Losing a tooth is milestone for most children -- and some get paid for it -- if the tooth fairy stops by. But sometimes she has a hard time finding the tooth. So, a Vermont woman came up with an idea to help.
"When you lose a tooth, the tooth fairy comes and gives you a quarter," said Kyle Bodreau, a local kid that gets 2 dollars a tooth.
No matter the price tag, the legend of the tooth fairy paying kids for lost teeth dates back centuries. "When my kids were little they put the tooth under the pillow and I almost woke them trying to get it out," said Judy Dow, who has been making baskets for nearly 50 years -- Including some teeny tiny ones -- the perfect size to hold a tooth.
When she first sold the small wax linen baskets, they didn't have a designated purpose. But this quick-thinking new grandma then got an idea. "People were intrigued by them, but couldn't figure out what they were, so finally I said just tell them they're tooth fairy baskets, so they did," she said.
Twisting and weaving her way through the baskets, Dow is a pro and says once you can weave and talk you know you've got the hang of it. "I think it was, at first -- it wasn't a love of baskets but a love of the land," she said.
She harvests many of the materials to make her baskets which have been shown all over the country in artisan exhibits, including in the Smithsonian Museum. But Judy Dow isn't just making baskets for fairies, she calls herself a basket case -- with hundreds all around her house. "I started making big hampers so I could hide the little baskets in the hampers," she said.
Dow also teaches basket weaving across the country and says her students walk away with the three Ps - Perseverance, Patience and Preservation.
"The 4th P when you're all done is feel proud because you say, 'I can't believe I did this,'" Dow said. "I'm proud of being a Vermonter and the products that I make show that sense of pride."
And she's making the tooth fairy's job a bit easier with her small Made in Vermont baskets that come sprinkled with a bit of mystery.
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