It was the day of Lazy's birthday during the second year that Empath was completely free from living in Psychelia, and most of the Smurfs were busy preparing for his birthday party, even though some of them didn't like having to prepare anything for a Smurf that normally didn't pull his own weight. Nevertheless, they knew how important celebrating a Smurf's birthday was in their culture regardless of who that Smurf was, so they also chipped in to make sure the day would be special for Lazy.
Empath was with Smurfette and Polaris Psyche observing all the activities that went on in the preparation for Lazy's birthday when they noticed Lazy himself was just sleeping, paying no attention to anything that was going on around him.
"I wonder what Lazy is dreaming about right now for his smurfday party, Empath," Smurfette said as she looked at Lazy peacefully sleeping.
"Knowing him, it's probably a smurfday party where everybody is high on smurfnip and the cake they're serving has relaxing herbs mixed in it," Empath said.
"This one does not understand Lazy's fascination with an herb that has intoxicating and hallucinogenic properties to it, Empath," Polaris said.
"Smurfnip is a special kind of flower that makes Smurfs feel good when they smoke or ingest it, Polaris," Empath said. "That's part of the appeal, while the hallucinations that it produces is the other part that makes Smurfs like Lazy feel addicted to it."
"I wish Lazy wouldn't always be thinking of smurfing herbs, Empath, especially smurfnip," Smurfette said with a hint of distaste in her voice.
"This smurf wishes the same thing for him as well, Smurfette," Empath said. "Unfortunately, breaking the addiction to smurfnip is something that he has to have the desire for in himself. Nobody can force Lazy to give up the smurfnip if he's not interested in giving it up for anything in the world."
"If only it were the case that addictions would be so easy to break, Empath," Polaris said. "There are times when this one still has the cravings for the medication that the Psyche Master has put all Psyches on to make them obedient to his will of not expressing emotions."
"I wouldn't think that the Psyche Master would ever have the Psyches smurf anything to make them obedient to him," Smurfette said.
"It is called psychelium, Smurfette," Empath said. "This smurf remembers what it's like to be on the medication, because it made this smurf feel like a zombie. All this smurf could feel was the sensation of full clarity as this smurf was unable to express any kind of emotion. It was supposed to help Psyches suppress their desire to express emotions, but honestly it made this smurf feel like a drug addict."
"Oh dear," Smurfette said. "How did you manage to smurf this medication's hold on you?"
"Eventually over the years, as this smurf became more accustomed to expressing emotions with my fellow Smurfs, the effects of psychelium started to weaken, and the Psyche Master was trying to increase its potency without trying to kill this smurf in order to make it effective again, but to no avail," Empath said. "Nevertheless, there were times when this smurf felt as if this smurf needed the psychelium to make this smurf feel stable even among my fellow Smurfs."
"That's terrible, Empath," Smurfette said. "It's a good thing that you don't seem to have any need for it now that you're free from living in Psychelia."
"This smurf is still working with Polaris to help break the psychelium's addictive hold on his life, even if he still wants to maintain not wanting to express any emotion in his daily life, Smurfette," Empath said.
"What Empath says is correct, Smurfette," Polaris said. "As painful as some things about living in Psychelia are, this one cannot easily give up the desire to live such a life devoted to rational thinking and logic over emotion."
"I just want you to know, Polaris, that I still care for you as a friend, and if you need my help for anything, I will see what I can smurf for you," Smurfette said, smiling.
Suddenly the three of them could hear the sound of a dog moaning in pain. "Great Ancestors, that sounds like Puppy," Empath said. "And whatever he's experiencing, it doesn't sound good."
Soon they saw Puppy limping to the Smurf Village with his eyes green and half-closed, barely able to make his way home. "Oh dear, what has happened to him?" Smurfette asked, her heart going out to him.
Empath and Polaris both scanned him with their minds-eye. "He has been affected by an intoxicating substance, Smurfette," Empath said as he finished his scan. "He has been breathing in the fumes of smurfnip."
"Smurfnip?" Smurfette said. "I wouldn't think smurfnip would have any effect on dogs."
"This intoxicating substance must be potent enough to make Puppy feel sick, Smurfette," Polaris said. "It will have to take our combined efforts to clear up the effects so that he will be functioning normally again."
"Polaris is correct, Smurfette," Empath said. "Don't worry, Puppy, you'll soon be feeling much better."
And so both Empath and Polaris focused their minds-eyes on healing Puppy of the effects of the smurfnip he inhaled. Soon Puppy was more alert and feeling better again. He licked both Empath and Polaris to show his gratitude.
"The Smurflings should have been smurfing over Puppy to make sure something like this doesn't happen," Smurfette said. "How could they be so careless?"
"This smurf senses that the Smurflings may have caused Puppy to become sick through the inhaling of smurfnip, Smurfette," Empath said. "Puppy, can you take us to where the Smurflings are right now?"
Puppy barked out an answer that sounded like he was reluctant to go back to where he inhaled the fumes, but was willing to help find the Smurflings.
"We might as well follow Puppy and find out the reason for the Smurflings' negligence in their care of the animal, Empath," Polaris said.
"I don't think I'm going to like what I will see the Smurflings are smurfing right now, Empath," Smurfette said as he followed along with Empath and Polaris as they let Puppy lead the way into the forest.
Soon they stopped as Puppy's nose picked up a scent that made him growl. Empath, Smurfette, and Polaris could also smell the scent...a scent that Empath and Smurfette could recognize. "It's smurfnip," they both said together.
"Could the Smurflings be the ones who are inhaling the smurfnip, and for what purpose would they do such a thing?" Polaris asked.
"This smurf is going to find out one way or another," Empath said with some restrained anger in his voice as he projected a shield around himself and Smurfette so they could proceed closer without inhaling. Only Polaris stayed behind with Puppy, not wanting to proceed any further without endangering themselves.
The two Smurfs could hear giggling nearby, and as they looked on the other side of a rock they saw the Smurflings were just sitting together with each other, inhaling the fumes of smurfnip and enjoying themselves.
"Seafaring seagulls, that was the best feeling I have ever smurfed," Sassette said.
"We should smurf this more often when the other Smurfs aren't smurfing over our shoulder," Snappy said, blowing out a cloud of smoke.
"I don't understand why most of the grown-up Smurfs don't want to smurf this stuff, Snap," Slouchy said. "I don't see what harm any of this can smurf."
"Maybe we can have Empath and his friend Polaris join us for a smurf," Nat suggested.
"Aha! So that's what you were smurfing out in the forest by yourselves!" Smurfette exclaimed, catching the attention of the Smurflings.
"Well, smurf at what just came here...it's Smurfette," Snappy said as he turned to see her.
"My oh my, she's starting to smurf much better than before now," Slouchy said as he looked at her up and down.
"It must be the smurfnip that's causing it, Slouchy," Nat said.
"Hi, Empath...you want to join us for a smurf?" Sassette asked politely.
"This smurf is not interested in anything except knowing why the four of you disobeyed Papa Smurf's instructions not to touch smurfnip and had almost endangered Puppy with your fume smoking," Empath said.
"Aw, we didn't mean to hurt Puppy, Empath," Snappy said. "He just got a little sick, that's all. Besides, you can instantly heal him, can't you?"
"Honestly, Empath, none of us ever meant to hurt Puppy," Nat said. "We just wanted to try this out for ourselves, to see why Papa Smurf didn't want us to smurf this."
"All four of you are a little too young to be smurfing this habit anyway," Smurfette said. "Let's get this fire smurfed out so that nobody else will be smurfing in this smoke."
"Here, let this smurf put out the flames," Empath said, using his minds-eye to cause the fire to be snuffed out along with the green fumes it was producing.
"Oh, that's just great, Empath," Snappy said. "You really ruined our fun out here."
"Disobeying Papa Smurf's instructions just so you can have fun inhaling smoke like this is not what this smurf will allow any of you to do, Snappy," Empath said. "This smurf wants the four of you to follow this smurf back to the village where you will explain to Papa Smurf what you have been doing here."
All four of the Smurflings gulped. "Yes, Empath," they said together.
Papa Smurf looked at the four Smurflings, who looked rather ashamed of being caught getting intoxicated with an illegal substance. "Because you have disobeyed my instructions, I am restricting you from smurfing off into the forest by yourself for a month, and you will report to Sloppy Smurf in helping him clean the entire village. Is that understood?"
"Yes, Papa Smurf, we understand," all four Smurflings said together before they departed from his presence.
"Well, it sure was fun until Empath ruined the whole thing by smurfing on us," Sassette said.
"Yeah, it makes me regret that he's even related to Brainy of all Smurfs," Snappy said.
"We'd better let Sloppy know that we're going to help him with garbage and outhouse duty for a full month," Nat said.
"Better bring a clothespin, because this job's going to stink," Slouchy said.
Papa Smurf, Empath, Smurfette, and Polaris Psyche looked at the four Smurflings as they talked to each other while walking away. "This smurf doesn't want to be a party pooper to the Smurflings, but there are just some things that you can't enjoy yourselves with," Empath said.
"I know you're smurfing the right thing, Empath," Papa Smurf said. "It's not a habit that I wish to see any of my little Smurfs partaking in, especially with smurfnip."
"This one senses that there was a time when the whole village had to deal with the problem of smurfnip affecting everyone's lives, Papa Smurf," Polaris said.
"Indeed there was that time about a few years before Empath had smurfed home, Polaris," Papa Smurf said. "And strangely enough, it was Gargamel who had used smurfnip as a means of capturing us."
"This smurf didn't know that Gargamel had used smurfnip for that purpose, Papa Smurf," Empath said. "This smurf wants to hear how the whole thing happened."
"Part of this story came from Narrator, Empath, so you will know how Gargamel got involved with using smurfnip," Papa Smurf said. "But anyway, here is how it began..."
As Papa Smurf began his story, Empath and Polaris saw what took place on a day about three years before Empath returned home for good. On that day Smurfette was taking care of Baby Smurf and paying Tapper a visit in his tavern.
"Aye, so how does it feel being like a Mama Smurf to the little darling that smurfed to us following the night of the blue moon?" Tapper asked.
"I didn't think there was so much to learn about being a Mama Smurf, Tapper, but it's been fun so far smurfing care of Baby Smurf," Smurfette said. "I wonder if smurfing my own child someday will be anything like that."
"Smurfing care of a baby will have both its good and bad moments, Smurfette," Tapper said. "What matters is that we will care for the child no matter what he or she will have to smurf through and no matter what any of us will have to smurf through."
"Well, I was just thinking of Grouchy, of how I might be able to make him feel happy, but so far the things that I have tried haven't smurfed," Smurfette said.
"I know how you feel about that, my dear Smurfette," Tapper said. "The truth of the matter is that even with the few close friends that he smurfs, even they sometimes can find it hard to smurf anything that will please him beyond just smurfing their company around, and sometimes he wouldn't even want that."
"You mean sometimes he doesn't even want you around, Tapper?" Smurfette asked, sounding surprised.
"That is the sad truth that I have to face in those moments, Smurfette, but I know in my spirit that Grouchy won't smurf that way for long," Tapper said. "The only thing that I can smurf to him that makes him feel happy is a glass of sarsaparilla ale, and whether he wants anything else from me or not, I just simply let him be."
"A glass of sarsaparilla ale doesn't sound like much company," Smurfette said. "Are you afraid that Grouchy might become a drunk or something?"
"I always fear that of all my fellow Smurfs, but I do fear that of Grouchy most of all," Tapper said. "There's many a time when Grouchy does smurf a bit ornery after a few glasses, but I know he has no interest in smurfing any harm to his fellow Smurfs. Nevertheless, I do try to smurf him from reaching the point where the ale will make him smurf things that he will regret smurfing later on."
"I don't like that the other Smurfs have to turn to drinking to make themselves feel smurfy, Tapper," Smurfette said. "There's got to be some other way that the Smurfs can have a good time without having to smurf to such powerful drinks."
"I understand how you feel, Smurfette," Tapper said. "Being both a bartender and a believer in the Almighty has not been easy for me, let me smurf you that. If it is His desire that I should give up this job in the Smurf Village, my only prayer is that He will lead me into smurfing something else for the purpose of serving Him wholeheartedly. Right now, though, it appears that He has me right where He wants me to be so that the other Smurfs will know that He cares for them through me and what I can smurf for them."
Just then, Duncan McSmurf arrived at the tavern with a group of Smurfs pulling carts full of berries and nuts. "Great Smurfiny Crickets, my fellow Duncan, that's quite a load that you and the lads have just smurfed in for Greedy," Tapper said.
"Aye, but you should see how Grouchy's been smurfing lately," Duncan said. "It's the first time that I ever smurfed him being so happy in his whole life, like smurfing in food from the forest is his most favorite thing in the world."
"Grouchy being happy just to work with his fellow Smurfs?" Tapper asked. "I have got to smurf this for myself, to see what's smurfing on with him."
"Oh, that," Jokey said. "Well, I just smurfed him a little smurf-me-up while we were smurfing together, and he's been smurfing on cloud nine ever since."
"A little smurf-me-up?" Smurfette asked.
"I'm not sure I like the sound of whatever it is that Jokey may have smurfed Grouchy to make him behave that way," Tapper said.
At that moment, Grouchy arrived in the village, whistling the Smurf song and acting all happy and cheery while he was bringing in his cart full of food. "I just love a day like today," he said to his fellow Smurfs. "Everything is just so nice and smurfy. I just wish more days would smurf like this from now on."
Tapper noticed something in Grouchy's eyes that didn't look right. "Great Smurfiny Crickets...Grouchy's eyes have smurfed green!"
"What do you mean, they have smurfed green?" Smurfette asked. "What happened to him?"
Tapper got a closer look at Grouchy and also noticed a distinct smell coming from him. "He's got the odor of that herb called smurfnip, Smurfette. He's intoxicated with its fumes and now he isn't completely himself."
"So that was what that 'smurf-me-up' is that you smurfed Grouchy with, Jokey Smurf," Duncan said, looking at him suspiciously.
"Honestly, Duncan, I just wanted to see Grouchy be happy," Jokey said. "I didn't mean to smurf any harm to him."
"So how long is Grouchy going to smurf like this, Tapper?" Smurfette asked as Tapper sat Grouchy down on a chair while he continued to smile a very big smile.
"It's going to take a while for the effects to smurf out of his head, Smurfette," Tapper said. "In the meantime, we might as well get Papa Smurf to look at Grouchy and see if he has a remedy that can smurf the lad back to his senses sooner."
"Oh dear," Smurfette said, her heart going out to Grouchy. "I want to see Grouchy be happy, but not like this and certainly not this way at all."
Grouchy was soon brought into Papa Smurf's laboratory, where he was given a remedy that cleared up the effects of his inhaling the fumes of smurfnip. Instantly they could see Grouchy's expression return to its normal appearance.
"What happened?" Grouchy asked. "How did I stop feeling so smurfy all of a sudden?"
"That's because you were under the influence of smurfnip, Grouchy, which some Smurf shouldn't have given you," Papa Smurf, looking suspiciously at Jokey who was also present in the room.
"I hate how I feel right now, Papa Smurf," Grouchy said.
"I'm not sure that I see anything wrong with smurfnip, Papa Smurf," Smurfette said.
"Smurfnip is a substance that not only makes you feel high, Smurfette, but it can also smurf powerful hallucinations that can smurf you into danger," Papa Smurf said. "It's likely that the amount Grouchy has smurfed wasn't enough to smurf him any hallucinations, but all the same, it's the reason that I warn you Smurfs to stay away from smurfnip at all costs."
"I just want to see Grouchy be all smurfy for once, Papa Smurf," Jokey said. "He never seems to laugh at anything, even my jokes."
"Risking Grouchy's health and life with smurfnip isn't how I would want to see him be smurfy, Jokey," Papa Smurf said. "For that, you are not permitted to smurf any of your jokes on your fellow Smurfs for a month. Is that clear?"
Jokey gulped at the punishment he was given. "Yes, Papa Smurf," he said.
After Papa Smurf let Grouchy leave his laboratory, Tapper, Smurfette, and Duncan walked with Grouchy. "I honestly felt happy when I was smurfing that stuff that Jokey smurfed me, Tapper," Grouchy said.
"I know that substances like smurfnip can smurf you the feeling of euphoria, Grouchy, but those feelings don't last," Tapper said. "I'd hate to see what would happen to you if became addicted to smurfing it like some of our fellow Smurfs."
"You honestly want to smurf away your life smurfing yourself silly with that smurfnip, laddie?" Duncan asked.
"Well, how else am I going to feel that happy?" Grouchy responded.
"I'm sure we'll find something else besides smurfnip or sarsaparilla ale that will make you feel smurfy, my fellow Grouchy," Tapper said.
"I don't want anything else in my life!" Grouchy shouted as he walked off alone to his own house.
"Oh dear," Smurfette said. "Grouchy sure seems upset that you won't let him smurf the thing Papa Smurf had warned us about."
"Grouchy will understand that I'm smurfing this only because I care about him, Smurfette," Tapper said.
"Just let the laddie smurf over not having anymore smurfnip, Tapper," Duncan said. "He's got to learn for himself that smurfnip isn't good for him to smurf."