Lost tooth on the Milford Track

Department of Conservation —  06/06/2013

By John Carter, trapping contractor for DOC, Te Anau.

It’s the weekend and I am working but my son Jasper, aged five, loves to help. I am trapping possums on the Milford Track.

John Carter and Jasper tramping to Green Lake Hut.

John and son Jasper tramping

Jasper joins me for the final 20 of the 600 possum kill traps that need checking. The Sentinel traps have proven very successful on this check with over 300 possums caught.

A sentinel trap on the Milford Track.

A sentinel trap

And then it happens – somewhere between trap 580 and 590. Jasper alerts me to his first ever wobbly tooth and while eating a muesli bar it disappears from his mouth.

Jasper on the Clinton River swing bridge, Milford Track.

Where’s my tooth?

Jasper is distraught. Not because the tooth has fallen out – but because it has gone. Lost! How will the tooth fairy find it? Will the tooth fairy be cross with me he asks. Not if we write a letter to her explaining what happened I say. So, Jasper writes this letter to the tooth fairy and the real reason why he is so concerned is revealed!

“Dear tooth fairy,
I am sorry I lost my tooth on the famous Milford Track. You will find it there.
Can I still have my money please?
Love Jasper”

Jasper minus a tooth in front of the Milford Track sign.

Jasper minus a tooth!

11 responses to Lost tooth on the Milford Track


    Aw, little man, I hope the tooth fairy found your tooth or you got your money, how unfair was that eh, losing your tooth like that! But you will get your reward, a beautiful new tooth will come soon and you will forget all about your baby tooth. Love and hugs to you xxxx


    Hello little man. Dont worry mate, the Tooth Fairy has amazing eyesight, she will find it (if she hasn’t already). I wish the tooth fairy would come to see me. I had a troublesome tooth not so long ago, but the dentist took it away and I had to give him money- lots of it too! I wish I was little again sometimes. I have done a little research and I have found out that the Kent Fairy sometimes leaves paper money because it is lighter to fly with than heavy coins, which can mean that she can’t fly as fast.

    Laura Botelho 07/06/2013 at 6:33 pm

    We do have a steep rate of exchange in Kent that’s true must be because we are so close to London and the Tooth Fairy feels we have more expenses!! Millie is really jealous as she is yet to get her first wobbly tooth. She has quite a gap between her front teeth anyway so she tells people she has lost a tooth!

    very cute picture Jasper xxx

    Mary Carter 07/06/2013 at 9:52 am

    Dear Jasper – I am sure the tooth fairy will find your tooth and treasure it. It will be a rarity coming from the Milford Track. lots of love, Grandma

    Keeley Harper 07/06/2013 at 6:34 am

    Great story! I hope the tooth fairy was generous!!


    Oh Jasper you look sooooo grown up with that gap. Daniel and thomas have both lost teeth before. Daniel swallowed one and Thomas’ tooth ended up in the bin (by mistake)
    Don’t worry. Tooth fairies will find them where ever they are. If they can’t be bothered they always leave something to say “thanks anyway”. Now i wonder what the current rate is in New Zealand? There is a BIG difference between Kent where Laura and Ozzi Live and Hampshire where we live. Josh always gets loads more than my two. Daniel has even thought about sending Josh his tooth to get a better rate of exchange!


    Great story. 🙂 My wee seven month old has had one tooth right in the middle of his grin for about six weeks…and nothing else. If things don’t improve soon he’s not going to be profitable in five years time!


    Treasure the letter John, I still have the one my daughter Alyssa wrote apologising to the tooth fairy for swallowing the tooth. 🙂


    beautiful! check out that smile!


    Jasper I hope the Tooth Fairy found your Tooth, I am sure that the tooth fairy loved detouring to the Milford Track to find it. You should aim to lose the next one on the Routeburn so the Tooth fairy can do all the great walks. Great story and photos.

    Elizabeth Marenzi 06/06/2013 at 1:27 pm

    Lovely story – thanks for sharing John (and Jasper!) My eldest son just lost his first tooth too – so our household has just had its first ever visit from the tooth fairy. What’s the going rate for a tooth collected on the Milford Track these days? I imagine they’re quite rare and should fetch a pretty price. From under a pillow in the Marenzi house it’s $1 (a bit cheap perhaps?).