Juan Lucero is a student at the University of Southern California studying Mechanical Engineering. He also works at the USC Bookstore in his spare time. He is from a Mexican (Spanish) background, and moved from Chicago, IL to Los Angeles, CA for college.
“My ancestry is Spanish. We made a joke about it in class and we called it the Rat fairy. I believe it’s called ‘Ratoncito Perez’. He would take like your.. he was essentially a tooth fairy, he’d take children’s teeth but if you’re naughty he wouldn’t leave you anything. There’s a longer story but I don’t remember it at this point.”
Q: Who told you about this piece of folklore?
“Spanish high school teacher.”
Q: Did you personally believe in the ‘Rat fairy’
“No. I learned about the Rat fairy when I was 18 years old, so I was a little too old to believe in it because I mean I had a job.”
The informant couldn’t provide the entire story because he had forgotten large chunks of it, so I did some of my own research to find out where this piece of folklore came from and what the actual story entails. The story first came to fruition after Luis Coloma was asked to make a story for Alfonso XIII. Alfonso had just lost his tooth, so Coloma took inspiration from that.The actual story involves the mouse that lived in Madrid in a box of cookies. He would frequently run away from his house and into bedrooms belonging to kids who lost their teeth.