Tappety Tam Fairley is the odd-job man in High Hope village, where he keeps everything neat and tidy. So much so, in fact, that High Hope wins the Best Kept Village competition every year – much to the annoyance of the inhabitants of Low Hope Village, who have never won anything at all.
As the annual competition draws near again, the High Hope village committee meets to give Tam his list of odd jobs to spruce up the place and ensure that High Hope wins the award yet again. But who is the mysterious Mr Tallboy who also attends, and why does he want to change the items on Tam’s list? Should the street really be filled with elephants, and the pond filled with fresh custard?