A few hours into the day, Jokey was carrying a wrapped-up box containing his latest gag gift for Empath when Tailor called him secretly into his house for a surprise of his own.

"You're gonna smurf Empath a new suit for his smurfday?" Jokey guessed, laughing at his own guess. "Oh, sure, he'll be impressed...I don't suppose he has enough white suits in his closet already!"

"Joke all you want, smarty pants!" Tailor sneered. "But have you ever smurfed a suit like this before?" He pulled aside a curtain to show Jokey the new suit.

"Oh, wow!" Jokey whistled, truly stunned by what he saw. "Empath is really going to be impressed!"

"And that, my friend, is where you'll come in," Tailor hinted.

Tracker was watching the sky from atop a newly-constructed tower overlooking the entire village, keeping an eye out for anything, whether it be friendly or otherwise. So far the only things he could see are birds. He didn't need binoculars or a telescope since he was born not only with a keen sense of smell but also with incredibly sharp eyesight and crystal-clear hearing that allowed him to hear a pin drop about one league away. Dreamy, who was up there with him, looked around with a pair of binoculars, but was too interested in other things to be useful for watchtower duty.

Dreamy pointed his binoculars skyward and saw a red dot in the distance. "We got something in the sky asmurfing us from the south," he told Tracker. "Maybe they're visitors from another smurf or something."

Tracker looked at the red dot in the sky and focused in on it to get more detail on the object. Then he recognized what it was. "Not likely, Dreamy...just Handy's smurfplane up there with Empath in it!"

"Empath's coming?" Dreamy shouted excitedly. "Oh, my smurfness...we must let all the other Smurfs know!"

Suddenly every Smurf in the village heard Dreamy calling throughout the area, "Empath's coming! Empath's coming!" And at that instant, every Smurf dropped whatever it was they were doing and gathered around a clearing at the north end, talking excitedly and patiently waiting for Empath to reach the village.

"There's the village, right below us!" Handy cried as he was about to fly over it. "Hang onto your smurf, Empath...I'm taking her down!"

Empath held onto his hat, although he never really needed to, as Handy took the smurfplane into a circling dive toward the clearing where the Smurfs were gathered. Both of them were jolted as the plane toppled over a few chimney tops. But Handy finally got the plane touching ground. He had a hard time getting it to stop as it tore down a clothes line full of laundry. Empath was tempted to use his mind power to slow the plane down to a full stop, but it eventually did so on its own.

"Welcome home, Empath!" the Smurfs cheered.

"Well, not the best landing," Handy said as he and Empath hopped out of the plane, "but then again, any landing you can walk away from is a smurfy landing."

Empath couldn't agree more.

Smurfette watched Empath along with Sassette off to one side, both of them in amazement. "Isn't he the most handsome Smurf you ever saw?" Smurfette sighed. "Please tell me he is for real!"

"I think this Prince Smurfing is for real," Sassette giggled. "I wish I was in your smurfs right now!"

"Salutations, Papa Smurf," Empath greeted cheerfully as he embraced the Smurf leader. "This smurf is pleased to be back in your presence!"

"Happy to see you too, Empath," Papa Smurf replied. "How are the Psyches treating you?"

"Oh...the same as usual, like one of their own. That's why this smurf couldn't wait..." Empath stopped when his eyes looked off to the side and saw Smurfette standing there. He felt the same as Smurfette did when she saw him for the first time. "Great Ancestors! Whoever that Smurf is, she's so beautiful!"

Papa Smurf knew whom he was talking about. "Let me introduce you to one of the new Smurfs in our village," Papa Smurf said as Smurfette approached. "Smurfette, this is Empath Smurf!"

"Well, hello there, Empath!" she said pleasantly.

"Salutations, Smurfette!" Empath responded flatly with an eye-level bow to her. He did not return her smile, which left Smurfette astonished, unsure of what happened.

The other Smurfs gathered around Empath, trying to get him to talk to them and to hear the latest news that's happened. But Empath was more interested in meeting the other new Smurfs that came into the village since his last visit -- Sassette, the Smurflings, even their adopted puppy whom a friendly wizard had given the Smurfs two years ago. To Smurfette's surprise, however, Empath didn't react to them like he was just being polite to a stranger.

"Okay, my little Smurfs!" Papa Smurf interrupted. "We need to get back to work now. You can all talk to Empath later after he's settled in!"

About a dozen Smurfs groaned, but much of the crowd went back to what they were doing and left the clearing. Papa Smurf escorted Empath to his house while Smurfette, Sassette, the Smurflings, and Puppy followed.

Papa Smurf told Empath about their recent encounters with the humans over the past five years, beginning with Sir Johann and Peewit, a young knight and a court jester from a nearby kingdom. Peewitt had found a magic flute that belonged to their Smurf ancestors years ago -- a magic flute that made humans that listened to its music dance uncontrollably. When a human thief named Matthew Macreep stole the flute from Peewit and used it to steal other humans' valuables, Sir Johann and Peewit sought help from the Smurfs to get the flute back. They offered their services by creating a second magic flute with which Peewit used to defeat Macreep. Though Peewit wanted to keep one of the flutes, Sir Johann talked him out of it and they were both returned to the Smurfs.

Then Papa Smurf told Empath about Gargamel, the one evil human they've been living and dealing with in the past five years along with his cat Azrael.

"These humans seem like interesting beings to find out more about, how they live, what they do with themselves," Empath commented, "if they'll be sharing the forest with us as their home."

"I really don't know if these humans will smurf more good or harm smurfing here," Papa Smurf stated, "but I do know things haven't been entirely peaceful since Gargamel smurfed foot here."

"Well, this smurf would like to have some time alone to unpack my things," Empath told Papa Smurf as they neared his house. Papa Smurf nodded and let Empath go inside.

"I know you're only trying to smurf Empath feel at home, Smurfette," Papa Smurf explained. "It's just that there are still some things Empath doesn't know about us yet -- namely, that there are such things as female Smurfs."

Smurfette sighed. "I just wanted him to like me."

"All I can say to you is to smurf Empath some time to get smurf to the way things are around here now," Papa Smurf told her.

Empath's house doesn't have much in it except for a simple bed made of hay and woven shedded fur, a dresser, and a fireplace, but then he didn't need anything more than the basic essentials. The walls, however, were painted as one big wraparound mural, bringing the beauty of the forest inside his house. Most of his artistic creations -- poems, paintings, pottery, and such -- were upstairs in his workshop, which also had very little in the way of furniture. Empath felt that he worked better on a creation when there was less things within a small space.

As Empath placed what few things he had from the Psyches' village in his dresser, he didn't notice Baby Smurf in his house until he reached for his backpack on the bed and grabbed Baby's hat instead. Baby just giggled as Empath turned and saw him handing Empath the backpack.

"Sorry...didn't know this belonged to you," Empath said, slightly embarrassed as he placed Baby's hat back on his head. "You must be another new Smurf this smurf hasn't met yet. Well, little one, this smurf is certainly pleased and surprised to meet you. This smurf has never seen a baby before, much less a Smurf baby. But this smurf can see you're not too much trouble for a baby, so we should be able to smurf along with each other. This smurf's name is Empath!"

"Emmmmm - paffffff!" Baby repeated.

“This smurf can see you know how to talk as well...or at least you're learning," Empath said.

"What that? What that?" Baby asked, pointing to the yellow star on Empath's forehead.

"Oh, this?" Empath answered. "That is this smurf's smurfmark, which this smurf was born with. This smurf calls it a minds-eye, although it really isn't an eye."

"Peedee star! Peedee star!" Baby shouted.

"Pretty?" Empath responded. "Hmmm...didn't think anyone would think of this smurf's smurfmark as pretty!"

"So that's where Baby Smurf disappeared to," Papa Smurf said as he entered Empath's house. "I see you're busy smurfing to know Baby, Empath. Sorry I haven't introduced you to him earlier."

"He hasn't given this smurf any trouble yet, Papa Smurf," Empath replied.

"Well, Baby has never been any trouble with us since he came here," Papa Smurf said, "although we do need to watch him consmurfly just so he doesn't go where he smurfn't go. And speaking of going, I need to go into the forest to smurf some things for my experiments, so as long as he is with you, I would like you to watch Baby Smurf until I return."

"This smurf acknowledges, Papa Smurf," Empath responded. "You needn't worry...he'll be in good hands."

Empath watched Papa Smurf leave his house before he turned his attention back to Baby. "So what would we like to do next, Baby?"

Smurf to Part 3

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