Part 8

"This one can understand Sassette's ambivalence when it comes to her feeling any desire for her fellow Smurflings in comparison to what she feels toward the adult male Smurfs that she encounters on a daily basis," Polaris said. "It is unfortunate to learn now that she was kept so young by being imprisoned in a crystal while those who were once her fellow Smurfs grew to become adults."
"I feel just as bad as the other Smurfs to learn about that as well, Polaris," Narrator said. "The important thing, however, is that she now has friends that are the same age as her physically, and that she may someday become an adult Smurf herself along with them."
"In any case, Gargamel has been led into the village by some Smurfs who didn't suspect that he was the evil wizard in the physical disguise of a Smurf," Polaris surmised.
"Indeed, and apart from that Smurf's strange nose, none of us knew what he was up to, even as he became part of the Mr. Smurf Contest that was being smurfed that day," Narrator responded.
And as Narrator's story continued, Gargamel as a Smurf watched from behind the corner of a Smurf house the Smurfs who were gathered together, doing all sorts of physical exercises with equipment that was taken from Hefty's gym, trying to get themselves in the best physical shape possible for the contest.
Only Brainy didn't participate with the other Smurfs in the exercises, but rather tried to talk to them while they were doing their exercises. "You Smurfs can work out all you want, but I intend to win this contest by using my head," Brainy said to Hefty while he was hitting the punching bag.
"As long as you're smurfing your head for something more than just a hat rack, Brainy," Jokey said while laughing.
"You think Smurfette's going to be impressed by your know-it-all attitude, Brainy Smurf?" Duncan asked.
"Why should I care if Brainy doesn't want to work out, Gutsy?" Hefty said. "He knows that he doesn't smurf a chance of winning this contest, and neither do any of you here."
"Fat chance you'll get to be Smurfette's escort, Hefty," Vanity said.
"Uh, yeah, because if Smurfette's going to choose one Smurf to be her escort, I'm going to be the one she'll choose," Clumsy said. And all the other Smurfs in the group also objected to Hefty being the one Smurfette will choose as her escort, each of them claiming that he alone will be Smurfette's choice.
"Listen to yourselves, all boasting about a contest that none of you are ever going to win," Brainy said as he pushed against Hefty's punching bag. "The truth is really going to hurt you when it's all said and smurfed, and it's going to knock you over like a..."
But then suddenly the punching bag swung right back at Brainy and knocked him over until he fell to the ground on his face, causing his glasses to slip off.
"That certainly didn't hurt me at all, Brainy," Jokey said, with the others laughing as they watched Brainy get knocked over by the punching bag.
At that time, Tapper came over to observe all the activities going on. "Tapper, laddie, why aren't you joining us in smurfing yourself prepared for the Mr. Smurf Contest tonight?" Duncan asked.
"Knowing him, it's because he's already engaged to be married to this imaginary God of his," Hefty said, which made the other Smurfs laugh with him at the comment.
"I will not feel insulted by that slight if that's how you feel about the Almighty, my fellow Hefty," Tapper said. "I will only pray that your eyes will be opened to the truth, and that you know that He loves you with an everlasting love and He only wants to save you."
"Yeah, but why aren't you smurfing yourself ready for this contest, Tapper?" Clumsy asked.
"He probably came up with the very idea himself, Clumsy, which makes a lot of sense in my mind that he would not want to participate in the very contest that he himself consmurfed," Brainy commented.
"Aye, you are very correct in that, my fellow Brainy," Tapper said. "Besides, my feelings for Smurfette are very different from yours, because all I want from Smurfette is for her to be happy with the Smurf that she chooses to be her one true love for all time."
"But what if that Smurf do happens to be you there, Tapper?" Farmer asked.
"I will deal with that should that ever be the case, my fellow Farmer," Tapper answered. "For now, though, I will only wish you the best of luck and my prayers for the winner."
"Hmmph...well, if he's not going to be in this contest for any fear of losing, I'm not going to smurf without any sleep tonight over it," Hefty said as he resumed his exercises.
Gargamel took a bandage wrap from the infirmary and wrapped it around his nose to disguise how different it looked from a real Smurf nose. There...this will keep the lame-brain Smurfs from catching on until my Smurf formula wears off, and then I'll be the one doing the catching, he said to himself, laughing maliciously afterward.
At that moment, Sassette passed by with her clipboard, so Gargamel decided to catch her attention. "Excuse me, little Smurfling, but do you know how I can enter the Mr. Smurf Contest?" he asked kindly.
"Do I know you, fellow Smurf?" Sassette asked. "I'm not sure I remember smurfing you around here. And your voice sure sounds funny, almost like you're imitating Pappy Gargamel."
"Oh, my voice," Gargamel said, realizing Sassette might catch on. "Well, you see, my name is Beaker Smurf, and I've been working on my Gargamel impersonation for quite a while now. Do you think it sounds authentic?"
"Maybe, but you're not quite as menacing as Pappy Gargamel," Sassette replied.
"Not menacing? Why, you little...," Gargamel said, sounding insulted at first before trying to rein in his temper and keep from giving himself away. "I mean, why, you little Smurfling, you're quite right," he continued in a kinder voice. "Anyway, I would like to sign up for this contest right away so that I can be Smurfette's escort to the ball."
"Here, sign your name and list your qualifications on this sheet, and you'll be all smurfed, Beaker," Sassette said, handing Gargamel the clipboard and a pencil.
After Gargamel signed the clipboard and Sassette walked away, he was fuming within himself. Not menacing enough? Why, you little blue pest, I'll show you how menacing I can be when the time comes, and you'll no longer call me your Pappy anymore, he spoke to himself.

A little later on, Papa Smurf went to see Tailor about his preparations for the Harvest Moon Ball.
"I've smurfed enough dress suits for every Smurf to wear, and I've got Smurfette's dress all ready for her to smurf up before the ball starts, Papa Smurf," Tailor reported.
"You've smurfed a good job, Tailor," Papa Smurf said. "Have you seen Sassette?"
"Last I seen of her, she wanted to see Smurfette's dress for herself, so I left her alone in my shop to see how it smurfs," Tailor answered.
"Thank you, Tailor," Papa Smurf said before he headed over to Tailor's shop. Instead of going in, he looked through the window and watched Sassette hold up the dress over the front of herself while looking in the mirror at her reflection.
"Dancing donkeys, this dress really looks beautiful," Sassette said. "I wonder how I would look wearing it."
That made Papa Smurf think of something as he looked on.

Then came time for the Mr. Smurf Contest to commence. Every Smurf who wasn't already part of the contest gathered around the Smurf Theater to watch the contest, eager to see who would be the lucky winner that would be Smurfette's escort.
Smurfette was there in the judge's booth, already miffed about something. "Sassette, are you sure you want me to wear this?" she asked, showing herself wearing a black judge's gown with a white scarf.
"Well, you're the judge, aren't you?" Sassette replied.
Tapper showed up wearing a dress suit. "How are you feeling now that the hour has smurfed for you to be the judge, my dear Smurfette?" he asked as he approached both her and Sassette.
"Other than wearing this gown, I'm feeling rather nervous, like I'm afraid I won't be a good judge to determine which Smurf would be the winner," Smurfette answered.
"I'm certain that you'll do fine, although I am sensing in my spirit that something evil is going to try smurfing this event to do us harm here," Tapper said.
"Playful pigeons, Tapper, how could that be?" Sassette said. "I made sure of all the contestants, that they would all follow the rules of proper conduct that you smurfed me."
"I believe that you have smurfed a fine job in doing so, my little Sassette," Tapper said. "However, I believe that this event needs to be smurfed in prayer so that nothing of what I'm sensing will happen."
"And you'd want to pray over this event right now?" Sassette asked.
"Oh dear," Smurfette moaned with concern. "I'd be grateful for any help that you can smurf us, Tapper."
"Let's bow our hearts together," Tapper said. And as Sassette and Smurfette both bowed their heads and closed their eyes, Tapper prayed. "O Lord God, the Heavenly Father, the Maker of all good things, I pray for a smurf of protection around our fellow Smurfs, that nothing evil will try to oversmurf us during this event, and that regardless of whoever wins, we will all smurf You the glory and honor that's due unto You through how we smurf our lives here on this earth. Give our sister Smurfette wisdom and courage so that she may choose who You desire to be her escort for the Harvest Moon Ball, and guard the innocence of our other sister Sassette whom we love with all our heart. I ask you this in the name of Your only begotten Son. Amen."
"Amen," Sassette and Smurfette said together.

In the dressing room, the Smurfs who were part of the contest were making final preparations for their appearance on the stage, eager to give their best performance.
"Me, me, me, me, me," Vanity sang as he examined himself in his mirror. "Oh, that word smurfs shivers up my spine."
"I hate shivers up my spine," Grouchy said.
"Michty me, Clumsy, laddie, what's wrong with you?" Duncan asked, noticing his friend's current behavior.
"Gosh...I'm starting to feel rather nervous, Duncan," Clumsy replied, his knees and arms shaking.
"You don't get nervous when you already know who's going to win, Clumsy," Hefty said as he took a handkerchief and polished his right upper arm with it.
"I hate already knowing who's going to win," Grouchy said, before quietly adding, but I know it's going to be me.
"Ah, don't worry yourself there, Clumsy," Duncan said. "Just smurf your best and you'll be fine. And even if you don't win, Smurfette will still love you anyway."
"I hate to make you all feel bad, but at dinner tonight, Smurfette only had eyes for me," Greedy boasted.
"That's because you were talking with your mouth full, Greedy," Vanity jested, laughing at his own comment. Oh, that's good, he said quietly to himself.
And soon my mouth will be full...full of Smurfs, Gargamel as Beaker said to himself while standing off in a corner apart from the other Smurfs, laughing at the evil thought.
Just then, Tapper appeared in the dressing room. "And how are we all smurfing here tonight, my fellow Smurfs?" he asked. "Are you ready to smurf your best before Smurfette on the stage?"
"I'm fine, laddie," Duncan answered. "I can't smurf the same for all the other boys here, though."
"I'm ready to prove that I'll be the one Smurfette will choose as the winner and her escort," Hefty said.
"And I'm eager to prove that brains instead of muscle will be the deciding factor of who will smurf Smurfette to the Harvest Moon Ball," Brainy said.
"My good looks will surely prove that I'll be the one Smurfette will choose," Vanity said.
"Not before she realizes how good I am in smurfing her laughs, Vanity," Jokey said with a chuckle.
"I'm sure Smurfette will notice all the good qualities in each of you as you present yourselves before her on the stage, my fellow Smurfs," Tapper said. "For now, I would like to pray for all of us together so that nothing bad will happen during the contest."
"Nothing bad?" Clumsy asked. "Gosh, what could possibly ruin this contest, Tapper?"
"Your guess is as smurf as mine, laddie," Duncan said.
"And you think your imaginary God is going to protect us from whatever bad thing will happen?" Hefty asked in a slightly mocking tone.
"I may not understand everything Tapper believes in, but I do be ready to smurf for his God's protection over us," Farmer said.
"I hate for something bad to happen," Grouchy said.
"Might as well smurf this out of the way, if we're going to smurf out on stage before the crowd tonight," Greedy said.
"That's one surprise that I wouldn't want to have smurfed on anyone," Jokey said.
"Let's gather all together in a circle so that I will pray for your protection right now," Tapper instructed. And as all the Smurfs, including Gargamel disguised as Beaker, stood together in a circle in the middle of the dressing room, Tapper prayed. "O Lord God, the Heavenly Father, the Maker of all good things, please bless my brothers as they smurf on stage to display their wonderful talents and gifts that You alone have smurfed them, that they may honor You with everything that they do, and that no matter who wins, we will know that You are satisfied with us. And please smurf a hedge of protection around us so that nothing evil will try to smurf us during this event. I ask You this in the name of Your only begotten Son. Amen."
"Amen, laddie," Duncan said as the prayer ended.
The sooner I get my hands on these wretched Smurfs when my formula wears off, the sooner I won't have to worry about that Smurf's pedantic prayers to his pathetic God, Gargamel muttered to himself after the prayer ended.