Empath's personal journal.
Today is Mother Nature Day, and on that day the Smurfs honor her by helping her take care of the forest while she is off doing other things. This usually means cleaning up the junk that other beings like humans have left in the forest that would otherwise pollute our home as well as that of our animal friends. Since Papa Smurf is too busy in his laboratory to oversee the observance of Mother Nature Day, he has left this smurf in charge of getting the Smurfs to work together in cleaning up the forest. While this smurf does not like having to always clean up the forest after other beings, this smurf has been impressed with the importance of doing so by this smurf's fellow Smurfs over the years to the point where this smurf feels it is just as much this smurf's duty to protect the forest from polluters as it is to protect the Smurfs from various types of dangers.
It was a beautiful morning on which the Smurfs woke up to participate in the events of Mother Nature Day. Empath led a group of Smurfs out into the forest with birds carrying large sacks between them for collecting various bits of garbage they happen to find.
"I hate collecting garbage," Grouchy said as he helped with the cleanup of the forest with a group of Smurfs.
"I hate it too, Grouchy, but at least it will help keep the forest clean while Mother Nature's busy smurfing other things," Hefty said.
"Why can't humans learn to smurf up after themselves?" Grouchy asked.
"Humans are fallible creatures, Grouchy, prone to the temptations of sin and evil in this fallen world," Tapper answered.
"It certainly doesn't make cleaning up after them any easier," Smurfette said as a couple of her animal friends in the forest lifted up an old discarded boot.
"Things could smurf a whole lot worse," Nat said as the Smurflings also helped with Puppy assisting them. "Gargamel could still be smurfing in the forest with his traps and whatever else he may use to capture us Smurfs."
"I hate Gargamel's traps," Grouchy said.
The birds flew a sack full of garbage over to a designated spot near the village where it was all dumped into one big pile, with Empath hovering over the pile as it was being formed. "Stand back, every Smurf," Empath warned, as his star mark glowed with increasing power being channeled into his right fist. Then with a downward thrust, Empath pulverized every single bit of garbage in the pile in one swift motion until it was nothing more than formless particles of debris.
The Smurfs that stood near the pile coughed for a bit until the dust had settled, and they saw for themselves what Empath did with the pile. "Incredible what Empath's power could smurf with a pile of garbage," Dreamy said as he was holding Baby Smurf in his arms.
"Looks like you should consider smurfing contact lenses, Brainy," Jokey said, as he saw that his friend now had a thick layer of dust covering his glasses.
"This is nothing that a good cleaning can't handle, Jokey," Brainy said, as he took out a cloth from his pocket and wiped clean his glasses. "What smurfs me is why can't the humans treat the forest as a sacred thing like we do, so that we don't have to keep smurfing this thing year after year for Mother Nature."
"It is interesting that your people would treat the forest surrounding your village as 'a sacred thing', given that the Psyches treat it as merely a source of supplies for our sustenance and stability," Polaris Psyche said.
"Well, if you Psyches actually smurfed time in the forest surrounding your village, maybe you would understand the whole issue a bit better," Brainy said.
"It was not this one's intention to cast aspersions on your people's beliefs, Brainy," Polaris said. "It was merely an observation that comes from being in the presence of the Psyche Master for most of this one's existence."
Just then, a small ladybug flew out of Brainy's hat and hovered near him. "No, Snappy, I don't have anything worth recording for later on right now," Brainy said. "I'll let you know if there's anything important for personal dictation, I promise you."
Jokey laughed. "That's the only thing besides Clumsy that will ever listen to him talk all day and never smurf tired of it."
"I hate listening to Brainy talk all day," Grouchy said.
The Smurfs reconvened around lunchtime to take a break for Greedy's meal. They seemed pleased with their efforts thus far in the day as they sat down to a relaxing meal of sandwiches and potato chips, with smurfberry soda to wash it all down.
Empath and Polaris sat down with Tapper and Duncan as they ate their meals together. "What this one does not understand, Tapper, is why you believe that believers in your God should care for this world, given how your Scriptures say that He is going to destroy it and create a new world for them to live on," Polaris said.
"It is simply because this earth belongs to the Almighty as well as everything that is in it, my fellow Polaris," Tapper responded. "It is not because we worship the creation, but rather we worship its Creator, and that nature serves as a witness to God's existence and power, so that people who live in this world apart from knowing Him will be without excuse."
"That surprises this smurf to think that God cares as much for His creation as He does for the people He has created to be part of that creation," Empath said. "This smurf would think that the parts where even the creation worships its Creator were just metaphorical."
"It's hardly the case at all, my fellow Empath," Tapper said. "Revelation 11:18 says that God will destroy those who destroy the earth, so if this earth matters just as much to the Almighty as does the humans He has smurfed in His image, would He not bring into judgment them by whose actions against the world by polluting the land, air, and sea they commit murder against another human being?"
"Why humans would want to destroy their own world, I have no idea, unless they just want to destroy each other," Duncan said. "Of course, Gargamel seemed plenty okay with the idea of destroying the forest in order to destroy us, which he has smurfed a few times before Empath returned home."
"But there was one time where his destroying the forest was smurfed by accident, and that accident led him into smurfing with us for a while, my friend," Tapper said.
"This one would be interested in knowing how it came about that your adversary became a temporary member of your village, Tapper," Polaris requested.
"This smurf would also like to hear the story myself," Empath added.
"Oh, very well, then," Tapper said. "Mind you, some elements of this story are from Narrator to fill in all the details, but here's how it happened on a day about two years before Empath smurfed home for good."
As Tapper began to tell the story, Empath and Polaris saw that Papa Smurf was with a few Smurfs inside Handy's workshop with something that he has created for Baby Smurf: a toy set miniature of the entire Smurf Village, complete with miniature versions of all the Smurfs that were in it.
Papa Smurf chuckled as he saw Baby Smurf playing with the new toy set. "Why, Handy, that's about the smurfiest thing you have ever smurfed," he commented.
"Why, thank you, Papa Smurf," Handy said. "I figured that something like this could help him develop into a young Smurf like us someday."
"So it's got every Smurf in there?" Clumsy asked.
"Just about every Smurf that we know of, Clumsy," Handy answered. "Of course, there's one Smurf I haven't yet gotten Sculptor to smurf the likeness of, but I'm sure we can smurf him in there someday."
"Oh, Baby Smurf just loves the new play set," Smurfette said as she watched him play, squealing with delight.
"When you're a little Smurfling, the world is full of wonder," Papa Smurf said, pleased to see Baby Smurf enjoying himself.
"I can't wait to see what the little bairn will grow up to be, Papa," Duncan said. "Maybe he will become a great warrior like me."
"Or perhaps a great bartender like me, my fellow Duncan," Tapper said.
"Or maybe he would become a great inventor and builder of things like me," Handy said.
"Or maybe he will be the greatest intellectual mind that has ever smurfed, second only to my greatness," Brainy boasted.
"You, the 'greatest intellectual mind'," Duncan scoffed. "You can't even get one Smurf to listen to you before he smurfs you the boot because you're so boring."
"Well, that's because they're just jealous of me, Duncan," Brainy said. "I'll show every Smurf that Brainy Smurf is an intellectual giant and a legend in his own time."
Just then, Tracker suddenly appeared outside Handy's workshop. "Papa Smurf, come with me quickly," he said. "There's something wrong with the river."
"What do you mean, Tracker?" Papa Smurf asked.
"The fish that are in the river...they're smurfing rather peculiar," Tracker said, sounding very worried.
Papa Smurf could see that this was an urgent matter. "We'd better smurf into this immediately."
"You're absosmurfly right, Papa Smurf," Brainy said. "As you always say..."
"Brainy, you and Clumsy take care of Baby while I'm gone," Papa Smurf said, as he, Handy, Smurfette, Tapper, and Duncan followed after Tracker.
"But Papa Smurf..." Brainy tried to object as he saw the village leader leave with the other Smurfs.
"Gosh, Brainy, aren't we lucky?" Clumsy said with a giggle. "We get to stay and play with Baby Smurf."
"Lucky? LUCKY?" Brainy griped. "It's always the same thing...every time something exciting happens, you and I get stuck with didey duty."
"Oh, golly, Brainy, nothing's more important than taking care of Baby...is there?" Clumsy asked.
"Hmmm, if only Papa Smurf were more cognizant of my exceptional talents," Brainy said to himself as he looked outside through a window to be alone with his thoughts. "But oh no...I have to take care of Baby!"
Papa Smurf and his group of Smurfs gathered at the shore of the river, where they saw an ominous dark streak running through the waters. They gasped as they saw a fish leaping out of the water, briefly transforming into something hideous before falling back into the water. They gasped again as they saw another fish leap out of the water with the same thing also happening. Papa Smurf poked a stick into the dark streak in the water and was surprised to see something spectral appearing at the end of the stick when he pulled it out.
"I've never smurfed anything like it," Papa Smurf commented.
"Oh, Papa Smurf, what do you think it is?" Smurfette asked.
"I think that this must be magic pollution, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said. "Somebody must be poisoning our river, either on purpose or by accident."
"That must be what I'm sensing in my spirit right now, Papa Smurf," Tapper said.
"But the question is, where is this pollution smurfing from?" Duncan asked.
Tracker looked around to see if he could find an answer to the question, and then he saw it. "There it is, my fellow Smurfs," he said, pointing to a runoff that was coming down the hill from somewhere. "And boy, does this seem absosmurfly foul," he added, holding his nose.
"Good work, Tracker," Papa Smurf said. "Tapper, Duncan, you should both lead the fish, frogs, and any thirsty forest animals upstream, where the water is safe."
"Aye, Papa Smurf," Tapper and Duncan both said together.
"Handy, you and Tracker should both smurf a dam that will keep this pollution out of the River Smurf," Papa Smurf said. "Me and Smurfette will both follow the course of the runoff to see where it is smurfing from."
"Right away, Papa Smurf," Handy said.
"We'd better smurf to this if we want to save the river, Handy," Tracker said.
"But what will we do if we find out where this runoff is smurfing from, Papa Smurf?" Smurfette asked.
"We will have to see for ourselves how bad the situation is, and then smurf on a solution from there, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said, as he led his adopted daughter up the hill to follow the course of the runoff to its point of origin.
It didn't take them long to find out, though. As Papa Smurf and Smurfette pushed their way through the tall reeds, they could see that the runoff was coming from a muck pond...and one that they recognized all too well. "So now we know the source of the pollution, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said.
"Gargamel's muck pond," Smurfette said, noticing the tower of his hovel as it stood high over the tall reeds and reflected off the murky waters.
"He's been smurfing all his failed experiments into the pond," Papa Smurf said as he noticed bottles and vials floating on the water's surface.
"Yeck! How unsmurfy!" Smurfette said, holding her nose at the smell.
Then Papa Smurf and Smurfette heard the sound of somebody approaching. They covered themselves behind the tall grasses and watched as Gargamel approached the muck pond with his cat Azrael trailing behind. He was carrying a pile of bottles and vials with him to dump into the muck pond.
"I tell you, Azrael, things have got to get better," Gargamel fussed. "I've tried everything to get those rotten little Smurfs, yet they always seem to elude me." He pulled out a bottle from the pile he was carrying and looked at it briefly before throwing it into the pond. "Drat! A magical giant formula to make me big enough to stomp the Smurfs' village flat...failed!" He pulled out another and did the same thing. "Enchanted Smurf-icides, to wipe out all those little blue buggers once and for all...worthless!" And he did the same with a vial. "A mystical reduction potion, to reduce the forest to the size of a doormat so that the Smurfs will have no place to hide...useless!"
Azrael was paying no attention to his master's ranting while dumping his potions and formulas into the muck pond. The cat was distracted by the smell of something that his nose had picked up nearby, something that was hiding behind a tall grass. That something had the smell of a Smurf.
"Oh, Azrael, I'd give anything to get my hands on one lousy little Smurf, even if it's that little blue traitorous daughter of mine whom Papa Smurf had the nerve to change into a real Smurf," Gargamel said. "I'd show her and all those who fell in love with her that it's not wise to cross an evil wizard like me and think that you'll always get away with it."
Then Azrael swiped at a clump of tall grass, exposing Papa Smurf and Smurfette. "Oh no, Papa Smurf!" Smurfette screamed.
"Run for it, Smurfette!" Papa Smurf yelled.
Azrael chased Papa Smurf and Smurfette around and around the evil wizard while he stood there wondering what was going on. "Azrael! Stop what you're doing right now!" Gargamel cried out as he felt himself losing his balance.
But Azrael kept going around in circles with the two Smurfs, causing his master to tip over with the bottles and vials he was still holding onto, falling face-first into the muck pond. He immediately surfaced, spitting out the taste of the awful water in his mouth, and sat upright in the shallow pond, coughing.
"Run, Smurfette, run," Papa Smurf said as Azrael continued to chase after him and Smurfette into the forest.
"Look what you've done, you miserable fleabag," Gargamel roared. "When I get my hands on you, you're going to wish that you were never born as part of your litter."
"This way, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said as he directed Smurfette toward a tree they have found. They both entered the hole at the bottom of the tree and climbed up to safety while Azrael tried to follow, only to hit his head on the way up and soon began to roll back down to the bottom, unleashing an avalanche of stored nuts for the winter.
Azrael barely had time to recover from his injury when he felt himself being pelted by nuts from above. He turned and saw a couple of squirrels throwing nuts at the cat, chasing him away.
Papa Smurf and Smurfette watched as Azrael headed back toward Gargamel's hovel. "We're safe for the moment, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said.
"But what are we going to do now, Papa Smurf?" Smurfette asked.
"We must return to my laboratory so that I can find an anti-pollution solution," Papa Smurf answered. "Hopefully the other Smurfs have done their job smurfing the forest and water animals to safety."
"I hope so too, Papa Smurf," Smurfette said. "I'd hate to think of what would happen if that pollution affected living beings."
Tapper and Duncan were busy keeping the forest and water creatures away from the polluted section of the river when they saw Papa Smurf and Smurfette return. "Michty me, Papa Smurf, what did find out about the poisonous runoff?" Duncan asked.
"That runoff was coming from Gargamel's muck pond, Duncan," Papa Smurf answered. "He's been throwing all his failed experiments into it, which is what is causing this magic pollution in the river."
"Great Smurfiny Crickets," Tapper said. "I had a feeling in my spirit that this pollution was his doing."
"We barely escaped Azrael when we found out about it, Tapper," Smurfette said.
"But the question is, what do we smurf now that we know where it's smurfing from?" Duncan asked.
"As long as you two are keeping the animals safely upstream for now, there should be no harm, Duncan," Papa Smurf said. "Right now I must return to my laboratory and smurf up with an antidote to clean up the polluted waters as soon as possible."
"Aye, Papa Smurf," Tapper said as he watched Papa Smurf and Smurfette head back to the village together.
"I'm not sure that I should feel better knowing that the evil wizard didn't intentionally try to kill us by poisoning the river with that runoff, laddie," Duncan said.
"None of us will sleep better until we can smurf this matter resolved, my fellow Duncan," Tapper said. "I'd hate to think of how this might affect even the evil wizard if he should end up being smurfed into the foul waters of his own creation."
"But why should you care about Gargamel when he's smurfed so much evil upon us?" Duncan asked.
"I care about him because the Almighty also cares about him and everyone else in this world that has been affected by the taint of evil and sin," Tapper said. "Scripture says that He doesn't delight in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked should smurf from his way and live. That's what I intend to see sometime in the amount of time that the Almighty has given the wizard to live and repent of his deeds."
Duncan sighed. "I will not argue with you if that's what you're after, laddie. I just hope it's something you won't live to regret."