Narrator's first story began sometime about a year before Empath returned home for good. As Empath watched, a small balding man carrying a bindle stick was walking around a road and saw a person hacking away at tall grasses with a scythe up ahead. He decided that he would stop and ask that person directions.
"Excuse me, good fellow, do you know where Master Gargamel resides?" the small balding man asked.
The man with the scythe looked rather fearful when he saw the balding man with the bindle stick. "He...he lives past the forest...just beyond the small bridge...he...he's a sorcerer," the man said as he dropped his scythe and ran away.
"Oh, don't be afraid...I'm a sorcerer, too," the man with the bindle stick said. But he noticed that the man with the scythe was too frightened to listen, so he simply sighed and moved on, following the directions.
Up ahead, Brainy was taking the Smurflings through the forest to teach them an important lesson. "Humans can be very dangerous beings to smurf with because they are taller than us," he told them as they were walking down the road. "That's part of why Papa Smurf wants you to smurf away from them as much as possible. The other reason is that he doesn't want many humans to know that Smurfs actually exist."
"Does that mean we can't have Pappy Gargamel following us to the village?" Sassette asked.
"You are so dimwitted to think that Gargamel is even your father in the first place," Snappy said. "All he did was create the formula that created you, that's all."
"Gargamel is not someone that we can trust with any knowledge about us, Sassette," Brainy said. "All he wants is to smurf us into gold, to eat us, or to destroy us. The same can be smurfed for his evil godfather Lord Balthazar, who are two of the humans that Papa Smurf has warned us to smurf away from."
"Boy, listening to Brainy smurf on about what humans to avoid is really smurfing me hot under the collar," Snappy said.
"You smurfed it, Snap," Slouchy said. "In fact, this whole day is smurfing really hot without Brainy making it much worse."
"Hey, look, there's a bridge up ahead," Nat said as he pointed it out. "Maybe we can all go smurfing together in the water to cool ourselves off."
"Last one there is a rotten Smurfling," Snappy said as the four Smurflings raced off ahead of Brainy to go jumping off the bridge and straight into the water to go swimming.
"Papa Smurf said that we shouldn't smurf into the water here, because humans are likely to smurf into us," Brainy said to the Smurflings as soon as he caught up to them.
"Oh, don't be such a smurf in the mud, Brainy," Snappy said.
"Come on in and enjoy yourself," Sassette invited.
"Yeah, Papa Smurf will never have to know about this," Nat said.
"Well, that's where you're wrong, my little Smurflings," Brainy said as he stood on the side of the bridge and scolded the Smurflings. "As Papa Smurf's assistant, I'm going to let him know exactly what you're smurfing here and..."
"Excuse me, my little friends," a voice broke in, "but is this the bridge I must cross to get to the home of Master Gargamel?"
Brainy and the Smurflings turned to see a small balding man resembling Gargamel standing there with his bindle stick near the bridge. Brainy became so fearful that he jumped off the bridge and hid himself underneath it.
"I just want directions; don't be afraid," the man with the bindle stick said.
"Uh...beyond the bridge, you just smurf straight along the path to Pappy Gargamel's house," Sassette answered.
"Thanks," the man with the bindle stick said before he moved on. Funny way of talking, but those elves are very polite, he thought to himself.
"Why did you tell him where Gargamel's house is, Sassette?" Slouchy asked after the man had moved on.
"I don't know, Slouchy," Sassette said. "I just thought he was a kind old uncle who was related to Pappy Gargamel or something."
"Anyone who looks like Gargamel is definitely trouble for us, Sassy," Nat said.
"I would have to agree with the other Smurflings, Sassette," Brainy said. "As soon as we smurf out of the water, we're smurfing straight back to the village."
"But I want to see this man for myself and smurf out whether he's related to Pappy Gargamel," Sassette whined.
"Gargamel is not your pappy, Sassette, and though I hate to smurf this, I think Brainy's got the right idea for once," Snappy said.
"Well, you can smurf back to the village if you're so afraid, but I'm going to smurf after the man to see for myself," Sassette said as soon as she got out of the water.
"Sassette, wait for us," Slouchy cried out as Brainy and the three boy Smurfs followed after her.
"I'm going to tell Papa Smurf on you, Sassette," Brainy said.
Meanwhile, in Gargamel's house, the evil wizard was now dealing with the fact that he now had a young apprentice by the name of Scruple to take care of, as much as he didn't want an apprentice in the first place. Earlier in the day, the Dean of Wizards from the sorcerer's guild paid the evil wizard a visit to bring Scruple to the residence because his instructors were getting tired of his mischievous antics while attending class. Uncertain of which wizard the guild's board was willing to dump Scruple upon, the Dean of Wizards chose Gargamel since he seemed the least likely to have the young troublemaker become a model apprentice to learn any bit of sorcery from, and also because of Gargamel's fanatical obsession with a group of mythical creatures that he claimed existed in the forest near the Cursed Country. The Dean of Wizards left with a promise for Gargamel to gain a seat on the guild's board if he could make Scruple into a model apprentice within a year.
"First things first, my sniveling little apprentice...this is my house, and as long as you're staying in my house, you're going to obey my rules," Gargamel said. "Secondly, you're not to interfere with any of my experiments unless I specifically call for your help. And thirdly and the most important, you're not going to play any of your mischievous little pranks of me, because I have no tolerance for pranks of any kind. Understand?"
"Just one question, Gargy...when are you ever going to teach me any real magic?" Scruple asked.
"I will teach you when I feel you are good and ready to be trusted with my knowledge," Gargamel said. "Which leads me to my fourth and most important rule...you are never to go down into the cellar for any reason whatsoever, even if it's to hide from that meddlesome ogre Bigmouth."
"What's so important about your cellar that you don't want me to go down there for?" Scruple asked.
"That's not any of your business to know, Scruple," Gargamel said. "The important thing to know is that it is strictly off-limits to you, so don't even think of trying to sneak your way down into the cellar. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yeah, really clear," Scruple said with a bit of sarcasm.
"Now if you'll excuse me, I need to prepare for my next plan of catching those wretched Smurfs, so don't disturb me for any reason," Gargamel said as he went off into another room for some solitude after throwing Azrael outside through the window.
"Boy, I can see that spending the next few years with this loser of a sorcerer is going to be real instructive," Scruple said as he just stood there and looked at the door that Gargamel closed. "If only there's a real sorcerer besides Gargamel that I can be an apprentice to."
Brainy and the Smurflings caught up to the man with the bindle stick as he soon reached the muck pond near Gargamel's house. "Well, those elves don't lie...there it is," the man said as he saw the house for himself.
"There he smurfs," Sassette said. "Let's see if he's much nicer than Pappy Gargamel."
"Sassette, don't smurf after him," Snappy said, as he and the other two boy Smurflings followed after her. "You don't know what kind of smurf he is."
"Sassette, be careful," Nat called out.
"Well, if you Smurflings want to smurf yourselves into trouble, I'm going to wait here beside this tree until you come smurfing back, and then I'm going to tell Papa Smurf just what you were smurfing here around Gargamel's house," Brainy said as he stopped near a tree to hide behind while watching the three boy Smurflings following Sassette.
Then Brainy heard a meowing behind him. He turned and saw that it was Azrael. "HELP!" he cried out as the cat started to chase him. "Run for your smurfs...it's Azrael!"
The Smurflings saw Azrael chasing after Brainy and decided to make a run for it. They hid themselves inside a barrel near Gargamel's house and watched from safety as Azrael tried to paw at them from outside the barrel.
The man with the bindle stick came over to the barrel and saw what Azrael was doing. "So you must belong to Gargamel, eh, kittie?" he said as he grabbed Azrael by the tail. "We'll give him a little surprise."
Azrael squealed and hissed at the stranger as he dragged the cat by the tail and knocked on his master's door. "Gargy, there's someone at the door for you," a boy's voice called out from within.
Gargamel opened the door and saw the balding stranger with Azrael. "What? Hey, that's my cat you have there," he shouted. "Give him back to me, you little thief!" He grabbed Azrael out of the stranger's hands and slammed the door on him before he could explain himself.
Brainy and the Smurflings carefully came out of the barrel and looked around the corner to see the stranger now at Gargamel's door, this time banging furiously. "Open up, Gargamel!" the man yelled. "I'm your cousin, Sagratamabarb!"
"His cousin?" Sassette asked.
"Sagrata-what's-his-name?" Snappy asked.
"That's sure a weird name that Gargamel's cousin has," Slouchy said.
"I wonder what he even wants with Gargamel if he's his cousin," Nat said.
Gargamel opened the door again. "Sagratamabarb? What are you doing here, you loser?" he demanded.
"I'm a sorcerer, and I've come here to set up shop," Sagratamabarb answered.
"So what if you are? I'm a sorcerer too, and having two sorcerers in the same forest is two sorcerers too many," Gargamel said.
"This will that I have here from your father says that I can build my house right here on your property," Sagratamabarb announced, showing Gargamel the parchment that the will was written on.
Gargamel took the will out of Sagratamabarb's hands and tore it up in front of him. "Here's what I think of your will, cousin," he sneered. "Take your belongings and move out of here immediately...and see if the devil himself has any room for you."
Scruple watched as Gargamel terminated the conversation taking place. "Gosh, who is that person that's claiming to be your cousin?" he asked.
"He's only my meddlesome cousin and nothing more, Scruple," Gargamel said. "He thinks that he has a right to build a house right on my own property and declare himself a sorcerer."
"Well, maybe he truly is a sorcerer, and you're the one who has to answer to him, Gargy," Scruple suggested.
"When Hades freezes over I will!" Gargamel shouted before he heard a knocking on his door again. "It better not be him again, or I swear that I will..."
He opened the door and saw that Sagratamabarb had returned with two horned demons carrying pitchforks. "As you asked, I went to see the devil, and I brought back two witnesses who will certify for me that there's no room for me there," he said with a snicker.
"So you want to play the fool with me, eh, cousin?" Gargamel said, not liking having to be challenged. "Then so be it! My magic is much more powerful than yours!" He waved his hands in the air and chanted, "Orus Focus...to me, Tortorus!"
Suddenly a monkey-like creature with a single eye appeared from out of nowhere. "You called for me, Master, Tortorus is here," the creature announced.
"Tortorus, get rid of these little green devils for me," Gargamel ordered.
Tortorus approached the demons and roared with a fearsome growl that he made the demons run off in fear into the forest with him chasing after them.
"Impressive, eh?" Gargamel said. "Now will you please go away, Sagratamabarb?"
"Like nonsense I will, Gargamel," Sagratamabarb scoffed. "That won't keep me from constructing my house here. Allow me to demonstrate with a little handy companion that I keep in my knapsack." With that, he opened up the sack to reveal a genie spirit that appeared from inside the sack.
"How may I serve you, Master?" the genie asked.
"I want you to build me a house that is just like Gargamel's that is right across from his own house," Sagratamabarb ordered.
"Your wish is my command," the genie said, and with a wave of his hand, a house that looked just like Gargamel's appeared out of nowhere right in front of Gargamel's own house.
Gargamel stared in wonder at what Sagratamabarb's genie just created, as did Brainy and the Smurflings. "Did you see that?" Nat said. "Gargamel's cousin just smurfed a house like Gargamel's with the power of a genie."
"Wow, I wonder if he'll be more friendly than Gargamel," Slouchy said.
"They're both sorcerers and they're both dangerous, my little Smurflings," Brainy said. "We shouldn't get involved with either of them."
"Well, Gargamel sure doesn't smurf all that happy," Snappy said as he continued to watch.
"You can't get away with this, cousin," Gargamel said as he picked up a hammer and started knocking out the bricks of Sagratamabarb's house. "I'm going to demolish your house, even if I have to do this brick by brick."
"Ah, ah, ah, I wouldn't do that if I were you, Gargamel," Sagratamabarb said. "Take a look at your house and see what's happened to it." Gargamel looked and saw that there were now bricks knocked out of his own house. "Your house is experiencing the same damage as mine, so unless you want to be completely homeless, I would suggest that you leave my house alone."
"Listen...between cousins, maybe we could compromise," Gargamel said in a desperate voice. "You could perhaps go away and never come back?"
"Out of the question," Sagratamabarb said as he entered his house and closed the door behind him.
Gargamel started pounding on the door, feeling even more desperate. "I'll give you two sacks of gold, if you go away!"
"Not on your life!" Sagratamabarb shouted back.
"Oooooh, curse that blasted cousin of mine for daring to set up his house on my property," Gargamel hissed as he headed back into his own house.
"So what are you going to do about Sagratamabarb now that you're going to be next-door neighbors with him?" Scruple asked.
"He's not going to be my next-door neighbor for very long, not if black magic is the only thing that can help me be rid of him once and for all, Scruple," Gargamel said.