Part 1

Empath's personal journal.
It has now been three months since this smurf has left Psychelia for good, and so far this smurf has gotten used to the idea that this smurf may be spending the rest of my years in the company of this smurf's fellow Smurfs for as long as they and this smurf may live. What this smurf is still getting used to is living with Smurfette being a member of the Smurfs, for before she had existed, this smurf hasn't had to deal with what Papa Smurf calls "the Smurfette dream", which is becoming more prevalent of an occurence with every passing day. Even more concerning is that some of this smurf's fellow Smurfs are expecting that this smurf and Smurfette may be bonded together in matrimony sometime soon. This smurf doesn't want to disappoint anybody's hopes, but this smurf is still trying to get to know Smurfette, and as much as this smurf feels these urges to be with her on an intimate level, this smurf would rather not rush things and allow time and nature to take its course in developing a relationship that would someday become a marriage if Smurfette feels that this smurf is the one that she should marry.

Empath woke up to a bright new morning in the Smurf Village, feeling refreshed...and also that he needed to change his sheets and wash himself before joining his fellow Smurfs at the breakfast table. He sighed as he drew himself a bath and washed himself clean before dressing up in his star-patterned hat and pants. Again he felt compelled to also wear a shirt, which was something he never had to deal with before Papa Smurf revealed to him his true origin as Papa Smurf's only begotten son.
He met with Tapper and Duncan just as he stepped outside his door to get his morning mail and newspaper. "Smurf o' the morning to you, my fellow Empath," Tapper greeted. "Ready to smurf your day with a healthy breakfast?"
"This smurf will join you and Duncan shortly, Tapper," Empath said as he took his mail and newspaper out of the mail slot and placed it on a table next to his door. He decided that he will get around to reading the mail later as he took his newspaper with him.
"You smell like you've just smurfed yourself a bath there, laddie," Duncan said as Empath returned outside. "You wouldn't happen to be smurfing one of those Smurfette dreams again now, would you?"
"For shame, Duncan, that is not an appropriate thing to ask your fellow Smurf," Tapper said.
"I could remember that you were smurfing through the same thing, for a spiritual Smurf such as yourself there, Tapper," Duncan said. "There's no shame in admitting that you smurf the same feelings as any other male Smurf here does for Smurfette."
"My private rituals are not anyone's business but my own and the Almighty's to smurf about," Tapper said. "In any case, my heart is always pure when it comes to thinking about Smurfette, as I suspect that Empath's thoughts also are."
"Truth to tell, Tapper, this smurf can't help having those feelings that every Smurf seems to have about Smurfette," Empath said. "This smurf only wishes that those feelings didn't have to come with a physical reaction."
"I'm afraid that's something only the Almighty can help you smurf with, Empath," Tapper said.
"That's nothing that you should feel ashamed about smurfing, Empath, if that's only proving that you're a male Smurf like the rest of us," Duncan said.
"If this smurf wasn't raised in a society that frowns upon having such feelings, Duncan, then this smurf wouldn't have such a problem dealing with it," Empath said.
"Aye, those Psychelians have really smurfed you up into thinking that being a Smurf is such a bad thing," Duncan said. "It's a wonder that they never smurfed you out of there the moment you smurfed back in that place knowing that you are a Smurf."
"Speaking of Psychelia, how are you dealing with smurfing apart from your friend Polaris?" Tapper asked.
Empath sighed. "It feels like an essential part of this smurf's life is gone, Tapper. And what's worse is the sense that Polaris has all memory of this smurf erased from his memory as do all the Psyches now that the Psyche Master has deemed this smurf an exile."
"But isn't being away from Psychelia what you wanted all along, laddie?" Duncan said. "Surely you friend would be happy to know this...if he could even feel being happy for you."
"What this smurf would have wanted is to be able to leave Psychelia with Polaris, Duncan," Empath said. "This smurf has been bonded to him for so long that the separation feels somewhat painful to bear. And the next time this smurf will see him, it will be as if we are both strangers and enemies to each other."
"That's just part of losing a good friend, my fellow Empath," Tapper said. "That sense of knowing that it may be the last you'll ever smurf of him as you knew him is something that only time with the Almighty can heal you of."
"This smurf knows you mean well, Tapper, but this smurf can't think of entering into a relationship with this Almighty of yours anytime soon," Empath said. "He just seems no more as real as the Great Ancestors that the Psyches pray to."
"Oh, he is very much real, Empath, if you would only give Him a chance to smurf your heart," Tapper said.
They soon joined the line near Greedy's kitchen, where Empath saw Smurfette standing. "Hello there, Empath," Smurfette greeted as she saw him with Tapper and Duncan.
"Salutations, fellow Smurfette," Empath greeted back. "Would you mind if this smurf sits next to you at the breakfast table?"
"I'd love you to do that, Empath, but I'm afraid that I'll have to smurf it some other time," Smurfette said. "I've got to smurf with Vanity about floral arrangements and what would be the best flowers to smurf bouquets with. Then I'm going to be taking the Smurflings out into the forest to help me smurf the flowers that I need."
"That seems rather interesting, Smurfette," Empath said. "Of course, this smurf does happen to know a great deal about floral arrangements and can offer you some assistance in that area."
"I'd be grateful for that, Empath, but I'm fine smurfing with Vanity," Smurfette said. "You should worry yourself more with the tasks that Papa Smurf has smurfed you as the assistant counselor."
"If you insist, Smurfette, then this smurf will allow you to perform your tasks however you see fit to do so," Empath said. "This smurf will hopefully see you later around lunch."
After Empath received his breakfast, he sat down with Tapper and Duncan at the breakfast table. They noticed that there was a lot of talking going on with the other Smurfs about something.
"Now I wonder what could be the smurfiest news of the morning that's smurfing the other laddies?" Duncan asked.
"From what this smurf could sense, it would seem that most of the conversation is on the topic of how soon this smurf and Smurfette will be married," Empath answered.
"Already this soon?" Tapper said. "I would think that the village will be rather patient on smurfing the subject, although smurfing you and Smurfette together at times does make me wonder."
"You're not thinking that this smurf and Smurfette should be 'tying the knot' sometime soon, are you, Tapper?" Empath asked.
"If a pretty lass like her is smurfing for your hand in marriage, Empath, I would be the first in your place to smurf her your answer," Duncan said.
"I do believe that the Almighty will smurf about the time of marriage according to His timetable, Empath, when He feels that you and Smurfette are ready," Tapper said. "Nevertheless, I do smurf your concerns about when you think it is the right time for you to smurf the question to her, and you should be prepared for the answer she will smurf you no matter what happens."
"You afraid that Smurfette's going to say no to you, Empath?" Duncan asked.
"This smurf feels more intimidated by the possibility that she might also say yes to the question, Duncan," Empath said.
"Aye, proposing a marriage to Smurfette would not be an easy thing for any adult male Smurf to do, Empath," Tapper said. "Even I find myself at a loss for smurfs when I smurf in my mind the moment of myself asking the same question."
"But the time when every Smurf seemed to ask her that question during her first year here, she turned them down because she felt that she was too young to marry and that she loved every Smurf equally," Empath said.
"That's very true, Empath, but Smurfette has been smurfing with us for the past five years now," Duncan said. "Surely she must have been smurfing a lot of growing within that time, and she probably doesn't smurf the same now as she did back then before you smurfed home."
"This smurf does sense from Smurfette that things in her life have changed since that moment that she and this smurf have first encountered each other," Empath said. "But this smurf still isn't sure whether that will lead to the two of us ever being bonded together."
"That's part of the reason that I admire your patience for, Empath," Tapper said. "If you're going to let yourself and Smurfette grow together so that you both know what you want with each other before things smurf for the better or worse, then nothing that any other Smurf besides Papa Smurf should say on the matter should ever really matter to you."
Just then, Poet joined Empath, Tapper, and Duncan at the table. "Greetings, my fellow Smurfs," Poet said as he sat down. "Oh, what a wonderful morning this is to inspire my creativity."
"Smurf o' the morning to you, my fellow Poet," Tapper said. "And what are your plans for the morning?"
"I'm going to be visiting Printer's shop because he's going to be smurfing me sheets of blank paper for the epic novel that I hope to be smurfing soon," Poet answered. "All I need for it now is a good subject."
"This smurf isn't sure what to suggest for a good subject, Poet, but this smurf would be eager to read the result of your work when it's completed," Empath said.
"Surely you don't think you can find a suitable subject among your fellow Smurfs there, laddie," Duncan said.
"It's got to be something that you don't smurf in our everyday lives here in the village, Duncan," Poet said. "With Painter painting and Handy building and Hefty smurfing weights and Jokey smurfing his surprises and all that, it seems that there's nothing here that could smurf for anything interesting to write about."
"Then I pray for some inspiration to smurf your way before the day is done, Poet," Tapper said.
"I thank you for the prayer, Tapper, but I hope that it will smurf with an answer soon," Poet said with a heavy sigh.

Out in the Smurf Forest, the peaceful morning that the animals are having without anything disturbing them would eventually be shattered by the sound of horses galloping and men shouting. They scurried away as quickly as they could when the men and their horses came into view: a man wearing a hooded robe and six men wearing guard uniforms. The horse riders soon came to a stop at the signal of the hooded man riding in the lead as he saw three frogs just sitting together nearby, which then hopped quickly away.
"We'll start here," the hooded man said. "You three, you take this section of the forest. I want you to capture every frog in sight. Let no frog get by you, and while you work on the east end of the forest, we'll work the west." Three of the guards dismounted from their horses as they prepared to do their jobs. "Follow me," the main said to the three guards still on horseback, and soon they galloped off toward the west end of the forest.
"Catch all the frogs? Is he out of his mind?" the stout guard of the three that were left behind asked.
"Morlock says that there's a frog in the forest that's been possessed by a demon," the thin guard said.
"A demon frog? That's ridiculous!" the stout guard said.
"You argue with him...I'm just going to do what Morlock says we should do," the thin guard said.
"Hey, look...I've caught my first one," the short guard said as he picked up a frog and put it into his sack.
"Ah, come on...orders are orders," the thin guard said as he and the stout guard joined the short one.

Meanwhile, out in the forest by the river at this time, Smurfette was with the Smurflings collecting flowers. "Now remember, my little Smurflings...don't smurf the daisies that are too big, but don't smurf the ones that are too small either," Smurfette said as she started picking.
Slouchy picked daises that are of nearly identical size. "Gee, Smurfette, they all smurf the same to me," he said as he looked back and forth at the two daises in his hands.
"When Smurfette said she would take us smurfing to the edge of the forest, I'd thought that we'd be in for some excitement," Snappy said rather sourly as he started picking the flowers.
"Yeah, we should have known," Sassette said in agreement.
Nat spotted frogs sitting on lilypads along the river's surface and watched them hop back and forth. "Gosh, Smurfette, do you think there's a chance that we could smurf for a swim?" Nat asked.
"I'm sorry, Nat, but there will be no time for smurfing that," Smurfette said. "After we're done here, you can help me smurf flower arrangements for all the Smurfs. Wouldn't that be fun?"
"Oh, yeah, that will be a real picnic," Snappy muttered as he placed the daises he picked into his basket.
Sassette spotted a pair of eyes belonging to a green face hiding behind some grasses. "Well, hello there, froggie," she greeted the face. "What are you doing smurfing in there?"
The frog seemed to gasp as it hopped away. Sassette didn't want to scare the frog away, so she chased after it, hopping and giggling as she followed wherever the frog hopped to.
Smurfette noticed what Sassette was doing. "Chasing after frogs is not very ladylike, Sassette," she scolded.
"Just let her smurf her fun here, Smurfette," Slouchy calmly said. "What else are we going to smurf besides picking flowers?"
The frog saw a branch that seemed low enough for it to hop up to, and so made as big a leap as possible to get onto the branch. However, the frog ended up clutching onto a small leafy bough. "Whooaaahhh...," the frog said.
"Uh-oh," Sassette said to herself as she caught up to the frog. "I guess I must have really scared him."
The other four Smurfs also reached the same spot. "Say, Nat, you could try talking to frog to smurf down from there," Sassette said.
"I'll smurf it a try," Nat said as he stepped toward the tree. "Hey there, froggie, it's awful high up there. Maybe you should try smurfing down here."
The frog looked fearful as he tried to climb higher for safety. "Stay away from me, whoever you are," the frog said trembling.
"Huh?" Nat said, wondering. "When I talk to animals, they usually don't talk back."
"Maybe it's because this is no ordinary frog, Nat," Slouchy said.
The leafy bough then broke and the frog fell to the ground. "Tumblin' tadpoles, I hope that you didn't hurt yourself," Sassette said as she looked down upon the frog.
"G-g-g-gee, you don't seem dangerous," the frog said as he looked at the five Smurfs.
"Oh, we're not dangerous at all," Smurfette said. "We're Smurfs who just happen to live in the forest. I'm Smurfette, and these four are Nat, Snappy, Slouchy, and Sassette."
"The real question is, who are you?" Slouchy asked.
"Yeah, and how come you're the only frog who can talk?" Snappy added.
Just then, they could hear the sound of humans nearby. "Got you!" one of the humans said.
The frog seemed to recognize the sound of the humans. "Quick, we've got to hide," he said, and soon the five Smurfs scurried away with the frog as the three guards on the other side of the river are busy filling their sacks with frogs they have found and captured.
"Are you a demon?" the stout guard asked the frog he just picked up.
"This one's ugly enough to be one," the thin guard said as he put the one he had captured into his sack.
The Smurfs and the frog safely watched from their hiding space behind the grasses. "Why are those humans collecting frogs?" Smurfette asked.
"Because I'm the one that they're after," the frog answered.
"You?" Smurfette said, sounding surprised.
"Y-y-yeah," the frog said. "That's why I've got to get out of here!"
As soon as the frog started to hop away, one of the guards spotted him. "Look, there's one," the stout guard said. "Hurry!"
The three guards crossed the river and chased after the talking frog, who tried to hop to safety as fast as he could. He soon found himself trapped between some rocks that were too big for him to hop over.
"No, please!" the frog cried out as two of the guards closed in on him to capture him.
The two guards recoiled when they heard the frog talk. "He speaks!" the stout guard said.
"It's the demon frog!" the thin guard said.
"B-b-b-but I'm not a demon," the frog said. "You've got to listen to me!"
The two guards drew their swords as they came closer. "You're not getting away from us!" the thin guard said.
"Come on, Snappy, we've got to smurf something," Sassette said as she and Snappy continued to watch from their hiding spaces.
They quickly raced over to behind where the guards were standing and unraveled the strings tied around their sacks, letting loose the frogs that were captured. The guards watched the frogs quickly hop away into the forest, not noticing that the talking frog had then disappeared.
"Quick, my little Smurflings, let's run to Feathers," Smurfette said as she and the Smurflings ran away from the guards.
"Come on, froggie, you can smurf home with us," Sassette said to the talking frog.
"I'm right behind you," the talking frog said.
They quickly got onto the back of Feathers the crane as she was waiting by the riverside for her passengers to return. As soon as the guards turned to see where the talking frog might have hopped off to, the crane was already airborne with the five Smurfs and the talking frog.
"Hey, this trip turned out to be more exciting than I ever hoped," Snappy said.
"But why were those soldiers after you?" Nat asked the talking frog.
The talking frog sighed. "It's a long story. You see, I'm really a prince under a wicked spell."
"Oh, a real live prince," Smurfette said, finding her heart being attracted to their new fellow passenger.
"Now where have I smurfed this story before?" Slouchy muttered to himself.
"I think this is something that Papa Smurf should hear," Smurfette said. She then coaxed Feathers to fly to the village, and so the crane altered her course and headed in its direction.