Chapter 4

A few more days have passed, and Handy still felt as if he was getting nowhere with any contraptions he could create from his own mind and from his fellow Smurfs' possessions. He was beginning to think about another possible way he could get himself to fly — through the art of alchemy and magic. He knew that Papa Smurf as a master sorcerer had created a hundred various types of formulas over the years and recorded them for future use, and had knowledge of spells and incantations written in many modern and arcane languages. Handy was hoping to ask Papa Smurf for his help in casting a spell or creating a formula that could give a normal Smurf the power of flight, but somehow he feared Papa Smurf's response would be the same as Brainy's — that normal Smurfs simply weren't meant to fly. And right now, he needed Papa Smurf's knowledge of potions and spells more than he needed the village leader's discouragement. So Handy decided that he would bypass talking to Papa Smurf altogether about it and go straight to the source for his answer — the bookshelves of Papa Smurf's house.
He spent the entire day looking through all of Papa Smurf's handwritten books to find a potion that could give him the ability of flight, and eventually found something of particular interest — a lighter-than-air formula that could make even the heaviest of rocks feel like a single feather in weight. Handy thought maybe this formula could also make him light enough to float high above the ground. He went and gathered up all the ingredients listed in the book that he found the formula and mixed them together in Papa Smurf's laboratory, which fortunately for him was not being used since Papa Smurf himself was now too busy working with Farmer to get the irrigation system functioning again. Papa Smurf had told his little Smurfs time and again that his laboratory was off-limits to every Smurf that had no business being in there since he didn't want any Smurf messing around and creating formulas with no clue as to what they might actually do. But Handy had a gut feeling that he knew this lighter-than-air formula would give him exactly what he wanted it to do — make him light enough to fly in the air.
"Here smurfs nothing," Handy exclaimed as he took the finished formula and ingested it in one long swallow. He wiped his mouth afterward and felt himself getting dizzy and light-headed.
"I'd better smurf outside to get some fresh air," he said to himself. "Maybe this formula will smurf the trick when it's all settled down inside me."
Handy stepped outside Papa Smurf's laboratory in the hopes of clearing up this light-headed feeling in his head. He belched after taking a few steps, and after that belch, he found himself being swept off the ground and lifted up toward the sky.
Handy looked down in shock and surprise. The lighter-than-air formula really did the trick for him. He now had the power of flight just like Empath.
"Hey, Smurfs, look at me," Handy cried out joyously. "I'm flying, I'm flying!"
Several Smurfs who happened to be playing smurfball at this moment stopped in midgame to see Handy floating right by them, coasting as high as the chimney tops.
"Great Smurfs," one of the Smurfs exclaimed. "Is that Empath?"
"No, it smurfs like Handy," another Smurf answered. "He must have smurfed a way to get himsmurf to fly."
"Hey, Handy, how's the air up there?" a third Smurf called out playfully.
"Wow, whatever you've been smurfing, Handy, I could smurf some right now," a fourth Smurf said, seemingly impressed as were the other Smurfs.
"Hey, Handy, smurf down for a minute so you can smurf us how you're able to smurf in the sky like Empath does," a fifth Smurf suggested.
Handy tried to get himself going down, but as hard as he tried, he realized at that point that he really had no control over his newfound ability of flight. He continued to climb higher and higher until he soon found himself as high as the treetops. If Handy continued to float any higher, he would find himself floating himself well beyond any Smurf's reach, putting it mildly.
It was then Handy decided the only course of action was to get help.
"Empath!" he cried out in panic. "Smurf me down…I'm flying!"

Empath at that moment heard Handy's cry for help. He looked up and saw that Handy was rising high into the sky, out of control.
"Great Ancestors!" he exclaimed. He had no idea how Handy got himself floating high in the sky like that, but he had a feeling this would be dangerous. He quickly went into Handy's workshop, found a good long length of rope, and fastened one end of it around his waist. He then ran straight out of the workshop and hurled himself skyward, allowing the rope to dangle from him as he gained altitude.
Handy looked down and saw Empath flying straight toward him. "Thank smurfness you're around, Empath," he whimpered. "Please try smurfing me down…I don't want to go flying anymore!"
Empath latched onto Handy's suspender straps and tried to use his minds-eye to bring both himself and Handy back down to the ground. But all he could manage was to stop Handy from floating any higher. Something about Handy's body weight was resisting Empath's efforts to bring him down to the ground.
"This smurf is unable to bring us both down, Handy!" Empath shouted back.
"I can't keep floating like this forever!" Handy bawled.
"This smurf has tied a rope around myself," Empath told Handy. "The other Smurfs should be able to see the other end drifting close to the ground and try to pull us both down."
Sure enough, Hefty did see the other end of the rope and grabbed for it, tugging as hard as he could to bring Handy and Empath down. The two of them started to descend, but only slightly. Then a few other Smurfs joined Hefty and pulled with him on the other end of the rope, bringing the two airborne Smurfs further and further down. Finally, with about a dozen more Smurfs on hand, Handy and Empath had touched ground.
"Quickly anchor the rope to something sturdy so that Handy does not drift off again," Empath ordered as he wrapped part of the rope around Handy's waist. "And please get Papa Smurf over here as soon as possible!"
As Hefty and Tuffy lashed the rope around the village well, tying it good and tight, some other Smurfs ran to get Papa Smurf. Empath stayed where he was, using his minds-eye with as much concentration as he could muster to keep Handy grounded.
"How did you ever manage to get yourself off the ground like that, Handy?" Empath asked.
"I just smurfed up that lighter-than-air potion in Papa Smurf's lab and it smurfed me up like this," Handy whimpered. "All I wanted to smurf was to fly in the air like you do!"
Empath sighed with some heartfelt empathy. "This smurf was sure your intentions were noble. It is just unfortunate that this smurf's abilities has inspired you to try achieving something that is beyond what a normal Smurf is able of doing. And now it has caused you to…become lighter than air."
"Well, that's the first time I smurfed somebody besides Brainy who's so full of hot air!" Jokey commented, laughing at his own joke. Brainy, who was standing there beside Jokey when he said that, tried as hard as he could to rein in his own temper. Empath, however, just simply didn't find his humor to be appropriate.
Just then Papa Smurf arrived at the scene. "Empath, what in smurf's name happened to Handy?" he demanded. "And why is he smurfed to the village well with a rope?"
Empath filled Papa Smurf in with the details of what happened.
"Oh, dear!" Papa Smurf groaned. "Handy, I hope this smurfs you a lesson in using a potion on yoursmurf without realizing the consequences of what it smurfs, not to mention smurfing into my laboratory without asking me in the first place to smurf it."
"I already feel so bad about it, Papa Smurf, not to mention so light," Handy complained. "Please, I just want to smurf myself back on the ground. I promise that I won't try smurfing up any more ways to fly around like Empath!"
"And that you won't smurf off with any Smurf's things in order to make them, my umbrella?" Fisher demanded.
"Or my bed springs?" Lazy added, yawning afterward.
"Or my beautiful curtains?" Vanity joined in.
"Or my windmill sails?" Miller scolded.
"Or my laundry soap?" Tidy shouted.
"Or my set of bedsheets?" Tailor intoned.
"Or my tablecloths?" Greedy fussed.
"Or my only good pair of pants?" Tuffy whined.
"I promise!" Handy begged, eager to be restored to normal and not have to face the agony of his fellow Smurfs' complaints. "Please help me!"
Papa Smurf stroked his beard, seemingly considering Handy's plea. Empath knew that Papa Smurf couldn't be so heartless when it comes to correcting situations that his little Smurfs have gotten themselves into. But even so, he had to make sure his little Smurfs felt their own guilt so that they know they wouldn't repeat their mistakes.
Then he said, "I'll start working on a heavier-than-air potion to countersmurf the effects of that lighter-than-air potion you smurfed, Handy. In the meantime, Empath, Hefty, and Tuffy will make sure you don’t go smurfing off like a balloon!"

As Papa Smurf went to work on the counteracting potion, Empath and the other Smurfs kept Handy company to try keeping his mind off his own problem.
Then all of a sudden, Papa Smurf came out of his laboratory with a bottle of liquid that bubbled. "Here, Handy…smurf this and you'll be back to your normal heavy self again!" he instructed.
Handy took the bottle and swallowed the potion down in one gulp. Soon he could feel himself getting dizzy, and then he felt his feet sinking into the ground until he left some footmarks just about ankle-deep.
"Great Ancestors!" Empath exclaimed as he saw Handy's feet sink. "Why did that happen, Papa Smurf?"
"Handy has just taken a heavier-than-air potion, Empath," Papa Smurf explained. "It will take some time for the potion to smurf away the properties of the lighter-than-air potion in his body, so he will be back to normal by the end of the day."
"So what do I smurf with myself in the meantime?" Handy asked, not sure that he would like the idea of feeling heavy all day.
"Just don't go anywhere where you're likely to fall through the floor," Empath suggested. This made every Smurf laugh except for Empath and Handy.
As the other Smurfs eventually departed, Empath walked for a bit with Handy toward the outskirts of the village. He watched as Handy slowly took each step, leaving a deep enough trail of footmarks. Empath could sense Handy's feeling of total disappointment, that his current efforts of attempting to fly on his own were all for naught.
"Handy, this smurf wants you to know that someday, you may be able to design a way for the ordinary Smurf to fly under his own ability," Empath told him. "This smurf has faith in your mechanical ability to achieve this dream, no matter how long it takes."