Content Warning: death dental

I've spent the afternoon and evening mourning the death of someone I didn't really know at all, but who I felt knew me very, very well. Terry Pratchett's work played a major part in shaping the person I am today (unfortunately for the rest of you) and his passing has been felt by a lot of people, not as an abstract end-of-an-era thing, but as a personal loss-of-an-old-friend. That's massively depressing, so in the spirit of Sir Terry I'm going to tell you an amusing story.

When I was a small, underdeveloped human, bearing an unnerving resemblance to Mowgli from The Jungle Book - the Disney version - one of my small, underdeveloped human teeth fell out of my mouth to make way for the larger, mature human tooth that would grow in its place. At the time I'd just discovered the Discworld novels and I'd become completely obsessed with the two that I owned (Interesting Times, which Sir Terry signed many years later, and Guards! Guards!).

As is the usual, somewhat macabre, tradition in these parts, I put the lump of blood and calcium that had dropped out of me under my pillow and waited for the Tooth Fairy to slip me a quid so that I could buy more sugary stuff and speed up the decay of the remaining teeth.

Instead, I woke up to a brand new Discworld novel wedged under my pillow. It was Jingo, and inside was a post-it which I've kept to this day, fastening with sellotape when the old adhesive began to give: "Dearest Kaliane, Words not money The best. Love, Toothy."

Ka Bradley works at Granta and Portobello Books

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