The story takes place about a month or so after Empath's 160th birthday, in which they celebrated his tenth anniversary of being home from Psychelia. The day began pretty normally for the Smurfs as they did their daily routines, with Hefty supervising the activity, Polaris Psyche doing his security patrols, and Empath overseeing it all. Nothing was really out of the ordinary, though there a poem recital by Poet that a small crowd of Smurfs had gathered around to hear.
"This is my latest epic, ladies and gentlesmurfs. It's called 'Time And Tide'," he announced before he began:
and tide passes,
As the years keep smurfing by,
We will someday smurf back and notice
How it all smurfed with a sigh.
It has all smurfed just like yesterday
Between the now and then,
And with each new moment that we smurf,
We will never smurf it again.
So make the best of the time you smurf
And smurf it for the best
For what will smurf in the years to smurf,
Oh, we can only guess.
But when you smurf the end of time,
May you not smurf back in lament
For our life is but a smurfing treasure
That must be smurfly spent.
Every Smurf sighed as they heard the poem, feeling as if Poet's words have resonated in their hearts with whatever they were thinking about. So did Empath and Smurfette.
As they walked off after the recital, Smurfette said, "That poem got me thinking, Empath, about all the years we smurfed together as friends, and yet now we feel much closer than that."
"This smurf shares the same sentiment, Smurfette," Empath said. "With all that we have went through both together and separately, this smurf cannot bear the thought of living another ten years wondering what's going to happen to us."
"You sound like you want something more than what we smurf right now, Empath," Smurfette said.
"Could you honestly think of living another ten years right now as we are?" Empath asked. "That this will be all we will ever have between us?"
"Honestly, Empath, I've been wanting something more myself, but with all my fellow Smurfs, I just haven't smurfed up the courage to realize this for myself," Smurfette said.
"Smurfette, you've been a very good friend to this smurf," Empath said. "You've helped this smurf to become the Smurf that I am now, and I hope that you will continue to be there for me as my guide and companion, because this smurf cannot do this alone."
"Empath, whatever you have to say, just say it," Smurfette said.
Empath was going to say something next when he heard a scream inside his head. It was the Smurflings. They were crying for help. And it was urgent.
"Smurfette, will you marry me?" Empath blurted out.
"What?" Smurfette asked, surprised by the bluntness.
Empath gave Smurfette a quick kiss. "This smurf must respond to a distress call. You can think about what you will say for an answer while this smurf takes care of the matter."
And as Smurfette watched Empath fly off
into the forest, she was saying to herself, "He asked me to marry him!"
Meanwhile, the Smurflings were sinking in a mire of quicksand that was in a deep pit. "I told you we should have waited for Tracker and Granpda Smurf," Nat said.
"Greasy grimy gopher holes, we can't smurf our way out of this pit," Sassette said.
"Great," Snappy said. "This is not how I wanted to end my camping trip."
"I only hope that they and Puppy can smurf here quick," Slouchy said.
They continued to cry for help until finally they found themselves rising from the pit. They knew who had come to rescue them. It was Empath.
"What smurfed you so long to get here?" Snappy said.
"Ah, don't mind him, Empath, he's just happy to smurf you again," Slouchy said.
"This smurf is glad to come to your rescue again," Empath said, before he paused and just stared at them.
"Empath, what's wrong?" Nat asked, sounding concerned.
Empath had a feeling that he had been through this moment before. Except that instead of four young Smurflings, there were three adult Smurfs that called themselves Nat, Snappy, and Slouchy whom he had rescued. And there were a lot of other things that happened in which time seemed to go crazy and that there were an infinite number of Smurfs appearing in the village. But now none of it has ever happened. It didn't make any sense to Empath why he would remember something like that.
"Oh, it's nothing, Nat," Empath said. "Just wondering what you young Smurfs would look like when you're older."
"Like that's anything new," Snappy said. "The grown-ups are always in the hurry for us to grow up."
Then came the sound of barking as Puppy approached with Tracker and Grandpa Smurf. "There you are, you young grandsmurfs," the elderly Smurf said. "I have warned you not to rush off like that and to wait for us, but no, you had to smurf yourself into danger, and we have nearly lost you if it weren't for Empath."
"Sorry, Grandpa Smurf," Snappy said sheepishly for all four of them.
"It was a such a jolly good time on our camping trip, Empath," Tracker said. "I would regale you with the events that have transmurfed along our journey if you would kindly escort us home."
"That would be this smurf's pleasure, Tracker," Empath said as they started off together.
Polaris Psyche noticed Smurfette standing near the path to the woods all by herself. "Salutations, fellow Smurfette," he greeted. "May this one ask what you are waiting for at this location?"
"Oh, just Tracker, Grandpa Smurf, and the Smurflings smurfing home from their camping trip," Smurfette answered. "They have been gone for over a week and I just want to make sure they smurfed home safe."
"This one senses that they are not the only ones you are waiting for, Smurfette," Polaris said. "If indeed you were truly waiting for the others to come home."
Smurfette sighed. "Okay, Polaris, the truth is is that I'm waiting for Empath, because he has asked me a very important question."
"And this important question requires for you to wait for his return to the village so that you may deliver your answer," Polaris said.
"Exactly," Smurfette said. "I'm just so eager to tell him that I just can't wait!"
"You may not have to wait for long, Smurfette," Polaris said. "This one is detecting his presence approaching this location with several other Smurfs and Puppy."
And soon enough, Smurfette saw Empath enter the village with Tracker, Grandpa Smurf, the Smurflings, and Puppy. The young Smurfs looked like they got into a bit of trouble on their way home that Empath managed to get them out of. But nonetheless, all of them were happy and busy talking with each other, with Empath listening to the tales of what went on during the camping trip.
"Empath! Smurfs! You're home again!" Smurfette greeted as she approached them.
"Oh, this is so cool," Snappy said. "We have Smurfette greeting our arrival!"
"I think I died and smurfed to heaven," Slouchy said.
"You Smurflings and your thoughts of Smurfette are just so ridiculous," Sassette said.
But then as the Smurflings watched, Smurfette embraced Empath and kissed him. "Hello, Empath. I have finally smurfed my answer."
"Salutations to you too, Smurfette!" Empath said, smiling. "And what is your answer?"
"That I would like to known as Mrs. Empath Smurf," Smurfette replied.
"So is that a yes?" Empath asked.
"Smurfs like a yes to me, Empath," Slouchy said, sounding rather sly.
"Jumping junebugs! You two are finally going to be married?" Sassette shouted.
"YES!" Snappy said, shouting with his fist thrust into the air.
"Consmurfulations, Empath and Smurfette," Nat said. "I knew you two would finally smurf the knot together."
"Well, I'll be a smurf's uncle," Grandpa Smurf said. "I never thought I'd live to smurf the day when two of my best grandsmurfs who choose to be married."
Tracker just simply stood there in shock, as did Polaris Psyche for a moment. "So that was what Smurfette was waiting to tell Empath upon his return," he finally said.
"Oh, this is just so exciting," Smurfette said, turning to each of the Smurfs nearby. "Empath smurfed the question, and I said yes. We have to tell all our fellow Smurfs about this!"
"Smurfette, don't you think we should talk to Papa Smurf about our decision first?" Empath asked. "This smurf isn't sure how the rest of the village will receive this particular bit of news."
"This is just too important to wait, Empath," Smurfette said. "We can let Papa Smurf in on the news after we smurf it to the rest of the Smurfs. I'm sure he wouldn't mind the surprise."
"Well, what are you waiting for, Empath?" Snappy said. "Let them know that you and Smurfette are going to smurf the knot!"
The other three Smurflings were encouraging Empath to go ahead and spread the news.
"Okay, Smurfette, we'll smurf this together," Empath said. "Polaris, you go tell Papa Smurf about this decision that we have made and have him join the other Smurfs around the speaking mushroom."
"This one acknowledges, Empath," Polaris said before he headed off.
"Empath, I don't think smurfing into things like smurfing a wedding announcement is the right thing to do," Grandpa Smurf said.
"I know, Grandpa Smurf," Empath said. "It's just after ten years of waiting, this smurf feels like that this smurf can no longer afford the luxury of more time. This moment is just as important to this smurf as it is to Smurfette. This smurf wants to be there to let the other Smurfs know as soon as possible what's going to happen."
Grandpa Smurf sighed, realizing that he wasn't going to change Empath's mind or Smurfette's.