EAVESDROPPER, THE UGLY DWARF
Kate McDowell. Copyright by the Outlook Company.
 ONCE there was an ugly old dwarf; though such a little
bit of a man, he had the biggest ears you ever
saw. He was such a queer-looking fellow that people
would not go near him, if they could help it. He lived
in a place that was called "Tattlers' Row" in a little
old house he called "Keyhole."
This house had but one small window, and he was always
either peering through it to see what he could see, or
putting one of his big ears against it to hear
everything that the people in Tattlers' Row might have
to say as they passed by. Then he would run to tell
his next-door neighbor, Miss Busybody, what he had
heard, and she would hasten to tell what he had told
her, and, as it was often something not very nice about
some of their neighbors, this would stir up a big
Now, these people were not bad-natured or spiteful and
they did not wish to quarrel. But they knew, so long
as this ugly old dwarf, Eavesdropper, lived there to
tell all that he had heard with his big ears to Miss
Busybody, there could be no peace. So, in many ways,
they tried to get rid of him; but all to no purpose.
One day a fairy appeared among them, whose name was
Good Heart. She said: "I know what mischief
Eavesdropper has done among you, and I will tell you
how to cure him. Here is a bottle of magic oil. It is
the 'Oil of Kindness.' Watch, and when he is asleep
some time ask Miss Busybody to steal softly in and drop
some into his ears. Tell her it will be a good joke,
for it will make his ears get very small. She is
 always ready for anything, and she will surely do it,
just to make a stir; for she will not know that he can
never again bring her any more news. This oil will
make his ears so little that he will not be able to
hear anything from his window again, and Miss Busybody
will have to go somewhere else for her news."
"Miss Busybody pours the oil of kindness in Eavesdropper's ears."
So they did as the good fairy had told them to do; and
after Miss Busybody had poured the "Oil of Kindness"
into the Eavesdropper's ears they got so small you
could scarcely see them. He never could hear anything
at his window again, and so the people liked him much
better after that. Miss Busybody, whose hands had
touched the wonderful oil, put her fingers in her
mouth, and so she could say nothing more about people
that was not good. Then everybody in Tattlers' Row
stopped saying things that were not nice about their
neighbors, and in a little while the place was so
changed that it went by the name of Good-will Valley.