Part 5

At the end of the day, Wild Smurf was in Tapper’s tavern with his fellow Smurfs, apparently having the time of his life dancing and twirling and leaping and somersaulting to the tunes that were playing from the record machine. Earlier on, Tapper had introduced Wild to his first glass of sarsaparilla ale, which he drank in one single gulp. Surprisingly, he liked the taste of the ale so much, he signaled for Tapper to give him another glass of the stuff, which he also drank in a single gulp. However, Tapper could see that Wild had not yet experienced what drinking more than one or two glasses of the ale would do to a Smurf, since normally it would cause an adult Smurf to begin losing all sense of control. So far, however, the three glasses of ale Wild had ingested simply gave him so much more energy that he had no idea what to do with it. Tapper then decided that maybe he could introduce Wild to some music that he could dance to, so he simply selected a record to play and watched as Wild simply got into the beat, swinging and swaying around like he had been doing it all his life. The first song he chose was the Smurflings’ “Smurfbop”, and after the song was done Tapper showed Wild how to select another song just by pushing a button on the machine from a selection of choices. Wild chose the next song, which turned out to be Smurfs Without Hats’ “The Smurfy Dance”, and he enjoyed listening to it so much he ended up playing it over and over. Then he selected a song by Sloppy’s band Azrael Rocks, “Smurf This Way”, followed by Vanity Smurf’s “I’m Too Smurfy” and a dozen or so other songs by various Smurf musicians. However, Wild found only a few songs from among the ones he selected that were worth listening to over and over, and so the tavern was basically inundated by the repeating sounds of “Smurfbop” and “The Smurfy Dance”.
Tapper couldn’t help but simply watch Wild entertain himself all night in front of the record machine, noticing that he was like a kid in a candy store, always wanting to try something new and different, amazed by something most Smurfs have ended up taking for granted. The other Smurfs in the tavern either watched Wild or just tried to mind their own business in their own conversations and entertainments, despite having to put up with listening to the same songs over and over in the background. At the very least, Tapper knew that Wild wasn’t causing any trouble.
Traveler also stood and watched, unseen by any Smurf in this timeline – which seemed to be the case throughout his entire journey through the life of Empath’s alternate self thus far. The whole experience was like being in a laboratory of everyday living, studying everything and making notes of what he has observed from how the Smurfs that here would have been his ancestors lived out their lives in the timeline he has chosen. He only wished, as he was making a mental journal of what he has seen, that he could publish his findings somehow or to someone who would make better use of the information he had gleaned. But as Alternis had told him earlier, traveling through somebody’s alternate timeline is a rather personal experience that’s best left known only to the one who’s experiencing it.
Tapper then turned his attention from watching Wild’s nonstop dancing to Brainy sitting at the counter with a smurfberry seltzer in his right hand, while holding his head with the left hand, looking rather glum. “Having problems as the professor of Smurfology teaching our newfound Smurf brother the basics of being a Smurf, my good Brainy?” Tapper asked, trying to figure out why Brainy was looking the way that he did that night.
Brainy sighed, his mind still on the problems he was having. “Trying to teach Wild Smurf anything useful for being a Smurf has been next to impossible, Tapper,” he muttered. “The Smurflings are much easier to smurf with, since I rarely if ever smurf them eating pieces of chalk and smurfing down bottles of ink like it was smurfberry juice. If you ask me, I think he would have been better off smurfing out there in the forest with all the other animals instead of trying to make him besmurf something that he obviously has no interest in besmurfing.”
“Aye, that he is a strange sort of Smurf, Brainy,” Tapper stated, more amused than annoyed at Wild’s behavior. “But you can’t just smurf him back out to the wolves because of what he’s been smurfing in your classes. Just think that this Smurf has managed to survive his entire life so far with nary a single Smurf to relate to, which I smurfonally think is a miracle in itself. That he’s been smurfed out in the forest wearing nothing but a piece of cloth and leaves for a hat suggests that he may know at least what he truly is. And that he smurfed to the rescue of his fellow Smurfs without even knowing them seems to smurf that in that savage rough exterior of his smurfs the heart of a true hero, one who’s willing to risk his own life to smurf the lives of others. The only thing I can smurf to you at this point is to give Wild Smurf a bit of time so he can learn at his own pace rather than expect him to smurf at yours. Maybe in time he can smurf you things about his world that you might find interesting to smurf about.”
"I can only wonder how well he would smurf as a fighter now, because there's something about him that makes me feel that he's got the spirit of a McSmurf within him," Duncan said as he joined Tapper and Brainy at the counter for another glass of sarsaparilla ale.
"Only you would be able to test that out, my fellow Duncan, because I would rather be a peacesmurfer than a warrior, and I would pray for him to follow in the peaceful steps of the Almighty than in whatever steps other Smurfs would want to smurf him in," Tapper said.
Tapper and Duncan then watched as two Smurfs got up from their table, getting rather tired of hearing Wild playing the same songs over and over. “Okay, Wild, you’ve smurfed your fun,” one of them tried to say to him peacefully. “Let us smurf something else to listen to for a change.”
But Wild continued to dance around, immersed in his music, paying no attention to either of the Smurfs.
“Oh, so you won’t stop the music, eh?” the other Smurf asked, getting impatient with Wild. “I guess we’re going to have to change the tune on you.” He pushed a button on the record machine that changed the current song to one of a very different tempo.
Unfortunately, the change in the song also caused an instant change in Wild’s temperament. He went from extreme joy to unrestrained anger. He violently pushed one of the Smurfs near him to the floor while he hurled the other right into the record machine, demolishing it.
Tapper realized that something was wrong when the two Smurfs changed the song on Wild, causing him to go berserk. He knew that what those two Smurfs did was very unwise, but he now had to keep Wild from wrecking the place over a simple misunderstanding. “Tuffy, Duncan, try to resmurf Wild before he smurfs too out of control,” he instructed.
Tuffy and Duncan approached Wild but did not get too close to him. He was now crouching down low with a mean look in his eyes and gritted teeth, growling fiercely, ready to attack anybody that got close. Tapper knew that as long as they keep their distance, they and his other customers would be safe for now.
"Easy there, laddie, there's no need for us to smurf into a fight that either of us are going to regret now," Duncan said to Wild, trying to keep things from getting out of control.
“It’s okay, my good friend,” Tracker calmly said as he slowly came over to where Tuffy and Duncan had cornered Wild near the wrecked record machine. “Nobody here wants to hurt you. We just want to make smurf nobody else here gets hurt. What those two Smurfs smurfed to your music wasn’t very smurfy of them to do. I promise you that they won’t smurf that to you again. But you’re scaring the other Smurfs who just want to smurf a little harmless fun in here.” He extended his hand toward Wild in the same way Papa Smurf did when he first encountered him in the cage. “If you can’t trust the other Smurfs in here, at least trust in me. I won’t smurf anything bad to you. You have my very word on it as a gentlesmurf.”
Wild’s mean look on his face slowly started to melt away as he saw and heard Tapper speaking to him like Papa Smurf did and would. He could see in Tapper’s face that he was speaking the truth. He relaxed his stance and allowed Tapper to approach him without fear, taking his hand and pulling him away from the unfortunate scene.
The other Smurfs cheered as they watched this situation resolve itself peacefully. But then Wild began to stumble on his feet, unable to keep himself moving. Tapper knew that the effects of the sarsaparilla ale were now taking hold on his new friend. Apparently the party was over for Wild for tonight.
“Looks like your job as professor of Smurfology is most likely needed right now, Brainy,” Tapper called out as he tried to carry the now-staggering Wild in his arms. Brainy came over and helped carry Wild back home to Brainy’s house, where Papa Smurf assigned his son to sleep, while Tuffy took over to tend the tavern for the time being.
Brainy with the help of Tapper laid the now-intoxicated Wild on a spare bed that was set up in Brainy’s house. They pulled away the covers to lay him down on the mattress before covering him up.
“There, that should help him smurf off all that sarsaparilla ale he smurfed,” Tapper said, smiling that he brought Wild safely home after his night out in the tavern. “You know, Brainy, there’s just smurfthing about him that makes me feel like I’ve smurfed him all my life, as if somehow he and I were meant to smurf paths with each other. I also feel like there’s smurfthing about him and you smurfing together, as if you both were more than just good friends. Maybe that’s part of why you shouldn’t give up on teaching Wild Smurf on how to be like a Smurf.”
“I’ll try to smurf that in mind, Tapper,” Brainy remarked. “I just hope those Smurfs that he smurfed around in your tavern aren’t smurfiously hurt by what he smurfed.”
Tapper laughed a little. “It’s a good thing the only real smurfualty in that incident is just my record machine, my dear friend. Handy may not like having to replace it, but it’s a far cry from having to lose those unsmurfy foolish Smurfs over having to smurf those same songs time and again.” He looked at his pocket watch and noticed the time. “Well, time to smurf back into the tavern, make sure no one else is smurfing a ruckus while I’m gone. Hope you and Wild smurf a good night’s sleep, and to smurf you both again in the morning.”
“Thank you for helping me smurf him home,” Brainy said with some honest feeling behind it. Tapper smiled back at Brainy as he headed toward the door.
After watching Tapper leave his house, Brainy decided it was time for him to get some shuteye as well. He changed out of his Smurf clothes and into a nightgown and sleeping cap, placing his eyeglasses on a bed table next to his bed. Then he laid himself down on his own bed and extinguished the light of his candle. “Smurf dreams, Wild Smurf,” Brainy called out to his resting roommate before he finally closed his own eyes and fell asleep.
Traveler froze everything in this timeline at the point where Brainy fell asleep. So far he was amazed by what he had seen in this timeline, that despite how different things have happened with the alternate version of Empath’s life as this Wild Smurf, some things in that timeline’s “present time” and in that village haven’t changed. Tapper still seemed to be the same person here that his actual timeline self was, even though it was only in the “present time” that he first met Empath’s alternate timeline self. His role as the informal counselor of the Smurfs remained just as valuable an asset to his fellow Smurfs here as it did in the actual timeline where Empath played the role of the village’s main assistant counselor. Yet here Brainy remained unaware of the fact that he was the half-brother of this alternate Empath as the Wild Smurf, and though Wild was the older of the two brothers, Brainy played more of a protective role to his older brother than he did in the actual timeline and history that Traveler knew.
Traveler journeyed a bit into the following day and allowed the course of events in this timeline to continue.

The next morning, Wild woke up bright and early before all the other Smurfs and started racing around the village, crowing like a rooster. Most of the Smurfs didn't like hearing this while they were still in the middle of their sleeping, but Farmer paid it very little mind as he was already up around this time getting ready to work the fields. He just chuckled to himself and went about his business.
Then Wild saw a strange contraption sitting in Handy's garage next to his workshop which made him curious about what it's supposed to do. He jumped into the seat of the contraption and started fiddling around with the controls until it started up by itself and began moving, knocking Wild out of the seat.
As Wild chased after the runaway contraption, Painter was up and about, working on a painting in the early morning while everything was still and silent, when the contraption ran over both his easel and the village well, demolishing them both in a single pass. Painter gasped as he saw what happened to his work.
Handy woke up when he and the other Smurfs started hearing the contraption causing damage to a few Smurf houses and Smurfette saw it running over her flower garden outside her house. He and Papa Smurf chased after it as it had scooped up Wild Smurf who stood in its path in an attempt to stop it himself, until the whole thing stopped when it ran straight into Weepy's house, causing its owner to weep when he saw what Handy's runaway contraption had done.
"Great Smurfiny Crickets, is every Smurf all right?" Tapper said as he and Duncan joined the Smurfs that were gathered around the scene where Handy's contraption had come to a full stop.
"Michty me, what in Smurf's name happened here?" Duncan asked as he looked around.
"Wild Smurf happened here, Duncan," Brainy said. "I can't leave him alone for even a second without him smurfing a mess of things. Look what he had smurfed to the entire village while we were sleeping."
"I'm sure that the whole thing was just an accident, Brainy Smurf," Smurfette said.
"Sacre bleu, bringing this Wild Smurf here into the village was an accident waiting to happen, Smurfette," Painter said. "How am I supposed to smurf on a masteurpiesa without him smurfing a complete disaster?"
"I'd say that Wild Smurf is better off smurfing in the forest where he belongs," Vanity said.
"I couldn't agree more with that kind of sentiment," Brainy said, as some of the other Smurfs said likewise.
"I hate having Wild Smurf smurfing around here," Grouchy said.
"Now, now, my little Smurfs, I'm sure that Wild Smurf didn't intend to smurf any harm with what he had smurfed here this morning," Papa Smurf said. "If you will only smurf him a little bit of patience, I'm sure that he will learn in time not to smurf with things that he has no idea on how they smurf."
"Papa Smurf, Wild's just smurfed off into the forest with that gray squirrel," Tapper said as he noticed Wild Smurf scurrying off away from the rest of the Smurfs.
"Well, smurf riddance to him," Brainy said. "We were much better off without him smurfing in this village anyway."
"That wasn't very nice of you, Brainy Smurf," Smurfette said very angrily. "You hardly ever smurfed him a chance to prove himself to be a Smurf like us, and now you just want to be rid of him so you won't have to deal with him."
"Oh, come on, Smurfette," Brainy said, trying to defend himself. "I have been as patient as I could be around him, but the truth is is that he will never be a Smurf like us. There's just too much Wild in him for him to ever become a civilized Smurf like you or me, especially when I smurfed so much effort into..."
Brainy soon found himself flung to the village limits. "No Smurf ever really understands what it's like to be the kind of Smurf that I am, trying to bring culture to an unruly mass of savages," he groaned as soon as he landed. The Smurflings joined the scene at that very moment. "Pappy Smurf, what's smurfing on here? And where's Wild?" Sassette asked.
"I'm afraid he's smurfed back into the forest, my little Sassette, but rest assured I'm not going to lose him again like I did many years ago when he was just a baby Smurf," Papa Smurf replied.
"We'd like to smurf with you into the forest to help find Wild Smurf, Papa Smurf," Nat requested.
"Yeah, we certainly don't mind him smurfing in the village, even if he is rather strange," Snappy added.
"I don't care what the other Smurfs think about Wild, but I just want to show him that I still care for him and won't smurf him away, Papa Smurf," Smurfette chimed in.
"Very well, Smurfette, you and the Smurflings can join me in the search for Wild Smurf," Papa Smurf said. "I'll be leaving Hefty in charge of the village until I return, my little Smurfs, so I want you all to behave yourselves while I'm gone."
"Yes, Papa Smurf," all the other Smurfs said together.

Traveler watched as the six Smurfs headed off into the forest, calling out Wild's name in the hope that they will find him again. While he was used to the idea that being different from the other Smurfs would be cause enough to be persecuted, even if such behavior wasn't totally excusable, he didn't expect that the alternate version of his great-grandfather would be so intimidated that he would just run off into the forest with his squirrel friend without so much as telling anybody where he was going...if he could tell anybody anything through his animal noises.
After a while of walking and searching, Slouchy said, "Wherever this Wild Smurf is, I sure don't see him smurfing around anywhere. He must be really good at smurfing around in the forest to keep us from ever finding him again."
"He's got to be around here somewhere, Slouchy, I can just feel it," Nat said.
"Disappearing dodos, I can only wonder what Wild smurfs out here all by himself and how he ever manages to have fun," Sassette said.
"I bet that he gives Gargamel the creeps whenever he's out here in the forest all by himself, trying to smurf after us like he always does, Sassy," Snappy said.
"I really feel sorry for him, Papa Smurf, that he has to smurf his whole life out here being raised by animals and that they're the only friends and family that he even has," Smurfette said.
"I know how you feel, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said. "But if he really feels happy smurfing out here instead of with us, because that's what he thinks is his family, then there's very little that we can do to smurf him apart from the only family that he knows."
"Look, Papa Smurf, over there," Nat cried out, pointing in a certain direction.
Papa Smurf and the others saw Wild Smurf playing with the gray squirrel and a bunch of other squirrels that had gathered around. They stood at a distance to keep themselves from being noticed by Wild or the squirrels as they watched the scene taking place.
"That's truly amazing, my little Smurfs," Papa Smurf said, astonished by what he saw. "The squirrels treat him like he's one of them. I can see that he's happy smurfing with them instead of us."
But then Wild stopped and sniffed the air. He seemed to detect the presence of the other Smurfs nearby. He chattered something to the other squirrels, who then scurried off in various directions while he scampered up a tree and disappeared into a hole.
"Uh-oh, I don't think Wild's going to like us disturbing his little family smurf-together, Papa Smurf," Snappy said.
"At least we will be able to smurf with him alone, my little Smurflings," Papa Smurf said. "Now whatever you do, don't smurf anything that will cause him to smurf away from us."
"I'll be careful, Papa Smurf," Smurfette said as the six of them got closer to the tree where Wild Smurf was hiding in.
Wild Smurf peeked his head out to see that the six Smurfs were standing at the bottom of the tree. "Wild Smurf, please let us smurf with you," Papa Smurf said. "We mean you and your friends no harm around here."
"Please, Wild, smurf back to the village with us," Smurfette said. "I'm sure we can find a way that we can smurf together and that you won't have to be afraid of anyone."
Wild Smurf looked at them rather cautiously before he climbed back down to join the six Smurfs.
"Look, Wild, I'm sorry for how my other little Smurfs have treated you," Papa Smurf said. "I can see that you have a family out here in the forest with the squirrels, but they're not the only family that you have. You also have friends among the Smurfs who you also are part of, and they want very much to have you as part of the family that you have in the village. Your friends are also welcome to visit the village anytime that they want, but the last thing we want you to be is alone out here by yourself. Do you understand?"
Wild Smurf looked at Papa Smurf as he listened to everything that his father said to him, seeming to understand.
"There's nothing in the village you need to be afraid of, Wild," Smurfette said as she got close to him. "I'm sure that we can teach you to be a good Smurf just like us, but if you still want to be the kind of Smurf that you are, then I can understand. We won't force you to become something that you don't want to be."
Wild looked at Smurfette as he listened to her, seeming to understand everything she said. Then his tongue dropped out of his mouth as he stared at her.
"Uh-oh, it looks like Wild wants to do the wild Smurf thing with her," Slouchy said.
"Well, I think that Wild Smurf is rather handsome," Sassette said. "I only wish that I was in Smurfette's smurfs right about now."
"Well, whatever, let's just smurf back to the village and give these two Smurfs some privacy," Snappy said.
"I think they'll make a really smurfy couple together, just by the way they're smurfing at each other," Nat said.
"That's going to make the other Smurfs jealous," Slouchy said.

Tapper was with the other Smurfs, helping to put the village back in order, when he saw that Papa Smurf, Smurfette, and the Smurflings have returned with Wild Smurf and the gray squirrel he had run off with. "Oh, thank the Almighty that our wayward fellow Smurf has returned to us," Tapper said as he greeted them.
"I can see that the fair maiden has smurfed the heart of the savage Smurf," Duncan commented, seeing Smurfette's and Wild's arms around each other's shoulders.
"Wild will only be here as a visitor, my little Smurfs," Papa Smurf said. "His true family is with the squirrels out in the forest, but as long as he's here, we're going to treat him like he's one of us."
"Does that mean that his squirrel friend will also be here with us, Papa Smurf?" Brainy asked.
"The squirrel's name is Chitter, Brainy, and he will be with us as long as Wild is here," Papa Smurf said. "This village will be a home for the squirrels to visit us whenever Wild comes to visit us. And we will provide them with the same hospitality as we would for any of the other creatures in the forest. Is that understood?"
"Yes, Papa Smurf, I clearly understand," Brainy mumbled as he watched Papa Smurf head back to his laboratory.
"Gosh, it smurfs like Wild and Smurfette are in love with each other," Clumsy said as he and the other Smurfs watched the two Smurfs walking with each other.
"Wild and Smurfette," Hefty snorted. "Well, that will be the day!"
"I don't know what it is that Smurfette even smurfs in him that makes her feel so smurfy around him," Handy said, sharing the same feeling as his brother.
"I'm sure that Wild and Smurfette will become good friends with each other, and if they ever decide that they're going to smurf as a couple together, then I will leave it in the Almighty's capable hands, my fellow Smurfs," Tapper said. "Right now, let's leave the two Smurfs alone in peace."
"I hate Wild and Smurfette being a couple together," Grouchy said.