Andrea and Natalie walked down the steps of Glenwood School. Their homes were only a few blocks from the school, so they walked home most days when the weather permitted.

"Hey, Natalie!" Andrea asked. "Did you check out the Internet this morning? Are they showing a new Powerpuff Girls adventure this Friday?"

"Nah," her friend replied, "they're rerunning the 'Rainy Day Adventure' and 'Just Desserts'."

Andrea thought for a moment. "'Just Desserts'... what was that one about?" she asked.

"Remember 'Supper Villain' with the next-door neighbors? 'Just Desserts' is when that whole family turns to villains and chases the Girls through their house in a car."

The two girls were on their own street now, passing a wooded area. After a moment, Andie spoke up, "Hey, I got the new Powerpuff Girls comic book yesterday! The Girls have to fight this monster that's so strong it can throw cars and buildings around, but they can't find it!"

"Why not?" Natalie asked. "Is it invisible?"

"Nope!" came her friend's reply. "It's hard to see because it's only about a foot tall!"

Natalie gave a little squeal, and both girls laughed. Then Andie nudged Natalie and said, "Nothing wrong with being kinda small!" Andrea was a head shorter than Natalie, who was very petite herself. They were the two shortest girls in the fifth grade, but the friends didn't mind teasing each other now and then. They could joke about their smallness, walking home with no one else around.

Or so they thought.

"Hey, Nattie," Andie said, "I was gonna study for the science test this evening. Want to come over and study with me?"

"Oh, Andie, I'm sorry!" came Natalie's reply. "I've got soccer practice till--"

Her words were cut short as two menacing figures stepped out from behind a tree. The girls stopped cold as they recognized the two as Derek Stiles and Betty Harper. "Just our luck," thought Andie, "running into the school bullies on our way home."

"Well, well, well," sneered Derek, "if it isn't Andrea Ant and Natalie Gnat! Were you two walking home to your anthill or is there a shrimp convention going on here?"

"Wha-What do you want?" stammered Natalie. "You already took our lunch money!"

"Yeah," said Betty as she stepped up to Nattie, "that's what we're here for. The peanuts you've been paying us till now just won't cut it anymore. From now on, you want to keep all your teeth in, you'll have ten dollars for each of us every Wednesday."

"TEN DOLLARS?" cried Andie. "How are we gonna get that kind of money??"

Grinning, Derek walked up to Andrea. Staring down at the frightened girl, he said, "Well, shrimp girl, that's not my problem, now, is it?" He gave Andie a push that sent her sprawling to the pavement.

"Leave her alone!" shouted Natalie.

"Aw, what's the matter?" Betty asked. "Widdle baby Natalie go pee-pee in her Pampers? Maybe widdle baby Natalie run home so Mommy can change her!"

Derek joined in, "Too bad widdle baby Andie not wear Pampers. They not make Pampers tiny enough for teeny-tiny Andie to wear!"

The two bullies laughed as they walked off. Before they rounded the corner, Derek yelled, "Ten dollars for each of us, tomorrow morning!"

Natalie stepped over to her friend. "Are you okay, Andie?" she asked as she helped her up.

Andrea dusted off her skirt. "Yeah, no problem," she said, more angry than hurt.

Neither girl felt much like talking the rest of the way home.