The toof mouse

So some time back I was driving listening to NPR and someone brought up the “tooth mouse.” The tooth mouse is basically the tooth fairy in other countries — particularly Spanish speaking countries, as well as France, and according to the commenter I heard also in former colonies of France or Spain. The tooth mouse supposedly takes the teeth to build its house, in one version of the story. In any case it usually leaves some small gift. My daughter Riley happened to be in the car and while she stopped believing in fairies and such in first grade or so, she had a loose tooth and suggested she’d leave it for the tooth mouse. Ever since, she would leave her teeth on her dresser, or on a banister by her door, and I’d write a silly thank-you from the tooth mouse (who has terrible spelling and grammar and just signs things “the toof mous”) and some trinkets like glass beads, sea shells, and some coins. The tradition fell by the wayside eventually but this week she lost one of the last three baby teeth she has, and the next day casually commented that the tooth mouse didn’t find her tooth. Riley’s going into seventh grade this year and I know there may not be a lot more of these kinds of moments. So, knowing how much she still loves hunting for toads when we go on hikes, I thought I’d paint the tiniest toad possible for her. It was so small it took only a few minutes really, and I couldn’t get my phone to focus very well on it. But here it is, based on a penny:

I tried it without the flash, not much better.

Honest, it looks pretty good in real life. It’s from the set of familiars Julie Guithrie sculpted for Ral Partha. Somehow I ended up with two of the sprues, so I still have another toad/frog like this and third slightly larger I think from Reaper.

Anyway here’s the card too, front, inside, and back.

Published in: on August 14, 2017 at 9:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Another awesome blog

Is here. All about folklore and fairy tales.  Fantastic stuff. Can’t believe there are not more followers and comments on that blog.

That is all.

Published in: on December 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Fairy tales on the big screen: The magic sword

I’ve got a nice copy of English Fairy Tales, retold by Flora Annie Steel & illustrated by Arthur Rackham.  I picked it up at a library book sale for the Rackham illos but I’ve also been reading the stories to my daughter.  Some of them are deeply disturbing, naturally, but all of them are pretty good.  I’ve read most of them a several times but somehow kept skipping the very first one, which is about St. George.  The story of St. George is retold here at Project Gutenburg (the rest of the book is here too, with the pictures!).

What jumped out at me (apart from the fact that St. George killed way more pagans than I would have guessed; I only knew about the dragon) is that this story is actually the basis of the 1962 movie The Magic Sword!  Seriously.  Things get sanitized a bit (instead of sacrificing babies, the witch-mom is pretty nice in the movie, etc.) and naturally a lot got dropped (the crusades mainly) but the broad strokes are all there — raised by a witch, the six international knights who join him, the ogre/giant, dragon, and magic sword, horse, and armor; notice too that our hero is Sir George in the film.  Lodac is new, and kind of replaces Almidor, the Moorish villain from the story, but for a movie that is so seriously bizarre, I was surprised to realize just how much of this acid trip movie was folkloric.  (OK, there are many versions of this tale, so F.A. Steel’s specific version may not be the basis of the movie per se; still I never realized how much of it was from ‘real’ legends.)

You can see the whole film here.  I think that, like Night of the living dead, this movie must be one of the casualties of copyright law and somehow got tossed into the public domain, based on the number of cheapo DVD releases it has had.

Also, both the film and the Steel book are veritable gold mines of D&D ideas.  What game would not benefit from chimpanzees in clothes, two-headed and/or pin-headed magicians’ servants, boiling pools of death, two-headed dragons, and that ape-ogre, or the orange tree and the magical falchion Ascalon?

Digging deeper into the Steel collection of fairy tales, the version of “Jack the Giant Killer” here is quite good and a reminder that the upcoming movie is really not an adaptation of that story at all, but of “Jack and the beanstalk” (which is also in this collection).  “The bogey beast,” “The golden ball,” “The three heads of the well,” “Child Rowland,” “Molly Whuppie and the double-faced giant,” and “The red ettin” all have some interesting monsters or encounters.

Rackham illustration for "The true history of Tom Thumb."  Looks like a scene from the Hobbit to me.

Rackham illustration for “The true history of Sir Thomas Thumb.” Looks like a scene from the Hobbit to me.

Published in: on April 2, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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