Part 4

"It's very surprising to discover that Jokey contracted a potentially fatal disease after trying to fool Dabbler with a disease in order to give him a purpose," Polaris said.
"We were surprised ourselves, Polaris," Smurfette said. "Luckily Dabbler proved that he was a good enough doctor to smurf Jokey the medical treatment that he needed."
"And it was also very fortunate that Jokey's condition actually wasn't very serious, if this smurf remembers from what this smurf was told of the incident," Empath added. "Otherwise, this smurf would be mourning his loss to this very day."
Smurfette giggled. "I wouldn't miss him too badly, but the village just wouldn't be the same without Jokey Smurf. Anyway, Papa Smurf came home a few days later and saw how things were smurfing in the village when he checked up on Dabbler and Jokey."
Then Polaris saw that Papa Smurf was in Dabbler's house with a few other Smurfs while Jokey was still laid up in bed, having a water bag over his head. "Well, my little Smurfs, it seems that you've had a busy time while I was away," Papa Smurf said.
"Fortunately, Papa Smurf, Jokey's condition proved to be less serious than I suspected," Dabbler said.
"Yeah, who would have suspected that I was allergic to pink paint?" Jokey added.
"How do you feel, Jokey Smurf?" Papa Smurf asked as his attention was turned to Dabbler's patient.
" only hurts when I laugh, Papa Smurf," Jokey replied, laughing for a bit before he groaned in pain.
"Dabbler's special skin cream should have him up and around in a few days," Smurfette said.
"You've done very well for yourself, Dabbler," Papa Smurf said, sounding pleased with Dabbler's efforts.
"Thanks, Papa Smurf, but now I know that there's a lot more that I need to learn before I can smurf myself a real doctor," Dabbler said.
"Indeed there is, Dabbler, but at least you have the enthusiasm," Papa Smurf said, patting Dabbler on the shoulder to show how proud he was for him.
"Oh yes, Papa Smurf," Dabbler said. "I am prepared to study for days and days...maybe even weeks."
"Maybe even years, Dabbler," Papa Smurf said. "The practice of medicine is a lifelong dedication, but I'm sure that you have the will to smurf it through for as long as you're eager to learn."
Dabbler gulped. "Years? Oh boy."
Tapper laughed. "It's just like becoming a disciple of the Almighty, my good Dabbler. One must have the neverending desire and hunger to follow wherever the path of your education may smurf you."
"But at least he seems to be smurfing onto the path that your Almighty may be smurfing in, laddie," Duncan said as he stood beside Tapper.
Then suddenly Dabbler could hear Farmer singing the Smurf song as he was passing by outside his house. "Uh, would you mind smurfing over for a minute, Papa Smurf?" Dabbler said as he handed over the stethoscope and examiner's headband to the village leader.
"Why, certainly, Dabbler," Papa Smurf said as he watched Dabbler leave his house to join Farmer.
"Why, thanks for the hand, Dabbler," Farmer said as he handed over one of the baskets of smurfberries he was carrying to his fellow Smurf.
"My pleasure, Farmer," Dabbler said as he started to walk off with him over to his fields. "You know, I often think that I would smurf a pretty good farmer myself."
"Ah, you don't say," Farmer said. "Well, there's plenty to smurf in my fields that could use a second hand."
Duncan laughed as he and the other Smurfs watched. "Maybe your Almighty has something else in mind for the laddie, Tapper."
"I sense in my spirit that he will smurf back to his role as doctor someday, my good Duncan, I just know it," Tapper said with some certainty.
"Well, here we smurf again," Jokey said, laughing before he groaned and Smurfette helped him back to bed.
"Don't worry, Jokey, you'll be smurfing back to your feet in no time as long as I'm smurfing care of you," Papa Smurf said as he turned his attention back on his patient. And then Smurfette noticed that Papa Smurf himself was stumbling.
"Papa Smurf, are you all right?" Smurfette asked as she caught him before he fell to the ground.
"Uh...I don't know what exactly smurfed over me, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said as he tried to stand up straight. "But I'm sure it's just something that will pass as I..."
"Michty me!" Duncan said as he and the Smurfs with him watched Papa Smurf collapse again.
"Great Smurfiny Crickets," Tapper exclaimed. "Now we have two patients to smurf after here."
"Quick, get Dabbler to smurf in here right away," Smurfette said as she knelt next to Papa Smurf.
"It figures that the Almighty would pick now as a time for Dabbler to return to becoming a doctor, laddie," Duncan said as he and Tapper both left the house.
"I certainly wasn't hoping it would be this soon, Duncan," Tapper said.

"And as fortune would have it, Dabbler did indeed come smurfing back to deal with Papa Smurf," Smurfette said as her story continued. "He and Brainy both worked together to find out what it is that Papa Smurf had smurfed down with, with Brainy smurfing the research and Dabbler trying to make Papa Smurf more comfortable while smurfing in his bed. It was when Jokey had recovered that we discovered what was wrong with him."
And as the story continued, Polaris saw that the Smurfs were all gathered around Papa Smurf as he was lying in the infirmary with a water bag over his head. The Smurflings stood close around him with Sassette gently holding his hand.
"Please, Pappy Smurf, don't die on us," Sassette said weeping.
"Gee, I wonder what it is that Papa Smurf had contracted when he was away from the village," Slouchy said.
"Who cares what it is, Slouchy?" Snappy said. "I just hope there's a cure for this."
"I only hope we can smurf the answer for what's smurfing Papa Smurf and soon," Nat said.
Just then, Brainy had entered the infirmary with Dabbler. "I have terrible news, my fellow Smurfs," Dabbler said. "It seems that Papa Smurf has smufed down with a smurfious case of spongiform fever that, if left untreated, will cause Papa Smurf to pass away."
"Papa Smurf will pass away?!?" all the Smurfs said together. "Oh no!!!"
"Fortunately, the Physician's Reference Manual says that there is a cure," Brainy said. "According to this, the inhalation of the scent of a black rose is the only thing that is powerful enough to cure such a victim."
"Well, where can we find a black rose?" Hefty asked.
"This is the tricky part," Brainy said. "According to one of Papa Smurf's magic books, the black rose smurfs once a year in humid places, caves, underground, and so on. Homnibus has smurfed a mention of there being one smurfed in the Castle of Evil Spells, where Magnificus the magician once smurfed."
"The Castle of Evil Spells?" Smurfette said. "Ooh, that sounds dangerous."
"Please, my little Smurfs, don't smurf your lives going there," Papa Smurf said weakly.
"We've got to smurf a chance, Papa Smurf, if that's the only way we can save you," Duncan said.
"Well, I'm willing to smurf a chance of going there," Smurfette said. "Who else is with me?"
"You've got yourself a companion there, lassie," Duncan said. "We'll both smurf there together."
"Uh...I might as well join you, but I hate haunted places," Grouchy said reluctantly.
"Ah, you're a brave laddie, Grouchy," Duncan said with a smile. "You've got the spirit of a McSmurf within you."
"You might as well get smurfing on your journey, my friends," Tapper said. "In the meantime, the rest of us should leave and give Papa Smurf time to rest."
"Dabbler, I'm glad that you smurfed back when you did to your role as a doctor," Papa Smurf said as he reached out and grabbed Dabbler's hand while the others left.
"I couldn't ignore the call when I heard that you just gotten sick, Papa Smurf," Dabbler said. "I just wish that it didn't take this to smurf how serious being a doctor would be."
"I'm sure that you'll make a fine doctor someday, Dabbler," Papa Smurf said before he closed his eyes again and rested.

Outside the infirmary, the Smurfs were talking about Dabber. "Boy oh smurf, I didn't think that it would take Papa Smurf smurfing near death for Dabbler to smurf anything in his life so seriously," Handy said.
"Uh, yeah...but why would it have to be now?" Clumsy asked.
"I have a feeling in my spirit that this may be the thing the Almighty is smurfing to get Dabbler to smurf a decision in his life of what he wants to smurf with it, my fellow Smurfs," Tapper said.
"So it's this imaginary God of yours that's calling Dabbler to become a Doctor, is it?" Hefty asked.
"The Almighty smurfs people in their appointed times and places for His purposes to be achieved, my good Hefty," Tapper said. "This may be the time for Dabbler to become something other than his name."
"Well, good luck with that," Brainy said. "If I know him, he's going to smurf back to what he usually does when this emergency is taken care of."
"You seem to be sure that Smurfette, Duncan, and Grouchy are going to succeed in smurfing back the black rose to cure Papa Smurf, Brainy," Handy said.
"Uh, yeah, that doesn't smurf to be like you, Brainy," Clumsy said.
"I'm just making an educated guess as to the final outcome of the whole situation, my fellow Smurfs," Brainy said. "What's more important is my point that nothing can change what's going to happen with Dabbler when all is said and smurfed."
"I'd say Dabbler's going to prove you wrong, Brainy Smurf," Hefty said.
"I'm sure willing to bet my smurfs on that with you, Hefty," Handy said in agreement.
"Well, as much as we would want to argue about what fate has in smurf for our friend Dabbler, my fellow Smurfs, only the Almighty knows for sure, and I'm leaving it entirely in His hands to smurf what it's going to be," Tapper said.
"Gosh, I hope that the other Smurfs will smurf back with the rose soon, Tapper," Clumsy said.
Meanwhile, the Smurflings were talking among themselves. "Prickly porcupines, what are we going to smurf if Pappy Smurf passes away?" Sassette asked. "Who's going to smurf after us and the other Smurfs?"
"Who will probably be Brainy who will smurf over as the village leader," Slouchy said.
"Brainy as the village leader?" Snappy said in disbelief. "The only thing he knows how to smurf is to lead us into trouble, as he usually smurfs."
"Well, we don't know if that's going to happen yet, Smurfs," Nat said. "Smurfette, Duncan, and Grouchy are going to the Castle of Evil Spirits to smurf the black rose to cure Papa Smurf."
"Those three Smurfs?" Snappy said. "Well, that's going to be a journey of smurfic proportions!"
"What's the matter, Snap?" Sassette asked. "You think those three aren't going to make it?"
"I can understand Duncan being the Smurf who'd want to go there, but Smurfette?" Snappy said. "She smurfs like she's better off home taking care of Baby Smurf."
"I wouldn't want to be smurfing that in front of Smurfette if I were you, Snap," Slouchy quietly said.
"Smurfette is brave enough to handle things on her own if she has to," Nat said. "I'm just more surprised that Grouchy has joined them."
"Yeah, Grouchy doesn't seem like he would smurf along with anything that's dangerous," Slouchy said.
"Well, I'll be smurfing my hat if I see the three of them smurf back home before sundown with the black rose," Snappy said.
"Would you like some salt to smurf with that hat if it happens, Snappy?" Sassette asked, which made the other two Smurflings laugh along with her.