A few days later, as Empath watched the three Smurfs return home to the village, the other Smurfs were all a stir as Painter and Poet told them about the beautiful lake they have visited. And not only that, but also that these two Smurfs had built houses by the lake, which caught the attention of Papa Smurf when Brainy had told him what he himself had heard.
"This sounds like an epidemic, Brainy Smurf," Papa Smurf said. "But I suppose there's no harm in letting those Smurfs have a place of their own as their private smurfaway.
"You think we should warn Tracker that this may be smurfing out of hand, Papa Smurf?" Brainy asked.
"Let's just see where it smurfs from here, Brainy," Papa Smurf said.
Outside Papa Smurf's laboratory, the Smurfs were busy looking at all the beautiful paintings and sketches Painter had made of the lake and of the houses he, Poet, and Handy had built. This would be a few years before Handy created the photosmurfer, but nonetheless they were amazed by what Painter had recorded on his canvases and in his sketch books. Poet's latest epic, "An Ode To The Lake", was of equal interest.
One night, remember, we smurfed in silence,
we smurfened only to the waves under the blue sky,
the sound of oars splashing in the smurfy sea,
with the sole applause of a harmonious sigh.
"Oh, Poet, that was so wonderful," Smurfette said, shedding a tear. "You've never smurfed anything so beautiful like that before."
"Yes, well, as a smurf critic of poetic smurfs, Smurfette," Brainy commented, "I don't know if the word 'remember' was even grammatically correct."
Farmer, Miller, and Biscotti were among the Smurfs who have seen Painter's works relating to the lake. "You think we could ever smurf to a place like this?" Miller asked the other two.
"I dunno, Miller," Farmer said. "It do be looking rather smurfy, but I have to smurf to my watering."
"And I have my bread dough to smurf," Biscotti said in agreement.
Miller sighed. "I know what you mean. We all have jobs that require consmurf attention, and though I love what I smurf day in and day out, I would love just to be able to smurf away from it all for a while."
"If only Smurfs like Lazy here would be smurfing up the slack while we would smurf away for some rest," Farmer said, noticing Lazy as the three Smurfs head off to their own places of work.
"It wasn't just those three Smurfs who were thinking of a smurfaway, Empath," Handy said as Empath continued to watch. "Every Smurf in the village was also thinking of smurfing away for some time alone at the lake. Greedy in his kitchen, Tapper in his distillery, Printer in his shop, Hefty and Duncan smurfing the heavy jobs, and even Smurfs like Lazy and Grouchy. I had no idea that such a place would become so popular until around dinnertime."
And as Empath watched Greedy and his kitchen helpers serve dinner, Chatty was the first to speak. "You know, Handy, the rest of us were laughing at the idea of you smurfing a small house by the lake at first."
"Really?" Handy said.
"Yeah, and that's what got us curious," Nosey added. "But now that we hear about Poet and Painter smurfing houses up there, it got the others thinking..."
"WE WOULD LIKE TO SMURF BY THE LAKE!" the other Smurfs in the dining commons said.
Handy was surprised to hear this. "You mean...all of you want to...?" He then motioned Painter and Poet to come with him outside to talk among themselves in private. "You two know that we only have three houses up there. We don't have enough room to smurf the whole village up there."
"Maybe we can smurf two or three up there at a time, M'sieu Handy," Painter suggested.
"Yes, but in what order?" Poet asked.
"Maybe we should smurf a lottery or draw straws," Painter offered.
"Or allow the Smurfs who are closest to us to smurf up there," Poet said.
"Oh, oui, I would definitely invite the Smurfette to smurf in my house," Painter said.
"She, smurfing in your house?" Poet objected. "Why would she smurf with you? My house is smurfier than yours!"
"Stop with the bickering!" Handy shouted. "The other Smurfs need to smurf an answer, or we'll never smurf the end of it!"
"Well, what would you suggest, M'sieu Handy?" Painter asked.
"It's simple, Painter," Handy said. "We can't invite all the Smurfs to smurf up to the lake, and that's that."
The Smurfs in the dining commons overheard Handy saying this. "You should be ashamed, Handy Smurf!"
"Yeah! That lake doesn't belong to you, Poet, or Painter!"
"Smurfing it all for yourselves! How unsmurfy!"
"And I will tell this to Papa Smurf," Brainy said.
Handy then walked off, trying to think. "You know, the other Smurfs are right," he said to himself. "If the others want to smurf up to the lake, shouldn't they be allowed to smurf so? There's got to be a way for them to be able to smurf up there, but it's going to take some planning."
"I spent the whole night smurfing on a solution so that the other Smurfs could enjoy smurfing at the lake and still have Smurfs back in the village smurfing on important jobs, Empath," Handy said. "By morning, I had my solution all ready that I had to show it to Papa Smurf around daybreak."
And as Empath watched, seeing the village slowly rising and shining with the crowing of the rooster, Handy eagerly knocked on Papa Smurf's door. "Uh...what is it?" the village leader asked, sounding like he just got up.
"Papa Smurf, I have the perfect solution for every Smurf to be able to smurf away from the village for a while," Handy said.
Papa Smurf opened the door, also looking half-awake. "I hope this is worth smurfing me up this early, Handy," he said, allowing the young Smurf to enter his house.
"Oh, it certainly is, Papa Smurf," Handy said. "This project is going to require a team of volunteers to smurf it all together, but I'm sure that it will be worth the effort." He rolled out the plans he had made for the particular project so that Papa Smurf could see for himself.
Papa Smurf studied what Handy had shown him on his plans, and then suddenly his eyes snapped fully open. "Great Smurfness!"
"Impressive, isn't it?" Handy said, smiling. "So, you think that I could smurf a team of volunteers to smurf this into reality?"
Papa Smurf wanted to say no, but somehow he felt as if he just couldn't. "Well...now that you have mentioned it...I think maybe..."
"Oh, thank you, Papa Smurf," Handy said, shaking the village leader's hand, accepting his response as permission. "I knew that I could smurf on you. I promise that you won't regret this."
Papa Smurf watched as Handy quickly left his house, eager to get started with his project. "I could only wonder where this will smurf us," he said to himself, feeling the ambiguity of letting Handy work on this project coming on him.
At that point, Narrator had come along, dressed in a blue tank top that is the same color as his turtleneck along with a white pair of swimming trunks. "I see that you're smurfing Empath about the story of Smurf Paradise, Handy," Narrator noted.
"It figures that you would show up, Narrator, given that you know the other half of the story," Handy commented.
"It's just part of my job as the narrator," Narrator said.
"So what else was going on while Handy was preparing to work on this project that would become Smurf Paradise?" Empath asked Narrator.
"Our old enemy Gargamel was busy at work preparing something of his own for hunting Smurfs, Empath," Narrator answered. "He knows that his cat has the natural smurf for smelling Smurfs that are nearby, so he was looking for a way that Azrael could smurf up a Smurf's scent from greater distances. And in one of his spellbooks, he believes that he has smurfed something to do that particular job."
Empath watched as Narrator now showed what he remembered, given his unique abilities as a storyteller. They were in Gargamel's laboratory, watching him prepare that something for the purpose he had in mind.
"So...all the ingredients are ground, grated...my magic powder is ready," Gargamel said, sounding pleased with his efforts. He then turned to his cat, who was resting on his cushion. "If this formula works, Azrael, it will turn you, my worthless feline companion, into a real sleuth...an extraordinary hunting dog!"
Azrael perked up when he heard the "dog" part. He didn't like dogs, and he didn't like the idea of being turned into a dog. He scurried underneath a cupboard to hide himself from his master.
"Just think, you'll be able to smell Smurfs no matter where they are," Gargamel said, thinking of what he plans to do with the Smurfs once he has them. And then he noticed that Azrael has gone into hiding. "Don't be such a sniveling coward! You won't really be changed into a dog, and besides, the effect only lasts for a few hours!"
Azrael refused to come out of hiding beneath the cupboard.
"Azrael, come out of there!" Gargamel commanded, dragging his cat by the tail. "I need your help in hunting the Smurfs!" He threw Azrael into a corner and immediately starting spraying the magic powder with his bellows. "Now, hold still...this won't hurt a bit!"
Azrael sneezed as he inhaled the powder. And then he felt something strange happening to him. He was no longer meowing like a cat...he was now barking like a dog, and his nose felt rather funny.
"Aha! The magic powder works!" Gargamel said. He put a leash on his cat, who didn't react to being put on a leash. "All we need to do is walk in the forest where the smurfberries grow. With your nose, we will soon have enough game to track."
Gargamel then took Azrael out of his castle and into the forest, with Azrael sniffing the air. He stopped once they went past the bridge that crossed over the muck pond.
"Keep moving foward, ho...uh, pussy," Gargamel goaded. "Remember that your sense of smell does not last forever."
Azrael started sniffing the ground as he moved forward into the forest. Soon he stopped and sniffed the air around him.
"Do you smell something, Azrael?" Gargamel asked. "There must be a scent of Smurf in the air."
Then Azrael tugged on the leash, racing toward where the scent was leading him.
"Good...good...you've picked up a clear trail," Gargamel said, following where his cat was going. They soon stopped near a bush. "They must be hiding behind that bush. Good work! You stay here while I sneak up on our prey. And whatever you do, don't make a single noise."
Azrael stood obediently where he stopped while Gargamel got his net ready and carefully crept to the other side of the bush to pounce upon his prey. But then he saw that it wasn't a Smurf at all. It was a mole.
"You idiot!" Gargamel shouted at Azrael. "What were you thinking? That I wanted to make a fur collar? Your scent tracking was useless!"
Azrael meekly followed his master as they both headed out of the forest.
"Anyway, while Narrator was busy focusing on Gargamel, I was busy at the lake working with a team of Smurfs to bring my idea of Smurf Paradise to fruition," Handy cut in. "They were wondering what all the hard work is for, and I was smurfing them that they would be the first Smurfs to enjoy a vacation at the place they were smurfing together. Back in the village, Papa Smurf was busy dealing with the Smurfs who wanted to smurf a vacation, deciding who should go on and who should smurf in the village to keep it smurfing."
Empath watched as there was a crowd of Smurfs all gathering near Papa Smurf's laboratory, all saying that they want to be part of the first group of Smurfs who would go up to the lake.
"Wait a minute, my little Smurfs," Papa Smurf said. "We need to get things organized here. I will make up a list of the Smurfs who need the rest the most. These will be the Smurfs who will smurf up there first."
"That do be me you're smurfing about, Papa Smurf," Farmer said as he approached Papa Smurf's desk.
"Oh yeah, Farmer?" one Smurf said. "Why you?"
"Why?" Farmer said, turning to the Smurf who objected. "Sweet mother of Smurf, I smurf my days in the fields smurfing the food you eat every day in the village! If I don't desmurf a vacation for all that hard work, then what?"
"And what about me?" Miller said. "You think smurfing sacks of grain and flour every day for Greedy and Biscotti Smurf is a job for a Smurfette?"
"And you think smurfing bread every day is as easy as pie?" Biscotti said.
"And what about me smurfing meals for all you Smurfs every day?" Greedy said. "You think that I don't desmurf to have a rest from that job?"
The room was so full of chaos as the Smurfs were arguing back and forth over who deserves to have a vacation, that Papa Smurf felt so overwhelmed. "This is smurfing rather complicated!" he said, trying to control his temper. "I'm going to smurf a break to calm my smurfs before I..."
"Papa Pitufo!" Zipper said as he arrived in the village, carrying a message. "It's an invitation from the lake! Senor Handy wants you to smurf there for the inauguration smurfimony!"
Papa Smurf looked at the message. "Already? Hmmm..." He was still trying to figure out which Smurfs should go to the lake, and as much as he wanted to go there to see it for himself, he still had a village to overlook.
Just then, Smurfette appeared on the scene. "Is that an invitation from the lake, Papa Smurf?" she asked.
"It is, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said. "They are asking me to attend the inauguration smurfimony. I was wondering if you would kindly smurf my place, because I'm sure of all the Smurfs in the village, you alone truly would desmurf some time to spend by yourself up at the lake."
"Really?" Smurfette asked, eager to accept. "I don't know what to smurf to that, Papa Smurf."
"Just a simple thank you will be enough, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said, smiling. "I will smurf up there later."
"Oh, thank you, Papa Smurf," Smurfette said, giving him a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Soon the inauguration ceremony is ready to start, as Empath continued to watch.
"Drumroll, please," Handy said to Drummer as the Smurfs watched the village builder give the golden pair of scissors for Smurfette to cut the ribbon. They were all anticipating the moment as Drummer made the drumroll.
Smurfette gently took the ribbon into her hands. "Long live Smurf Paradise," she said as she snipped the ribbon with the scissors.
Every Smurf present clapped as they took a look at the place Handy and his crew had built. It looked really fabulous, with huts on the hills, huts on the docks, a swimming pool, a dining commons, a bandstand, boats and deck chairs. It was like nothing they have ever seen Handy build before...or any Smurf, for that matter.
"Bravo, Handy Smurf," Chatty said.
"You have smurfed such a wonderful project," Vanity added.
Smurfette gave Handy a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you, thank you," Handy said as he accepted the applause and platitudes. "You're all invited to smurf a glass of smurfberry juice to celebrate the event! And I will smurf the new arrivals the number of their huts!"
The Smurfs present eagerly gathered together as Handy assigned them their huts. Two Smurfs were glad that they would be neighbors to each other, while another Smurf didn't like that he couldn't get a hut by the lake. Nonetheless, they all got settled in and were ready to relax and enjoy themselves.
Chatty and Vanity sat at the dining commons, watching the other Smurfs go about their business. The both of them never felt happier to be in a place where they could just sit back and do absolutely nothing.
"Boy, it's sure hot today," Chatty commented. "I could smurf for another glass of smurfberry juice."
"Me too, Chatty, me too," Vanity said.
"So...are you going to get the glasses?" Chatty asked.
"Why me? Isn't this your idea?" Vanity objected.
Then Handy showed up with a clipboard. "I'm going to need some volunteers to smurf wood for the kitchen," he said pleasantly.
"Oh no! Not me!" Chatty said.
"And not me either!" Vanity said.
"Well, it's that, or somebody's going to have to prepare food or smurf the dishes," Handy said, trying to convince them. "The work doesn't get automatically smurfed around here!"
"This isn't a vacation if we have to smurf chores around here, Handy," Chatty said.
"I agree with Chatty," Vanity said. "We smurfed here to rest."
Handy felt frustrated. He didn't want to force his fellow Smurfs to do anything, but just asking them to volunteer for some work isn't accomplishing anything either. He had to think of something.
He then grabbed a megaphone and headed for the bandstand. "ATTENTION! ATTENTION! A MESSAGE TO ALL THE SMURFS! PLEASE SMURF TO THE BANDSTAND FOR A LOTTERY DRAWING! I REPEAT..."
All the Smurfs gathered together when they heard the announcement. They were eager to find out what the lottery drawing was for. Lucky, who was one of the Smurfs present, was wondering if he would ever win.
"In this basket are the numbers of huts," Handy said, showing the basket. "The innocent hand of Smurfette will smurf six of them at random." Smurfette giggled as she was eager to help in the lottery drawing.
"So what's the grand prize?" one Smurf asked.
"Yeah! What do we smurf?" another Smurf asked.
Handy sighed. "I might as well smurf it...we're smurfing up a list of who's going to be smurfing chores tomorrow."
This made the other Smurfs groan. "What? You smurfed us!" Chatty said.
"That's it! I'm smurfing out of here!" Vanity said, making a motion to leave.
"Hey, stop and think about it, Smurfs," Handy called out as he noticed that the other Smurfs were ready to follow Vanity. "You only have to smurf this for one day, and then tomorrow we'll smurf up a new team, and then you'll get to enjoy your vacation."
This made the other Smurfs stop and think. "Well, if we only have to smurf this for one day..."
"And if there's no other way to smurf this..."
"All right, smurf the numbers!"
Soon Smurfette started pulling out the numbers. "It's 9...and 6...and 7..."
"Smurf is me! I won!" Vanity groaned.
"M...me too! That has never smurfened to me!" Lucky said, sounding very surprised.
"Consmurfulations," Swimmer said, sounding very happy for Lucky.