Part 7

Back in the Smurf Village, Tapper was with a group of Smurfs still looking up at the rainbow-colored sky, joined by Duncan and Smurfette. "Oh dear," Smurfette moaned. "Do you think that the others have escaped from the castle in time?"
"I have a feeling in my spirit that they did, Smurfette, but I'm still wondering why the sky still smurfs like this," Tapper said. "Maybe the worst has yet to smurf, and we must prepare for it."
"How I wish that I was with the laddies who were in that castle, Tapper," Duncan said. "They would have smurfed a better chance of escaping if there were me and Tuffy alongside the others."
"Perhaps they would, my fellow Duncan, but we'll never know for sure," Tapper said.
"Fellow Smurfs, I see Grandpa Smurf's balloon approaching the village," Tracker announced.
The Smurfs stood out of the way as the balloon descended from the sky towards the ground. Just before it reached the ground, however, there was a brilliant flash that shook the entire forest. "Great Smurfs alive, what was that?" Grandpa Smurf said.
"Oh, don't worry, Grampers, that's just Castle Captor disappearing for another 500 years," Nanny said. "One thing I can say for it, it sure likes to smurf out with a bang."
"It's a good thing that the skies are clear once again, which I'm sure wouldn't come as a complete surprise to anyone who's been smurfing this phenomenon since that castle is totally responsible for...," Brainy began to say.
Hefty picked up Brainy and tossed him out of the gondola before the balloon landed.
"Oh, Empath, thank Smurfness that you and the other Smurfs have made it home safely," Smurfette said as she greeted him and the others.
"That's just great," Hefty said sarcastically. "We smurf through all that trouble of smurfing out of the castle and the only Smurf that Smurfette is concerned about is Empath."
"That's just how love works, Hefty," Grandpa Smurf said. "It's too bad that you couldn't be the lucky Smurf."
"So you have accomplished your mission in meeting up with Grandpa Smurf at that haunted castle, Papa Smurf," Polaris said as Papa Smurf got out of the gondola.
"We've accomplished a whole lot more than that, Polaris," Papa Smurf said. "My little Smurfs, we have a new Smurf who will be part of the village from now on...Nanny Smurf."
"Nanny Smurf?!?" the Smurfs all said in unison as the elderly female Smurf stepped out of the gondola.
"That's right, my little grandsmurfs, and this here is my friend Smoogle," Nanny replied, catching Smoogle as he jumped right into her arms. "Why don't you come and introsmurf yourselves while you're all here?"
Painter was the first to approach her. "Bonjour, Madame Nanny. I have created my latest masteurpiesa for you, a picture of the beautiful colored sky," he said as he presented her with the painting.
"Oh, my, this certainly is a colorful painting," Nanny said as she took hold of the painting and looked at it before she gave it back to Painter, and then she noticed something of the painting. "Why, the colors are so fresh, I can even feel them smurfing on my hands right now."
Poet was the next Smurf to approach her. "I was working on my next epic poem all day and this is what I smurfed up with," he announced. "It's called...'An Ode To Nanny'."
As the rest of the Smurfs listened to Poem reciting his work, Tapper and Duncan quietly spoke to one another. "Maybe that sign in the sky is not from the Almighty, but He certainly smurfed a new companion for us to smurf from, laddie," Duncan said.
"I am indeed eager to learn whatever it is that this Nanny Smurf may teach us from her years of being a Smurf, my good Duncan," Tapper said.
"If only we were Grandpa Smurf's age, we might have smurfed a likening towards her...that is, if we were smurfing around for as long as Grandpa has been smurfing," Duncan said.
"She is indeed a beautiful Smurf for someone her age, but I would not be imagining myself smurfing after her like she was Smurfette," Tapper said. "She does after all belong to a different generation of Smurfs altogether."
Hefty joined Tapper and Duncan. "Boy, that was one crazy adventure in that haunted castle. I didn't think that we would smurf out of there alive, and of course there was Brainy always complaining about something."
"I would say that the Almighty has smurfed His hand upon you, my good Hefty, so that you wouldn't be smurfed away with the spirit of that evil castle," Tapper said.
"Oh, please don't get started on smurfing to me about this imaginary God you believe in, Tapper," Hefty said. "There's no way that I'm going to believe that He even exists, let alone want Him to save me."
"I bet you were probably wishing that I was there to save you, laddie," Duncan said.
"Right, like I was going to smurf on the same adventure with you, Gutsy," Hefty said.
"The name is Duncan, not Gutsy," Duncan shot back.
Then Reporter showed up at the scene. "We're here live in the village center as the strange sky phenomenon had just disappeared around the same time that Empath had returned with Papa Smurf and some other Smurfs that had smurfed to Castle Captor to rescue Grandpa Smurf," he reported. "Joining us now is a new visitor who looks like she's old enough to be Papa Smurf's grandmother."
"Oh dear, I didn't think that I would have an audience smurfing me," Nanny said as Reporter pointed the microphone at her. "Well, in case any of you are still in your homes smurfing this, this is Nanny Smurf, and I'm going to be staying in your village for quite a while."
"What is it like to be finally free and living among the Smurfs again, Nanny?" Reporter asked.
"Like I've got 500 years of catching up to do, sonny," Nanny answered. "Right now I just need a place where I can smurf up my feet and not have to worry about things."
"Oh, I'm sure that we can smurf you some accommodations until we can smurf you a house of your very own, Nanny," Papa Smurf said.
"What about me, Papa Smurf?" Wild asked. "What am I going to do now that I don't have a house?"
"This smurf is certain that one of your fellow Smurfs can let you sleep in their house while we bring your house back to the Smurf Forest, Wild," Empath said.
"How about you stay with us, Wild?" Nat suggested. "We could sure smurf the company while you're here."
"Can we please have Wild smurf with us in our playhouse, Pappy Smurf?" Sassette asked. "Huh? Can we?"
"Well, I don't see what harm there can be in letting Wild smurf with you, my little Smurflings," Papa Smurf replied.
"Yahoo! Smurfabunga!" the Smurflings shouted together.
"Come, let's celebrate the return of the lost Smurf in my tavern," Tapper called out. "I'm sure that she wouldn't mind smurfing the first round of drinks on the house."
"Why, smurf me up a mug of that sarsaparilla ale and let's see if you've got what it takes to smurf up a good one, youngster," Nanny said as she and most of the Smurfs headed for Tapper's Tavern to celebrate.
Papa Smurf and Grandpa Smurf stayed behind to talk with each other. "I'm sorry for smurfing you and the others in the dark about what happened on that day 500 years ago, Papa Smurf," Grandpa Smurf said. "I thought that the less you knew about it, the better off you would be."
"There's nothing you need to apologize for, Grandpa Smurf," Papa Smurf said. "We just wanted to make sure that you were all right."
"One things's for won't be the same now that we've got a Nanny Smurf in the village with us, Papa," Grandpa Smurf said.
Papa Smurf chuckled. "It sure feels like we've got a full family again, Grandpa."

Empath's personal journal.
Grandpa Smurf is safe and sound back with us, and so also is Nanny Smurf and the Smurfs that went to rescue Grandpa. The four humans who were trapped in the castle are also safely out of danger, though who knows what will become of Prince Paisley and Baron Wattnot, if they will still have a kingdom to return home to after all those years. This smurf does feel some sorrow for the spirit that inhabits the castle, for this one sensed it has been driven to madness from all the isolation it had suffered from being cast out of this existence. Unfortunately, there is nothing this smurf could do to help free the spirit, as this smurf has sensed that it does not want to be liberated from its imprisonment. Hopefully future generations of humans will be warned to stay away from lingering at the Crossroads Of The World lest they find themselves having to deal with Castle Captor reappearing someday to capture them.

That night, Empath and Smurfette were watching The Adventures Of Smurfling Pan on the window-vision, glad that the day has turned out for the best.
"The way Grandpa Smurf goes on about meeting Wendy Smurfling, I sure would like to know what it was like for her to smurf him for the first time as Smurfling Pan," she commented.
"You may have the opportunity of doing so, Smurfette," Empath said. "From what this smurf had sensed, Nanny was the original Wendy Smurfling whom Grandpa Smurf had met centuries ago as Smurfling Pan. The two of them had such a bond together that it was only natural for them to find each other again even though she is now old enough to be his mother."
"You think we would be able to smurf each other again if we were ever separated like that?" Smurfette asked.
"Smurfette, nothing in this world will ever keep this smurf apart from you," Empath answered. "Even if it takes centuries for us to smurf together again, this smurf will find you no matter what. There's so much going on between us that this smurf cannot think of the possibility of ever giving this smurf's heart to anyone else."
Smurfette sighed. "Somehow I just know that you will smurf your word, Empath."
After the show was over, Empath and Smurfette watched Reporter's last news report. "We've had smurfed such a day today with the strange skies and now with our newest member of the village, I would like to thank you, our viewing audience, for smurfing with us. And so, as we come to the close of our broadsmurfing day, this news report has been dedicated to Nanny Smurf. May she continue to smurf long with us here in the village."
"And may we also enjoy her presence here as well," Empath said, with Smurfette holding onto him in agreement.