"And so I smurfed part of the day with Tapper, who smurfed me a fresh pot of smurfberry tea while Greedy smurfed me some muffins to eat, since I was feeling so hungry at that point," Smurfette said to Empath and Polaris. "It was then that Tapper helped me understand what I was smurfing through."
And as Smurfette continued her story, Empath and Polaris both saw her sitting inside the tavern at a table with Tapper, drinking a cup of smurfberry tea with some muffins on a plate next to her. Tapper simply sat back and watched Smurfette eat and drink to her heart's content, politely not saying anything until she was finished.
Brainy and Clumsy watched through a window as Smurfette ate and drank in the privacy of the tavern. "Gosh, I've never seen Smurfette this eager to eat or drink anything in her life," Clumsy said.
"She hasn't eaten for days, Clumsy, which is why she would need to smurf herself with food," Brainy said. "It's all part of the grieving process that she must smurf through if she's going to be living with us as a Smurf."
"But what's going to happen if we lose any of our fellow Smurfs?" Clumsy asked.
"We will continue to smurf on without them, as they would want us to smurf," Brainy answered. "It wouldn't smurf us any good if we keep smurfing onto them and just refuse to let them go."
"But I never want to let any of my friends go, Brainy, not even you," Clumsy said.
"I know what you mean, Clumsy, I really do," Brainy said, trying to sound as honest as he could with Clumsy.
"Uh, Brainy, I think we should be leaving those two alone," Clumsy said as he looked over his shoulder and saw Duncan McSmurf coming.
Brainy turned and also saw Duncan approaching, his face turning pale as he gulped in fear of confronting Duncan. "For once I agree with you," Brainy said as he and Clumsy both departed from outside the tavern.
When Smurfette was finished with her muffins, Tapper finally spoke. "I can see this is your first time dealing with the death of a loved one, my dear Smurfette. I don't envy what you're smurfing through, because I have smurfed through the same thing many times before with forest creatures that I have been friends with over the years."
"Tell me, Tapper, does this thing ever get easier over time?" Smurfette asked.
"Losing a loved one never gets easier, for every time it happens, it feels like a part of me has also died, Smurfette," Tapper answered. "The one thing that keeps me smurfing is the promise that the Almighty will make all things new when His only begotten Son returns to restore the beauty of this creation that has been tainted with the smurf of sin and evil."
"You mean I might get to see Squeaky return from the dead, Tapper?" Smurfette asked, her eyes flashed wide with curiosity.
"It's possible, though what we know of the Almighty resurrecting the dead is limited to mostly the human realm of the whole equation," Tapper answered. "But since all of creation belongs to the Almighty because it is His creation, it will also be redeemed from the curse that it has been smurfed under so that death will no longer have dominion over anything in it, including quite possibly us."
"That's why you're so eager to make sure every Smurf gets to know about the Almighty that you believe in," Smurfette said.
"Indeed, Smurfette, for the Almighty does not delight even in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked should smurf from his way and live," Tapper said. "There will be many souls that will rise on the day of judgment, only to find out that they will be condemned forever to a second death, separated from a God that loved them from the foundation of the world and has given them His Son to die for their sins and provide for them the gift of eversmurfing life."
Smurfette sighed. "I'm not sure that I'm ready to receive Him as my Lord and Savior yet, Tapper, but I feel that I'm ready to smurf on with my life knowing that Squeaky is gone from this life."
"He will always smurf on in your heart and your memories, my dear," Tapper said, briefly touching her to show his empathy. Smurfette smiled at Tapper before she turned and left.
Duncan entered the tavern just after Smurfette had left. "I see the lassie is smurfing much better now that you've helped her smurf through her loss, laddie," Duncan said.
"I could only smurf what a good friend who cares about her soul could smurf at a time like this, my fellow Duncan," Tapper said. "I can only pray that she would find her happiness in knowing that she is loved by the Almighty."
"If only the Almighty's love could be a tangible thing that we can smurf," Duncan said. "Then we wouldn't need to smurf it through faith that He truly exists."
"We may not always feel that love, but the Almighty's love is always there and is always tangible through His creation, as long as there are those in the world whom He will use to show His love unto others, my friend," Tapper said.
And so with Papa Smurf standing beside her, Smurfette went to the memorial park to visit Squeaky's grave so she could share what she was feeling to her deceased pet. She brought a vase full of flowers that she laid near the tombstone.
"I still miss you, Squeaky, and I will always remember you," Smurfette said as she knelt down before her pet's grave. "But I have to smurf on with my life. I can only hope that you will rest in peace until we smurf again."
Papa Smurf wiped a tear from his eye as he stood and watched.
When the whole thing was over, Papa Smurf walked Smurfette back to her house. "I appreciate you smurfing with me during my visit to Squeaky's grave, Papa Smurf," Smurfette said with some honesty.
"You were a brave Smurf to say all that was in your heart to your friend, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said. "I'm sure that he has heard every word, and knows you mean well."
"It's going to be difficult living without him, but at least I know that I still have family here that cares for me," Smurfette said as they arrived at her door. "I'm going to need some time alone by myself. I promise that I won't leave the village like that ever again."
"Smurf as much time as you need, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said as he watched Smurfette go inside.
Hefty and Tracker were walking by Smurfette's house when they saw Papa Smurf standing there. "How is Smurfette doing right now, Papa Smurf?" Hefty asked.
"She's smurfing fine, from what I can tell, Hefty, but right now she still needs some time alone to smurf over her loss," Papa Smurf said.
"It will be hard to replace Squeaky, for that little mouse was very special to her in the short time she smurfed with him," Tracker said.
"I'm sure we will find something to help her recover from the loss, Tracker," Papa Smurf said. "If you happen to find a new pet for Smurfette, let me know."
"Aye, Papa Smurf," Tracker said, nodding with agreement.
As Papa Smurf walked off, Hefty and Tracker walked with each other. "A new pet for Smurfette is going to be interesting to find," Hefty said. "You think that's even possible, given your tracking skills and all?"
"Just leave it to me, Hefty," Tracker said, sounding resolute.
Sometime later, Smurfette heard knocking on her door. She went and opened to find that Papa Smurf and some of her fellow Smurfs were standing outside, with Jokey holding a present. "Here, Smurfette, I thought that you might like to have a little surprise," he said.
"Thanks, Jokey, but I'm not really in the mood for surprises right now," Smurfette said.
"Oh, but I think you might like this one," Jokey said with a slight snicker.
"Here, Smurfette, let me open it for you," Papa Smurf said as he took the gift box from Jokey and opened it. Fortunately it didn't explode, but Smurfette saw something inside that really surprised her. It was a baby mouse.
"Oh, Jokey, what a beautiful present," Smurfette said as she reached in and took the mouse into her arms. "Where did you smurf this?"
"Actually, I smurfed it out in the forest, Smurfette," Tracker said. "There was a little baby mouse that was all by himself, that I thought that you might like as a pet to replace Squeaky."
"How thoughtful of you, Tracker," Smurfette said. "I can never thank you enough for how much joy this new pet has given me."
"The little mouse is fine and healthy, as far as I can tell, so you won't have any problems of it smurfing away on you like with Squeaky," Papa Smurf said.
"Have you thought of what you will call him, Smurfette?" Jokey asked.
Smurfette sighed. "I think I'll call him Squeaky Junior."
The mouse squeaked with joy, seemingly pleased to like the name that he was given by his mistress.
Tapper smiled. "I think Squeaky would be pleased that his name will continue to live on with your new pet, my dear Smurfette."
"Aye, long live Squeaky Junior," Duncan said.
"LONG LIVE SQUEAKY JUNIOR!" the Smurfs said together.
Smurfette felt herself crying for joy. "Thank you, my fellow Smurfs. Thank you all."
"And that was the story of my first pet...and of the pet that succeeded him, who has now gone to join his namesake in smurfful rest," Smurfette said.
"This one appreciates your telling the story, Smurfette," Polaris said. "It was very brave of you to tell it despite how much parts of it have hurt you."
"That was one memory this smurf only wishes to have been home to share in person," Empath said. "Having to go through the loss of a pet is not something this smurf would wish to experience, but this smurf is glad that it has turned out for the best."
"Speaking of which, Smurfette, what are you planning to do now that your current pet is gone?" Polaris asked.
"I really don't know, Polaris," Smurfette answered. "It's not like I'm going to just smurf into having a new pet right out of the blue or anything, but I'm not going to rush into smurfing a new pet either. It will smurf some time."
"We'll be there for you regardless of what happens, Smurfette," Empath said consolingly.
Just then the Smurflings approached the three. "Hey, Smurfette, we just found you a new mouse that you might like to smurf care of, to make you feel better," Nat said as he held up a baby mouse.
"Oh, Nat, that's so sweet, but I'm not sure I'm ready for a new pet just yet," Smurfette said.
"Well, somebody better smurf this mouse a home, or else our play house is going to smurf a bit crowded," Snappy said.
"Besides, I think you're going to really like him, Smurfette," Sassette added.
"Don't smurf at me...I don't care whether Smurfette wants him or not," Slouchy said.
Smurfette sighed. "Well, since you smurfed the trouble of finding him, I think that I'll smurf you Smurflings a favor and give this little mousie a proper home," Smurfette said as she took the mouse from Nat.
"Smurfabunga!" the four Smurflings shouted together.
"Thanks, Smurfette," Nat said before the Smurflings departed.
Empath and Polaris watched as the mouse squirmed around on Smurfette, squeaking with joy. "It seems that the mouse enjoys having you as his owner, Smurfette," Empath commented.
"This one can sense the same feeling as well, Empath, and that Smurfette seems pleased with its company," Polaris said.
Smurfette giggled. "It seems that there will always be a mouse that will carry on the spirit of my first pet. I must be pretty good in keeping them."
"So what are you going to name your new pet?" Empath asked.
"Probably the same name that I have smurfed my other two pets...Squeaky," Smurfette answered as she played around a bit with her new pet.
"Well, let's show off your new pet together, Smurfette," Empath suggested. "I'm sure everyone will be pleased to know about it."
"This one will accompany you," Polaris said as they walked off together.