Empath barely understood what all that meant, though he did figure it out when each young Smurf came up to him to say their names and greet him in various ways. The first was a Smurf who was wearing a green-plaid kilt. "I am Duncan McSmurf of the clan McSmurf. You may not call me anything but by that name only. Otherwise, I am pleased to smurf your acquaintance," the Smurf said with a warm handshake.
The second was a Smurf who wore a green tie and striped vest. "Greetings, my fellow Empath. My name is Tapper Smurf, and I would be happy to smurf you a glass of sarsaparilla ale as well as some friendly advice should you ever be in need of it," that Smurf said.
But as Empath accepted each greeting he received, he noticed that one Smurf among them didn't look like he wanted to be there to greet him. That Smurf stood alone with his arms folded, his face wearing a constant scowl.
Papa Smurf noticed that that Smurf was the only one left who didn't come up to greet Empath. "Grouchy, don't you want to meet Empath?" he asked.
Grouchy just ran off and didn't say anything to either Empath or Papa Smurf.
Empath looked at Papa Smurf as if looking for an explanation, and Papa Smurf shrugged. "That's Grouchy for you. He's a hard Smurf to get to smurf."
Every Smurf at that point called out to Empath and invited him to do something with them, though Empath still couldn't understand their various requests because their speech sounded so polluted with that same word again. He looked to Papa Smurf to find out.
"Why does every Smurf seem to use that one word 'smurf' to mean anything besides who they are?" Empath asked Papa Smurf.
"It is also part of who they are as well as who you are, Empath," Papa Smurf gently answered. "It is the Smurf language, and in time you could smurf exactly what they mean and smurf how to say something in Smurf."
Empath shook his head. "That will not convince this one about what you are assuming he is!"
Papa Smurf sighed, trying not to sound discouraged. "Perhaps a change of clothes might help smurf yourself in a whole new way."
Meanwhile, every Smurf looked at Empath as both he and Papa Smurf walked away. They were all wondering why he was the only Smurf who couldn't understand a word they were saying. But Grouchy wasn't wondering at all. It didn't matter to him if that Smurf understood Smurf or not. He still hated having to greet strangers.
Shortly inside Papa Smurf's house, Empath found himself convinced when the village leader gave him some clothes to change into -- a white cap and a white pair of pants. At first, Empath had a hard time hiding his embarrassment when Papa Smurf saw him in those clothes, looking as if he was savoring the moment at Empath's expense. "This one feels so…underdressed in these clothes, Papa Smurf," he managed to say.
"Well, why don't we see for oursmurfs how you look?" Papa Smurf suggested. "That way you might not feel so undersmurfed."
He led Empath toward a mirror where he saw himself in his own reflection wearing Smurf clothes. In that moment he felt like he was looking at a whole new person -- an Empath forever transformed. He turned around and saw his own stubby blue tail for the first time. He even pinched it briefly to convince himself that it was for real.
"Great Ancestors!" Empath gasped as he looked at himself. "This one truly is...a Smurf! You have made it clear about what this smurf is...but honestly, this smurf doesn't feel like a Smurf!"
"That's where the other Smurfs as well as mysmurf will show you the rest," Papa Smurf said with a smile.