While children in Anglo Saxon countries have their baby teeth taken away by the tooth fairy, in France it is la petite souris (the little mouse) that comes round.
When a baby tooth falls out, the child places it under their pillow and in the morning it has been removed by la petite souris and replaced with money.
The mouse has a busy schedule, because he doesn't just serve France, but many Francophone countries including Belgium, Switzerland, Morocco, Algeria, Luxembourg and the French-speaking parts of Canada. Spanish-speaking countries also have a mouse, but it is known as Pérez Mouse.
The tooth fairy, meanwhile, bases her operations mainly in Anglophone countries and some parts of northern Europe.
But even magical international mice don't get to avoid France's famous bureaucracy, the below tweet is a response in French newspaper Le Monde to a child enquiring if the mouse could still visit during lockdown. The answer was yes, as long as he filled in his attestation.
would be surprised if there was anything more French than this—Le Monde responds to a 5-year-old’s concern that the tooth fairy won’t be able to visit during lockdown by saying all that will be needed is for the tooth fairy to furnish her “transport attestation” for entry pic.twitter.com/iJCZyxMhXw
— Cody Delistraty (@Delistraty) November 2, 2020
This article is part of The Local France's 2020 virtual advent calendar – every day until Christmas we will be presenting you with a person or object that has a particularly significance to life in France.