Not a Fairy


My how or when Thou wilt not heed,

But come down Thine own secret stair,

That Thou mayest answer all my need –

Yea, every bygone prayer.

George MacDonald


Where did the legend of the tooth fairy come from? Think about it. This fairy, be it male or female, sneaks, somehow, into a child’s bedroom at night, takes a tooth and leaves a quarter (though I hear inflation has affected the tooth fairy along with the rest of us). It sounds a little creepy and pedophile-y when you really look at the legend. So how and where did it start?

Well thankfully we have this thing called the internet which is a researcher’s dream come true.

First of all, it is a very old tradition and one that occurs in different variations around the world. English-speaking countries have a fairy of some sort (one of which lives under the eaves of your roof…creepy). Spanish speaking and Italians believe it’s not a fairy but a little mouse. Some cultures either believe the teeth should be burned (this wards off witches who can apparently do you harm if they get your teeth), or they are buried. Goes to show that everybody does something with their children’s teeth.

The above poem made me think of fairies (you know Santa Claus, tooth fairy, etc.) sneaking into the room while you’re sleeping. These fairies always being something good and so does God. However, unlike the fairy stories, God cannot be timed.

We know from an earlier post that he is as close as hands and feet, but He is also concerned with the when of our prayers. Not our when, as MacDonald points out, but His when. God knows what we need and He knows when we need it.

He comes down His own secret stair, when the time is right, to reward us with an answer to prayer. Isn’t that better than a quarter for a tooth?


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