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"It's not fair!" howled Horrid Henry. "I want a Hip-Hop Robot dog!"
Horrid Henry needed money. Lots and lots and lots of money. His parents didn't need money, and yet they had tons more than he did. It was so unfair. Why was he so brilliant at spending money, and so bad at getting money?
And now Mom and Dad refused to buy him something he desperately needed.
"You have plenty of toys," said Mom.
"Which you never play with," said Dad.
"That's 'cause they're all so boring!" screeched Henry. "I want a robot dog!"
"Too expensive," said Mom.
"Too noisy," said Dad.
"But everyone has a Hip-Hop Robot Dog," whined Henry. "Everyone but me."
Horrid Henry stomped out of the room. How could he get some money?
Wait. Maybe he could persuade Peter to give him some. Peter always had tons of cash because he never bought anything.
Yes! He could hold Peter's Bunnykins for ransom. He could tell Peter his room was haunted and get Peter to pay him for ghostbusting. He could make Peter donate to Henry's favorite charity, Child in Need... Hip-Hop Robot Dog, here I come, thought Horrid Henry, bursting into Peter's bedroom.
Perfect Peter and Tidy Ted were whispering together on the floor. Papers were scattered all around them.
"You can't come in my room," said Peter.
"Yes I can," said Henry, "'cause I'm already in. Pooh, your room stinks."
"That's 'cause you're in it," said Peter.
Henry decided to ignore this insult.
"Nothing," said Peter.
"We're writing our own newspaper like Mrs. Oddbod suggested in assembly," said Ted. "We've even got a Tidy with Ted column," he added proudly.
"A snooze paper, you mean," said Henry.
"It is not," said Peter.
Henry snorted. "What's it called?"
"The Best Boys' Busy Bee," said Peter.
"What a stupid name," said Henry.
"It's not a stupid name," said Peter. "Miss Lovely said it was perfect."
"Peter, I have a great idea for your paper," said Henry.
"What?" said Peter cautiously.
"You can use your newspaper for Fluffy's litter box."
"MOOOM!" wailed Peter. "Henry's being mean to me."
"Don't be horrid, Henry!" shouted Mom.
"Peter is a poopsicle, Peter is a poopsicle," chanted Henry.
But then Peter did something strange. Instead of screaming for Mom, Peter started writing.
"Now everyone who buys my newspaper will know how horrid you are," said Peter, putting down his pencil.
"We're selling it in school tomorrow," said Ted. "Miss Lovely said we could."
"Lemme see that," said Henry, yanking the paper out of Peter's hands.
The Busy Bee's headline read:
PETER IN THE GOOD AS GOLD BOOK FOR THE FOURTH TIME THIS MONTH
Horrid Henry snorted. What a worm. Then his eye caught the second headline:
COMPUTER BAN FOR HORRID BOY
Henry was banned from playing games on the computer today because he was mean to his brother Peter and called him wibble pants and poopsicle. The Busy Bee hopes Henry has learned his lesson and will stop being such a big meanie.
"You're going to...sell this?" spluttered Henry. His name would be mud. Worse than mud. Everyone would know what a stupid toad brother he had. Worse, some people might even believe Peter's lies.
And then suddenly Horrid Henry had a brilliant, spectacular idea. He'd write his own newspaper. Everyone would want to buy it. He'd be rich!
He could call his newspaper The Hourly Howler and charge 25¢ a copy. If he could write seven editions a day, and sell each copy to 500 people, he'd make... he'd make...well, multiplication was never his best subject, but he could make tons of money!!!!!!
On the other hand, writing seven newspapers a day, every day, seemed an awful lot of work. An awful, awful lot of work. Perhaps The Daily Digger was the way to go. He'd charge a lot more per copy, and do a lot less work. Yes!
Hmmn. Perhaps The Weekly Warble would be better. No, The Monthly Moaner.
Maybe just The Purple Hand Basher.
The Basher! What a great name for a great paper!
Now, what should his newspaper have? News of course. All about Henry's triumphs. And gossip and quizzes and sports.
First, I need a great headline, thought Horrid Henry.
What about: PETER IS A WORM. Tempting, thought Henry, but old news: everyone already knows that Peter is a worm. What could he tell his readers that they didn't know?
After all, news didn't have to be true, did it? Just new. And boy did he have some brand-new news!
PETER SENT TO PRISON
The world's toadiest brother has been found guilty of being a worm and taken straight to prison. He was sentenced to live on bread and water for three years. The Basher says: "It should have been ten years."
SECRET CLUB COLLAPSES!!!
The Secret Club has collapsed. "Margaret is such a moody old bossy-pants no one wants to be in her club anymore," said Susan.
"Goodbye, grump-face," said Gurinder.
Right, that was the news section taken care of. Now, for some good gossip.
But what gossip? What scandal? Sadly, Horrid Henry didn't know any horrid rumors. But a gossip columnist needed to write something...
MRS. ODDBOD BIKINI SHOCK
Mrs. Oddbod was seen strolling down Main Street wearing a new yellow polka dot bikini. Is this any way for a principal to behave?
TEACHER IN TOILET TERROR
Terrible screams rang out from the boys' bathroom yesterday. "Help! Help! There's a monster in the toilet!" screamed the crazed teacher Miss Boudicca Battle-Axe. "It's got hairy scary claws and three heads!!"
Which soggy swimming teacher was seen dancing the cha-cha-cha with which old battle-axe?
MISS LOVELY IN NOSE PICK HORROR
Oh dear, Miss Lydia Lovely picks her nose.
"I saw her do it in class," says Prisoner Peter.
"But she said it was her nose and she would pick it if she wanted to."
THE NURSE HAS LICE!
Nitty Nora, Bug Explorer was sent home from school with lice last week. Whoopee! No more bug-busting!
That's enough great gossip for one issue, thought Horrid Henry. Now, what else, what else? A bit about sports and he was done. In tomorrow's edition, he'd add a comic strip: The adventures of Peter the Diaper. And a quiz:
Who has the smelliest pants in school?
D. All of the above!
Yippee! thought Horrid Henry. I'm going to be rich, rich, rich, rich, rich.
The next morning Henry made sure he got to school bright and early. Hip-hop Robot, here I come, thought Horrid Henry, lugging a huge pile of Bashers onto the playground. Then he stopped. A terrible sight met his eyes.
Moody Margaret and Sour Susan were standing in the school playground waving big sheets of paper.
"Step right up, read all about it, Margaret made captain of the school soccer team," bellowed Moody Margaret. "Get your Daily Dagger right here. Only 25 cents!"
What a copycat, thought Horrid Henry. He was outraged.
"Who'd want to read that?" sneered Horrid Henry.
"Everyone," said Susan.
Horrid Henry snatched a copy.
"That'll be 25 cents, Henry," said Margaret.
Henry ignored her. The headline read:
Margaret, the best soccer player in school history, beat out her puny opposition to become captain of the school soccer team! Well done Margaret! Everyone cheered for hours when Mrs. Oddbod announced the glorious news.
Margaret gave an exclusive interview to the Daily Dagger:
"It's hard being as amazing as I am," said Margaret. "So many people are jealous, especially stinky pants pimples like Henry."
"What a load of garbage," said Horrid Henry, scrunching up Margaret's newspaper.
"Our customers don't think so," said Margaret. "I'm making tons of loot. Before you know it I'll have the first Hip-Hop Robot Dog. And you-ooooo won't," she chanted.
"We'll see about that," said Horrid Henry. "Teacher in toilet terror! Read all about it!" he hollered. "All the news and gossip. Only 25 cents."
"News! News!" screeched Margaret. "Step right up, step right up! Only 24 cents."
"Buy the Busy Bee!" piped Peter. "Only 5 cents."
Rude Ralph bought a Basher. So did Dizzy Dave and Jolly Josh.
Lazy Linda approached Margaret.
"Oy, Linda, don't buy that rubbish," shouted Henry. "I've got the best news and gossip." Henry whispered in Linda's ear. Her jaw dropped and she handed Henry a quarter.
"Don't listen to him!" squealed Margaret.
"Buy the Busy Bee," trilled Perfect Peter. "Free vegetable chart."
"Margaret, did you see what Henry wrote about you?" gasped Gorgeous Gurinder.
"What?" said Margaret, grabbing a Basher.
SHOCKING SOCCER NEWS
There was shock all around when Henry wasn't made captain of the school soccer team.
"It's an outrage," said Dave.
"Disgusting," said Soraya.
The Basher was lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with Henry.
"Not making me captain just goes to show what an idiot that old carrot-nose Miss Battle-Axe is," says Henry.
The Basher says: Make Henry captain!
"What!" screamed Margaret. "Dave and Soraya never said that."
"They thought it," said Henry. He glared at Moody Margaret.
Moody Margaret glared at Horrid Henry.
Henry's hand reached out to pull Margaret's hair.
Margaret's foot reached out to kick Henry's leg.
Suddenly Mrs. Oddbod walked onto the playground. There was a stern-looking man with her, wearing a suit and carrying a notebook. Miss Battle-Axe and Miss Lovely followed.
Aha, new customers, thought Horrid Henry, as they headed toward him.
"Get your school paper here!" hollered Henry. "Only 50 cents."
"News! News!" screeched Margaret. "Step right up, step right up! 49 cents."
"Buy the Busy Bee!" trilled Peter. "Only 5 cents."
"Well, well," said the strange man. "What have we here, Mrs. Oddbod?"
Mrs. Oddbod beamed. "Just three of our best students showing how enterprising they are," she said.
Horrid Henry thought his ears had fallen off. Best student? And why was Mrs. Oddbod smiling at him? Mrs. Oddbod never smiled at him.
"Peter, why don't you tell the inspector what you're doing," said Miss Lovely.
"I've written my own newspaper to raise money for the school," said Perfect Peter.
"Very impressive, Mrs. Oddbod," said the school inspector, smiling. "Very impressive. And what about you, young man?" he added, turning to Henry.
"I'm selling my newspaper for a Child in Need," said Horrid Henry. In need of a Hip-Hop Robot, he thought. "How many do you want to buy?"
The school inspector handed over 50¢ and took a paper.
"I love school newspapers," he said, starting to read. "You find out so much about what's really happening at a school."
The school inspector gasped. Then he turned to Mrs. Oddbod.
"What do you know about a yellow polka dot bikini?" said the Inspector.
"Yellow...polka...dot...bikini?" said Mrs. Oddbod.
"Cha-cha-cha?" choked Miss Battle-Axe.
"Nose-picking?" gasped Miss Lovely.
"But what's the point of writing news that everyone knows?" protested Horrid Henry afterwards in Mrs. Oddbod's office. "News should be new."
Just wait until tomorrow's edition...