Empath's personal journal.
It is now the time of the Firefly Festival in the Smurf Village. This smurf has missed the one that took place during this smurf's last nine years in Psychelia, so this smurf considers myself fortunate to be a part of the festival this time since this smurf no longer has to return to Psychelia. During the festival, one Smurf is chosen to be the one who will go to the Great Swamp to light a torch with the Foxfire in order to light the Firely Lantern before the end of the second night of the festival, and they must be careful not to extinguish the Foxfire or they will unleash the terrible Marsh Monster that will go on a rampage after whoever extinguished the flame.
Since Polaris has been a member of the Smurf Village following his exile from Psychelia, this is the first time that he gets to experience the Firefly Festival in person. This smurf hopes that he will enjoy everything that the festival has to offer without being bound to the Psycehlian belief that the Smurfs engage in reckless immoral celebrations that only prove in the minds of the Psyche that their way of living is the only correct way.
Empath and Polaris were both going throughout the village during the preparations for the Firefly Festival, observing all the activities going on. They could see Fiddler, Twanger, and Piper both practicing their music which they will play that night. They could see Hefty and Handy with some other Smurfs working on building a stage for the performers. They could see Party with some other Smurfs assembling the Firefly Lantern and putting up various other decorations. They could see Jokey filling up small rockets full of fireworks that they intend to launch up into the sky at the conclusion of the second night. They could see Greedy and his kitchen crew making up all the food for the festival.
"So how often does this Firefly Festival take place in the village, Empath?" Polaris asked.
"Papa Smurf says that it's once every four to five years, Polaris," Empath answered. "This smurf hasn't had the opportunity of being the one to be chosen to go to the swamp and light the torch with the Foxfire yet."
"But you're hoping that you'll be chosen this time so you can experience the dangerous trek to the Great Swamp and not feel like you've been left out of the festival like you have been during your years away from your people," Polaris surmised.
"If only this smurf didn't have these mind powers that would make the whole task so easy to perform that it's not even a challenge, Polaris," Empath said, heaving a sigh. "It's times like this that this smurf wishes to have been born a regular Smurf like everybody else so this smurf wouldn't feel so left out of anything as a regular Smurf."
"It's not your fault that you were born with those abilities, Empath," Polaris said. "However, according to what some of your fellow Smurfs believe, you were given those abilities at birth for a reason, so as much as you don't like not being like your fellow Smurfs, you should also consider yourself grateful to even have such abilities that make you the envy of everybody else because everybody else would have suffered greatly without them in their time of desperate need."
"This smurf knows, Polaris," Empath said. "But all the same, it would be worth not having these abilities for even a single day so that this smurf could experience the life of a regular Smurf and be able to appreciate all that this smurf can do for them."
The two of them came across another Smurf who was just doing his own thing, cleaning up outside his house to make things look tidy for the upcoming party. "So how are things going for you today, Pushover?" Empath asked.
"That's Pushback to you, Empath, and I'm feeling really great this morning," the Smurf answered a bit roughly.
"So there's no one bothering you about getting you to do things that you don't want to do?" Empath asked.
"Nope, not a single Smurf," Pushback answered. "And that's just the way I like it. Smurfs me plenty of time to smurf my own things for a change."
"So this is the Smurf who was called Pushover," Polaris said, realizing who Empath was talking to. "This one has heard about the kind of problems you were having since you were a Smurfling, fellow Smurf, from what Empath has told this one about you."
"About me being the kind of Smurf that every Smurf could smurf all over like a doormat?" Pushback said. "Yeah, that's been my problem, Polaris, and Empath, Tapper, and Duncan have smurfed their best to counsel me to smurf up for myself and not be that kind of Smurf."
"So how did you eventually become the kind of Smurf who is now called Pushback, if this one is permitted to ask that question of you?" Polaris asked.
"Just to let you know, most of the other details are from Narrator, but from what I know personally, it smurfed back a few years before Empath returned home for good at a Firefly Festival similar to this one, Polaris," Pushback answered.
As Pushback began his story, Empath and Polaris both saw the village preparing itself for a party similar to the one they were preparing for in the present day. There was building and cleaning and putting up decorations, with every Smurf seeming to be happy about what they were doing it for. Every Smurf, that is, except for Grouchy, who was pushing a broom through the streets of the village to sweep away all the loose pebbles and twigs and small bits of junk that gathered in the public walkways.
"I hate sweeping," Grouchy managed to say after a while of just doing that.
Then Smurfette came by near the village well where Grouchy had stopped, singing the Smurf song. "Oh, hello there, Grouchy," Smurfette pleasantly greeted as she filled the bucket she was carrying with water that was drawn from the well. "Ooh, I can hardly wait for the big Firefly Festival that will be smurfing on tonight. How about you?"
"I hate Firefly Festivals," Grouchy responded as he turned his attention toward doing his job again.
At that moment, Tapper and Duncan McSmurf arrived at the village well. "Smurf o' the morning to you, my dear Smurfette," Tapper greeted. "You seem just as eager as most of the village is about the Firefly Festival. I can understand why in your case since this will be your first one with us."
"So who are you planning to smurf to the festival with, my fair lassie?" Duncan asked.
"I just don't know, Duncan," Smurfette answered. "Every Smurf here seems like they would be willing to smurf me to the festival...well, almost every Smurf...but the thing is, I can't decide who I would want to smurf to the festival with. Every Smurf just seems so...smurfy."
Tapper chuckled. "Well, in case you can't decide, me and Duncan would be very much honored to be your escorts, Smurfette. I don't think the other Smurfs would have a problem with you smurfing with us tonight."
"Not unless they want to smurf a problem, and then I'll make sure that they know not to mess with a proud Smurfsman and his damsel," Duncan said.
"Really?" Smurfette said, sounding flattered. "Then I expect you two gentlesmurfs to smurf at my door promptly before the festival starts, so you would smurf me safely to the festival without any problems."
"You have our word, my dear Smurfette," Tapper said. "We will smurf you later."
After Smurfette departed, Tapper and Duncan were left talking among themselves. "Now that is a fine lass that I would hate to see being smurfed off to just about any Smurf who's less than worthy to smurf her hand in marriage someday, laddie," Duncan said.
"She will make the right Smurf happy, whoever that Smurf happens to be, my fellow Duncan," Tapper said. "For now, I will settle with her company for whatever things she wants to consmurf with me in secret."
"Are you sure you wouldn't want more than just her smurfing her secrets with you, my dear boy?" Duncan said with a suggestive look on his face.
"The Almighty knows that my heart is pure when it smurfs to my interactions with Smurfette, Duncan," Tapper said. "Even as a creature of fleshly passions, I will not smurf anything that would smurf dishonor to the very Creator of all living things."
Duncan snorted. "Well, then don't be surprised if you see Smurfette decide that I am the one who will fulfill all her desires when the wedding bells smurf, laddie."
Meanwhile, at the windmill, Miller left Brainy and Lazy in charge of grinding the wheat to be made into flour. Brainy is busy watching to make sure the grains of wheat all fall down the funnel toward the millstone while Lazy is pushing with all his might to turn the grinding wheel over the grains to crush them fine.
"The Firefly Festival should be pretty smurfy this year, huh, Lazy?" Brainy asked, sounding very enthusiastic.
"Yeah, but getting ready for it is hard work," Lazy said, stopping after a rotation to wipe his brow and catch his breath. "I don't know how Miller smurfs this job every day for all of us, but I sure need a break." He stretched out his arms while letting out a yawn before he rested on one of the arms of the grinding wheel.
"Come to think of it, Lazy, I could use a break myself, and I know just the Smurf to smurf about it," Brainy said.
"But who, Brainy Smurf?" Lazy asked, opening his eyes in order to respond.
"Pushover Smurf, that's who," Brainy answered. "He's the type of Smurf who would never smurf no to any Smurf who asks him for a favor."
"But didn't Miller entrust us that we would smurf the job of grinding the wheat while he's busy?" Lazy asked.
"Miller wouldn't mind if he smurfed along those duties over to another Smurf, and I'm sure he would approve of the very Smurf that I'm smurfing about, Lazy," Brainy answered. "Come on, let's go over to Pushover's house and see if he's there."
Lazy yawned again. "What the smurf, why not? It's going to get smurfed anyway."
Soon Brainy and Lazy arrived outside Pushover's house and knocked on his door. He opened and saw the two Smurfs standing around outside. "Smurfy day, isn't it, Pushover?" Brainy said, trying to keep himself from sounding too obvious about what he wanted his fellow Smurf for.
"Oh, yes, it's very smurfy, Brainy," Pushover answered. "Now what can I smurf you for today?"
Brainy elbowed Lazy in the side to draw his attention toward Pushover. "Well, since you asked, we do have a couple of favors." Pushover rolled his eyes, having a distinct feeling that Brainy had something more in mind than "a couple of favors", even as Brainy pulled out a long sheet of paper to read from. "Since I have a list of things of a high order that I must attend to today, and that Clumsy must assist me, I was wondering if you would..."
"We were wondering if you would smurf over the grinding job at the windmill today, Pushover," Lazy contributed.
"Oh, Lazy, I was going to smurf that question myself," Brainy complained. "But anyway, since you apparently have nothing important to smurf today, Pushover, I would most appreciate it if you would..."
Pushover sighed. "Yes, Brainy, I will smurf over to the windmill right away and get smurfing on the job."
"Now that's the spirit," Brainy said, trying to sound encouraging. "I will let Miller know that you're smurfing over the job so he won't have to worry about who's smurfing it today."
"Whatever you say, Brainy," Pushover said, already sounding rather defeated and helpless before he headed in the direction of the windmill.
Lazy looked at Pushover as he walked off. "Don't you smurf the least bit guilty of having to smurf your job over to a Smurf like Pushover, Brainy?"
"Me, feel any guilt? Why, not at all, Lazy," Brainy said. "Every Smurf's got to smurf their own weight around here in order to be useful to the community, and having Pushover smurf over our jobs is my contribution to making sure that every Smurf is useful and productive in the community. It's one of the things that every good future leader needs to smurf aware of, to not waste any valuable resources where they can be smurfed."
"Okay, Brainy, well, I'm going to smurf off somewhere and rest before the party," Lazy said, yawning again before he headed off in another direction. "Smurf you later."
Brainy snickered to himself. "Well, now that I have the whole day to myself, I might as well smurf advantage of it while Pushover smurfs over my job at the mill."
Pushover was left to his lonesome at the windmill as he did the jobs of both Brainy and Lazy, making sure the grains are fed to the millstone and that the grinding wheel crushes the grains into wheat. Already he was feeling like he would rather be anywhere else and doing anything else than what he was doing right then and there.
"Oh, I'm just a Smurf who can't say no...I always say yes when I really mean no...what is the matter with poor little me...I just can't say no," he sang to himself as he turned the grinding stone around and around.
Just then, Hefty came into the windmill, pushing a wheelbarrow full of rocks. "Well, well, well, look at what we smurf here," Hefty said in a very condescending tone. "If it isn't my favorite Smurf that I can smurf around and have him smurf all my work."
"Oh, hello there, Hefty," Pushover said, trying to sound friendly in the face of possible torment.
"You know, I was wondering, when you're finished smurfing up the flour for Miller Smurf, if you could smurf this pile of rocks over to Handy so we can get the stage smurfed up," Hefty said.
"I don't know, Hefty," Pushover said. "This job's already smurfing me out as it is and..."
"Oh, come on now, Pushover," Hefty said. "You wouldn't want me to get all smurfed out before the party smurfing all the heavy jobs now, would you?"
Pushover seemed rather reluctant to answer. "Well..."
"I said, would you?" Hefty said in a more forceful tone as he grabbed Pushover by the arm with one hand while making a fist with the other.
"Uh, no, Hefty, I wouldn't," Pushover finally said, causing Hefty to relax his stance. "I will make sure this gets smurfed over as soon as I'm done."
"Good, that's the kind of answer I want to hear from you, Pushover," Hefty said.
"Is there anything else that you want me to smurf for you, Hefty?" Pushover asked with a hint of sarcasm in his voice.
"Yeah, you can pour for me a glass of that smurfberry tea," Hefty said. "If not, I will just help myself to the entire pitcher."
"Okay, Hefty, here you go," Pushover said as he headed for the pitcher and poured out a glass of smurfberry tea, which Hefty took and drank right in front of Pushover.
"Aaaaah...," Hefty said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "Come to think of it, I might as well smurf down the whole pitcher since I'm that thirsty."
"Come on, Hefty, that's all the smurfberry tea that I have left," Pushover complained as he watched Hefty head for the pitcher and start drinking from it.
"Then you should have thought of smurfing some for both yourself and me, Pushover," Hefty said as soon as he was finished drinking the pitcher. He then handed over the empty pitcher to Pushover.
"Is there a problem smurfing on here, my fellow Smurfs?" an Irish-accented voice broke in. They turned and saw Tapper had just entered with a fresh pitcher of smurfberry tea in his hand.
"Uh, there's nothing smurfing on but a friendly conversation between me and Pushover, Tapper," Hefty responded, prompting Pushover to respond in the affirmative. "Isn't that right?"
"Oh, yes, Tapper, nothing smurfing on here," Pushover said.
Hefty realized from the way Tapper was looking at him that what he was doing was going to be told to Papa Smurf. "Well, I have other things that I need to smurf before the party, so I'll smurf out of here," he finally said before he left the mill.
With Hefty gone, Tapper spoke privately with Pushover. "I feel in my spirit that you're being bullied into smurfing things you don't want to do because they want to slack off and smurf their own things," Tapper said.
"I know, Tapper, I know," Pushover said. "And I know that you and Duncan have smurfed me many times that I should smurf up for myself and not let people like Hefty smurf me into doing things that I don't want to do. You must think that I'm a hopeless case."
"I don't think you're a hopeless case at all, my fellow Pushover," Tapper said. "If anything, I think that the Almighty is working on you to help smurf you up to the point where you will have the courage to smurf up for yourself. You just need to be patient for that time when you won't need to feel like you're a coward that can't say no to anyone."
"But I'm afraid that if I do smurf up for myself, I'm just going to get smurfed even worse than I do right now," Pushover said. "I don't think that I can handle that kind of abuse."
"What you face are giants in the land, my fellow Pushover," Tapper said. "Not literal giants like David's adversary Goliath, but personal giants that smurf over you and make you think that you're no match for them. But even as big as those giants may smurf to be, know that the Almighty that loved you from the beginning of creation is much bigger than the giants, and in Him you don't have to fear anything that a Smurf can do to you. He can be your strength in the times of your weakness, and that through Him you can smurf all your enemies to flight."
"You honestly believe all this, Tapper?" Pushover asked.
"I honestly believe it with my whole being, Pushover," Tapper answered. "You are meant for greater things than to stay the kind of Smurf that you are. The Almighty will smurf a new person out of you if you would let him smurf His wonderful work within you."
Pushover felt inspired by what Tapper said. "Gee, Tapper, I wish that the Almighty could smurf that to me right now so I won't have to fear anything from anyone anymore, and I won't ever be afraid to say no," he said.
"I will continue to pray for you, Pushover, that you can smurf all things through the Almighty who strengthens you," Tapper said before he left.