It was a nice sunny day in the third year of Empath being home for good from his years of being in Psychelia, on which Papa Smurf called together all his little Smurfs for an important announcement.
"My little Smurfs," he began, "I know that the Smurf that you all knew as Dabbler has been the kind of Smurf who never smurfed his mind on smurfing one thing to be good at. But now I'm proud to say that those years of being Dabbler Smurf are far behind him, as he has smurfed through his years of hard work and dedication that he can succeed at becoming a professional in the field of medical science. And so, it is my pleasure that I now smurf to Dabbler the official title of Doctor Smurf."
All the Smurfs gathered together clapped and cheered as Papa Smurf presented Dabbler with what appeared to be a certificate of his doctorship, then gave him a great big hug.
"Thank you, Papa Smurf," Dabbler said as he addressed his fellow Smurfs. "And thank you all for being so patient with me through my years of just being Dabbler Smurf. I never thought that I would live to smurf this day, when I finally have something that I can be proud to call myself. I know most of you were smurfing that being a doctor was just one of those things that I would say I had finally smurfed my calling on, only to find myself being smurfed by something else that smurfed my attention. But I know some of you out there never gave up on me smurfing on that one thing that I could smurf my best with, and it's to those Smurfs that I dedicate this certificate to, to show that your faith in me has been smurfly rewarded."
All the Smurfs applauded again, with Weepy saying, "This is one of the best moments of my entire life."
"Oui, je suis d’accord avec vous, M'sieu Weepy. I'm so happy that I can't stop crying," Painter said as he blew his nose with his handkerchief.
"I hate when I can't stop crying," Grouchy said.
Empath, Smurfette, Tapper, Duncan McSmurf, and Polaris Psyche greeted Dabbler as soon as the announcement was over. "Congratulations, Dabbler...or should that be Doctor Smurf now," Smurfette said as she gave Dabbler a kiss on the cheek.
Dabbler chuckled. "I guess it will be a while before I'm used to calling myself Doctor Smurf."
"This smurf is pleased that you have found a profession to devote your entire life upon, Dabbler," Empath said. "This smurf can understand the difficulty in your struggle to become something that would capture your interest for much longer than it usually was before this smurf came home for good."
"Indeed it has been a struggle for you, my good friend Dabbler, but I had faith that the Almighty would smurf in you the desire to smurf your heart and soul entirely in that one thing that He has smurfed for your life," Tapper said.
"Aye, you truly have the spirit of a McSmurf within you, my boy," Duncan said, giving Dabbler a hard pat on the back to show his appreciation.
"Be careful there, Duncan...you may end up smurfing him need for medical attention," Tapper jested.
Duncan laughed. "Ah, he's big enough to smurf it, laddie." He then turned to Polaris. "Care to join us for a celebration at the tavern, my pale-smurfed friend? The first smurf of sarsaparilla ale's on me."
"This one appreciates the gesture, fellow Duncan, but this one must decline the offer, as this one still cannot ingest any alcoholic beverages," Polaris responded.
"Well, can't say that I didn't try to smurf you something good," Duncan said with a sigh. He then went off with Dabbler and Tapper as he and the other Smurfs headed for Tapper's Tavern to celebrate.
When it was just Polaris Psyche alone with Empath and Smurfette, Polaris spoke. "This one is rather amazed at how some Smurfs manage to overcome the things that they were named for being, while others continue to resist any form of change even if it would benefit them in the long run."
"A Smurf's nature is a difficult thing to change, Polaris, as this smurf has been a witness to over the years that this smurf has been with the Smurfs," Empath said. "Brainy, Clumsy, Greedy, Vanity, Lazy, Grouchy...they all have things about themselves that would take the power of the Almighty that Tapper believes in to change, and frankly the village just wouldn't be the same if those Smurfs suddenly changed overnight. Even their fellow Smurfs might miss the Smurfs that they once were named as if that happened."
"The thing is, Polaris, is that we don't stop caring for our fellow Smurfs, no matter how long they continue to smurf like their names," Smurfette said.
"In any case, this one would be interested to know the circumstances in which Dabbler decided that the medical profession is what he would want to devote his entire life upon," Polaris said.
"Well, it all smurfed on a day several months before Empath returned home for good, when Dabbler was behaving as he usually did and we just didn't know what to smurf with him as he kept smurfing from one thing to another," Smurfette began.
Polaris saw in Smurfette's mind the particular day which her story began on, with details that have been added by Narrator in her recollections. Every Smurf was going on about their daily business -- Greedy with his cooking, Painter with his painting, Handy with his building and repair work -- when Dabbler stepped out of his house. "Oh, what a wonderful morning, so full of possibilities," he said to himself, rubbing his hands together while looking around at all the activity going on.
He then noticed Brainy talking to Smurfette. "Here you are, Smurfette, the twentieth edition of Quotations Of Brainy Smurf," he said while holding an obviously big book with his face on the cover. "I want you to have the privilege of smurfing the very first copy."
"Uh, thank you, Brainy...that was very thoughtful of you," Smurfette said, trying to be polite in the face of receiving yet another gift from Brainy that she didn't want.
"Well, aren't you just eager to smurf into the book and smurf out what pearls of great wisdom I have in store to smurf to all my fellow Smurfs?" Brainy asked as he noticed Smurfette wasn't taking the book from his hands. "It even has your name smurfed inside the cover, personally autosmurfed by yours truly."
"Gee, Brainy, you didn't have to smurf that just for me," Smurfette said. "Uh...I would be happy to smurf it if that was meant as a personal gift from you."
"Oh, I knew that you would be such a receptive Smurf," Brainy said proudly, as he handed over the copy of the book, which turned out to be so big that Smurfette was having trouble trying to carry it.
"Me and my big smurf," Smurfette muttered as she struggled to carry the book. "If I keep receiving gifts like this from Brainy, I wouldn't have to need Hefty's weights to smurf myself into shape."
Brainy watched Smurfette for a little while before Dabbler caught his attention. "I would love to smurf my hands on the new edition of your book just to read it, Brainy," he said as he approached his fellow Smurf.
"Really?" Brainy said, sounding flattered before his mood suddenly changed upon realization. "Oh, it's you, Dabbler. I'd smurf you a copy if I thought you'd actually read it, but you never finish anything you smurf."
Dabbler watched as Brainy started to walk away. "Oh, but honestly I will try this time, Brainy. I promise," Dabbler begged as he caught up to Brainy before he walked too far.
"Well, it's not often that one of my fellow Smurfs actually requests to smurf one of my books," Brainy said as he stopped to ponder what Dabbler was asking of him. "I tell you what...you smurf right here and I'll smurf you a copy, okay?"
"Don't worry, Brainy, I won't smurf anywhere," Dabbler said, sounding sincere.
Dabbler stood and watched as Brainy headed for his studio. "Ah, it would be great to smurf myself like Brainy, to be able to write books and to smurf them to whoever wants to read them," he said to himself. "Just think of all the Smurfs who would..."
His attention was then diverted to the sound of Hefty doing stretching exercises outside his house. He decided that he would go and pay him a visit. "Hi, Hefty," he greeted as he went over to the front of Hefty's house. "What are you up to this morning?"
"Oh, just smurfing for my morning jog, Dabbler," Hefty answered as he got up and started running in place. "Got to smurf myself in shape if I want to put Smurfs like Tuffy and Gutsy in their places."
"Gee, I've been thinking about smurfing myself into shape," Dabbler said as he watched Hefty start to jog off. "You mind if I join you?"
"Be my guest," Hefty said, sounding happy to have another Smurf along for the jog. "It doesn't hurt to smurf yourself in the best shape possible."
"Oh boy," Dabbler said as he caught up to Hefty and followed right behind him. "I can imagine myself smurfing with the best-smurfed body in the whole village...be able to smurf more than my own weight, just like you and Tuffy and Duncan. Just think of all the smurf we can..."
His attention was then diverted to Painter working on his canvas as he and Hefty passed right by him. Dabbler jogged himself in reverse so that he could talk to Painter. "So what you've been painting, Painter?" he asked.
"Oh, M'sieu Dabbler, I'm trying to capture the beauty of the forest landscape this morning," Painter answered.
"Gee, I always thought that I would make a really smurfy artist myself," Dabbler said, sounding entranced by what he was seeing Painter doing. "You mind if I smurf it a try?"
Painter looked at Dabbler while pondering his request. "Oh, very well," he said as he handed his brushes and pallette over to Dabbler. "You can smurf in that cloud with a good smurf of white while I go and smurf myself some more paint."
Dabbler watched as Painter headed off to his studio before he took a brush, dabbed some color on the tip, and started applying it to the canvas. "Oh, how smurfy," he said to himself. He started to sing the Smurf song while he worked on the painting until he saw Handy passing by him, carrying a stack of large wooden planks.
"Hi, Handy...what are you smurfing?" Dabbler asked, causing Handy to wobble around in place as he turned his attention toward Dabbler.
"Oh, hi, Dabbler," Handy responded as he struggled with his load. "I'm working on Smurfette's house."
"Gee, why don't I smurf you a hand?" Dabbler offered. "The load smurfs like it's very heavy for you."
Handy waited while Dabbler put the pallette and brushes down on the ground next to the easel, then allowed his fellow Smurf to carry one end of the stack while he carried the other.
"You know, I've been thinking that I'd make a very smurfy carpenter myself," Dabbler said while they were on their way to Smurfette's house. "Just think of all the things I could build if I could just smurf myself a chance."
"You don't say," Handy said, unsure of what to think about Dabbler's comment.
Meanwhile, Brainy returned to the spot where he hoped Dabbler would be waiting to receive a copy of Brainy's book, only to find that Dabbler was no longer there. "Now where in smurfnation did that Dabbler go?" he asked himself while he looked around, unaware that Dabbler was now with Handy carrying a load of wood.
Also Painter returned to his easel while carrying his paints and reacted in shock at what he saw on the canvas. "Sacre bleu!" he exclaimed, seeing that Dabbler had applied more white outside the cloud he was trying to paint than inside its outline. "What has M'sieu Dabbler done?"
Jokey saw what happened to Painter's painting as he passed by and laughed. "It smurfs to me like your cloud just had a cloudburst, Painter," he jested. Painter just glared at Jokey, finding the comment to be an insult.
Inside Smurfette's house, Handy and Dabbler were both doing installation work on her walls. "Oooh, you're doing such a smurfy job, you two," Smurfette said as she observed their work.
"Ah, yes, it's a carpenter's life for me, Smurfette," Dabbler said, feeling pleased with himself as he was hammering the nails in. And then he saw Farmer outside carrying a load of fertilizer in his wheelbarrow, which distracted his attention. "Hmmm...though I often wonder what it's like to be smurfing in the fields like Farmer."
As he looked out the window, he paid no attention to where he was striking the hammer until it ended up hitting one of Handy's fingers. The whole village turned to hear Handy cry out in pain upon impact.
"Gee, uh, sorry, Handy," Dabbler said as he saw Handy waving his hand around to deal with the pain.
"This wouldn't happen if you were smurfing your mind on one thing at a time," Handy scolded as he raised his hurting finger toward Dabbler. "Now I have to go see Papa Smurf about this finger before it smurfs any worse."
"Well, Dabbler strikes again," Jokey jested as he and a few other Smurfs watched while gathered outside Smurfette's door.
"I feel sorry for Dabbler, not finding one particular thing that he can smurf his mind upon," Tapper commented.
"I feel more sorry for the Smurfs that have to deal with him smurfing about from one thing to another, laddie," Duncan said.
"Gosh, Brainy, why does he smurf like that all the time?" Clumsy asked.
"How should I know, Clumsy? I guess it's just part of his unchanging nature, like your nature to be clumsy and Lazy's nature to be lazy and Greedy's nature to be greedy," Brainy answered.
"I'm not of a mind to believe that those Smurfs can never change, my good Brainy, but this is something that I believe the Almighty is capable of changing," Tapper said.
The Smurfs then gathered around outside and inside Papa Smurf's laboratory as the village leader tended to Handy's injury. "This may sting at first, Handy, but according to my medical manual, this herbal ointment that I have smurfed will reduce the swelling and prevent infection," he said as he gently stuck Handy's finger into the mixture and then wrapped it up in a bandage.
"Gee, thanks, Papa Smurf," Handy said, sounding a bit relieved. "It's a good thing that you're around when we need a doctor."
"Yes, well, I try to smurf myself up to date with all the medical information that I can smurf, but there's only so much that I can smurf, Handy," Papa Smurf said. "Someday you will have to learn to smurf after yourselves when I'm gone from this world, and in that day I hope that one of you will smurf after me in the field of medical science so that he can smurf after you whenever you get sick or injured."
"Gosh, I can't imagine that we will have to smurf without Papa Smurf someday, Brainy," Clumsy said as he overheard what Papa Smurf said.
"Don't worry about a thing, Clumsy," Brainy said. "After all, as Papa Smurf's faithful assistant, I am fully capable of learning everything there is to know about smurfing a village, including how to treat all sorts of injuries and illnesses that all of you may smurf down with from time to time."
"I doubt if Brainy even knows how to treat a headache, though he certainly knows how to smurf one," Jokey said while laughing.
"I hate Brainy trying to treat a headache," Grouchy said.
"Amazing," Dabbler said as he watched Papa Smurf treating Handy's injury. "Can there be any true higher calling than this?" He went over to the lectern and found himself reading the medical manual, captivated by the things that he found on the page he was reading.
Handy waved around his bandaged finger. "It feels better already," Handy said, sounding pleased.
"I wish to thank you, Papa Smurf...because of you, I have found my true purpose in life," Dabbler said, sounding very enthusiastic. "I am going to become a doctor."
The Smurfs just looked at Dabbler and then laughed at him. "A doctor?" Handy said. "Oh, that's a good one!"
"No, I mean it, my fellow Smurfs," Dabbler said. "I have finally found my one true destiny."
"Like all the other 'one true destinies' you had before now?" Handy asked, sounding like he was in disbelief.
"Yes...I mean, no...I mean, this time I really mean it," Dabbler said, pounding his fist into his other hand to show that he meant what he said.
The Smurfs again laughed at Dabbler until Papa Smurf calmed them down. "Now, now, my little Smurfs, let me handle this," Papa Smurf said. When the laughter died down, the village leader spoke directly to Dabbler. "The study of medicine requires great concentration, Dabbler, so it's not something you can just smurf into and expect to be an expert at overnight. This book over here is the Physician's Reference Manual, which tonight I will be smurfing to Homnibus for a few days." He closed up the book in question and handed it to Dabbler. "If you wish, you can read it, and then you'll smurf what I mean."
"Oh, thank you, Papa Smurf," Dabbler said, sounding grateful. "This time I'm really going to smurf it."
As the Smurfs left Papa Smurf's laboratory, they were talking among themselves. "So Dabbler wants to smurf himself as a doctor now," Duncan said. "Well, that's going to smurf a good while."
"I don't know, my good Duncan," Tapper said. "Something tells me in my spirit that this may be a good smurf for Dabbler to smurf. All he needs is time and patience to prove whether he is capable of smurfing the job."
"Well, it can't hurt for the laddie to try it, Tapper," Duncan said. "If it doesn't smurf out, maybe there's something else down the road that he can smurf."
"Dabbler as a doctor," Brainy scoffed. "If you ask me, this is going to smurf out just like all the other things he tried to smurf before. Why should it be any different this time?"
"Gosh, Brainy, maybe Dabbler will become a great doctor...who knows?" Clumsy said.
"You think that Dabbler is serious about becoming a doctor, Handy?" Smurfette asked as she walked with Handy back to his workshop.
"I don't know, Smurfette," Handy said. "I guess we'll just have to wait and smurf about it."
"I hate Dabbler becoming a doctor," Grouchy said.