Part 3

Empath's personal journal.
This is the day every Smurf, including this smurf has waited for: Papa Smurf and Dabbler have checked up on Greedy and found out that he is fit and able to go back to his duties in the kitchen. This smurf and Polaris have both confirmed with a scan that there is no trace left of the disease now that it has run its course. This smurf now feels happy for Greedy as well for myself that this time of him being absent from the kitchen is now over, and that this smurf can return to doing this smurf's normal activities as the assistant counselor. Yet this smurf has the feeling that the other Smurfs in the village aren't willing to let go of this smurf yet from being the head chef of the kitchen.

Greedy left the Smurf Village Infirmary, glad to have a clean bill of health and sounding ready to start his job again. Empath was with him as they walked over to the kitchen together.
"This smurf senses that your fellow Smurfs are just eager to have you back where you belong, Greedy," Empath said. "You have been sorely missed while you were sick."
"You're not just saying that to make me feel better, are you, Empath?" Greedy asked.
"This smurf is being very sincere about it," Empath said. "This smurf held down the fort the best way that this smurf knew how, but deep down everybody couldn't wait to see what you'll be feeding them today."
"And I can't wait to be satisfying their appetites again as well as mine," Greedy said. "Truth be smurfed, I was getting a little sick of just eating vegetable soup every single day."
"You can't say that the vegetable soup didn't do its job helping you regain your health, Greedy," Empath said. "Though you must be getting lonely for some company during your off-hours."
"Who has off-hours when you're smurfing my job day after day?" Greedy said. "I bet that my kitchen crew has been smurfing you to the point where they'd be happy just to smurf rid of you."
"They've been a very commendable team that this smurf is honored to work alongside, Greedy," Empath said. "They should be happy just to have you back home in your kitchen."
And as they both stepped into the kitchen together, all four of the kitchen workers turned towards them. "Greedy! You're back!" they greeted together.
"Oh, I'm so flattered that you remember me," Greedy said, smiling. "I trust that everything has been smurfing well in here since I was gone."
"Ah, we were wondering when you were going to smurf back in here," Culinary said.
"That Empath Smurf's been a real tasksmurfer," Biscotti said. "He never lets any of us smurf a break around here."
"Oh, really?" Greedy asked. "And I thought you Smurfs would get along well together."
"You shouldn't let him smurf around here anymore, lest we decide to smurf a mutiny," Vino said.
"Empath belongs back out there as the assistant counselor," Gelato said. "He truly has no business trying to smurf a kitchen."
Empath nodded with some understanding. "Well, this smurf sees where this smurf is no longer needed. So on that note, this smurf will let you work together with Greedy in peace without anymore interference."
"Don't let the door smurf you in the tail on your way out, Empath," Biscotti said as the five of them watched Empath leave the kitchen.
"Are you Smurfs really saying that Empath was that bad around you?" Greedy asked.
"We wanted to make you feel welcome, so what can we say?" Gelato said.
"Well, since I'm back in the kitchen, let's get smurfing on what we'll be smurfing for lunch today," Greedy said.
"You got it," Biscotti said, smiling.
Empath smiled as he overheard the conversation in the kitchen after he had just left. He was glad that the kitchen workers were acting like they were fed up with Empath just so they could make Greedy feel at home again.

By lunchtime, every Smurf had gathered around to have a bowl of sarsaparilla noodle soup that was being served by Greedy and his kitchen crew, along with some egg salad sandwiches and potato chips.
Greedy watched as every Smurf ate their food. But then soon enough came the complaints.
"Uuuhhh...this egg salad sandwich smurfs a little plain."
"The sandwich bread smurfs a little stale."
"This soup smurfs like it doesn't have much flavor."
"These chips sure smurf a little flat."
"And this smurfberry juice doesn't smurf like it's nice and fresh."
"Where's Empath? Why isn't he making the lunch today?"
"I hate Empath not making lunch today."
"Bring back Empath into the kitchen!"
And soon most of the Smurfs are raising their voices complaining about Empath not making the meal until Papa Smurf stood up from his seat to silence them.
"Quiet down, my little Smurfs," Papa Smurf said. "This is Greedy's first day back in the kitchen, and all you Smurfs can do you is complain that Greedy's cooking isn't better? You should be ashamed of ourselves for how you're treating Greedy."
"We want Empath back in the kitchen, Papa Smurf!" one Smurf shouted.
Soon most of the Smurfs present were shouting, "WE WANT EMPATH! WE WANT EMPATH! WE WANT EMPATH!"
"Quiet!" Papa Smurf shouted. "You all know that Empath's job was temporary, but demanding for him to smurf back to what is rightfully Greedy's job is very unsmurfy. Now I want you all to apologize to Greedy for this..." He turned to face Greedy, only to find that Greedy was no longer standing outside the kitchen. "Now where did he smurf?"

Greedy found Empath as he was relaxing near the outskirts of the village. "You smurfed this to me, didn't you?" he shouted very angrily.
"'Smurfed this to you'? Greedy, what do you mean by that?" Empath asked.
"Don't smurf dumb with me, Empath Smurf," Greedy said. "You smurfed the whole village against me by making your meals better than mine. Now nobody wants me to cook for them anymore."
"But Greedy, this smurf had never intended for this to happen," Empath said.
"Oh, yes you did," Greedy said. "It wasn't enough for you to be the assistant counselor, now you want to take over as the village chef. You even smurfed my own work crew against me, making me believe that they wanted to be rid of you when they actually liked smurfing with you."
"Honestly, Greedy, they were waiting for you to return to your job," Empath said.
"Stop smurfing these games with me, Empath," Greedy said. "If you like cooking so much, why don't you just admit it...because I am through smurfing the meals around here if they want you more than me!"
With that, Greedy tore off his apron and threw it down hard on the ground, making it clear that his decision was clear and that he wasn't going to change his mind.
After Greedy had walked off, Papa Smurf had met up with Empath. "What was Greedy so upset with you about?" Papa Smurf asked.
"This smurf senses that he was so angry about the other Smurfs wanting this smurf back in the role of the village chef that he accused this smurf of purposely wanting to take over that role from the start," Empath answered.
Papa Smurf sighed. "I had a feeling that this was going to happen, whether I wanted to admit it or not."
"This smurf isn't sure what to do now, since this means that the village no longer has a head chef and that they want this smurf to return to that role, Papa Smurf," Empath said.
"I'm afraid that you may not have a choice, Empath," Papa Smurf said. "If the other Smurfs won't have anybody else but you to work in the kitchen, you might either consider continuing to work in that role or decide that you've had enough and let the kitchen crew smurf over until we can figure out something."
Empath sighed. "This smurf doesn't want to do this, Papa Smurf, but it's time the other Smurfs need to learn to stop relying on this smurf to satisfy their hunger."

Empath told Greedy's kitchen workers about Greedy's decision to quit as the village chef.
"What?!? This can't be!" Biscotti said.
"I refuse to keep smurfing in the kitchen if there is no head chef to smurf us in here," Culinary said.
"You've got to smurf something, Empath," Gelato said.
"Either smurf over as the village chef or have Greedy reconsider what he's smurfing," Vino said.
"This smurf can't return to the job as the village chef," Empath said. "This smurf's job ended today, and if Greedy isn't going to return to it, then neither will this smurf."
"I knew it! Empath Schlumpf really doesn't care about us!" Culinary said.
"I thought that we were smurfing as a team together, but I guess I might as well smurf my trade elsewhere," Biscotti said.
"Somebody else can smurf together the meals if there's no head chef in here," Gelato said.
"And somebody can go smurf the drinks if they're thirsty enough," Vino said.
Empath watched as the kitchen crew all went their own separate ways, not wanting to work with each other anymore. He never thought that his decision and Greedy's to stop working as the village chef would have such a profound effect on the kitchen workers that they would refuse being a team that would serve the meals.

By dinnertime, most of the Smurfs were gathered around the dining area, shouting, "WE WANT EMPATH! WE WANT EMPATH! WE WANT EMPATH!"
Empath, Smurfette, Tapper, Duncan, and the Smurflings watched the whole scene from a safe distance. "Great Ancestors...what has this smurf done to have them picket against Greedy?" Empath asked.
"You only smurfed your job, like you were supposed to, my good Empath," Tapper said.
"The problem is, you smurfed the smurfed thing a bit too well, laddie," Duncan said.
"Crawling caterpillars, Empath, they're never going to leave you in peace with this," Sassette said.
"Now instead of anybody to smurf us dinner, there's nobody to smurf us anything," Slouchy said.
"Well, maybe it's time that we did start smurfing up our own meals for a change," Snappy said.
"Oh yeah?" Nat asked. "Who's really a good cook around the village besides Greedy or Empath or any of the kitchen crew?"
"Maybe we can smurf up a pizza just like Biscotti can, Nat," Snappy said.
"What else can we do?" Slouchy said, shrugging his shoulders.
"Come on, let's see if Biscotti and Culinary can help us smurf up a pizza together," Sassette said, before she and the other three Smurflings left all at once.
"It's this smurf's fault that the whole village is in an uproar about nobody serving them meals anymore," Empath groaned as he continued to watch the picketing.
"Don't be so hard on yourself, Empath," Smurfette said. "They've just been so dependent on you that they don't know how to smurf go of you."
"Maybe it's time that we had other people in the village smurfing up the meals instead of the boys that we've been so smurfing on to smurf the job," Duncan said.
"As much as I hate to even think it, you do smurf a point there, Duncan," Tapper said. "If the Smurfs in the village are hungry enough to want to smurf their own meals, they should be able and willing to smurf them themselves."
"And if they don't want to make their own meals, then they should go hungry?" Empath asked.
"I don't want to see them smurf to bed hungry, but if they can't understand the simple word of no, then stronger measures need to be smurfed in order for them to get the message," Tapper said. "Soon they'll learn to appreciate what Greedy and his crew has smurfed for them over the years and learn not to smurf them for granted."

The following day, Empath woke up to see how Greedy was doing now that he had chosen to go on strike. He was at his fellow Smurf's door when he found a note on his door.
I'll be smurfing a picnic by myself all day in the forest, and I don't want to be dissmurfed for any reason, the note read. If you want food so badly, you can have Empath smurf you the food or go hungry. Signed, Greedy.
Papa Smurf noticed Empath looking at the note that was left on the door. "What seems to be the problem, Empath?" he asked.
"Just that Greedy had left a note on his door that he's going on an all-day picnic out in the forest, Papa Smurf," Empath said, showing him the note.
"Hmmm...that's awfully early for him to smurf out into the forest like this, even for a picnic," Papa Smurf said while stroking his beard. "Still, if that's his decision, we might as well honor it nonetheless and not bother him."
"There's still the problem of nobody being in the kitchen to serve anybody any meals, Papa Smurf," Empath said. "Even Greedy's kitchen workers are in revolt."
"That's a very big problem that we smurf on our hands, Empath," Papa Smurf said. "Unfortunately, I would have to say that if the Smurfs are hungry enough, they will smurf their own food for a change, even if it isn't at the same quality as yours or Greedy's."
"So you're also in favor of this boycott going on," Empath said.
"It's time the other Smurfs learn their lesson that they can't always depend on one Smurf for their daily meals, Empath," Papa Smurf said. "I will see if there are any Smurfs who would want to volunteer as temporary chefs for a single meal, but I will make it clear that you, Greedy, and the other workers are not to be hassled in any way for your boycott."
"This smurf understands and acknowledges, Papa Smurf," Empath said.