M ister Busybody lived in a small cottage called Bo-Peep in the very middle of Dreamy Village. He liked living in the middle of the village very much because then he could see all that was going on.
What a busybody he was! He poked his nose into everything, gave advice where it wasn't wanted, and knew everybody's secrets before anyone else did. People became very tired of him but Mister Busybody couldn't stop poking his nose into things—it was such a habit with him.
But one day something happened that stopped Mister Busybody for always. Ah, that was a funny joke, and the folk of Dreamy Village still laugh about it when they tell the story. This is what happened on that long-ago morning in the quiet village of Dreamy.
Just opposite Mister Busybody's house was a small field, and now and again a fair came to set up swings and roundabouts there. Sometimes a gypsy came, who could tell fortunes. Sometimes a passing wizard put up his tent there for the night, and did magic tricks for the little folk to marvel at.
Now one night there came to this little field Old Man Jog-About, quite a famous magician, who spent his time jogging about the country on his little white donkey, showing folks for a penny or two the marvellous things he had found on his travels. He set up his yellow and blue tent and then sent out notices to say that he had with him the famous red and green shoes belonging to the old witch Oddmedodd. Now these shoes were very strange. As soon as anyone put them on they at once ran off with the person whose feet were inside them! Many a time had the old witch Oddmedodd tried this trick on people she wanted to get rid of.
No one knew how Old Man Jog-About had got the shoes, but everyone wanted to see them and touch them. Nobody would dare to try them