Chapter 3

"We've got your nuts smurfed down to a fine powder, just as you wanted them, Papa Smurf," Miller said as he and Empath brought in a few sacks of the grounded nuts into Papa Smurf's laboratory.
"Very good job, my little Smurfs," Papa Smurf replied. "I see that despite the lack of wind today, Empath was able to smurf your windmill going so that you both can smurf the job done, Miller."
"It's too bad Empath can't smurf with us longer than a single year, Papa Smurf," Miller remarked. "All he does is just smurf his mind and the windmill sails smurf round and round. It doesn't even tire him out to smurf that."
"Actually, this smurf does get tired controlling things with this smurf's minds-eye, Miller," Empath commented. "But this smurf also does wish this smurf could stay in the village for more than a single year. Perhaps Handy can invent something that can do all the work that this smurf can do without ever needing to rest, functioning like clockwork, during this smurf's absence."
"Yeah...that would smurf you and Hefty and a dozen other Smurfs out of work right there!" Miller chuckled.
"Well, it's up to Handy if he wants to smurf up such an invention, my little Smurfs," Papa Smurf said. "The only thing I would want is to make smurf those inventions don't smurf up more problems than we already have without them. Anyway, I'm going to smurf back to my work in the laboratory and you Smurfs should smurf back to your own duties."
“This smurf is going to help Miller lock down the windmill, Papa Smurf,” Empath declared. “It wouldn’t do us any good if the windmill started flying away on us!”
Papa Smurf chuckled. “That will be the day, Empath! Just make sure over the next few days that no Smurf disturbs me while I’m busy with an experiment. You’ll be in charge during that time if any Smurf needs you.”
“This smurf understands, Papa Smurf,” Empath replied. “May your experiment be a successful one!”
Empath walked with Miller as they returned to the windmill. But to their surprise, they found that the windmill propeller array was missing.
“Now who in smurf would want to smurf part of my windmill?” Miller asked.
Empath had no answer to that.

Meanwhile, in an empty part of the village, Handy had Miller’s windmill propeller array with the blades pointed upward, and the axel stem on the ground with a rope wrapped around it like a ripcord. Some Smurfs had gathered around to see what Handy was going to do with this thing. Handy had belted himself to the upper part of the axel stem, while Hefty was standing at a distance. “Smurf the ripcord, Hefty!” Handy called out.
Hefty pulled with all his might, and the windmill propeller started to spin very fast. But instead of lifting itself and Handy off the ground, it ended up digging itself deep into the ground, taking Handy with it.
The gathered Smurfs laughed as Handy pulled himself out of the hole that the propeller array had dug, a little dirty but mostly infuriated that this attempt to fly off the ground didn’t work. He knew Miller wouldn’t be happy to find out that part of his windmill would be used for this attempt, or that it would be destroyed in the attempt.
But he was going to fly, no matter what.

A day later, Lazy showed up at Empath’s door. “What is it, Lazy?” he asked.
“I know Papa Smurf’s too busy, but I was wondering if you knew where Handy is right now, Empath,” Lazy answered. “Something’s wrong with my bed!”
“This smurf can only guess Handy must be busy with something important,” Empath reported. “But this smurf can come with you to see what happened.”
He followed Lazy all the way back to his house and went inside. There they found Lazy’s bed with the mattress sinking halfway in the bed.
“I just smurfed in here for a quick nap, Empath, and I started smurfing into the mattress,” Lazy explained. “There must be smurfthing in it that caused this to happen.”
Empath looked all around and noticed something underneath the bed. “This smurf has found the cause of your sinking bed problem, Lazy. There appears to be some springs missing from the metal frame that’s holding the mattress up.”
“How would something like this happen, Empath?” Lazy asked. “I just got this bed smurfed up months ago with a new bedspring. Handy asmurfed me that it wasn’t going to make me smurf in my bed when I sleep.”
“It doesn’t look like Handy neglected to put the springs in there, Lazy,” Empath responded. “It looks more like they were ripped out at certain points.”
“Why would someone do such an unsmurfy thing like that to my bed?” Lazy asked, exasperated by what he heard Empath say about his bedspring. “Jokey’s not up to his old nasty tricks again, is he?”
“This smurf does not suspect that this was a deliberate act of sabotage, even by the likes of Jokey,” Empath replied, who himself was also curious.

Meanwhile, Handy had used the springs he had taken from Lazy’s bed and attached them to a pair of shoes he had borrowed from Cobbler’s workshop. He had put these shoes onto his feet, testing them at first for sturdiness and springiness before carefully heading outside his own workshop, where he began to propel himself skyward with a leap. The springs underneath his feet caused Handy’s leaps to grow higher and higher and higher with each succeeding leap until, finally, he was high above the village, soaring with each leap that carried him even higher.
Some of the Smurfs who were walking around doing their own business saw Handy leaping high over their heads. “That must be Empath smurfing over us,” one Smurf commented.
“Nah, that there smurfs more like Handy,” another Smurf said as he took a look.
“Doesn’t smurf like he’s flying,” a third Smurf joined in. “But he sure is smurfing in the air.”
Handy was giddy with joy as he landed outside the village limits and leaped again skyward, propelled by the springs under his shoes. But then he saw where he was headed with his next leap, and he had no control over his landing. He fell into a mud pit.
The Smurfs who saw Handy leaping over their heads now gathered around the mud pit, laughing at yet another one of Handy’s attempts to fly failing on him.
Handy sulked as he climbed out of the mud, taking his shoes off before he put himself back on his feet. It was embarrassing, but he wasn’t going to give up.

Another day later, Empath heard a knock on his door. But it wasn’t an emergency this time. It was his friend Tidy the village launderer.
"Here's your suits, Empath, all nice and clean," Tidy announced as he showed up at Empath's house with some clean white hats and pants, neatly pressed and folded over.
"This smurf appreciates the effort you put into doing every Smurf's laundry, Tidy," Empath responded as he took his suits. "They look just as immaculate as the day this smurf first wore them."
"That's all part of Tidy's laundry service for you, Empath," Tidy nodded, accepting the compliment. "If it doesn't smurf like it's brand new when you smurf it back, I'll smurf it again for you with no questions asked. Anyway, I've got to smurf back to my job since I've got a busy smurfload of laundry to smurf from my favorite customers Clumsy, Sweepy, and Miner."
"May you continue to do the saying 'cleanliness is next to smurfiness' justice, Tidy," Empath said as he watched the laundry delievery Smurf go back to his washing boards, wringers, and wrinkle pressers. Though he knew sometimes Tidy can go a bit overboard with wanting everything neat and clean, Empath knew he could count on him to do his job proficiently. He smiled at that thought as he brought his clean clothes inside and put them away in his dresser.
Tidy was singing the smurfsong, eager to get on with the huge loads of laundry set before him, when he entered his house and realized something wasn't right.
"My soap is gone!" he cried out.

Meanwhile, outside Handy's workshop, several Smurfs gathered around to see his latest invention, which looked like a giant soap bubble pipe.
"What are you supposed to smurf with this?" Jokey asked. "Blow huge bubbles?" He laughed heartily at his own guess.
"That's exactly what it's supposed to smurf, Jokey," Handy answered, "except that I'm going to be inside the bubble. Hefty is going to blow the pipe from the other end while I smurf inside this end until the bubble smurfs around me." He stepped into the bowl end of the huge pipe and then signaled for Hefty to begin blowing.
Taking a huge breath, Hefty blew into the pipe from his end. Handy could feel a bubble forming beneath his feet from the soap and water mixture he made using Tidy's laundry soap. "Harder!" he called out.
Hefty blew harder, and the bubble slowly enveloped Handy.
"Harder!" Handy repeated insistently.
Hefty blew as hard as he could, and soon the bubble with Handy inside it lifted itself up from the ground and floated high above every Smurf's head.
"Yes, I smurfed it!" Handy exulted as the bubble flew higher. "I'm flying! I'm flying!"
Just then, a small bird had approached Handy in his bubble. Apparently, it was curious as to what this Smurf was doing inside a bubble. He flew in a bit closer to find out.
Handy realized this, and cried out, "No, don't smurf too close to me!"
But the bird finally touched the bubble and popped it. Handy instantly found himself falling again, crashing through the roof of Empath's house, which broke his fall.
Empath looked at Handy strangely as he tried to pick himself up. "How did you manage to come inside this smurf's house through the roof, Handy?" he asked.
"Uh, just thought I'd drop on in and see how you're smurfing," Handy quipped, eager to leave Empath's house before he started asking questions that Handy didn't want to answer.
Empath just watched silently as Handy left his house, again confronting several angry Smurfs that now included Tidy, who didn’t appreciate having his laundry soap being used for one of Handy's inventions that had nothing to do with laundry.
Empath had a feeling Handy was interested in the power of flight and wanting that power for himself.

Another day passed. Empath heard more knocks on his door. He wondered if he was ever going to have any peace and quiet.
It was Tailor, Vanity, Greedy, and Tuffy. Empath noticed that Tuffy was wearing a towel around his waist fastened with his usual belt.
“Somebody smurfed my beautiful set of curtains from my window,” Vanity started.
“Somebody smurfed my set of sheets that I smurfed for my bed,” Tailor said next.
“Somebody smurfed my table cloths just when I was going to have the tables smurfed for dinner,” Greedy followed.
“And somebody smurfed my only good pair of pants,” Tuffy finished.
Empath was totally bewildered by all these thefts. “Can you tell this smurf one at a time how all of these things happened?” he asked them.

Meanwhile, Handy had used those things he had taken from his fellow Smurfs to build a hot-air balloon that he could use to try flying again. Again, some Smurfs watched in wonder as Hefty was busy stoking the flames through the hole underneath the balloon to fill it with enough hot air to get it off the ground. Handy had the balloon held down with some ropes and weights as he prepared himself for flight.
Handy showed up as the balloon reached full capacity. “Now this time, Smurfs, I’m really going to fly in the air like Empath,” he declared to his onlookers. He jumped into the bottom part of the balloon meant for passengers and told Hefty to release the ropes and weights. Hefty did so, and soon the balloon started to rise from the ground as the Smurfs looked up from the ground in amazement.
“I did it!” Handy cheered as it climbed high above the village. “I’m flying! I’m really flying this time!”
However, the balloon as it rose from the ground had brushed a sharp point of a nearby tree’s branch, puncturing the balloon and causing it to deflate, sending Handy on a jet-propelled course over the entire village, leaving a plume of smoke in its wake. The Smurfs who were watching this event again laughed as they watched Handy and his now-airless balloon fall to the ground, covering him in both cloth and shame.
And joining his hecklers were the Smurfs from whom he took things to make these various contraptions which he attempted to fly with. They were berating him for having suffered those thefts at his hands to supply what he needed for these crazy ideas of his.