"This one doesn't envy the position you were put in at the time, dealing with your fellow Smurfs as they have dealt unto you in putting the weight of their tasks upon your shoulders all the time," Polaris said.
"This smurf also shares the same sentiment, which makes this smurf wish that this smurf could have returned home much sooner to help you deal this problem, Pushback," Empath said.
"Well, Tapper and Duncan have always said that this is a problem that I had to smurf with on my own sooner or later," Pushback said. "I just wish it didn't have to smurf that Firefly Festival in order for me to smurf up for myself, but at least in retrosmurf I am glad that it finally happened."
"This one would still like to know more about how it reached that point, Pushback, if it's not a problem for you to relate that story," Polaris requested.
"No, not a problem at all," Pushback said. "I was smurfing finished with my job at the grinding mill and so started on my job of smurfing rocks over to where Handy and his crew were smurfing up the stage for the performers."
And as Pushback continued telling the story, Empath and Polaris both saw that Handy, Farmer, Tracker, and Duncan were busy assembling the stage, with Handy nailing down the wooden supports and the other three building the stone wall.
"I'm beginning to wonder where Hefty is right now," Handy said. "He should be here with the pile of rocks that he said he was going to smurf."
"That do not be typical of Hefty to just smurf hooky on us when we really need a job to be smurfed there, Handy," Farmer said.
"But smurfing this job as it is is really wearing us out," Tracker said. "I wouldn't mind smurfing a bit of a break so we could smurf a bite to eat."
"Yup, I do be feeling that way myself, Tracker," Farmer said.
"You young pups really need to stop smurfing about your stomachs and smurf your backs into smurfing the job you're supposed to be smurfing," Duncan said.
"We're not all like Empath there, Duncan," Tracker said. "If he was here, he would have most of this job done and smurfed already, and we would have time to just relax and prepare ourselves for the party."
"I doubt that Empath would want to return here to see you Smurfs as nothing but a bunch of lazysmurfs, smurfing all your jobs off to him," Duncan said. "If anything, I'd want to still be smurfing right beside him if he smurfs home and decides to get his hands smurfy like the rest of us."
"Oh, wait a minute, here comes Pushover," Handy said as he saw Pushover approaching while carting the pile of rocks in Hefty's wheelbarrow to the spot were the stage was being constructed.
"Here's the rocks that Hefty said you needed," Pushover said, letting out a sigh of relief as he set the wheelbarrow down. "Where shall I smurf these?"
"You could smurf us a hand, if you don't mind, Pushover," Tracker suggested, grabbing a stone from the wheelbarrow and handing it off to Farmer.
"Yup, just smurf it right on the wall," Farmer added.
Pushover then noticed that Tracker and Farmer were now leaving the work place. "Hey, where are you Smurfs going?" Pushover asked.
"Well, for lunch, my good Smurf," Tracker answered. "May we smurf you back a bite?" Pushover shook his head in disbelief as he watched the two Smurfs head off away from the work place.
Duncan sighed. "Smurfs like it's going to be just me, you, and Handy left to smurf up this stage now, Pushover," he said after watching the two Smurfs leave. "You sure you feel up to smurfing this job, laddie?"
"Don't mind me, Duncan," Pushover said. "I'm going to get this job done even if I'm the only Smurf left smurfing it."
"Not if I have anything to smurf about it, my boy," Duncan said. "I'm not going to leave this project until it gets smurfed."
Then after a while of working, Handy stopped what he was doing. "Hmmm, it sure is hot today," he said to himself. "I think that I'll go smurf a swim in the river, to smurf myself off." He then handed Pushover his hammer while the latter was still stacking up. "I have an errand to run. Be a smurfy Smurf and finish up for me, will you, Pushover?"
Pushover looked at the hammer in his hand, feeling a bit angry and ready to use it on the next Smurf that would pawn off his job to him to take care of. "Yes, certainly, Handy," he muttered before he continued on with his work.
Duncan sighed as he watched Handy now depart from the work place. "That's the last Smurf who should be smurfing off from his job when it's that important to be smurfed," he said with a hint of anger in his voice.
"This whole thing is my all fault, Duncan," Pushover said. "If I weren't such a doormat to these Smurfs, always saying yes when I really want to say no, I wouldn't be letting them smurf all these jobs they should be smurfing to poor old me. You think that I'm just too weak of a Smurf, don't you?"
"You shouldn't blame the whole thing on yourself there, laddie," Duncan said. "You're just too nice of a Smurf to ever refuse to help, even if Smurfs like Hefty continue to bully you into smurfing things that he himself should be smurfing himself."
"I know, and I truly wish that I could be strong enough to smurf him in his place when he smurfs that," Pushover said. "Then nobody will ever have to smurf me as just a Pushover Smurf that they can smurf anything with."
"You just got to believe that you're a strong Smurf who can smurf anything that you can smurf your mind to smurfing, Pushover," Duncan said. "Then if anyone asks you to smurf something that you don't want to and you say no, you won't feel ashamed and you won't feel like a coward."
Pushover sighed. "I just wish that today will be the day that I can finally smurf up for myself, Duncan. I really do."
Meanwhile, Handy, Tracker, Farmer, Brainy, and Clumsy were enjoying themselves outside Greedy's kitchen, eating to their heart's content.
"I do so enjoy these repasts during our work, especially when we know that Pushover can smurf the work for us in the meantime," Tracker said.
"But won't Papa Smurf find out if we've been smurfing off on the jobs while Pushover is doing them?" Clumsy asked.
"Don't be ridiculous, Clumsy," Brainy said. "Papa Smurf will never know about what we are smurfing here. Besides, if he does come smurfing our way, we'll just simply smurf back to our jobs and make it smurf like we've been smurfing them all along. There's no harm done."
"I do be feeling a little guilty of just letting Pushover smurf over all our jobs while we smurf it easy," Farmer said.
"Pushover's fine, Farmer," Handy said. "He's got Duncan to help him out."
"Come to smurf of it, why doesn't Duncan just smurf it easy, since he deserves to smurf a break from his work?" Tracker said. "I'd hate to be all smurfed out by the time the party smurfs around, don't you?"
"Oh, who cares if they do, Tracker?" Brainy said. "That just means there's more for us at the party to enjoy. Right, Clumsy?"
"Uh, right, Brainy," Clumsy said until he looked over his shoulder and noticed something. "Excuse me, but I do see Papa Smurf smurfing toward the stage," he spoke in a low enough voice so as not to be overheard.
"Whoops...our break is over," Handy said, as the five of them got up from where they were sitting and raced back over to the stage that they had left Pushover and Duncan working on during their break.
"Well, well, well, how are preparations smurfing for the Firefly Festival?" Papa Smurf asked as he saw the seven Smurfs busy working on building the stage, looking like they have been doing it for hours.
"Oh, we've been smurfing on this round the clock, Papa Smurf," Handy answered.
"As I was telling my fellow Smurfs, smurfing your nose to the grindstone is what makes all our efforts smurfwhile when all is said and smurfed, Papa Smurf," Brainy added.
"We should have this smurfed well before the party even smurfs, Papa Smurf," Tracker said.
Papa Smurf beamed. "Good work, my little Smurfs. I knew that I can count on all of you to smurf your part well. We should ready for the Foxfire Lottery that will smurf tonight during the festival."
"Gosh, I wonder who's going to win the lottery," Clumsy said, sounding a bit excited.
"With my luck, it's probably going to be me," Pushover said quietly to himself.
"Don't smurf too hard upon yourself there, laddie," Duncan said privately to Pushover. "I would be surprised if any of these Smurfs would have the honors of winning it tonight."
"I'm sure that it will be a surprise worth waiting for, my little Smurfs," Papa Smurf said, smiling. "Keep up the good work." With that, he headed off in another direction while whistling the Smurf song.
"You're all smurfing a good job, my little Smurfs," Pushover muttered through gritted teeth. "Keep up the good work, my little Smurfs. What I wouldn't give to let Papa Smurf know who's been smurfing this whole job while the others were smurfing off, Duncan."
"Try to smurf yourself from smurfing off the handle there, laddie," Duncan said. "You'll get your chance to smurf the truth to Papa Smurf about what's been smurfing on here."
"Oh, yoohoo, Pushover," Smurfette called out as she approached the work place. "Did you finish smurfing up my flower wreathes yet?"
Pushover sighed. "Almost, Smurfette. As soon as I get a chance to..."
"Hey, Pushover, where are the decorations you promised to help me smurf up?" Party said as he also approached the scene.
"Oh, Pushover, I was wondering if you could..." Clumsy interrupted.
"Smurf your turn, Clumsy, I'm the one who needs Pushover right now," Hefty said.
"Wait a smurf, Hefty, we still need him to..." Handy interjected.
And so Pushover found himself swamped with so many requests for his service that he finally just raised his voice and shouted "ALL RIGHT!" before he walked away.
"Well, I wonder what bee's been smurfing under his bonnet lately?" Party said, sounding rather insulted by Pushover's response.
"I don't know, laddies," Duncan said with a bit of sarcasm in his voice. "Maybe it's because you Smurfs keep smurfing all your duties upon him like you think that he's a Supersmurf or something."
"A Supersmurf?" the other Smurfs said in unison.
"But I thought that he liked smurfing things for other Smurfs," Smurfette said.
"Yeah, and that he'll never say no to any Smurf for any reason," Clumsy said.
"Let's face it, Pushover is a Smurf who will always be the kind of Smurf that others will smurf advantage of because he has no backbone to smurf up for himself," Hefty said. "And I for one would never want that to change about him."
"My thoughts exactly, Hefty," Brainy said. "Pushover has to live with the fact that he's always going to be needed to smurf things that sometimes we don't want to smurf for ourselves, since there will be times when we will need to smurf things for ourselves to smurf away from our work."
"And if Pushover doesn't smurf the work for us when we need him to smurf it, then who will?" Handy said.
"You know, I have a mind to just tell Papa everything that you smurfed me right here and now about how you all want to use Pushover," Duncan said. "But personally, I think that it would be better for Papa to hear it straight from Pushover himself, because my words aren't going to matter in the long run if Pushover is still able to smurf for himself about how all you Smurfs are mistreating him." With that, Duncan just walked off.
"Well, who needs that Gutsy Smurf in the village anyway?" Hefty said.
"Come on, Smurfs, let's get what we can finished so that Papa Smurf doesn't find us smurfing off the job and we get smurfed by our ears with what he has to smurf to each of us," Handy said before the group of Smurfs dispersed.
Near the end of the day, Tapper and Duncan joined with each other at the dining commons outside Greedy's kitchen to enjoy the day's final meal before the festival began. "How are you smurfing today, my fine Duncan?" Tapper asked.
"I couldn't smurf any better about what I have accomplished, laddie, but I do feel that Pushover's never going to overcome his problem with the other Smurfs," Duncan said.
"I can understand your feeling of frustration with him, Duncan," Tapper said as he and Duncan received their meal before heading for their seats. "The Almighty's Son had to smurf patience even with His own disciples not fully understanding what He was smurfing them on a daily basis. Fortunately as a man, He only had a few years of smurfing with this problem whereas we seem to be smurfing a whole lifetime of our dear friend never being able to overcome his problem."
"It would easy just to smurf up on him, Tapper, but I care too much for him to do that," Duncan said as he ate a bit of his food.
"We would all like to smurf that with the Smurfs that annoy us the most," Tapper said. "But if living with our fellow Smurfs was always an easy thing, how would we be able to handle adversity when it smurfs our way? I know you don't like to be called Gutsy, and I respect that of you, my friend, but you do earn the name by smurfing up for the Smurfs that need to be smurfed up for, and I wouldn't want that part of you to ever not be a part of you."
Duncan smirked. "Well, smurfing from you, laddie, I don't find it to be an insult. But smurfing from somebody like Hefty, it's one of the things I have to smurf up with when it comes to smurfing around him all day."
"You're a good model of patience, my fellow Duncan, and for that I commend you and only pray that you don't lose hope, for someday you will smurf a harvest of goodness if you don't faint," Tapper said before taking a bite of his food.
At that point, Pushover came by the table that Tapper and Duncan were sitting and eating their meals on. "Mind if I smurf with you two for dinner tonight?" Pushover asked, sounding rather worn out.
"Oh, not at all, my fellow Pushover," Tapper answered. "Our table is your table as well. Come and smurf us company if you wish."
"Thank you," Pushover said gratefully as he sat down next to Duncan at the table. He took a bite to eat from his food before he just sat there holding his head in his hands.
"It's been another long day for you, hasn't it, my fellow Pushover?" Tapper asked, sounding very concerned.
Pushover nodded very slightly. "Tapper, would you think the less of me if I were to smurf to you that I think most of my fellow Smurfs are nothing but selfish jerks?" he asked.
"All I can smurf to you is that you're free to believe anything that you want of your fellow Smurfs and to smurf your mind to me about how you feel about them, Pushover, even if your fellow Smurfs don't think too highly of your opinion of them," Tapper answered.
"It's that bad the way that you're feeling about them right now, isn't it, laddie?" Duncan said, sounding sympathetic.
"Right now I just want to smurf back home after this meal and take a rest, because I sure don't feel smurfy enough to enjoy myself at the festival, Duncan," Pushover said. "That, and I want to keep myself from smurfing off at the next Smurf who wants to ask me for a favor to smurf him."
"I'm sorry that you feel that way, Pushover," Tapper said. "If you want, I can go tell Papa Smurf about what you have smurfed me about how the other Smurfs are treating you so he can smurf something about it."
"Thanks, Tapper, but I feel that I should be the one to tell Papa Smurf about my own problems," Pushover said with some honest feeling behind it.
Tapper sighed. "If that's what you want, Pushover, I will not smurf in your way."
"Hello there, boys," Smurfette greeted as she walked over to the table where Tapper, Duncan, and Pushover were sitting.
"Greetings, my fellow Smurfette," Tapper responded. "Ready for the festival that will be smurfing on tonight?"
"I sure am, Tapper, thanks to Pushover," Smurfette said, giving Pushover a kiss on the cheek as a show of gratitude.
Pushover didn't know what to say. "Uh, I'm going to smurf you three later, if you don't mind," he said, getting up from the table with his meal in hand.
Smurfette looked at Pushover with some puzzlement as he left. "Gee, I wonder what's wrong with him tonight," she said.
"Nothing that a little talk with Papa won't fix, my fair lassie," Duncan said. "You do know that there's going to be a lottery at the Firefly Festival tonight."
"A lottery?" Smurfette asked. "What will the winner of this lottery do?"
"The winner of the Firefly Festival lottery will smurf the honors of traveling to the Great Swamp to light the torch with the ancient Foxfire flame from within the swamp, but the smurfer of the torch must be careful not to smurf out the flame or else they will awaken the great Marsh Monster," Tapper explained.
"The Marsh Monster?" Smurfette said, sounding a bit intimidated. "Oooh, that sounds a bit scary."
"It's nothing that a brave Smurf couldn't handle, and I for one wouldn't mind being the one chosen for this Firefly Festival's torch smurfer," Duncan said. "So far, though, no Smurf over the past 150 years has ever awakened him."
"But what if this Marsh Monster does awaken?" Smurfette asked. "What will we do then?"
"I'm sure that we will be able to handle the situation if it arises, my dear Smurfette," Tapper answered. "There's nothing for you to be afraid of, for you have a hundred of your fellow Smurfs all smurfing out for you."
Smurfette sighed in relief. "Oh, I'm so glad to hear that. Ever since I have been a real Smurf, you Smurfs have always been so kind to me...especially you two."
"There's nothing that I wouldn't smurf for you, my bonnie Smurfette," Duncan said, sounding pleased with the compliment.