Amazing Kids! Magazine

Dentista and the Crooked Teeth

By Natalie Tribiano

 

Editor’s Note: This story is a myth, or made-up story, that is used to create a reason for something commonplace in today’s world. Greek myths use Greek Gods to explain many of the things in the world. This author uses this technique to create an interesting and funny story.

There once was a beautiful grove south of Mt. Olympus. There grew the finest fruits, hanging off of the luscious twisting vines like Christmas ornaments. They sparkled in the sunlight and appeared to be god like. The cool stream, twinkling and fresh, snaked down and around the grove, cutting the dirt like a knife through butter. Hera stumbled upon this sacred place, as she was busy snooping around to find out what Zeus was up to.

“Ah, what a lovely grove I have stumbled upon! This place seems untouched and virgin to the outside world. I shall claim it for my own,” Hera proclaimed.

So each day Hera would go to the grove and pick the freshest fruits and bathe in the stream. She would sneak off to this place every day, for she did not want any of the gods to follow her and steal this heaven from her.

However, one misty evening, Hera’s beautiful younger sister, Toothinte, spied Hera pacing swiftly toward the grove. Being as curious as she was, the young girl followed her. As Hera began to undress to bathe in the stream, she saw her child sister appear from behind a peach tree.

“Sister, dear, what a wonderful place you have found! I wish to live here and raise my children, for this is a perfect place for them to grow up!” Toothinite exclaimed.

Hera flashed her a menacing stare, and squawked, “This is my haven! My place! How dare you follow me here, this is unfit for you. You have soiled the purity of this place, and now you must leave and never come back.”

Toothinite kicked at the ground, and tucked a long lock of glossy black hair behind her ear. “Now Hera, if you do not let me claim this grove for my own, I will let Zeus pursue me, as he has always wished,” Toothinite said softly, a devious smirk spreading across her milky white face. Zeus had always wanted to have Hera’s sister, but Toothinite had always refused.

Hera thought about this and stared at her sister, and envy boiled in her chest. Toothinite was beyond beautiful, with her long glossy hair reached down past her hips, her sparkling blue eyes and milky complexion. Her best feature had to be her teeth, glossy, and a brilliant white that could be seen from a mile away. “Fine, you wretched girl. Take this place, it isn’t pure any longer so I do not wish to dwell here.” Hera spat, and with that she gathered herself and swiftly sashayed out of the grove.

Toothinite smiled a brilliant smile that made the grass grow greener and the sunshine brighter. “I shall name this place Crestia,” she whispered to the stream.

Toothinite lived in Crestia for many years until she became a young woman and her smile kept the water clean and the air fresh. One day, a handsome cousin of Apollo named Augadus swooped down as he was traveling by wind, and a bright flash of white light caught his eye.

“What was that bright flash that nearly knocked me off my feet?” he demanded.

Toothinite peered from behind an oak tree and Augadus stared at the beautiful girl. He demanded that she show herself, and when she sheepishly crept out from behind the tree, his jaw dropped.

“Dear cousin, Toothinite. How womanly have you become!” Augadus cried.

Toothinite felt her cheeks grow hot and her lips spread into a smile, and Augadus was blinded by love. They were soon married, and had five children. Their names were Watina, Crownella, Opalina, Tartaren, and the youngest of them all: Dentista. They all had beautiful, brilliant white teeth that even Aphrodite was envious about.  Augadus worked in the village near the grove, and would often have to leave to go work with the mortals. Toothinite strongly disapproved of any interaction with humans, and her children were fine with that, except for Dentista.

“I want to see how they live! How they play! Why, Mother? Why must you limit us to just the outskirts of this grove?” Dentista would whine. Out of all the children, she looked the most like Toothinite. She had shoulder length sleek, black hair, a milky, faint olive tinted skin, and electric blue eyes. Dentista certainly had the most brilliant, most white and most straight teeth out of the five children.

“Listen to me child,” Toothinite would scold, “You are part God. I will not have you interacting with those humans, you need to remain pure.”

However, Dentista would run to the mere outskirts of Crestia and peer between the maple leaves of the highest tree. There she would watch the mortals playing and eating and laughing, and she would weep.

When Augadus would return home late each night to the grove, Dentista would beg and beg him to tell his tales of the human world. When Toothinite was sound asleep, Augadus would speak of bountiful feasts and beautiful music and cottages made of wood. Dentista would sit and listen to these tales for years and years, until one day Augadus did not return from the village one night.

“Mother, where is Father?” the children, now young adults, cried.

Toothinite ran as fast as she could to the village, telling her children to stay put. Dentista was the only one not weeping, for she may be the youngest of her siblings, but she was 16, and her father’s disappearance made her want to visit the human world more and more.

“Why aren’t you crying? Have you no soul?” her siblings asked.

Dentista did not answer as she gnawed at the inside of her cheek.

Toothinite returned, her beauty raw and face swollen with sadness. “Augadus is dead. He was involved with another woman in the village, so Hera had him killed for me,” she said softly as she sat on a rock in despair.

The young men and women did not know what to say, and they looked at each other in sadness and anger.

Toothinite looked at Dentista straight in the eyes and said harshly, “This is why you are never allowed into the world of the mortal. They bring nothing but bad luck.” She then stared off into the distance, and did not shift from that rock by the stream for days.

A few months had passed, and Dentista had turned seventeen. Her curiosity was eating her alive inside, and she decided she must feed the beast. That very night, while her family was sound asleep, she decided to creep down the long vine stretching from the grove to the village. Once her bare feet touched the soft earth, she began to run through the village. Her hair whipping in the wind, her smile electric, and her eyes wild with excitement. She touched every door, every basket, every rope and every fence. The humans were sound asleep, however, and she grew quite bored. The sun was rising, so she hurried back to Crestia.

However, whenever Toothinite went to tend to her responsibilities, Dentista would sneak down to the village. She met humans; she held hands with them, danced with them and kissed them. She hypnotized them with her smile, and boys brought her gifts and fell in love with this wild barefooted girl from the grove. Dentista loved the mortal world, and did not understand what her mother was trying to keep from her.

One day, she stayed a little too long, and one of the bakers said, “You should come to my family and friends’ feast tomorrow, beautiful wild girl. You will love it, for there will be lots of food. Lots of good food.”

Dentista nodded and grinned, a huge toothy grin, and the flash of her brilliant smile caught Toothinite’s eye while she was gathering grapes at the far edge of the grove. She peered down and saw her daughter conversing with the plump, red-faced baker, and she felt the anger rise to her cheeks like a teakettle. Dentista caught a glimpse of her mother’s glaring eyes and gasped, and then broke into a sprint back into Crestia.

Toothinite slapped her quivering daughter across the face. Not a single tear rolled down Dentista’s pale cheek, in fact her face was as set as stone. “You have dishonored me, communicating with those disgusting hum-”

Dentista cut in to her mother’s speech, “-They are not disgusting. They are beautiful! They are wonderful! And I like their world a lot better than ours!”

Toothinite was stung by her daughter’s harsh remarks, and then she said slowly and softly, “I heard that you were invited to a feast. Go, but take any bite of their wretched food and I’ll have your teeth misshapen and your beauty will be gone. You will become human.”

Dentista snapped, “Your threats do not hinder me, mother. I will go to that feast, and eat the food, and do as I please.” She then turned swiftly back into Crestia.

The next morning, Dentista traveled into the village for the feast. Golden turkeys, juicy hams and sparkling glasses of wine dotted the huge oak table. Smiling, pudgy, red-faced humans were gobbling down the delicious smelling condiments.

“Welcome to our feast, beautiful smiling girl from the grove! We are so glad you came! Please, have a bite of this turkey,” said the baker excitedly.

Now, a pool of sweat was beading on the back of Dentista’s neck, and she ran her tongue over her smooth, white teeth. Her mother usually does not mean what she says, so Dentista took a bite. Suddenly, she pulled the turkey back from her mouth to find blood on it. She ran her tongue over her teeth again, and her tongue went up and down like trains on a track. She could not close her mouth, and it was as if her teeth where trying to cut off her upper lip. Tears welled in Dentista’s eyes, and she tried to say something but did not want anyone to see her teeth, but it was too late. The villagers screamed in horror at the jagged mess in Dentista’s mouth. She glanced at her reflection in the wine cup and nearly fainted. Jagged, sharp, twisted and yellow, these horrible teeth were nestled in her gums. Now, Toothinite knew she could not just punish her daughter, but had to punish the humans as well. One by one, a new voice was heard screeching at the feeling of knives pressed against their upper lips. The teeth were contorted and warped, making it difficult to eat. Zeus watched his humans each suffer this consequence, and was furious. If it was any other goddess that did this, he would have had them killed. But since he favored Toothinite, he had her alter her punishment. He said it was not fair to have the humans who had nothing to do with the feast have crooked teeth. So, Toothinite fixed her punishment, and only those who fed Dentista the food had their teeth altered and warped.

“You wretched disgusting girl! We let you into our village, fed you our food, and you do this to us? You deserve to be burned at the stake!” screamed the baker.

The village took a vote, and said Dentista had to stay in the village forever, fixing people’s crooked jagged teeth. She barely ate and slept, and the beauty was drained out of her like a sponge. The villagers that had the jagged masses embedded in their frothing mouths were forced to reproduce with the villagers with the straight sets of pearly whites, and often their children would have these horrible teeth as well. Dentista worked and worked until she died, and another man replaced her. This job was soon named after Dentista, and it was called the dentist. Nowadays, if you spot someone with a mouthful of jagged teeth, they are long lost descendants of the cursed villagers from ages ago.