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(480) 899-52402470 West Ray Road Suite 1, Chandler, AZ 85224

Daniel G. Kline DDS - Chandler Dentist

(480) 899-5240

2470 West Ray Road Suite 1, Chandler, AZ 85224

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Cinco de Mayo (and Welcome Perez Mouse!)

Posted by Editor in on May 4, 2017

 

Cinco de Mayo is one of the most beloved of spring holidays. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not Mexico’s Independence Day (that’s later), but rather the anniversary of the Mexican army’s victory over France in the 1862 Battle of Puebla. One battle of many within the Franco-Mexican war that raged from 1861-67, Cinco de Mayo isn’t a big deal in Mexico—but Raton Perez is.

Also known as Perez Mouse, he’s the Mexican equivalent of the tooth fairy and is also found in a variety of Latino communities around the world. Perez came from Madrid at the turn of the century, and it’s said that when a child loses a tooth, Perez Mouse will take it in exchange for a gift. Perez is just as famous in Spanish cultures as the tooth fairy is in many western countries, but he’s “modified” depending on the region. In Mexico, he’s often called “el Raton de los Dientes,” which translates to “the tooth mouse.”

Perez’ Rise to Fame

While many Americans are strangers to Perez, he’s actually quite famous around the world. Colgate has used his likeness in a Venezuelan commercial, and he snagged the star role in Argentina’s 2006 movie El Raton Perez. He even made a cameo in the story of The Vain Little Mouse. In Madrid, there’s a plaque of Perez outside a warehouse where it’s rumored the original Ratoncito Perez lived.

Perez’ very first appearance was in an 1877 Spanish book where he was the husband of “La Ratita Presumida,” or the “vain little mouse.” Later, he evolved into a series of characters under the creativity of Luis Coloma who made Perez a folklore star. Coloma was asked to commission a tale for Alfonso XII (child King Buby) in 1894, and Alfonso had just lost a tooth. Coloma whipped up a story of Perez living in a cookie box, but who scurried away in the night to seek out children who lost their teeth. Thus, a new kind of tooth fairy was born.