spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief balsam;
a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon.
"Awake, O north wind, and come, O south!" Smurfette said. "Blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its excellent fruits."
"Smurfette, who are you smurfing to?" Vanity asked, noticing how distracted Smurfette appeared.
"Oh, nobody in particular, Vanity," Smurfette answered. "Just some character that I smurfed from a book."
"This wouldn't happen to be Don Smurfo again now, wouldn't it?" Vanity asked, sounding curious.
"Oh no, Vanity...this character is much different," Smurfette said. "He's so radiant and ruddy, that he stands out among the ten thousand."
"Then I would have to say that it's Prince Theodore, whom you have smurfed as a frog a few years ago," Vanity said.
"He is a king, I can smurf you that," Smurfette said. "He smurfs on a bed, with sixty Smurfs surrounding him, the best Smurfs of Israel. He smurfs out of the wilderness like columns of smoke, like the smoke of sacrifices of myrrh and frankincense, of all the fragrant powders of the merchant."
"This king smurfs too good to be true, Smurfette," Vanity said. "Do you think you will even meet him?"
"Oh, I just hope so, Vanity," Smurfette said, finding herself swooning. "He thinks that I am as beautiful as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners!"
Vanity pondered for a moment. "Well, I have no idea what any of that means, but I hope Empath doesn't become jealous because you have smurfed somebody else more fascinating than him."
Smurfette paid no attention to anything else Vanity had said about this character she read about or anything else. She felt like she wanted to meet this king who has attracted her attention and called her to himself.
"Empath, you appear to be distracted from your duties as the assistant counselor," Polaris noted.
Empath realized that his mind has been what he had read from Tapper's holy book than on what his friend was telling him. "This smurf apologizes, Polaris, for not listening to you about important village matters."
"This one senses that your mind is upon the literature that you have borrowed from Tapper Smurf, this 'Song of Solomon' that has captured your attention," Polaris said.
"You are correct, Polaris," Empath said. "This smurf cannot get the thought of what Smurfette was supposedly reading out of this smurf's mind."
"Is it possible that Smurfette's amorous interest has been drawn to a fictional charcter that is part of that story, Empath?" Polaris asked.
"This smurf knows that she's interested in the character of Don Smurfo for reasons different than this smurf's interest in the same character, Polaris," Empath said. "However, there's something about this King Solomon, one of the two main characters in this story, that may have captured her interest."
"May this one wish to know who this King Solomon is, Empath?" Polaris asked.
"According to Tapper's holy book, he's the king of Israel who succeeded his father King David," Empath answered. "Before he took the throne, Solomon was asked of the Almighty what he wanted, and Solomon asked for great wisdom to rule the people of the Almighty with. And so he was blessed not only with great wisdom, but also with great wealth and honor, and with this he had the first temple built unto the Almighty so that they could make sacrifices unto Him and call upon His name."
"So this King Solomon must be like the Psyche Master among the humans?" Polaris asked.
"Not exactly, but he was well sought after for his wisdom, and he became richer and richer over the years," Empath answered. "However, his heart was led away from the Almighty as he sought after marrying so many wives, including those that worshiped other gods."
"It would seem that the power this human has accumulated from this Almighty has corrupted him," Polaris said.
"That would be this smurf's assessment of what this smurf read from the holy book, Polaris," Empath said. "Tapper believes that the Almighty has made man and woman to be monogamous so that they would learn fidelity not only to each other, but also to the Almighty, and that polygamy is one of man's attempts to be like the Almighty, to have power over so many women."
"It is oddly fascinating to discover that savage beings like humans would use physical intimacy as a means for accumulating and controlling other people," Polaris commented.
"Hearing things like this makes this smurf's skin crawl, Polaris," Empath said. "Tapper himself is appalled to find that even noble kings like David would stoop to having harems that the Almighty had warned His people about."
"So why would Smurfette be drawn to this king whose heart isn't steadfast upon a single mate?" Polaris asked.
"This smurf really doesn't know, Polaris," Empath said. "It's something this smurf hopes to ask her in private."
Later on at Tapper's Tavern, Tapper was having a private conversation with Hefty while he was sitting at the counter drinking his Vita-Juice.
"What's with Smurfette reading your holy book all of a sudden?" Hefty asked. "Is she interested in smurfing this Almighty that you smurf about all the time?"
"Smurfette's reasons for smurfing the book are her own, Hefty, and I would not want to smurf things about her that are strictly between her and me," Tapper said. "Nonetheless, she is free to read the book and explore questions about what she's reading if smurfing out the Almighty is her desire."
"Yeah, well, don't think you will catch me smurfing from that book, Tapper," Hefty said. "I think the whole thing is a bunch of made-up stories just to control people's minds."
"The stories in the holy book are not all 'made up', Hefty...every single word smurfs from the Almighty Himself, just the way He wants it to be smurfed," Tapper said. "And those stories are not smurfed to control people's minds, but to educate them, to make them aware of Someone much greater than themselves or even any of the gods that smurf in this world or beyond it."
"I don't need 'someone much greater' to control how I choose to smurf my life, Tapper," Hefty said.
"You wouldn't even have a life if there wasn't 'someone much greater' to smurf it into existence, my fellow Hefty," Tapper said.
"I know who smurfed me into this life, Tapper...my own Papa and Mama Smurf," Hefty said.
"Your parents only smurfed the necessary components for smurfing a new life, the egg and the seed, but only the Almighty can unite them together and make a living being from that," Tapper said.
"Well, thanks for the biology lesson, Tapper...I still don't buy that this Almighty is responsible for me being smurfed into existence," Hefty said, taking another sip of his juice.
"I will not stop praying for you, Hefty," Tapper said. "You're a good Smurf despite all your faults, and I would hate to see you perish along with the rest of the world."
Hefty nodded but didn't say anything more. Tapper took it as a sign to end the discussion and turned his attention toward Empath as he arrived with the holy book.
"So, my fellow Empath, have you discovered what it is that Smurfette may have been reading?" Tapper asked, receiving the book from Empath.
"This smurf has a pretty good idea, Tapper," Empath said. "What makes this smurf curious is why she would be attracted to a particular character in this 'Song Of Solomon'."
"That story is quite a fascinating part of the holy book, Empath," Tapper said. "Why the Almighty would allow such a story to be part of it is a question you'll need to answer for yourself."
"You think there may be something more to it than just a simple shepherd girl and a king with many wives being attracted to each other, Tapper?" Empath asked.
"I believe there is, Empath, but as I said, it's something you'll have to answer for yourself," Tapper asked.
"This smurf would pretty much want to ask Smurfette, but this smurf senses that she would rather be private about this matter and not even reveal it to this smurf," Empath said.
"Then perhaps there is a way you can explore the answer together," Tapper said.
Meanwhile, Duncan arrived in the tavern with Smurfette. "This lassie's been smurfing my ear off, Empath," Duncan said. "I was just wondering if you would be so kind as to smurf her off my hands, dear boy."
"Oh, you just love listening to me, Duncan," Smurfette said, laughing.
"And I would wonder about the kind of things Smurfette would be smurfing to you about, my fellow Duncan," Tapper said.
"Just some character in a book she's been smurfing, this King Solomon," Duncan said. "I don't know what she even smurfs in him that she doesn't smurf in Empath."
"You know that it's Smurfette's private matters, and if she wishes to divulge any information, she will only smurf so at her own discretion," Tapper said. "So what may I get you this fine evening?"
"A tall glass of the finest sarsaparilla ale, if you don't mind," Duncan requested.
"Aye, a tall glass it is, then," Tapper said, filling up a mug with the frosty brown foaming liquid before handing it to his friend.
"So what was gotten you so attracted to this character from that part of Tapper's holy book that has captured your attention, Smurfette, if this smurf is permitted to ask?" Empath inquired.
"Oh, just something that I'm not very comfortable to share with you yet, Empath," Smurfette said.
"You're almost making this smurf feel jealous that there's someone else in your life besides this smurf, Smurfette," Empath said.
"It's not like that, Empath," Smurfette said. "It's just something...very personal. Something that really smurfs to the heart of me."
"You mean like a religion or something?" Empath asked.
"I'm sorry, Empath, I just can't smurf to you about it," Smurfette said. "Please don't smurf the issue any further, okay?"
"If that's how you feel about it, Smurfette, this smurf will leave you in peace about the issue," Empath said. "But if you want to talk about it, you know that this smurf will be ready to listen."
"I think I'm just going to call it a night and smurf back to my house," Smurfette said. "Have a good night, boys. I'll smurf you in the morning."
Empath, Tapper, and Duncan watched Smurfette leave the tavern. "That Smurfette is certainly being so secretive around you, Empath," Duncan said.
"This smurf senses that feeling about her, Duncan," Empath said. "It's like she wants to communicate her feelings, but she isn't sure how this smurf will take what she has to say, particularly about this character in a book she's reading."
"If she's smurfing for the Almighty, you should know that it is a personal matter, Empath," Tapper said. "There may be things that only the Almighty may be able to help her with that you with all your abilities are incapable of smurfing."
"So this smurf may be competing with this Almighty for her attention and her affections, Tapper?" Empath asked.
"The holy book does say that He is a jealous god who doesn't like anyone smurfing any other gods before Him, Empath," Tapper said.
"I still think you should find out just what it is about this King Solomon of that book she's been smurfing that has smurfed her heart away from you, Empath," Duncan said.
"But how?" Empath asked.
Tapper thought about it for a minute. "I believe there may be a way for you to know for sure, Empath."