Empath watched as Handy got up the next morning, noticing the time on his alarm clock which he purposely didn't set, for he had no intention of being awakened at any time until he felt ready to awaken. Smurfette had left him a basket of croissants, a small jar of smurfberry jam, and a pot of Tapper's smurfberry tea by his door when he went to receive his daily paper and mail.
Handy sat at the table of his workshop, leisurely enjoying his breakfast. "It's so good to be smurfing this when I'm not in a hurry to smurf anything," he said. He looked through the letters he had received and noticed they were all the same thing: requests for his services. He filed them all away in his request box. "Well, they'll have to smurf care of their own problems now, at least until I can smurf myself enough rest."
Then as he was finishing up his breakfast, he took a look at the cherry desmurfer machine, which he had taken his hammer to. "Such a wonderful machine," he sighed, imagining what it was supposed to do and feeling sad that it wasn't working the way he wanted it to. He then went back upstairs to his bedroom and changed into his white overalls. "Can't worry about the machine now, though. I'll have smurf back to it some other time."
He decided to take his newspaper with him and walk around the outskirts of the village to get his mind off working on any inventions. As he was reading the paper, he noticed that there were a lot of typos appearing in the text. He knew that Editor, Reporter, and Printer were doing the best they could with an old hand-cranked printing machine. Someday, though, as Handy thought about it, they will need something better. But now wasn't the time to be thinking of anything better.
Handy came across Farmer, who was carting a wheelbarrow with a squeaky wheel. "Howdy, Handy. How are you this fine morning?"
"Feeling awake and refreshed, Farmer," Handy said. "You know, that wheel could use a bit of grease. Maybe I could..."
"Don't trouble yourself there, Handy," Farmer said. "I can pretty much be handling this problem myself. Smurf you later."
Handy watched Farmer head off in the other direction. He felt like he wanted to do something, but Papa Smurf told him that he needed to relax and put his mind off working. He must have told the other Smurfs to not bother Handy as well.
He continued to walk along the outskirts of the village when he saw a fellow Smurf working on his house. "Say, what are you smurfing there?" Handy asked.
"Oh, you know how these houses smurf from time to time, Handy," the Smurf answered. "Just another crack in the wall that needs smurfing."
Handy observed how that Smurf was doing the work. "You know, that's not the proper way to smurf up a crack." He then examined the plaster that the Smurf was using. "And this plaster isn't smurfed properly. This isn't going to smurf very well when it smurfs."
"I'm smurfing the best I can, Handy," the Smurf said defensively. "Besides, Papa Smurf said that we should be able to smurf these problems for ourselves and..."
Handy sighed, feeling how anxious he was to solve another Smurf's problem. "Smurf me that!" he said, grabbing the trowel out of that Smurf's hand. "I'll smurf you how it's done!"
"Really, Handy, you don't need to smurf this for me!" the Smurf said as he watched Handy at work, perfecting the plaster mixture and then using it to seal up the crack.
"I'm only smurfing this so that you'll know how to smurf it better," Handy said. "After that, you should know how to smurf it for yourself."
At that point, Painter and Harmony were walking along the outskirts of the village when they saw Handy at work. "Sacre bleu! What is this?" Painter said. "It smurfs like M'sieu Handy is feeling all better."
"Yeah," Harmony said. "He's already back to work! Let's see if I can get him to smurf at my trombone!"
"And my easel," Painter said, agreeing with Harmony. They both rushed to their houses to get the things from there.
"There, you should be all set," Handy said, smiling as he had finished sealing up the crack in that Smurf's house.
"Thanks for the help, Handy," the Smurf said. "By the way, one of the shutters has smurfed off the windows of my bedroom."
"Fixing it by yourself can be rather dangerous, you know," Handy said. "I can smurf over a ladder, that will help you smurf your problem."
"Would you mind if you smurfed by just to make sure I'm smurfing this job safely?" the Smurf asked.
"Sure thing," Handy said. "I wouldn't want to see my fellow Smurf get smurfed."
Then Painter and Harmony came rushing by, carrying things with them. "Say, M'sieu Handy, can you smurf a look at my easel?" Painter asked.
"And how about my trombone?" Harmony asked as he and Painter approached Handy.
As Handy found himself being accosted by his fellow Smurfs asking requests of him, Papa Smurf came by and noticed. "What is this smurfing on here?" he asked. "I thought I told you Smurfs that Handy needs to smurf his rest!"
"But Papa Smurf, me and Harmony had both smurfed Handy smurfing on a Smurf's house," Painter said.
"Yeah, we thought that Handy was smurfing better from what smurfed on yesterday," Harmony said.
"I'll deal with this problem myself, my little Smurfs," Papa Smurf said. "You just leave Handy alone and learn to start smurfing things for yourselves." He then took Handy aside for a private talk. "I thought that I have smurfed you specific instructions that you are not to smurf any more work on anything, Handy."
"I'm sorry, Papa Smurf," Handy said. "It's just that I find it hard to relax when I'm around my fellow Smurfs all day."
"Then you need to start smurfing some time in the forest, or smurf anyplace other than being here," Papa Smurf said. "This is one time where you're going to need to smurf some time for yourself, and not let other Smurfs bother you for things. The village can smurf by without you for a time."
Handy sighed. "I'm not sure how they can, Papa Smurf, but I'll try my best."
Handy sat alone by the waterfalls, trying to relax and think of nothing. He realized that he didn't have the benefit of Empath's meditative techniques that he learned in Psychelia that would enable him to just clear his mind and focus on things like breathing and the ambient sounds of nature. At that moment he envied the kind of life Empath lived away from his fellow Smurfs, where everything was so orderly and structured, not to mention quiet. But he also knew from Empath's descriptions of Psychelia that life in Psychelia was mostly stagnant and dull, focused mostly on education as well as physical and mental training. Handy couldn't believe that part of him now wanted to escape the Smurf Village as much as Empath wanted to escape Psychelia.
Then Tracker arrived at the spot Handy was sitting in. "Tally ho, my fellow Handy," he greeted. "Here to enjoy the quietness of the forest to get away from the other Smurfs for awhile?"
Handy sighed. "What I would like to do is to smurf a good distance away from my fellow Smurfs, Tracker, but I don't know what to smurf or where to go to smurf that."
"I'm the right Smurf to ask for if you're looking for that, Handy," Tracker said as he sat down beside Handy. "My traveling through the forest smurfs me to a lot of places that I would love to smurf my fellow Smurfs to. There's this hidden lake up in the mountains that I have smurfed to at one time that is the most beautiful spot that you could smurf some time alone in."
"Really?" Handy asked, sounding curious. "Could you smurf me up there to show me what it smurfs like?"
"I can smurf you the path that leads to that place, Handy, but the best way to experience it is to smurf the path by yourself," Tracker said. "It wouldn't be much of a private spot if I had to smurf with you to show it."
"Hmmm...I haven't smurfed much hiking by myself, Tracker," Handy pondered.
"Just think of what you'll smurf when you get there, Handy," Tracker said. "It will make all that hiking be worth the effort that you smurfed into it. At the very least you'll smurf away from the village for awhile, and the hiking would be very good for you. It will smurf you into tiptop shape like it smurfs me."
Tracker left Handy at the waterfalls to think about the hiking trip. At that moment it was starting to sound a lot more appealing than being stuck in the Smurf Village trying to find a way to relax.
Soon Hefty visited Handy's workshop and saw that he had packed up a lot of gear to carry with him. "Where are you smurfing with all that?" he asked.
"I'm smurfing to a place that Tracker has smurfed me with this map," Handy answered, showing Hefty the map. "It's a private place that only he knows about. I'm going to be smurfing up there for a few days."
"You sure that you won't need help smurfing that gear with you?" Hefty asked.
"I appreciate the help, Hefty, but this is something I need to smurf by myself," Handy answered as he placed the backpack and gear on his back. "Besides, I really need to get away from all you Smurfs for a while...no offense, Hefty."
"None taken, Handy," Hefty said. "I just wouldn't want to see you get smurfed out by the time you smurfed there."
Handy smiled, knowing that his brother Hefty was always looking to show himself as being the better of the two when it came to brawns and brains. Then as Handy left his house, Papa Smurf, Smurfette, and a few other Smurfs were there to see him depart.
"I'm glad to see you smurfing Tracker's suggestion of smurfing a hiking trip to the mountains, Handy," Papa Smurf said. "I hope that you'll smurf a good time and that you'll be able to relax when you smurf there."
"Oh, I'm sure that I will, Papa Smurf," Handy said. "I just can't wait to smurf this place for myself."
"Just be careful smurfing to this place there, laddie," Duncan McSmurf said. "With Gargamel and Azrael smurfing around looking for a way to smurf us, your giblets are going to be gravy if he ever smurfs a hold of you."
"Don't worry about that, Duncan," Handy said. "This is one place that Gargamel doesn't even know about."
"Aye, I'm sure that you'll find your rest smurfing in a place that's been smurfed in the creative hands of the Almighty, my fellow Handy," Tapper said. "Just know that He will be there smurfing over you in your travels."
Smurfette gave Handy a kiss. "Goodbye, Handy, and may you smurf a safe journey," she said.
The other Smurfs gathered to wave and say goodbye to Handy as he now headed for the path that led him outside the village and straight up toward the mountains. He felt like Dreamy did on the day he attempted to make a journey around the world, that this was going to be one journey that he wasn't going to regret making.
Empath watched what happened along the course of Handy's journey. At first the village inventor was happily singing the Smurf song, taking confident energetic strides on the path that led to the mountains. Then Handy's walking had slowed as he was now hunched over, straining to carry all that gear he had packed. Then he had to stop for a bit to pull out his water bottle as he was now thirsty and his feet were hurting, feeling as if he should have exercised before trying to make such a journey. And then he was literally crawling the rest of the way, feeling like he was going to ask some Smurf if the way there was much farther and imagining that the response was that it is, given that was how Papa Smurf responded whenever he was pestered with that question when the Smurfs followed him on long journeys.
And then, finally, Handy reached the lake in the mountains, and he was astounded by how it appeared. The grass was just littered with beautiful flowers everywhere. And the sight of the mountains in the background framing the lake and its shorelines -- Handy just couldn't stop gazing at the scenery.
"This place is incredibly perfect!" Handy finally said as he stopped near the shore and dropped his backpack on the ground, feeling relieved that all that hiking he did was worth it. "No wonder Tracker smurfed this as a secret. I can't think of a better place to smurf some time away from the village."
Handy then set up his tent before he decided to strip off his clothes and take a swim in the lake, which was cool and refreshing. For once he was glad that no Smurf ever knew about this place except for Tracker. He could only imagine Nudie trying to show up and steal Handy's clothes while he was busy "smurfy-dipping".
As night fell, Handy changed back into his clothes and prepared supper over the fire. Although he wasn't much of a cook compared to Greedy, he liked the idea of roughing it and eating out under the stars at night, with just the sound of the wind over the trees and the mountains. And surprisingly, his own cooking tasted rather delicious out in the wilderness.
Then Handy went into his tent and settled down for the night. "Tonight I'm going to sleep like a small smurf," he said as he laid back and looked at the ceiling, imagining how things were going on in the village while he was away. He never felt so relaxed in his life as he did right now. "I think this will be the kind of place I will smurf to whenever I need to smurf away from the village. I bet Empath would enjoy this place much more than he would somewhere like Psychelia." He closed his eyes and was about to fall asleep when something came into his mind. "Come to smurf of it, that wouldn't be such a bad idea. I just need to smurf this on paper."
Handy reached into his backpack and pulled out his notebook. But then he found out something else. "Oh, smurf it all...I forgot to bring a pencil," he said. "I need to find something that I can smurf this out with." He went outside his tent and then looked at the logs that were now turned to dark coals in the fire. He picked up one from the firepit. "This will smurf very nicely." He proceeded to sketch the very thing that was on his mind onto the covert of his tent.
A few days later in the Smurf Village, Papa Smurf found himself swamped with so many requests from his little Smurfs requiring Handy's services that he didn't know what to do with them. Even Courier got sick of having to deliver the letters from his fellow Smurfs that demanded Handy's attention.
Tapper came by with a soothing cup of smurfberry tea for Papa Smurf to drink. "You're worried that Handy won't return home soon, Papa Smurf?" Tapper inquired.
"I know that letting him smurf away from the village for a few days was a good idea, Tapper," Papa Smurf said. "It's just that the other Smurfs have become so dependent on Handy that it's smurfing hard to ignore what it means to not have him around to smurf anything important."
"If there's one thing that the Smurfs are in this village, Papa Smurf, it's that we are resourceful," Tapper said. "We may not be smurfed with the skills that only Handy was smurfed with, but we will learn to adapt to such absences, and whatever we lack, the Almighty will provide for us."
"It's amazing how much trust you have put in this Almighty of yours, Tapper," Papa Smurf as he took the cup of tea and started drinking it.
"I know you don't believe in Him, Papa Smurf, but He is always there watching over His creation, which includes us," Tapper said. "I just feel it in my spirit that He will keep Handy safe and resmurf him home to us, and we will be happy to see what his being away from us has smurfed for him."
Then Smurfette appeared. "I just smurfed this pie for Handy, Papa Smurf. I'm wondering when he's going to be smurfing up."
"If what Tapper is feeling is any indication, Smurfette, it should be at any moment," Papa Smurf said, finishing his tea.
Just then, they could hear Handy singing the Smurf song as he was arriving in the village. The three gathered Smurfs could see that he looked well-rested. "I could smurf that he's got that Smurfish spring in his step, Papa Smurf," Tapper said as he was watching.
"And he certainly looks like he's in a smurfier mood," Smurfette said.
"So, how was your three days smurfing up in the mountains, Handy Smurf?" Papa Smurf asked as he approached the three of them.
"Never felt smurfier in my entire life, Papa Smurf," Handy answered. "That idea of a getaway was just perfect, and I give Tracker all the credit for smurfing me that place for the getaway." He then took the pie from Smurfette's hands. "Oh, that just smurfs so delicious right now. Thanks!"
"My good fellow Handy, wouldn't you want to smurf at my tavern for a while and rest while you enjoy your pie?" Tapper suggested. "You've just smurfed home from a long trip."
"Thanks, Tapper, but I feel so energetic that it's making me restless," Handy said. "I still don't have the solution for fixing my cherry desmurfer yet, but I feel like I can smurf on my fellow Smurfs' problems now." He then headed to his workshop with the pie as the other three Smurfs followed him. "That place up in the mountains is so smurfy, Papa Smurf, I think that I may be smurfing there a bit more often."
"Oh?" Papa Smurf wondered as he watched Handy eat a slice of his pie. "If it's really that wonderful, I would love to smurf that place for myself someday."
"In any case, I'm glad to see that you smurfed it home safely," Smurfette said, smiling before she went her own way.
"Bonjour, M'sieu Handy," Painter said, passing by his workshop. "I was hoping you would smurf up. I've been waiting for you to take a smurf at my easel."
"No problem, Painter," Handy said, smiling. "Just smurf it over and I will fix it for you."
Papa Smurf and Tapper decided it was time to leave Handy to his business. "Simply amazing what a little change of scenery can do for a Smurf there, Tapper," Papa Smurf said.
"Aye, his spirit has truly been resmurfed, Papa Smurf," Tapper said in agreement.
Empath watched as for the rest of the day, Handy was at work with the problems of his fellow Smurfs, fixing whatever they needed to be fixed. He noticed that every Smurf was surprised to see the change in Handy's demeanor, who just seemed so happy to do all the repair jobs as masterfully as he could.
"Something smurfs really odd about Handy, Painter," Poet commented as he saw his brother going to get his easel.
"Oui, mon frere," Painter said. "He's been acting a little too smurfy lately."
"I'll smurf you anything that he's smurfing a secret from us," Poet suggested.
"Exactement," Painter responded. "When I smurf my easel from M'sieu Handy, I will see if I can smurf out his secret."
"Here's your easel, Painter Smurf," Handy said as Painter entered the workshop. "I had to smurf up a new one that you can smurf up and carry with you, because the old one did not smurf."
"Ah, merci beaucoup, M'sieu Handy," Painter said gratefully as he received the easel from Handy.
"I have to admit, we've never seen you this smurfier before," Poet said. "We'd like to know just what it is you've smurfed on your hiking trip."
"We promise that we will keep it a secret among us, mon ami," Painter said in a muffled whisper.
"Hmmm," Handy pondered, wondering if he should let these two Smurfs know. "Well, why not? I can trust you more than I would trust the likes of Nosey and Chatty, who would smurf this information to the public faster than I could smurf it quiet."
"So...what is it that you smurfed up in the mountains, Handy?" Poet asked, curious to know.
"There's this beautiful lake that I was smurfing at in the mountains," Handy said, keeping his voice low so only Poet and Painter would hear, and to signify that they should keep their voices low. "And at this lake I have smurfed myself a small house."
"A small house...by the lake?" Poet asked, wondering.
"I have never smurfed of anything like this before," Painter said, also wondering.
"Say, would you mind if you smurfed us this lake?" Poet asked Handy. "We would like to smurf it for ourselves."
"Oui, and this house that you have smurfed," Painter said eagerly.
"I'd love to smurf it to you both," Handy said, as he was grabbing Harmony's trombone. "But again, try not to let the other Smurfs know about this. It's a very private place that only I and Tracker know about."
"Yes, of course, Handy Smurf," Poet said. "You have our word on it."
"However, this couldn't remain a secret for very long, Empath," Handy said. "As I was preparing to lead Painter and Poet up to the lake in the mountains, the other Smurfs were smurfing about this house that I have smurfed up there, and they were bothering Tracker by asking what he knew about it. He admitted that I haven't smurfed him anything about smurfing a house by the lake, but they were still curious to find out."
Empath watched as Handy led Painter and Poet out of the village and up through the same path to the lake in the mountains. They saw when they got up there a small house that was made of earth, straw, sticks, and reeds. "Deja vu, M'sieu Handy," Painter said. "I have never smurfed anything like this before."
"It appears to be smurfed of all-natural materials, Handy," Poet noted.
"It certainly is, Poet," Handy said, showing him and Painter around the place. "This is where I sleep, and over next to it is a little kitchen that I have smurfed, with a shelter to protect it from the sun and rain."
Poet also noticed an outhouse nearby. "There's even a..."
"Yep! All the amenities!" Handy said. "Of course, it will be a little crowded with just the three of us smurfing in the same house, but it will be a lot of fun."
"No matter, M'sieu Handy," Painter said, observing the surrounding scenery. "This is such a beautiful place. In fact, I'm going to smurf up my easel and start smurfing on my latest masteurpiesa."
"And I feel equally inspired by get smurfing on my latest epic ode," Poet said, also gazing at the scenery before him.
And so Empath watched as Painter and Poet stood by the shore of the lake, working on their own creations, while Handy was busy building something of his own. Something about the place felt like a private haven for the three of them to explore what came into their imaginations.
Soon Handy called Painter and Poet together to show them something he created: a boat made of reeds. The two Smurfs were amazed to see such a thing be able to float on water. The three of them got in and sailed across the lake, with Handy doing the rowing and the other two just sitting or laying back to take in the peaceful surroundings, taking their time.
Afterward, Handy pulled the boat to shore and prepared dinner for the three of them. "You were right, Handy...this is such a magical place to be," Poet said, as Handy served the meal.
"M'sieu Handy, we do not wish to be a bother...but there is one favor we would wish to ask," Painter said.
"Me and Painter were wondering, Handy, if we could also smurf a small house by the lake that's near yours," Poet said.
Handy thought about the question for a moment. "Well, we do have enough room to smurf near the shore of the lake," Handy said. And then he replied, "Sure thing. I will show you both how to..."
"HURRAY!" Painter and Poet cheered.