Ratoncito Pérez

Ratoncito Pérez / The Mouse Perez

Who takes your children’s teeth in the night from under their pillows? It is not the Tooth Fairy/ Hada de los Dientes as we were taught in USA. It is a little mouse who wears a straw hat, gold glasses, linen cloth shoes and carries a red pack on his back.

Interpretation of Ratoncito Pérez by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu
Interpretation of Ratoncito Pérez by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu

This little mouse has been around for a long time but in ancient times he did not wear clothes. Mothers would offer the baby teeth of their children to the mice that lived in the fields to ensure good crops thus making their children strong and healthy. The mouse in clothing came about in 1894 when Queen Maria Cristina Coloma of Spain asked the Jesuit priest, Father Luis Coloma to write a story for eight-year old Alfonso XIII when his baby milk tooth fell out. The priest wrote the story about the small Mouse Perez, clothed him and made him the most beloved mouse of all time.

So remember

, all little mice are not nuisances. It just may be the friendly Ratoncito Pérez visiting to exchange the little tooth with money or a small gift. Taking his precious tooth to make jewelry, build a castle or adding another star to the sky. Also, do not forget to remove those mouse traps before you place that tooth under the pillow.

*I have spoken to other Dominican children and they tell me that they throw their teeth onto the roof of their homes so the new teeth will grow down straight and good.”

To read more about some superstitions involving children go to the Women & Children Superstitions page.

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