A few days have passed, and the weather became warmer, causing the snow to start melting. It was on this day that Architect came out of his house, having spent his days working on a project, carrying the completed design rolled up in his hand to Papa Smurf's house.
"Wow, I think Papa Smurf would just slip over these new designs," he said to himself, sounding enthusiastic about his meeting with the village leader, though there was still a patch of ice on the ground that he almost slipped on.
Jokey came out around this time, carrying one of his presents. "Hi there, Architect," he greeted. "What are you smurfing today now that the weather is warmer?"
"Oh, I'm just going to present my new design for the village storehouse to Papa Smurf and see what he smurfs of it, whether he's going to have Handy start construction on it or not," Architect answered.
"A new design?" Jokey said. "I know you're very good at designing houses, but I wonder what's wrong with the old storehouse that it needs a new design."
"I just figure it could smurf some improvements that it would make it more smurfy for its function, Jokey," Architect responded, briefly showing Jokey the design he had created. "Do you think that something like this might work?"
"I don't know, Architect," Jokey said. "I'm only a prankster, so I know how to smurf better pranks, not better houses and buildings. Maybe Handy can smurf you some advice as to what you can smurf to that design."
"Well, if I happen to run into Handy, I'll let him see firsthand so that he can smurf me what to do as far as any changes," Architect said. "By the way, are you going to see Empath today? I haven't heard what's smurfing on with him since I have been busy in my house with these new designs."
"I'm hoping he would awaken soon, and if he doesn't, I'm going to smurf off this surprise next to him so that he could smurf out of bed," Jokey said, laughing.
"Well, good luck with that, Jokey," Architect said. "I'll smurf you later."
Meanwhile, in Papa Smurf's house, he was helping Handy with some repairs to the beams holding up his ceiling, with Papa Smurf holding up a bucket to catch the water dripping down while Handy was hammering away.
"I'll have this leak smurfed in no time, Papa Smurf," Handy said while continuing his work.
"Why, thank you, Handy," Papa Smurf said. "I wouldn't want to smurf through the rest of the winter with a hole in my roof."
"I just wish that Empath was up and about, Papa Smurf," Handy said. "I'm glad that the explosion that happened in your laboratory smurfed no real damage, but to not have him smurfing his usual tasks in the village does make me somewhat concerned."
"We're all concerned about him, Handy," Papa Smurf said. "I'm sure that we will smurf a good report about him soon, as long as we focus on our own daily tasks and not worry too much about what may happen to Empath."
Then Architect suddenly opened the door to Papa Smurf's house, knocking over the ladder and causing Handy to fall down from it. "Papa Smurf, Papa Smurf!" Architect called out. "I have finally smurfed it!" Then Architect looked and saw that Papa Smurf wasn't alone in his house, that Handy was already there helping with some repairs. "Uh-oh!" he exclaimed as he saw Handy with his head covered with a bucket full of water.
Handy coughed as he lifted the bucket from off his head. "Well, hello, Architect," he greeted a bit angrily.
"I'm sorry, Handy, but I just couldn't wait to show Papa Smurf my latest design," Architect said as he wiped Handy's head with a handkerchief.
"Well, next time, why don't you knock before entering?" Handy said. "That would be much better than just smurfing right in. You never know who might be smurfing behind the door when you enter."
"I said that I'm sorry," Architect said, not wishing to get into an argument over a simple mistake.
"I'm sure that there's no intentional harm done on Architect's part, Handy, so let's just let things smurf," Papa Smurf said. He then turned to Architect as the young Smurf approached him. "So what have you smurfed this time, Architect?"
"A design masterpiece that will turn Architect Smurf into a household name, if it hasn't already," Architect replied, showing Papa Smurf the design that he had created. "Smurftacular, isn't it?"
"That's for sure," Handy said, as he and Papa Smurf both looked at the design together. "But what is it?"
"It's our new storehouse, Handy, and it's loaded with super-smurfy time-smurfing extras," Architect answered as he unrolled the design chart on the table to better show all its features.
Papa Smurf looked at everything on the design chart very carefully, trying hard not to be so critical of the young Smurf's creativity and ingenuity. "I'm sure that it is, Architect, but it's not exactly what I had in mind."
"Well, maybe it would be better if we simplified the design, Papa Smurf," Handy said, taking the pencil from off his right ear as he got a closer look at the design.
Architect watched as Papa Smurf and Handy made modifications to his original design, erasing some things and drawing other things in their place. He had a feeling that he wasn't going to like what those two Smurfs were doing to the design he had originally created.
Then after a few minutes, Handy said, "There. It is finished."
"So what do you think of the modified design, Architect?" Papa Smurf asked as he let the young Smurf have a chance to see it for himself.
Architect looked at it and was greatly disappointed by what he saw. "But Papa Smurf, it looks just like the old storehouse," he complained.
"But what's wrong with that?" Papa Smurf asked.
"Aaaah, what's the use?" Architect growled, heading out of Papa Smurf's house, slamming the door shut behind him as he left.
Both Handy and Papa Smurf stood there looking at each other, puzzled and dumbfounded. "Well, what smurfed into him?" Handy asked.
"I'm sure that it's something that he'll smurf over, Handy," Papa Smurf said. "Now let's get back to fixing up the roof, shall we?"
Architect went to the edge of the village and stood there on top of a hilly slope, looking down on the houses that he personally have made designs for. As much as he liked the quaint look of the Smurf Village with all its mushroom houses, he felt as if there could be more done to make the village look more than just quaint, but his ideas of what could be done to improve the look were hardly being heard, even by Empath of all people. He couldn't understand why his fellow Smurfs would not want to be open to anything that made their village stand out among all the places that are in the forest.
Tracker came by just as Architect was standing there in his private contemplation. "A nice day for a walk into the forest, I would say, if you are headed out there," he said until he noticed that Architect had barely responded. "Now I wonder what's weighing smurfily on your mind today."
"It's just no use, Tracker," Architect finally said after a moment of silence. "It seems that all I get to design are just ordinary Smurf houses and whatever interiors each Smurf wants to have in their own house, nothing more."
"I don't see what's the problem of just smurfing with the ordinary, my friend," Tracker said. "I happen to like the village just the way that it smurfs."
"But I want to be the designer of something that really makes the other Smurfs take notice of, not just the plain and ordinary," Architect said. "The thing is, how can I get the Smurfs to accept my new and novel designs if they are too used to the way things normally smurf?"
"Change is a hard thing for even Smurfs to accept if they are too used to the normal way, Architect," Tracker responded. "I can't say I blame my fellow Smurfs for that kind of fault. You present them with something that's too fancy and too sophisticated for their tastes, something that they probably have no use for, of course it's going to be rejected."
"Well, thank you for your smurfy insight on my problem," Architect said. "I'm going to smurf off into the forest and see what I can smurf about it."
"Enjoy your day and be careful, my friend," Tracker said as he watched Architect head off into the forest before he himself headed into the village.
Architect walked as far as he could until he came to a tall tree with a small hollowed stump next to it, and decided to sit down and think.
"I've just got to design something that's never been smurfed before," Architect said as he looked down on the ground. "But what?"
Suddenly he could feel a stinging bite on his behind. He cried out in pain and leaped around until he could see a group of ants on the seat of his pants. He brushed them off and then went to sit on a nearby rock when he saw the ants heading back into the hollowed stump. It amazed him that they seemed to live together in that one space, sheltered from the elements, living as a single community. Then his eyes turned to a hollowed-out tree that was nearby and from there he had a burst of inspiration. "That's it!" he exclaimed. "Why didn't I smurf of it before?"
He went back into the village and got Handy to come back with him to the place in the forest where he saw the hollowed-out tree. He explained what he had in mind to build in that tree that would draw other Smurfs to it and what it could mean for the future of their village.
"You see, Handy?" Architect said after he had finished his explanation. "It's as simple as one, two, smurf!"
Handy looked at the tree and tried to imagine what Architect had planned for it in wonder. "You know, Architect, you have some pretty crazy ideas, but this time I think you outsmurfed yourself," he said, sounding enthusiastic. "It's brilliant."
"Does this mean you'll help me?" Architect asked.
"You bet I will," Handy answered. "I'll smurf you all the help you need in building it, too."
"Well, then, welcome aboard, partner," Architect said, shaking hands with Handy in agreement.
For the next week, Handy had a construction crew go out into the forest to work on a project that only the Smurfs who did the work knew anything about. Carpenter brought all the wood and materials needed to complete the project, while Handy and the crew built according to the designs Architect had made. Meanwhile, Empath continued to lay comatose in the infirmary with Polaris continuing to monitor his condition, to make sure that his friend didn't slip into a much worse condition than he currently was in.
Smurfette was in Tapper's Tavern one night, nursing a drink in her hands while lost in contemplation. Tapper became concerned when he saw Smurfette in this condition while sitting at the counter. Duncan McSmurf, who was sitting beside her at the counter, was just as equally concerned.
"Come, lassie, smurf a drink to make yourself feel better," Duncan encouraged. "You're smurfing like a wilted flower worrying your head about Empath all the time."
"I can't help it, Duncan," Smurfette said. "It's been a little over a week, and still Empath is not smurfing to. I feel like he's not smurf back to the living at all and that I might as well give up on him."
"That's the last thing Empath would want you to do," Duncan said. "He's smurfed beside you during times when it seemed like it was your last, and you smurfed back like a warrior smurfing his second wind."
"Duncan is right, my dear Smurfette," Tapper said. "To give up on Empath would be a thing that the enemy of our souls would want us to smurf. He's been a liar ever since he smurfed against the Almighty, and he knows that his fate is the Lake of Fire at the end of time, so he'll smurf every chance he has to smurf as many souls with him to that same place."
"But why would the Almighty not smurf Empath back on his feet like He would smurf people back from the dead in your holy book?" Smurfette asked. "I thought that there was nothing impossible for the Almighty to smurf as long as we have faith in Him."
"There is nothing impossible for the Almighty to smurf, except to lie, because that is against His nature," Tapper replied. "However, even I can't be sure that the Almighty will smurf the same way in all smurfumstances regarding raising people back from the dead. Sometimes, when it comes to believers, He has something far much better for them to smurf than to be raised back into this mortal existence."
"But our laddie hasn't smurfed a confession of faith in believing in this Almighty of yours, Tapper," Duncan said.
"That's true, Duncan," Tapper said. "But I believe that the Almighty has greater things for him to smurf that have yet to be smurfed, and since what the Almighty says will smurf to pass at the time it is appointed for, nothing in heaven or on earth will smurf it from ever happening. So that is where I stand."
"The Almighty has smurfed you those things in your private prayer times with Him, Tapper?" Smurfette asked.
"He smurfs me all that I need to smurf for the time being and nothing more, my dear," Tapper answered. "The Almighty knows what kind of Smurf I am and how much I can be trusted with what He wants to reveal to me, so He keeps me humble in spirit to prevent me from exalting myself beyond measure. Paul the apostle was given 'a thorn in the flesh' to be kept humble so that he would not exalt himself above measure due to the revelations the Almighty had smurfed him. Three times he prayed for that 'thorn' to be removed, but the Lord said, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'"
"So this Almighty doesn't always smurf us what we want when we smurf to Him in prayer, does He?" Duncan asked.
"Faith isn't always about getting what you want, my fellow Duncan, it's about getting what you need at the time the Almighty knows that you need it," Tapper said. "If faith was all about getting what you want, the Almighty would be nothing more than a genie granting our wishes instead of the Sovereign who smurfs supreme over all creation."
"It all sounds smurfy, but I feel I need more strength to hold onto believing that Empath is going to smurf through this, Tapper," Smurfette said.
"I will continue to pray for you, that the Almighty will reveal Himself to you in His full power and majesty, Smurfette," Tapper said. "Then you will smurf for yourself how good the Lord truly is and that He doesn't desire for anyone to perish, but for all to repent and be saved."
By evening on the seventh day, Polaris had returned from his solitary dinner to resume his bedside vigil with Empath in the infirmary. He felt refreshed and ready to continue his monitoring after having spent some time recuperating his strength by satisfying his hunger. He wasn't in the mood for anything besides porridge, which was the closest thing there was in the village to nutrient paste, and it was much more digestible than the usual Psychelian sustenance. But still he wished that there was some kind of breakthrough that would happen with his friend.
Dabbler came into the room, stretching and yawning as he was getting tired. "Is there anything that you need before I retire for the night?" he asked Polaris.
"This one appreciates your concern, Dabbler, but this one is not in any need for anything at this time," Polaris answered. "You may have your rest if you need it."
"Well, wake me up if anything else happens," Dabbler said, putting his clipboard down and removing his examining mirror and stethoscope before he stretched out on one of the beds and closed his eyes.
Polaris turned back to monitoring his friend's condition when he could hear an audible gasp, sensing some brain activity. Then came a whisper: "Polaris."
This made Polaris cry out sharply, "Dabbler, come over here! He's awakened!"
Dabbler woke up and went over to Empath's bedside as Empath opened his eyes slowly. He realized that he was in the infirmary. "Polaris, how long has this smurf been out for?" Empath asked.
"You have been unconscious for about two weeks," Polaris answered. "How are you feeling now?"
"This smurf feels functional...but like this smurf's been knocked over with a boulder," Empath replied, carefully sitting himself up on his bed. "Strangely, this smurf can't sense anything."
"What do you mean, you can't sense anything?" Polaris asked.
"That's just it, that this smurf can't sense anything, like this smurf's telepathic abilities have been shut off, Polaris," Empath answered. "It's like that magical explosion has affected this smurf's abilities to the point that they don't function anymore."
"This one can sense some residual magic particles within you that were present from the explosion, Empath," Polaris said. "This one isn't sure how long this residue will remain within you, or whether this will be a permanent condition."
"Empath not having any powers?" Dabbler said. "That's going to smurf well with most of our fellow Smurfs."
"Well, whatever's happened, this smurf is going to try to make the best of the situation," Empath said. "This smurf feels ready to smurf out of here."
"Perhaps you should continue to rest here until morning, Empath," Polaris said. "We will bring you what you need to get you ready for when the morning comes."
Empath nodded. "Perhaps you're right, Polaris. I don't want to surprise my fellow Smurfs too soon by my sudden awakening. They could use the rest themselves so they would be properly prepared."
"Welcome back to the smurfing anyway, Empath," Dabbler said, grinning.