Part 3

"Of course, the next morning is when I was met with a very unsmurfy surprise concerning my pet," Smurfette said, her voice sounding like it was breaking at the mere mention of the event.
"That's okay, Smurfette," Empath said, trying to comfort her. "We'll understand if this part makes you feel uncomfortable to tell."
As Smurfette bravely continued her story, Empath and Polaris both saw Smurfette wake up the next morning to see that her pet mouse had collapsed inside his mouse house. "Squeaky, please wake up," she spoke, gently nudging the creature.
Tapper and Duncan arrived at the scene. "Smurf o' the morning to you, my dear Smurfette," Tapper greeted. "What smurfs to be the problem this morning?"
"It's Squeaky," Smurfette answered. "He doesn't seem to answer when I try to awaken him this morning."
"Michty me, lassie, I don't like what I'm thinking has happened," Duncan said. "We'd better get Papa Smurf to smurf at the mouse and give his answer."
"I'll go and inform Papa Smurf, Duncan," Tapper said as he headed in the direction of Papa Smurf's laboratory.
A group of Smurfs started to gather around Smurfette as she continued to try awaking Squeaky, to no avail. "What in the smurf is smurfing on here?" one of the Smurfs asked another.
"Smurfette's pet mouse isn't waking up."
"You don't suppose that the mouse is...?"
"Oh dear, how will Smurfette take the news?"
"This doesn't smurf to be very good."
"Papa Smurf will know what to do."
"But what if Papa Smurf says that the mouse is..."
"Don't say that. Papa Smurf can fix any problem."
"I'm not so sure he can fix this one."
And soon Papa Smurf appeared with Tapper. "Stand aside, my little Smurfs," he told the Smurfs who have gathered around. "I want to smurf for myself what's wrong with Smurfette's mouse."
Brainy gathered with Clumsy as they stood around and watched. "Oh no, Brainy, it can't be what I'm thinking is happening to Smurfette's pet," Clumsy said, sounding a bit surprised.
"I'm afraid that it might be, Clumsy," Brainy said. "I just knew that something like this was going to happen to her pet."
Papa Smurf held the mouse close to his ear in order to hear a heartbeat or some sign of life. Then he just handed the creature over to Smurfette and sighed. "I'm afraid that your pet Squeaky had just passed away, Smurfette," he said.
"Passed away? You mean he...he...he...died?" Smurfette asked, uncertain of what Papa Smurf was trying to say.
"Yes, Smurfette, that's what I mean," Papa Smurf answered in a somber tone. "I'm sorry to smurf this to you."
Smurfette was in total disbelief and shock. "No, please, Squeaky, wake up," she cried, holding the mouse close to her as she sobbed deeply.
The other Smurfs standing around her also broke into tears. "The little mouse was just too good for this imperfect little world," Vanity said as he sobbed.
"I hate...crying," Grouchy said as he also sobbed.

And soon the Smurfs had gathered in the memorial park near the village as they attended a funeral for Smurfette's pet, with Sculptor engraving the image of the mouse's face on a tombstone placed at the head of the newly-dug grave. Tapper was given a moment to speak some words that would bring comfort to the hearts of his friends in their time of sorrow.
"O Lord God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, I pray that on this day of days that You would smurf comfort to our hearts in our time of loss with the promise that we will smurf our friends again in the new world that You have prepared for those who love You with all their heart," Tapper prayed. "Let us be reminded by the words of Your faithful servant Solomon: 'To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to root up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.'"
"And so, let us smurf a moment of silence to honor the loss of our dear friend Squeaky," Papa Smurf said after Tapper had finished.
Smurfette stood beside Papa Smurf near the grave, bearing a bouquet of flowers. "Oh, Papa Smurf, this just isn't fair," she said.
"I know that it may seem that way, Smurfette, but this is just a law of nature that besmurfs everything," Papa Smurf said. "Every flower must die, every insect, every creature. Even Smurfs will one day pass from this life. Death is just a part of life."
"I don't care, Papa Smurf," Smurfette said, throwing the bouquet of flowers on top of the grave, sounding very upset. "Life is too cruel, and I don't think that I can ever love anyone again." With that, Smurfette just ran away from the funeral and headed for her house to sob in private.
"Gee, Papa Smurf, Smurfette is surely smurfing this real hard," Hefty said.
"It's just natural that she feels that way, Hefty," Papa Smurf said. "Smurfette just needs some time alone so she can smurf over the loss of her friend."
"I don't know about Smurfette, but I could sure use a good smurf of sarsaparilla ale after having to smurf through that," Duncan said.
"I agree with you, Duncan," Tapper said. "Come, my friends, let's smurf some time at the tavern so we could comfort each other through our griefs."
"I hate having to smurf sarsaparilla ale after losing somebody," Grouchy said as he and the other Smurfs followed Tapper to the tavern.

"The other Smurfs tried to cheer me up to make me feel better, but I clearly wasn't in the mood to be cheered up," Smurfette said. "I felt that life had cheated me because it smurfed away something precious from me so soon, and I couldn't stand to be around other beings knowing that they would also pass away from me."
"This smurf understands how you felt at the time, Smurfette," Empath said. "This smurf also had to come to terms with having to see creatures pass away when the other Smurfs have given everything they had to keep them alive against all odds."
"It's an unfortunate fact of life that we all have to face our own mortality, even when we don't know what will happen to us when we leave this existence," Polaris said. "The Psyches look forward to the possibility of joining their Ancestors on the day of their departure, and the Smurfs themselves look forward to entering into what they call 'the smurfy hereafter'."
"I knew there was a heaven, Polaris, but to not know whether I would see my pet again when I smurf there one day was something I wasn't willing to bear," Smurfette said.
And as Smurfette continued her story, Empath and Polaris saw that it was now a few days later in the Smurf Village, and Papa Smurf was walking with Greedy, who was carrying a tray of goodies he has made with one hand while eating one of the goodies with the other.
"Those surely look good, Greedy," Papa Smurf commented.
"Thanks, Papa Smurf," Greedy said. "I can only hope Smurfette thinks so." They stopped at the door of Smurfette's house, where they saw plates of food just sitting there untouched. "It's been a few days and Smurfette hasn't eaten any of this. Nor has she even smurfed the tea that Tapper has smurfed for her."
Papa Smurf stroked his beard as he looked at the untouched food. "I can understand Smurfette wanting to watch what she eats and all that, but this surely smurfs beyond what is proper for her to smurf."
"I never thought Smurfette needed to smurf on a diet, Papa Smurf," Greedy said. "But it still breaks my heart when Smurfette won't touch anything that I create for her."
"Then maybe we should smurf in on her to see how she's smurfing," Papa Smurf suggested. He then looked through a window to see if Smurfette was still inside her house. "Smurfette, you must eat something," he called out.
"Yeah, we just smurfed you a good breakfast," Greedy added in a loud voice.
Papa Smurf could see that there was no response from inside her house. "I'd better have a smurf-to-smurf talk with her," he said as he headed for the door and entered. "Smurfette!" he called out as he looked around the house in order to find her. When there was still no response, Papa Smurf and Greedy headed for her bedroom, where it appeared that she was still in bed. "Smurfette, you must really try..."
But when Papa Smurf pulled aside the covers, all he could see was that there were pillows to make it look like she was still in bed sleeping.
"My smurfness, Papa Smurf, you don't suppose Smurfette had just run away?" Greedy asked, surprised as Papa Smurf was to see what was left in Smurfette's bed.
"I'm afraid so, Greedy," Papa Smurf said. "It's time we tell the other Smurfs about this."

Every Smurf appeared around the speaking mushroom at the summon of Harmony's horn to hear Papa Smurf's announcement.
"My little Smurfs, I'm afraid to tell you that Smurfette is gone from the village," he spoke. "She left this note behind, which I want all of you to hear. It says, 'I can no longer live in the village, now that Squeaky is dead. I'm afraid that someday one of you will die, and I just couldn't stand to lose another friend. So by the time you smurf this, I'll be far, far away. Goodbye, and remember that I love you all. Signed, Smurfette.'"
Every Smurf was in shock after they have heard the message Smurfette wrote. They could not believe that Smurfette would choose to leave the village after a friend of hers has died.
"It seems that Smurfette is trying to run away from her problems, so I'm going to need some Smurfs who are willing to smurf with me in order to bring her safely home," Papa Smurf said.
"I'll join the group, Papa Smurf," Tracker said. "My eyes, ears, and nose will be able to find her no matter where she smurfs."
"I'll go with you, Papa Smurf," Tapper said.
"And I'll smurf along and help rescue the lassie," Duncan said.
"I love Smurfette more than any of you, so I'll go," Hefty said.
And several other Smurfs also raised their voices and said they would volunteer to be part of the rescue team.
"So what are we waiting for?" Tracker said. "Let's get a smurf on!"
And so Papa Smurf's group of Smurfs headed off into the forest, eager to find where Smurfette had gone. Papa Smurf let Tracker lead the way since he knew how to find his fellow Smurfs from his enhanced senses and his skills as a tracker.
They stopped just as Tracker stopped to sniff the ground. "This is Smurfette's trail, Papa Smurf," Tracker said. "It leads right up to that mountain up ahead."
Papa Smurf and the other Smurfs saw where Tracker was pointing to. "Smurf is me, that happens to be the Mountain of Mists," Papa Smurf cried out. "There's no telling what danger Smurfette might smurf herself in up there."
"Then we'd better smurf up there and find the lassie before something finds her, Papa Smurf," Duncan said.
"O Lord Almighty, I pray that Your hand of protection will be on our wayward sister to keep her safe until we reach her," Tapper prayed.
"A lot of good praying will do if we don't smurf her in time, Tapper," Hefty said.
"We could use all the help we can smurf, Hefty," Papa Smurf said. "Now let's go."

Meanwhile, Smurfette was already high up on the mountain, walking the dark dismal trail that seemed barren and foreboding on either side. Yet she bravely walked on, hoping to distance herself from having to watch another life die on her. By the time she stopped to take a rest, she could feel herself shivering from the cold air around her.
"Ooooh, I'm so cold and miserable," Smurfette said, trying to keep herself warm as she looked around at her immediate surroundings. Then she saw a mouse scurrying to his hole in the mountain. "Squeaky!" she squealed with joy before she realized the truth. "It isn't Squeaky."
She broke down and cried, feeling like life was playing a cruel joke on her, to fool her with a false sense of comfort.
A squirrel came out from behind a tree, acting as if he wanted to cheer Smurfette up somehow. "Oh, how sweet," Smurfette said, though the lifted mood didn't last for long. "Oh, never mind. I don't want anymore friends. You're nothing but trouble."
The squirrel seemed to sense Smurfette's sudden change of attitude and ran away, though in doing so he was now making himself the target of a hawk that came swooping down after it, ready to pounce on the squirrel and carry him off as prey.
Smurfette saw this happening and decided to act. "Oh no, that poor little squirrel. Go away, hawk! Leave that little squirrel alone!" she shouted as she stood between the hawk and the squirrel.
As the squirrel headed for a nearby hole for safety, the hawk now chased after Smurfette. She ran as fast as she could to escape the hawk's talons, but in doing so she tripped over a rock and fell off a ledge. She quickly grabbed a dangling branch to keep herself from falling the rest of the way.
Smurfette realized that there was only one thing left to do. "HELP! HELP! HELP!" she cried out.

The group of Smurfs heading up the mountain suddenly stopped when Tracker came to a sudden stop. "What's wrong, Tracker?" Papa Smurf asked.
"I thought I heard a voice calling for help, Papa Smurf," Tracker answered. He strained his ear to see if he could recognize the voice of the one calling for help.
"Oh no! Help...please!" a familiar voice pleaded.
"It's Smurfette, Papa Smurf!" Tracker said as he recognized who it was. "She must be very nearby."
"Great Smurfiny Crickets, the poor dear must be in terrible danger," Tapper said.
"Quickly, laddies, let's smurf her to safety," Duncan said as the team headed in the direction Tracker was leading them in.
Meanwhile, Smurfette continued to hold onto the branch, which was slowly breaking off from the weight it was trying to bear. Then just as the branch completely snapped off, another hand suddenly grabbed hers. It was Tracker, who was dangling over the side of a ledge, suspended on a rope.
"Don't worry, dear, I've got you," Tracker said.
"Oh, thank you, Tracker," Smurfette said, sounding grateful.
Hefty was looking down over the ledge to see what was happening. "Tracker's got Smurfette," he reported.
"Come on, laddies, pull with all your smurf," Duncan said.
And so the group of Smurfs pulled on the rope to lift Tracker and Smurfette to safety, where she was greeted by Papa Smurf and her friends.
"I'm glad that we smurfed you in time, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said.
"I'm sorry that I ran away from you all," Smurfette said, embracing Papa Smurf tearfully. "I didn't want to smurf you into any danger on account of me, all because I didn't want to see you pass away."
"I understand, Smurfette, and so do your friends," Papa Smurf said. "Losing a loved one is never an easy thing to smurf through, but the one thing that we have together is a family that you can smurf your griefs with together."
"Even if some of us are a little rough around the edges, we don't want to lose you for any reason, my dear Smurfette," Tapper said.
"We may all fight for your affections, lassie, but we will never smurf anything to hurt you because we love you so much," Duncan said.
"Besides, being up here is surely no place for a Smurfette...or anyone else for that matter," Hefty said.
Smurfette laughed a little. "I know you mean well, Hefty. I really love you because you're the only real family that I have in this forest."
"Let's smurf home so we can all feel better over a nice cup of smurfberry tea," Tapper suggested.
"We'll smurf through this together, Smurfette, I promise you," Papa Smurf said.