Empath watched as Century woke up the next morning and decided
that he was going to get a loaf of bread from Biscotti Smurf.
"Hey, it's my favorite customer, the Smurf of the century,"
Biscotti said as soon as Century entered his shop. "How's it smurfing?"
"Oh, just fine, thank you," Century said. "May I have a smurf
of bread, please?"
"Certainly," Biscotti said, taking a loaf of bread from the
shelf. "Here you go!"
"How much do I smurf you for the loaf?" Century asked.
Biscotti rubbed his jaw thinking about the question. "I
honestly don't know, Century. Maybe we should ask that Finance
Smurf about it."
"Might as well," Century said as they both left the shop
together, heading for Trader's house. When they got there,
however, they saw a crowd of Smurfs all waiting to talk to
Trader about how much they should charge for their goods and
"Ho, ho, it smurfs like we're not the only ones who want to
find out," Biscotti said with some amusement.
After a while of waiting, Century and Biscotti got to see
Trader to ask about how much a loaf of bread should cost.
"Let's smurf up a scale of value," Trader said. He got out his
book and started making a bunch of calculations in it. "If
Farmer Smurf smurfs much days to smurf a bag of wheat and Miller
Smurf smurfed his wheat for this much, he can smurf his flour to
Biscotti Smurf and he can smurf his bread for the same smurf.
While smurfing into account the time spent smurfing and fixed
costs, it is reasonable to smurf that..."
After a lengthy discussion, Trader resolved Century and
Biscotti's dilemma. They both walked out of Trader's house, with
Trader happy to help them out after making a bunch of
"So how much do I smurf you for the bread?" Century asked as
they returned to the bakery.
"By my estimation, you smurf me two coins," Biscotti answered.
Century pulled two coins out of his pocket. "Well, here you
smurf!" he said as he handed them to Biscotti.
Biscotti laughed. "Now this is fun."
Meanwhile, Smurfette was taking care of Papa Smurf in a spare
house that had been set up as a residence for the village leader
when Trader came knocking.
"Hello there, Smurfette," he greeted, carrying a bag of money
with him. "How's Papa Smurf doing?"
"He's smurfing pretty well, Trader," Smurfette answered as she
allowed him entry to see Papa Smurf.
Trader approached the bed and showed Papa Smurf the bag of
money he was carrying. "Here, Papa Smurf, I've come to deliver
you your share of the money!"
Papa Smurf looked at him, somewhat incredulous. "Wha...?"
"It's money, Papa Smurf," Traded tried to explain. "I've seen
that humans use it, and now with the coins that me and Handy
have smurfed up, the Smurfs are using it as well. It's all part
of the new system."
Papa Smurf tried to respond, but his mind was still too addled.
"Please, Trader Smurf," Smurfette said, standing near Papa
Smurf's bedside. "Papa Smurf is not in a state of smurf to hear
what you're smurfing right now."
Trader placed the bag of money near Papa Smurf's bed. "If he
does smurf better, Smurfette, tell him that things are smurfing
well," he said before he left.
And as Trader looked around the village, he could see that
things were going pretty well so far. All the Smurfs he came
across were making transactions for all the goods and services
that were being provided. Handy provided work on somebody's door
for a price. Timber was providing firewood for another Smurf for
a price. Farmer was providing sarsaparilla for Tapper for a
price. Tailor offered a roll of the finest cloth to Vanity for a
price. So far, as Empath could see in the memory of what had
transpired, money hasn't affected the lives of his fellow
Smurfs...at least not yet.
And then came mealtime. Greedy had put on such an excellent
meal, which began with a souffle a la sarsaparilla, followed by
a mushroom omelet with a smurfberry shortcake for dessert. It
was such a good meal that most of the Smurfs who ate it have
wondered if they will ever eat again.
"My compliments certainly smurf to the chef for this
outsmurfing culinary delight," Brainy said, wiping his mouth off
with a napkin.
"You can smurf that again," Nabby said, letting out a heavy
belch. "Excuse me."
"At the very least, it wasn't haggis that we were all smurfing...which I don't think any of you would want to know what it's smurfed of right now," Duncan said.
"Well, you can go ask Greedy to smurf up some haggis if you want, Gutsy, but right now it's time to smurf back to work," Hefty said as he and his fellow Smurfs got up from the table to leave.
"Let's see if you're smurf enough to try it out, laddie," Duncan said.
"Well, I sure didn't mean that I want Greedy to smurf it for all of us, buddy!" Hefty said.
"Heh...so much for being the strong and brave Smurf that you are, if you can't handle something that only a real Smurfsman would eat," Duncan said with a laugh.
"Just watch yourself with that, Gutsy," Hefty shot back.
"The name is Duncan, laddie," Duncan said.
"Hold it, hold it, hold it," Greedy said, blocking their way to
the exit. "You haven't forgotten, have you? That will be three
coins for the meal you've smurfed."
"Three coins?" one of the Smurfs said, sounding surprised.
"You mean we now have to pay just to smurf a meal?" Hefty
asked, not liking what he was hearing.
"That's the way it smurfs in this new system, folks," Greedy
said. "I have to buy the food you smurf, and that's not smurfing
the amount of time that I have to prepare it!"
Every Smurf looked a bit sour as they had to pull coins out of
their pocket and hand them over to Greedy as they left the
"This new system was so smurfy up until now!" Hefty said.
"And I thought that I was going to enjoy smurfing my pot of gold at the end of a rainbow," Duncan said after he paid his three coins for a meal.
Some of the Smurfs have gathered around Trader, demanding to
know why it is they have to pay for a meal now.
"It's necessary that you pay for the things you smurf from now
on," Trader answered, "because everything is sold, and any
specific work requires payment."
"So now everything in the village had to be paid for?" Empath
"Exactly, Empath," Trader said. "Of course, when it smurfs to
money, some Smurfs end up smurfing really well, and other Smurfs
end up having trouble. Biscotti's business was really smurfing,
and so was Farmer with his vegetable smurfs and Handy with his
repair jobs. It's just unfortunate that not every Smurf could
smurf the good fortune that some of the others were smurfing."
Empath watched as Jokey went out of his house with his usual
surprise in hand. But now something was different.
"A present! Who wants a beautiful present? Just four coins!" he
Most of his fellow Smurfs just passed him by. But one Smurf
took him up on the offer.
"Here," Hefty said, giving Jokey four coins. "But you're going
to smurf this to Brainy Smurf!"
"Oh, okay," Jokey said. He took the coins and then went over to
Brainy. "Here, Brainy, Hefty Smurf wants to smurf you a
present!" he said, offering the surprise.
"A present from Hefty Smurf?" Brainy said. "I wonder what it
Brainy opened it and it exploded on him, as usual. But this
time Jokey wasn't laughing. It no longer felt like fun.
"Just four coins," Jokey groaned as he looked at his earnings.
"And I don't have a smurf now. I'm not going to smurf far with
Meanwhile, Harmony presented Drummer Smurf with a request.
"Would you kindly announce that I'm going to smurf on an outdoor
concert this afternoon?" he asked, handing Drummer the notice.
"Certainly," Drummer replied. "That will be three coins."
Harmony paid Drummer the money. Then Drummer went out to make
the announcement with his usual drum roll.
"Hear ye, every Smurf," he said to all those who were nearby.
"There will be a concert smurfed by Harmony Smurf this afternoon
at the small gazebo. The admission is two coins. Go and smurf
Most of the Smurfs responded by running off and shutting their
By afternoon, Harmony Smurf waited for an audience to come, and
after a while realized that nobody was going to attend. But then
he saw one Smurf coming. It was Farmer.
"Oh, thank Smurfness," Harmony said. "I didn't think anyone to
going to smurf!"
"I just want to smurf my appreciation for your talent,
Harmony," Farmer said as he paid his two coins and then sat
down. "Now smurf me something strong and loud!"
Harmony obliged by playing a really loud and painfully
out-of-tune musical piece that caused Farmer to block his ears.
Then came the sound of thunder as there was now a downpour.
"Oh, smurf it all...it's raining," Harmony groaned.
But Farmer was delighted. Empath knew Farmer really wanted
Harmony's "talent" for bring on a rainstorm so he could water
his vegetable garden.
"Very smurfy performance there, Harmony," Farmer said as he
walked away. "Thanks."
Then Empath saw a few more Smurfs having trouble trying to make
ends meet. There was Poet who was trying to sell his poetic
works to any Smurf who was interested. And there was Smurfette,
who looked like she was going through hell trying to take care
of laundry and watching after Baby Smurf at the same time.
Empath could see that she was really upset.
"Smurf care of Papa Smurf...smurf care of Baby Smurf...smurf
the cleaning...smurf the laundry," Smurfette groused. "I wonder
who's going to pay me for smurfing all this!"
And then Empath saw Lazy getting up from a hammock. "Boy, all
this smurfing is giving me an appetite," he said. "I'm going to
smurf me a small cake from Biscotti Smurf." He then reached into
his pockets and found out that they were empty. "Oh, smurf is
me...I have no money left. What am I going to smurf?" He sighed
as he approached Biscotti's bakery shop. "Oh, well, maybe he can
help me out!"
"Hey, it's my favorite customer Lazy," Biscotti greeted as soon
as Lazy entered. "What may I smurf for you?"
"Oh, hello there, Biscotti," Lazy said. "My, you smurf good
today. It must be smurfing pretty well for you with this new
system and all."
"Hey, what can I say?" Biscotti said. "It's like I'm 'smurfing
in the dough', so to smurf. Anyway, what can I smurf you now
that you're here?"
Lazy found it rather difficult to say. "Well, uh...I would like
to smurf a small cake from you...but I just don't have anything
to smurf you with."
"Aw, that's just too bad, Lazy," Biscotti said, sounding a bit
sympathetic. "I wouldn't want to be in your smurfs, but you know
how it smurfs in this new system...you have no money, I can't
smurf anything for you!"
"Nothing?" Lazy said. "But I'm hungry! Can't you smurf anything
Biscotti sighed. "Since you're my favorite customer, I'll let
you have a small smurf of bread. But that's all that I can smurf
for you. In your place, I would go smurf that Finance Smurf.
Maybe he'll know what he can smurf for you."
"You may be right, Biscotti," Lazy said as he took the small
slice of bread. "Thank you anyway."
After Lazy left the shop, Biscotti looked at his chest full of
money. "You know what, Lazy? Me too! I should go see that