Sarah McIntyre (jabberworks) wrote,
Sarah McIntyre

Grumpycorn Makes the News

A year ago, this Grumpycorn story ran in The Sunday Times, and I thought I'd publish the text in full here, so everyone can read it! (If anyone of any age wants to create a family-friendly illustration, send it to me on Twitter and I'll pop it into this blog post.)

In this story by Sarah McIntyre, Unicorn decides to make journalism history

Grumpycorn Makes the News

Unicorn finished drawing a big shiny badge that said 'PRESS' on it. 'I'm going to write the most fabulous news article in the world', he said. This made him feel very pleased with himself. He already liked being a reporter.

His friend Mermaid swam up to his house. 'Hi, Unicorn! What are you doing today?'

'I am writing the most fabulous newspaper article in the world,' he said. Mermaid looked impressed.

'What are you writing it about?

'I'm not sure yet,' said Unicorn. 'I need to find the most exciting news story ever.'

'Did you know that I was the first Mermaid astronaut?' asked Mermaid. 'No one has ever written an article about my voyage into space.'

Unicorn thought for a moment and frowned. 'But surely people would be more interested in reading about a unicorn in space. And lots of unicorns have been astronauts already.' Mermaid swam off in a huff.

Unicorn decided he needed to go out in search of his news story. He climbed into his little boat and rowed out to sea. His friend Narwhal was babysitting a raft of otter babies, at least 200 of them, all floating together, holding on to each other by their little webbed paws.

'Have you seen anything exciting happen around here?' asked Unicorn. 'I am trying to write the most fabulous newspaper article in the world and I need to find something Very Exciting to write about.'

Narwhal thought for a moment. 'Well, you could take a photo of these otters. I don't know if they are exciting exactly, they just float about looking cute, but I think people might like a newspaper photo of 200 otter babies. Narwhals don't usually look after otters, but their parents have gone on tour with their rock band and someone needs to do the job.'

'But it's just as you say, Narwhal', said Unicorn. 'They are not exciting. They would be more exciting if they were baby unicorns. I must keep looking.' He rowed off. This job was harder than he thought it would be.

Jellyfish swam up to the boat.

'Unicorn! I heard you were looking for a fabulous news story!' The thrill of this had set her wriggling all over. 'There is a huge wave coming this way!'

'That is a boring news story,' said Unicorn.

'Don't be such a Grumpycorn,' said Jellyfish. 'The World Surfing Championships are giving a prize to whoever can ride this wave the best!'

Unicorn sat up straighter in his boat. 'Oh! What if I were to win the championship? That would be a truly fabulous news story! Here, hold my phone and take some photos.'

Unicorn rowed home as fast as he could, got his surfboard, and sprinted to the beach where all the other surfers were splashing into the water. Mermaid, Jellyfish, and Narwhal with his otter babies swam closer to watch.

The huge wave rolled in from the ocean. Unicorn and the other surfers sprang up onto their boards. As the wave curled around them, the other surfers cut clean lines along the tunnel of water. But Unicorn could barely keep his balance, he wobbled and waved his hooves in the air.

'HELP!' he shrieked. His friends held their breaths. Unicorn disappeared underneath the wave.

'Poor Unicorn!' whispered Narwhal.

Suddenly Unicorn appeared on the crest of the wave, lying on his surfboard with all four legs wrapped tightly around it, his eyes squeezed shut. 'ARGGHHHHHH!' he howled as he shot along the wave, up over the beach, over the little tables of the beach cafes, and went crashing through the roof of the beach hut that stored thousands of yellow rubber duckies for the town's annual Duck Race. The shop fell apart in an explosion of yellow ducks as Unicorn and his surfboard landed.

There was a moment of silence. Then all the baby otters cheered. Jellyfish wriggled across the beach and snapped a photo.

Unicorn did not win the World Surfing Championships prize. While he drank a calming glass of lemonade at the beach cafe, Mermaid wrote a little article on Unicorn's phone about what had just happened, and Narwhal checked that she had spelled everything right. They sent the article, with Jellyfish's photo to the local newspaper.

The next morning, Unicorn's face was on the front page, in a photo of him lying in the smashed shop, surrounded by yellow ducks. Everyone thought he looked very silly, but Unicorn was thrilled. His heart swelled with emotion and he wiped away a tear of joy. 'It is the most fabulous news article in history because it is about ME.'

Sarah McIntyre wrote and illustrated Grumpycorn and Don't Call Me Grumpycorn. She launched the Pictures Mean Business campaign to show how everyone benefits when illustrators are credited properly for their work. For fun and inspiring activities, visit Sarah's website - - and visit
Tags: #picturesmeanbusiness, grumpycorn

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