought by the little mouse, "la petite souris"; a clever creature who keeps well aware of economic trends and who knows that the going rate for a front tooth is a one-euro coin.

My cousin and I grew up in New Orleans; perhaps the little French mouse grew into a Louisiana rat. (Since my mother's ancestry was German I had guessed that it was a German rat. Frazer mentions in "The Golden Bough" that somewhere in Germany the baby tooth is thrown down a rat hole while saying an incantation.)

John Varela
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What does "mickey-taking" mean?

mocking

or perhaps leg-pulling

Roland Hutchinson              Will play viola da gamba for food.

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MWCD11 dates "tooth fairy" to 1962. Of course, that doesn't mean that the custom did not exist in some form before that (for example, the "petite souris" ("little mouse") mentioned earlier in this thread as being the deliverer of the money in France).

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
the tangerine, the sugar mouse, the chocolate money, the Chinese glass

Do they still make sugar mice? I remember them in white and pink, with string tails. They were my absolutely favourite treat.

Cheers, Lea

Lea V. Usin
the tangerine, the sugar mouse, the chocolate money, the Chinese glass

Do they still make sugar mice? I remember them in white and pink, with string tails. They were my absolutely favourite treat.

Oh yes, string tails and all. They seem to have bred a yellow one now, as well as the original pink and white ones. Otherwise they're exactly as I remember them half a century or more ago, and they must go back a lot further than that. (Resisting temptation to Google for history of sugar mice; lots of better things to do today.)

Katy Jennison
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Do they still make sugar mice? I remember them in white and pink, with string tails. They were my absolutely favourite treat.

Oh yes, string tails and all. They seem to have bred a yellow one now, as well as the original ... lot further than that. (Resisting temptation to Google for history of sugar mice; lots of better things to do today.)

Warning: those with sensitive stomachs may wish mark this message read at this point.
I heard a snatch of a Radio 4 programme one morning earlier this week - possibly Alice Thomas Ellis on old cookery books? - which purported to be a letter from an elderly lady describing the sugar mice she had been given as a child. These were more properly decsribed as "sugared mice" since they were the corpses of real mice which had been crystallised (by what sounded like a similar process to that used for marrons glace). They were thought to have medicinal properties. The letter writer claimed that they were deliciously crunchy.
I was listening in the car and found myself unable to eat the mince pie offered to me when I arrived at my destination.

Laura
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