Part 1

Empath's personal journal.
Recently we've just had Papa Smurf's 549th birthday. As usual the Smurfs celebrated with such festivities that it makes this smurf wonder what he thinks about all the lavish attention he gets on that day -- not that this smurf thinks that Papa Smurf isn't worthy. Interestingly, this smurf discovered long ago that Papa Smurf's birthday is linked to the appearance of chanterelle mushrooms that grow only once a year around that time in the Smurf forest. Even more interesting is that chanterelles are Papa Smurf's favorite food, besides sarsaparilla and smurfberries. Greedy likes to use chanterelles for baking rare special creampuffs for his birthday, which this smurf surprisingly also enjoys despite the fact that they weren't made for anyone else.
This birthday, however, Handy gave Papa Smurf a magic mirror that allowed him to communicate with his friend Homnibus over what is called the "mirror net", which is a network of magic mirrors that allow instantaneous communication between multiple users. This invention, which also used a special alphanumeric keyboard for typing in responses, became such an interesting piece of Smurf technology that the other Smurfs began to wonder if a similar thing would be available for them to use as well. Fortunately, about a month after Papa Smurf received his magic mirror, Handy responded with another similar invention, but this time revolving around having information that was available at any time through some keystrokes. My brother Brainy, oddly enough, was the collaborator of this new invention, and so it would be fitting that the village inventor and the village intellectual would unveil it before the entire Smurf community together.

Every Smurf was gathered in the Smurf House Of Archives for Handy's and Brainy's presentation of the new invention. Of course, every Smurf couldn't help but notice how Brainy presented himself in the presentation, as he appeared on the scene wearing a purple scholar's gown and mortarboard, much like something they remembered seeing him in some time ago.
"Take it away, Brainy," Handy said, smiling. "The floor is all yours."
"Thank you, Handy," Brainy said, clearing his throat before continuing. "My fellow Smurfs, in a rare case of combining inventive genius with intellectual brilliance, the time has come for Smurfs to be able to expand their minds and their horizons, and the way to do so has never been smurfed so easier than it has been right now. We all know that knowledge is power, and with that power comes inspiration to smurf things that have never been smurfed before. And so, without further ado, we would like to present our latest contribution to the ensmurfment of Smurf society and civilization, the smurfopedia."
Every Smurf watched as Handy removed the cloth over the new invention, which turned out to be a magic mirror with what appeared to be a computer-style keyboard attached to it through a cord. They all gasped in wonder.
"I don't get it, Brainy," Smurfette said. "What exactly is this smurfopedia supposed to do?"
"Why, it's very simple, Smurfette," Brainy answered. "Think of it as smurfing the entire Smurf House Of Archives in the palm of your smurfs. You can smurf up all kinds of subjects and smurf the answer that you're smurfing for with a simple few keysmurfs. Just watch on that screen behind us as I smurf you a demonstration."
Brainy sat at the table and typed in the word "smurfs" on the smurfopedia before hitting the Return key. Soon the Smurfs saw on the screen behind the table what also appeared on the magic mirror: an entire page that was full of images and descriptions on the subject of Smurfs.
"Sacre bleu, M'sieu Brainy," Painter exclaimed. "I have never smurfed anything like this before."
"Very fascinating indeed," Polaris Psyche said in his usual flat tone.
"Can you really smurf up any kind of subject with this smurfopedia, such as like poetry and art?" Poet asked.
"Or like cooking recipes?" Greedy asked.
"Or like really funny jokes?" Jokey asked, laughing afterward.
"I hate really funny jokes," Grouchy said.
"Trust me when I say that the smurfopedia is vast and comprehensive when it comes to smurfing all types of subjects, my fellow Smurfs," Brainy answered. "And what's even more amazing is that the smurfopedia can expand as more information becomes available. There's just no end to what you can smurf with this."
"We will soon be smurfing smurfopedias for everybody to smurf," Handy said. "That way you won't have to smurf to the Smurf House Of Archives just to be able to smurf up what you want to smurf on a subject. You can smurf it right from your own homes."
"Simply amazing," Papa Smurf commented. "This invention will truly revolutionize things around the village. An excellent piece of work from you both, Brainy and Handy."
Everybody clapped as Brainy took a bow and accepted the applause. "You are truly too kind, and I am too ashamed to be worthy of such adulation. I cannot be more pleased with myself than I am right now that something smurfed from my own inspired brilliance would ever be as acceptable as..."
The rest of Brainy's speech was cut short as the Smurfs soon found themselves crowding around the smurfopedia, more eager to test it out for themselves than to hear the rest of what Brainy had to say.
Empath joined Brainy as he left the Smurfs to their testing the smurfopedia. "This smurf is glad to see that something of your creation as well as Handy's would be something that every Smurf would openly receive without having to boot you out of the village," Empath commented.
"That's just the very thing I was hoping to smurf, Empath," Brainy said. "It's very hard to be as brilliant and knowledgeable as I am without having to suffer the constant indignities that I smurf through when it comes to smurfing what I know with my fellow Smurfs."
"This smurf knows that you mean well, Brainy," Empath said. "It's just that sharing what you know isn't easy when your fellow Smurfs think that you're lecturing and criticizing them with your knowledge."
"I only want what is best for them and for everybody, Empath," Brainy said. "At least with the smurfopedia, Smurfs won't have to smurf to it for answers like they did one time with the Great Book Of Answers a few years before you smurfed home."
"The Great Book Of Answers?" Empath wondered. "This smurf heard that Gargamel had the Great Book Of Spells in his possession, which would give him what he wanted on the night of the full moon, but this smurf never heard of this book before."
"Neither have I, Empath, until the day that I smurfed across it in Papa Smurf's laboratory when he was smurfing a long visit to Homnibus," Brainy said.
"Papa Smurf had this book?" Empath asked. "This smurf would like to hear more about this."
"Fortunately, since every Smurf is too busy smurfing around with the smurfopedia, I have all the time in the world to smurf you the whole story," Brainy said.

As Empath listened, he found himself transported physically into the memory of the event Brainy was speaking of. He saw that Papa Smurf had packed up all his bags and that Feathers was waiting for him at the northern end of the village.
"Now, pay attention, my little Smurfs," the village leader announced. "I am going to be smurfing with Homnibus for a few weeks, so I want you Smurfs to behave yourselves and to make sure that the water level of the village dam doesn't smurf too high."
"You can count on us to smurf that, Papa Smurf," Hefty said.
"Is there anything you want me to specifically smurf, Papa Smurf?" Brainy asked.
"You can smurf up my laboratory while I'm gone, Brainy," Papa Smurf said. "But you are under no smurfumstances to use any of the potions in my laboratory for anything. And that smurfs the same for the rest of you Smurfs."
"Yes, Papa Smurf," the other Smurfs said in unison.
"Now why would I smurf such a silly thing like that, Papa Smurf?" Brainy said.
"I hate smurfing silly things," Grouchy said.
"Oh, Papa Smurf, I wish you didn't have to smurf off like that," Smurfette said as she was carrying Baby Smurf.
"I'm sure you'll be able to smurf on without me for a few weeks, Smurfette, but if there's an emergency, you know where to smurf, and I'll smurf back here as soon as possible," Papa Smurf said, smiling at Baby Smurf. "You've proven yourself to be a good Mama Smurf to our little bundle of joy."
"I can only wish to smurf one of my own someday, Papa Smurf," Smurfette said.
"All good things will smurf in good time, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said consolingly. He then hopped onto Feathers' back as the crane fluttered her wings, preparing for flight. "I'll smurf you all later, my little Smurfs!" he called out.
"Goodbye, Papa Smurf," the Smurfs all said in unison as they watched Papa Smurf fly off with Feathers.
Then afterward, the crowd of Smurfs at the north end clearing dispersed. "Well, time for us to smurf our duties," Hefty said.
"Exactly my thoughts, Hefty," Brainy said. "You go smurf the water level at the dam while I go smurf up Papa Smurf's laboratory to make sure it is all tidied up and orderly for when he resmurfs."
"Gee, Brainy, can I help you smurf up Papa Smurf's laboratory?" Clumsy asked, eager to help.
"Clumsy Smurf, I am pretty capable of smurfing this job all by myself without the need of additional help," Brainy said. "Now you run along and offer yourself to some other Smurf who might better use your assistance and your unique skills."
Clumsy looked slightly disappointed. "Well, if that's what you want, Brainy Smurf."
Brainy snickered as he watched Clumsy head off in another direction. "Why, that is exactly what I want, Clumsy Smurf. I'm just so glad that you happen to agree with my decision." He then headed for Papa Smurf's laboratory and entered it, seeing how disorderly and messy everything in it was. "It certainly isn't anything that I, Brainy Smurf, am not capable of smurfing all by myself. And without Clumsy smurfing in the way, I can smurf this job a lot faster."
Brainy took a duster and started dusting everything along the walls of the laboratory. Then he got to the cabinet where Papa Smurf kept all the banned books. "Oh, how foolish of him to just leave the key smurfing in the lock," Brainy muttered. "Any Smurf would be able to smurf in there without Papa Smurf noticing." He sighed. "Ah, well, might as well dust whatever's in the cabinet."
He opened the cabinet and started dusting off the books. "Let's see...uh, 'Treatise On Black Magic', 'Deadly Poisons', 'Evil Spirits', 'The Great Book Of Answers'..." He stopped dusting when he noticed the title of that book. "The Great Book Of Answers? What would Papa Smurf be smurfing with a book like this? And why would he have this book smurfing in this cabinet? Does it contain any secrets Papa Smurf doesn't want any Smurf to know about?" He shrugged and continued dusting. "It probably doesn't contain anything worth even his time and attention to smurf into."
He closed up the cabinet after dusting and locked it up when he realized something. "Still, why would Papa Smurf have a book called the Great Book Of Answers smurfed up in a cabinet of banned books?" He opened up the cabinet again. "I guess it wouldn't hurt if I just smurfed a peek at what's in the book so I can better undersmurf for myself."
He took the book out of the cabinet and started looking through it. "This is weird," he said. "There's nothing smurfed in this book but the page numbers. What kind of book is this? I'll check the front page."
Brainy took the book over to the table and turned it to the front page. "Hello," a flat computer-type voice said.
"What?" Brainy said, startled. "Who is it that's speaking?" He looked around to see where the voice was coming from.
"You may ask your question," the voice said again.
Brainy noticed that it was coming from the book. "AAAAAH!" he shouted, cowering beind a chair. "It's the book that's speaking! It's bewitched!"
"I await your question," the voice from the book said in the same tone.
Brainy tried to pull himself together. "A question...a question...uh, how old is Papa Smurf?"
"The age of Papa Smurf: see Page 36," the book said.
"Page 36?" Brainy asked. "What will I find on that page? It's just blank like the other pages!"
The book didn't answer. That meant Brainy had to look it up for himself. He cautiously approached the book and turned the pages. He was surprised to find that text just appeared right on Page 36.
"It says here 'Papa Smurf is 545 years in chanterelles'," Brainy read from the page. "That's correct! This book must be magical in that it can answer questions! But...that wasn't so difficult!" That got Brainy thinking. "Let's try asking another question!"
He turned the pages of the book back to the front page. "You can ask your question," the book said again.
"How high was the water at the village dam yesterday afternoon?" Brainy asked.
"The water level at the dam: see Page 87," the book said.
Brainy turned to the page and found text appearing there. "'The water level yesterday afternoon: 79 feet, 7 inches'," Brainy read. "That's right! I have even measured it myself!" This got Brainy so excited that he was jumping around the laboratory. "What an amazing discovery! This book is just absolutely smurftastic!"
Hefty noticed Brainy as he was passing by Papa Smurf's laboratory. "Hey, what's got you so excited, Brainy?" he asked. "You finally gone all smurfy in the head or what?"
"Not at all, Hefty!" Brainy said. "It's this book that I've found in Papa Smurf's laboratory...the Great Book of Answers! It speaks, and it answers all your questions!"
"A book that speaks and answers your questions?" Hefty said, feeling like he's been hit with a spell of laughter. "That is just sheer smurfery! You've been smurfing around Papa Smurf for too long!"
"A disbeliever, eh?" Brainy said. "Well, come in and smurf for yourself if you don't believe me!" He went out and pushed Hefty into the laboratory toward the table with the book, and then turned the pages back to the front page.
"You can ask your question," the book said, making Hefty a bit startled.
"What are you waiting for, Hefty?" Brainy said, noticing his friend just standing there looking at the book with wide eyes.
"Uh...what do I have to smurf to become even stronger?" Hefty asked.
"How to increase muscle mass: see Page 13," the book said.
Hefty turned to the page and saw text appear on it. "There's a formula for an ointment," Hefty said in amazement. "But it's so complex...I'll have to smurf notes!"
"You see?" Brainy said. "This book isn't called the Great Book Of Answers for nothing! It's unbelievable!"

A few minutes later, Greedy was just passing by Papa Smurf's house, carrying a big smurfberry cake with him, with his brother Nabby following.
"This time I've really outsmurfed myself," Greedy said. "I can't wait to smurf myself into this delicacy!"
"Me too," Nabby said, licking his lips in anticipation.
Suddenly Hefty raced out the door of the laboratory, pushing past Greedy in his haste. "My cake!" Greedy said as Hefty knocked it off the plate and sent it flying over onto Nabby's head. "Hey, what's the big idea smurfing past me like that, Hefty?" he shouted, grabbing Hefty's arm.
"Sorry, Greedy, but I'm in a hurry," Hefty answered, showing his friend a note in his other hand. "It's this book in Papa Smurf's laboratory that answers all your questions!"
"A book that answers all questions?" Greedy asked. "You've got to be kidding!"
"Smurf it out for yourself!" Hefty said, before he broke free of Greedy's grip and ran off.
"Hmmm...I wonder if this book can smurf up some good recipes for me to try," Greedy said, pondering while Nabby rescued the cake that fell on his head, licking the frosting off his face.
"You really did outsmurf yourself this time, Greedy," Nabby said, enjoying the taste. "Thanks for smurfing your cake with me!"
Greedy went inside Papa Smurf's laboratory. "Is it true that this magic book answers all of your questions, Brainy?" he asked.
"It's amazingly true, Greedy, and I, Brainy Smurf, have discovered it," Brainy answered proudly.
"Well, let's see what this book can smurf for the perfect souffle," Greedy said. And minutes later, he went straight to his kitchen with the recipe in hand, passing by Smurfette and Vanity on his way.
"I wonder what Greedy was smurfing from Papa Smurf's laboratory, Vanity," Smurfette said.
"Maybe we should find out for ourselves," Vanity suggested.
And as the two of them headed for Papa Smurf's laboratory, they ran into Nabby, who still had cake frosting all over his face. "Nabby Smurf, must you be so disgusting when it comes to smurfing your food?" Smurfette scolded.
"It's not my fault, Smurfette," Nabby said. "It's this book Brainy smurfs that can answer all your questions. Hefty smurfed a formula that can make himself stronger from it, and Greedy smurfed a recipe for the perfect souffle."
"Heavens to Smurfatroid," Vanity said. "I wonder if we can smurf any beauty secrets from the book, Smurfette."
"We might as well ask, Vanity," Smurfette said as they both entered Papa Smurf's laboratory. "Brainy, would you mind if you let me and Vanity borrow the book for a few questions?"
Brainy sounded frustrated, as if he couldn't keep the book secret for very long. "Fine, fine...just hurry up!" he said, handing her the book.