The Toothpuller


The Toothpuller / De Kiezentrekker by Jan Steen, 1651 ( [Wikimedia Commons])

I want money. Why else would I live a vagrant’s life on the roads of Holland, seeking mouths to stick my fingers in? Oh I might say I do it to deliver people from their pain, but you’ve poured a couple of flagons down me so I’ll tell you the truth. They can stick hot coals in their mouths for all I care. What I want is silver so I yank their teeth and make a spectacle of it for the rest of you.

Disgusting things, mouths. Most of you don’t give much thought beyond your own, but I can never get away from them. Not even when I sleep. Last night, I woke up from a dream of mouths chattering their rotten teeth at me, demanding I pull tooth after tooth until I drop from exhaustion. And not a penny did they pay me for my trouble.

So I’ll not be saying no if you want to put another flagon in front of me. Why the frown? Tell you what, one more flagon and I might get drunk enough to tell you the secret.

What secret?

Why, the secret of never having to have your teeth pulled, that’s what secret. One flagon. Thank you, I knew you’d see sense.

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

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