Chapter 3

Polaris Psyche, in the meantime, was busy helping Handy and Hefty with a construction project involving improving the security of the Smurf Village during a potential invasion when they saw Nabby return to the village.

“I wonder what Nabby’s got in his smurfy paws this time,” Hefty wondered.

“I don’t know, Hefty, but knowing him, he must have smurfed it off of somebody unaware,” Handy answered.

Polaris, who wasn’t in earshot range to overhear Handy’s and Hefty’s comments, excused himself to take care of Nabby.  “Hey, Polaris, look what I just smurfed in the forest,” he announced.

“This one can only assume that you have found this one’s meditational stone, Nabby,” Polaris guessed.

“Of course not,” Nabby answered. “But I found the next best thing to it.  It’s an amulet that has this calming effect on whoever smurfs it in their hand.  Maybe you can smurf that for your meditational practices.”

“Nabby Smurf,” Polaris snapped, “this one is not interested in your ill-gotten trinkets.  This one only wants the meditational stone that you have absconded from the window sill, and this one will not accept any substitutes.”

“Aw, come on, Polaris,” Nabby whined. “You’ve got to try this amulet and see for yoursmurf how it feels.” He handed Polaris the amulet and then stood back to see Polaris’ reaction to how it felt.

But Polaris sensed something of the amulet that wasn’t right.  “This is a magical object, which is totally useless for this one’s meditational practices,” he said, handing the amulet back to Nabby.  “You have no understanding of Psychelian ways to even begin to understand how Psyches meditate, nor do you seem to have any remorse in your actions.”

Nabby felt rebuffed by Polaris’ refusal.  “Well, I smurftainly undersmurf enough that you don’t want this replacement for your lost stone,” he groused.  He walked away into the village, taking the amulet with him.

Handy and Hefty joined Polaris.  “What did Nabby try to smurf you?” Handy asked.

“It is a private matter between this one and Nabby, Handy,” Polaris answered, not wishing to share with his fellow Smurfs about Nabby losing his meditational stone.

“Nabby certainly didn’t like your resmurfing to accept his gift, whatever it is,” Hefty observed, not wishing to pry into Polaris’ business.

 

"This smurf wonders if this smurf may be coming down on Nabby too hard for taking Polaris' meditational stone and losing it out in the forest," Empath told Smurfette as he helped carry a basketful of her laundry from Tidy's house.

"Empath, how could you think of yoursmurf as smurfing too hard on any Smurf?" Smurfette replied. "I know you've smurfed that stone from your own hands, but Nabby needs to know where the line must be smurfed when it comes to smurfing things that don't belong to him.  I know you enough to know you'll make an excellent Papa Smurf someday."

"Interesting that you would say this smurf would make an excellent Papa Smurf and not an excellent leader of the Smurf Village," Empath remarked. "This smurf just wonders if you're trying to bring this smurf closer to accepting a permanent proposal of love from you."

Smurfette smiled. "Empath, you know I love you.  But we still have all the time in the world to decide if we are truly smurfed for each other.  Right now, I'm happy to be smurfing the kind of life I want to be smurfing here.  Don't you feel happy smurfing your life here instead of smurfing back to Psychelia?"

Empath smiled back. "This smurf should know better than to believe anything else matters other than living this smurf's life back home, Smurfette.  But all this smurf wants is to make sure you're truly happy with your life and whoever who wish to share that life with."

"As long as you're not jealous over who I choose to smurf with, Empath," Smurfette jested playfully, enjoying the look on Empath's face when he heard her say that.  "Well, anyway, don't let Smurfs like Nabby and their bad habits ruin your day.  It's not worth getting yoursmurf all upsmurfed about.  And I appreciate you smurfing part of my laundry home." She and Empath stopped outside her house with the baskets while she opened the door. "Ah, won't it feel smurfy again to smurf into some nice clean clothes for a change!  I'll be back outside with something to smurf your mind off Nabby, if you know what I mean."

Empath nodded, smiling and imagining what Smurfette had in store for him as he waited outside her house and watched her carry her laundry basket in.  No sooner did Smurfette cross the threshold, though, did Empath hear the floorboards crack like dry twigs and Smurfette began to scream and yelp in pain.

"Great Ancestors!" Empath went inside her house and dove into the hole that Smurfette fell in. He saw that Smurfette was holding her left leg and sobbing.  He quickly scanned her leg with his minds-eye.

"You've got a serious fracture in your left leg, Smurfette," Empath reported after his scanning was completed.  "It can be repaired, but this smurf needs to get you to the infirmary so that the wound doesn't get infected."

Smurfette nodded, still sobbing.  Empath sighed as he gingerly picked Smurfette up in his arms and leaped out of the hole before heading to the village infirmary.

 

Dabbler watched as Empath did his work in the infirmary, using his minds-eye to heal Smurfette's wound and to dress it up with gauze and a thick leg cast.  He never thought he would ever see Smurfette looking like some of her fellow male Smurfs at times.  "You know, Empath, maybe you should smurf over my job so that I can go smurf in a few games of hole-in-one with my good friend Cricket," he suggested enviously.

"As you pretty much know, Dabbler, this smurf isn't here to replace anyone...merely to assist Papa Smurf in his duties," Empath responded. "You're a pretty good physician yourself when you're not distracted by everything else that catches your eyes."  He then turned to Smurfette.  "Your injury is going to take some time healing completely.  This smurf has noticed that your body is lacking vital nutrients, which is part of the reason for your weight loss...and a bit of concern for you on this smurf's part."

"Empath, this broken leg I'm smurfing is bad enough," Smurfette complained. "I don't undersmurf why you're now smurfing on me about my diet."

"Smurfette, this smurf knows about the difference between dieting and forcing yourself to starve.  The lack of nutrients in your body, which is preventing this smurf from healing you completely, suggests that you have been starving yourself in order to lose weight.  Since this smurf has returned from Psychelia for good, this smurf knows that the exact number of necessary nutrients for your body is slightly different and less than that for a normal male Smurf.  Right now, this smurf is detecting you have taken in only 65 percent of that number."

"But I feel fine, Empath," Smurfette responded. "I haven't felt any smurfier than I did when I started smurfing on this diet.  Now I can smurf into even my older clothes, which were once too small for me to smurf into."

"This diet of yours isn't a diet, Smurfette...it's a form of torture upon yourself," Empath said a bit more sternly. "You may feel like you're healthier, but in reality you're denying yourself proper food and exerting yourself more than your body can handle.  If this smurf hadn't found out this problem right now, you could have starved yourself to death!"

"So you think I'm better off smurfing myself fat...just like every other Smurf!" Smurfette snapped, sounding like she was insulted by someone who should be listening to her.

"Smurfette, the way you were made, in the form that you inhabit, is not for any Smurf to judge you upon," Empath answered. "You are no more different in physical stature than you were when Papa Smurf turned you into a real Smurf.  The other male Smurfs may vary in physical stature in comparison with each other, but that doesn't make any of them more important or inferior than any other Smurf.  This smurf once thought that having a slightly bulging stomach like this was a defect, but Papa Smurf set this smurf straight on the fact that it is normal for an adult male Smurf to carry a little more weight around the waist.  It was...unfortunate...that the Psyche Master couldn't see this smurf that way.  He had made this smurf undergo a form of diet and exercise that caused this smurf to lose some weight, but at the risk of almost endangering this smurf's health."

"Empath, I didn't mean to smurf at you like you weren't listening to me," Smurfette said, feeling a bit empathetic hearing Empath's situation. "I never thought a male Smurf like you could even smurf so much about his own appearance, even smurfing so far away from home."

"This smurf understands your feelings, Smurfette.  That is why this smurf revealed to you this detail of this smurf's life, to let you know that we shouldn't judge ourselves on anything other than what kind of person we are, and to accept and forgive ourselves for falling short of the mark.  No matter what any Smurf may say to you...none of us are really perfect!"

"WHAT?!?" Smurfette yelped, throwing a pillow at Empath.

"Good," Empath smiled. "This smurf can see your sense of humor is still functioning!"

Smurfette laughed, realizing that Empath had taken her response as a jest.  But before either could say another word, the rafters and the entire roof of the infirmary started to collapse.

Empath reacted instantly.  He held his hands high in the air and used his minds-eye to hold the ceiling in place, but he knew it wasn't going to continue holding.  "Dabbler, help Smurfette to her feet and carry her out of here!" he called out.

Dabbler went to Smurfette's side and carried her arm on his shoulder, giving her support as he helped Smurfette slowly walk out of the infirmary.  As soon as they had reached a safe distance, Empath darted out of there and allowed the roof to collapse completely.

Papa Smurf had walked into the scene, witnessing the collapse of the infirmary's roof. "Great Smurfs of Fire," he exclaimed. "What the smurf is going on here?"

"This smurf doesn't know what happened, Papa Smurf," Empath answered. "Earlier, Smurfette's floor had collapsed on her when she was walking into her house, and now this has happened to the infirmary.  This smurf has Handy inspecting the floor boards of Smurfette's house to see if there was any wood rot or construction defects.  But so far, these seem just like random happenings and not any form of intentional sabotage."

Papa Smurf stroked his beard on this.  "Well, I'd hate to smurf that this is just another run of bad luck being smurfed upon us, Empath.  But smurfing that these are just two incidents of things smurfing apart, I'd just rather smurf that these things are, as you have smurfed them, just random events smurfing on."

"Papa Smurf! Papa Smurf!" another voice called out in fear.  The four Smurfs watched as Tapper raced toward them, looking worried. "Aye, thank smurfness I can smurf you and Empath together here.  I was just smurfing up around my tavern when, just in the smurfling of an eye...BOOM! My ice-smurfing machine explodes and my entire tavern is now flooded with warm water.  Handy promised me that this time the ice-smurfing machine wouldn't be smurfing up such a mess like I'm having, but now...!"

"You are not alone in being concerned, Tapper," Empath consoled. "Smurfette herself had the rug — or should this smurf say, the floor — taken out from under her feet, in a manner of speaking.  And Dabbler and us two almost got crushed by the infirmary's roof caving in."

"In the meantime, Tapper, don't smurf all the blame on Handy," Papa Smurf added. "You know that he smurfs the best job he knows how to smurf making sure all the machines in the village are still smurfing.  It's more likely just a random malfunction."

"Aye, Papa Smurf," Tapper replied. "If I didn't smurf any better, I'd say the luck of the Smurfish is smurfing against us today of all days."

Another cry for help came from a different region of the village. Empath quickly dashed over to Farmer’s fields, where he saw some of his helping hand Smurfs sinking in what seemed to be quicksand forming in his overturned soil.  Empath reached out to his fellow Smurfs trapped in the mire with his minds-eye and pulled them out onto dry land.

“What do be the case here, Empath?” Farmer asked, watching Empath come to the rescue of his helping hands.  “All of a sudden, my vegetable patch is smurfing into a sinkhole, and I almost lost them Smurfs because of it!”

Empath was at a loss for what to say to Farmer.  All Empath could feel at this point was that this day was turning into one really bad day – first having his morning muffins stolen from him, then dealing with Polaris’ meditational stone being stolen by Nabby, and now these random accidents happening to his fellow Smurfs.

He was wondering at this point if the day couldn’t get any worse.