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"All in the name of research" by Emma Burnett

I told her not to run, that it wouldn’t hurt.

It’s just a tooth and, also, it’s for science.

I told her we’d put it under the pillow, then tonight

we would find out if the tooth fairy really did exist.

I told her it would produce results.

She just screamed and ran.

I yelled after her that it had to be

her tooth because I’d lost all mine

(except for the big ones at the back,

but I didn’t tell her that).

Her teeth would be easier to get anyway,

since the front ones were loose.

And also, since they were in her face, they’d be easier to get.

Easier for me, anyway.

So, I chased her out from behind the sofa

and from under the bed.

I crept slowly towards the closet

but as soon as I opened the door

she slipped under my arm

and shot down into the basement.

We both hate it down there because it

smells like mould and it’s dark and creepy

but I thought actually it’s the right sort of place

to capture a sister. Where no one could hear her.

She wriggled and punched at my ribs,

and she even tried to bite me, which was smart.

But I got the tooth, which was pretty loose anyway.

Once she stops howling, we can sort out night shifts

to see whether there really is a tooth fairy.

I doubt it. I think it’s an ogre.

Because what else would make a habit

of collecting little kids’ body parts?

Emma Burnett is a recovering academic. She’s big into cats, sports, and being introverted. You can find her @slashnburnett.


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