Part 4

"And so, Empath, I had my work crew smurfing chores for the others, which I have made as fair and equitable as possible," Handy explained. "Not that the ones who had to smurf the chores were entirely happy about it."
"You did what you had to do without forcing anybody to do it, Handy," Empath said. "This smurf couldn't be more pleased of your solution."
Then Empath watched as the Smurfs were sitting around the dining commons at night, drinking smurfberry juice and talking with each other in the same manner as they would be at Tapper's Tavern. Vanity didn't like having to work as part of the waitstaff, even as Chatty just continually bothered him about getting another glass of smurfberry juice and then complaining that it wasn't cold enough. It was like nothing ever satisfied Chatty. Empath could see why Vanity would never work at Tapper's Tavern or Greedy's kitchen.
Later on, when every Smurf had gone to bed, Vanity was busy stacking up chairs and cleaning the place while Chatty continued to drink smurfberry juice like it was sarsaparilla ale. "Hey, Vanity, I would like just one more glass of smurfberry juice, please," he said, sounding a bit inebriated.
"Sorry, Chatty, but my smurf is over," Vanity said as he took off his work vest and folded it, leaving it on the counter. "And I would suggest that you go to bed and smurf some sleep, because tomorrow you'll be smurfing breakfast." He then headed off to his hut, leaving Chatty to his lonesome.
Empath watched as the next morning, Vanity and Chatty switched places. Chatty was the one doing the serving, and Vanity was the one being served. He was complaining that his herbal tea isn't very hot, which made Chatty react in the same way towards Vanity. He could see that Chatty wouldn't work out as part of Tapper's or Greedy's waitstaff either.

And then Swimmer woke up and decided that he was going to do some swimming that day. Empath knew he was one of the few Smurfs in the village who loved exercise, and also the other Smurf besides Hefty who liked wearing tattoos on his arms, though Hefty wondered why Swimmer would prefer to have fish as his symbol. Swimmer simply said that he liked identifying himself with fish, which is why he asked Painter for that particular design. It was just a shame that Swimmer's choice of exercise could only be in the warmer seasons, though he could brave swimming in the cold if he had to.
Swimmer stretched his arms and removed his nightshirt, revealing his swim briefs. "Nothing like a brisk smurf around the lake to start my day," he said as he went out of his hut onto the dock. He hopped as if he was standing on a diving board, preparing to do a dive, and then he propelled himself toward the water...only to land headfirst into another Smurf's boat as he was just passing by.
"Hey, why don't you look where you're smurfing, Swimmer?" the Smurf in the boat complained. "You want to smurf a hole in my boat?"
Swimmer got out of the boat and back onto the dock. "Stupid rowers smurfing in the way," he groused. "I might as well go smurf in the smurfing pool." He took his towel with him and headed toward the swimming pool. By the time he got there, though, he saw that it was already full of Smurfs swimming in it.
"Isn't that smurfy!" he said, realizing that he isn't going to do any swimming at that point. "The only thing I can smurf now is to go smurf on the beach and get a smurftan." He headed to the beach and saw a nice empty spot where he could lay down his towel. Hopefully he could get a nice dark shade of blue where it is all nice and quiet.
But then curiosity got the better of Swimmer. He looked to see that a lot of Smurfs were all crowded in one spot, and as he tried to get a better look, he could see why. It was Smurfette, trying to get a moment for herself to enjoy a quiet day in the sun, but instead she was constantly bothered by her fellow Smurfs who were just overwhelming her with so much attention, she had no idea what to do.
Finally, she got up from her beach blanket. "Excuse me, boys, I'll be right back," she said pleasantly as he headed away from them and toward Swimmer's spot on the beach. "Excuse me, Swimmer, but are you smurfing anything right now?"
", Smurfette," Swimmer answered. "Why?"
She came over close to Swimmer and spoke in a muffled whisper. "It's just that there's this spot on the other side of the lake I would want to smurf to that's real nice and quiet! You can smurf in the sun all day without any onlookers!"
"Really?" Swimmer said, sounding excited. "Gee, that sounds like a smurfy idea!"
"You think so?" Smurfette said, glad to see that Swimmer is approving. "Then would you mind if you watched over Baby Smurf while I'm gone?"
Swimmer gasped as he saw Baby Smurf crawl over with a pail and shovel, and then he just laid back, realizing that all Smurfette really wanted was time alone for herself.
"Whatever you smurf," he sighed as he allowed Baby Smurf to bury him in the sand.

Empath heard Smurfette giggle at this part in Handy's story. "That would seem to be an unsmurfy thing you did to Swimmer," he said, looking at her suspiciously.
"Honestly, Empath, I didn't say that he could smurf with me," Smurfette said. "Anyway, Vanity decided he was going to smurf something new to wear at Smurf Paradise, because he didn't like smurfing around in just white pants or swim briefs."
"This smurf could understand why, given that he isn't a follower of what Tailor Smurf calls fashion, Smurfette," Empath said.
And as Empath watched, Hefty and two other Smurfs who were sitting around enjoying glasses of smurfberry juice then saw Vanity come out of his hut wearing a pair of red cutoffs. "Hey, what's with Vanity and his funny-smurfing pair of smurfs?" Hefty asked.
"I don't know," one of the other two Smurfs said, snickering. "Maybe the water in his hut is too high."
"Yeah, that's Vanity Smurf, all right," the second Smurf laughed in agreement. "He should have stuck to Tailor's designs."
Just then, Smurfette appeared. "Ooh, that outfits looks really smurfy on you, Vanity," she said, making him smile. "Wherever do you smurf up with these brilliant ideas?"
And Empath saw that eventually Vanity's cutoffs were all the rage at Smurf Paradise, as every Smurf decided they would want to wear a pair of them. However, Hefty didn't like that his fellow Smurf was laughing at his pair, which required him to wear a rope around his waist for a belt to hold them up. "You think this looks funny? Try smurfing at yourself in the mirror!" he said.
One of the Smurfs decided to pay a visit at the Smurf sitting at the information booth. "Say, do you know what's smurfing on tonight at Smurf Paradise?" he asked the information Smurf.
"No, what?" the information Smurf responded.
"That's what I'm here to ask you," the first Smurf said.
"Honestly, I don't know anything," the information Smurf said.
"Oh, come on now," the first Smurf said, sounding impatient. "You got to know that there's entertainment smurfing on at the bandstand tonight."
"Really?" the information Smurf said. "That's the first time that I have..."
"Then why are you here smurfing the information smurf if you don't know anything?" the first Smurf demanded.
"Handy smurfed me here to smurf this place...and now you're smurfing me out with all your questions," the information Smurf retorted.
"Hey, smurf it down there," Farmer said as he, Biscotti, and Miller were playing a ball toss game. "We're trying to smurf a game here."
"Oh, smurf out of this!" the two Smurfs responded.
Farmer sighed as he returned to his game. "You've got to be real smurf to be angry like that Smurf over there," Biscotti said as he looked at the two Smurfs arguing with each other at the information booth.
"That's true, Biscotti," Miller said. "For once, we are on a vacation...away from the village, away from our work."
"The lake, the sun, no bread to smurf...I'm enjoying every single minute of it," Biscotti said, smiling as he took up a ball.
"I do be telling you what pleases me the most about this vacation, fellow Smurfs," Farmer said. "It's the fact that the ones left in the village are trying to smurf on business as usual without us."
Biscotti laughed. "I smurf that they're all in trouble right now."
"Big trouble indeed, Biscotti," Miller said in agreement. "They must be missing us by now."

And as Empath watched, Papa Smurf was busy in his laboratory when Tapper knocked on his door. "What is it?" he asked.
"I don't mean to be troubling you, Papa Smurf, but there smurfs to be a problem with the bread," Tapper said. "I think you would want to smurf a look at it."
Papa Smurf came to the door and saw the loaf of bread Tapper was holding. "It appears that the bread is a little oversmurfed, Tapper."
"Aye, that would be an understatement, Papa Smurf," Tapper said. "It's been like that since Potter smurfed over for Biscotti."
Papa Smurf nodded, realizing the urgency. "We might as well smurf Potter a visit and see what's wrong, Tapper."
Papa Smurf and Tapper headed for Potter's shop, where he saw that the other Smurfs were also seeing loaves of bread being overcooked. They refused to even take a bite of the loaves.
"You see my problem, Papa Smurf," Potter said, sounding frustrated. "I'm used to smurfing jars and plates. I know nothing about how to properly smurf bread in the oven."
"Now don't get so upset there, Potter," Papa Smurf said, trying to calm him down. "You just need to smurf over with a new batch of dough."
"I would like to, Papa Smurf, but I'm afraid that I don't have any more flour to smurf with," Potter said.
"No flour?" Papa Smurf wondered before he realized something. "I forgot...Miller doesn't have any Smurf to replace him."
Tapper sighed. "If only I knew how to smurf wheat and smurf it into flour, Papa Smurf, I could smurf of some assistance."
"We're all trying to smurf with skills that we don't have, Tapper," Papa Smurf said. "But as long as you have faith that we can smurf through this without those who are smurfing a vacation from us, I think that we can smurf through this just fine."
"No! You think I'm going to smurf with this?" the voice of Culinary Smurf cut through the air loud and clear. Papa Smurf and Tapper went to Greedy's kitchen and saw Culinary dealing with Rapper trying to do Farmer's job of bringing in the vegetables. "The greens are completely smurfed, you did not water any of them, and that's zucchinis you smurfed me, not cucumbers!"
"Hey, I'm just trying to smurf into the swing...gardening just ain't my kind of thing," Rapper responded.
Culinary exhaled when he saw Papa Smurf approach. "I'm up to my smurfs trying to keep things smurfing since Farmer and Greedy smurfed up to the lake, Papa Smurf. I don't even know what to smurf for tonight's meal since Greedy's the one who smurfs up the menus around here."
"You need to be patient, Culinary," Papa Smurf said. "I'm sure everything will smurf back in order when Farmer and Greedy smurf back here..."
"Maybe," Culinary said. "But I'm smurfing you, when he smurfs back, I'm smurfing out of here! I'm at the end of my smurfs trying to smurf the kitchen by myself!"
Papa Smurf shook his head, not believing how things are getting more and more out of control. "Now who's going to replace Culinary when he's gone?"
"Greedy's other two kitchen helpers don't have the skills to run the kitchen by themselves, Papa Smurf," Tapper reminded him. "It smurfs like I may have to step in if worse smurfs to worst."
"No, Tapper," Papa Smurf said. "You stick to what you smurf best. We'll smurf out something."
Just then, Brainy appeared. "Ahem, I believe, Papa Smurf, that it is time for me to smurf up to that place that every Smurf is talking about...this Smurf Paradise," he announced.
"What?" Papa Smurf said. "Don't tell me that you need to smurf a vacation!"
"Me, Brainy Smurf, need a vacation? Ha, I wouldn't dream of it!" Brainy said out loud. And then he whispered, "Seriously, though, you will need to smurf someone up there to see what is smurfing on. And I promise that I will smurf you a good report on it."
"Oh, fine, Brainy, go ahead," Papa Smurf said. "I know that you're a good reporter, and I will expect you to smurf a good job when you're there."
"Oh, thank you, Papa truly won't regret it," Brainy said, trying to sound very restrained in his excitement.
Tapper watched as Brainy went to prepare himself for the journey. "Somehow I do envy the Smurfs who are already up there enjoying their spirits being resmurfed while we carry on without them, Papa Smurf."
"And I suppose you would want to smurf up there as well, Tapper," Papa Smurf said.
"Not unless you would wish me to, Papa Smurf," Tapper said. "Without Brainy around, you would need somebody to smurf good advice to you whenever it is necessary. And though it is not my place to brag about my skills in that area, I feel that I am quite experienced to smurf you the advice that you will need."
"If you feel it's more important than your job as a brewer and bartender, Tapper, I'd be more than welcome to accept your help," Papa Smurf said.
"I would not be smurfing that sacrifice if I didn't think it was necessary," Tapper said, pleased with the acceptance.
Then Papa Smurf and Tapper passed by Lazy sleeping as usual. "I don't suppose you are thinking of smurfing up to Smurf Paradise like the other Smurfs here, are you?" Papa Smurf asked, waking Lazy up without shouting really loud at him.
"Oh, I think about it all the time, Papa Smurf," Lazy said, making Papa Smurf slap his forehead. "It's just that it's too much work for me to be smurfing such a long journey, so I think that..."

Empath stopped to think about what he saw so far. "This smurf could see that Papa Smurf was having problems trying to run a village with the essential Smurfs gone to take a vacation at Smurf Paradise, Handy. It only makes this smurf wish that this smurf had returned home sooner to help things out."
"We all know what it's like when you're gone, Empath," Handy said. "It's part of why I built Clockwork Smurf in the first place, even though he ended up smurfing with King Gerard when all was said and smurfed. He would have been helpful in this situation as well."
"But Gargamel was still trying to smurf us, Empath," Narrator cut in. "His first try with the magic powder was a failure, but as you already know from us now, he's such a persistent smurf that he won't let failures smurf in the way of success."
"This smurf does have that particular sense coming from the human wizard, Narrator," Empath said. "Show this smurf what he was doing in the meantime."
"That would be my pleasure, Empath," Narrator said. And as Narrator spoke, Empath now saw Gargamel in his lair again, working on creating more of the magic powder that he used on Azrael earlier.
"It's ready, Azrael," Gargamel said as he now filled the bellows with the magic powder. "The ingredients were hard to find, but this time I have prepared a good dose of the powder to use! Then our hunt for the Smurfs will begin for sure this time!"
Azrael was fearful of being turned into a hunting dog. He tried to quietly sneak his way out the door, but Gargamel then noticed him before he reached it.
"Azrael, what are you doing?" Gargamel quickly reached the door and sealed it shut so that his cat wouldn't get out. "You miserable ingrate, your lack of cooperation is very disappointing!"
Gargamel chased Azrael around the laboratory until he finally trapped him and sprayed the magic powder on him. Again Azrael sneezed, and again he felt himself turning into a dog.
Gargamel put the leash on Azrael again and led him out into the forest. "And this time, put a little more effort into the hunt!" he scolded.
Azrael took the lead and sniffed the ground and the air, trying to find the scent of the Smurfs. At first there was nothing, and then after a while Azrael caught a scent. He sniffed the ground and then pointed straight toward a smurfberry bush.
"Aha! I knew there must be Smurfs around here nearby," Gargamel said. He then noticed some movement in the bush. "Oh, this is going to be easier than I have thought!"
He crept up to the bush and swooped his net into it. He could feel something in the net that was struggling to get out. And when he pulled the net out of the bush, he saw what he had actually caught. "A polecat?!?"
The polecat looked really angry, as he sprayed both Gargamel and Azrael with his scent glands.
Gargamel dropped the net and let the polecat run away. "Uhhh...what a vile odor," he said, holding his nose and heading toward the river with Azrael. "That little scamp in the woods has not missed us." He jumped into the river to wash off the scent, but he noticed that Azrael refused to come into the water to do so, still acting like a cat when it comes to water.
"Azrael, get in here and wash yourself off, or you can go live with that polecat!" he said as he pulled on Azrael's leash.