Soon every Smurf in the village heard Harmony's summoning call to gather around the speaking mushroom for Papa Smurf's announcement. They arrived to see Papa Smurf with Empath, Smurfette, Brainy, and Dreamy there at the mushroom.
"My little Smurfs," Papa Smurf announced, "I know that we're only one day away from Christmas Day, but Dreamy just smurfed up with a brilliant suggestion of what we can smurf for Christmas Eve for our friends. We know that Nicholas the toymakers smurfs out at night with his smurf of reindeer to deliver toys and gifts to the human children, so I thought that this year we should smurf our gifts to our friends in the same manner. What we're going to need is a sleigh and some reindeer costumes for eight Smurfs, which I know that you'll able to smurf up in time before midnight tonight."
"Well, I can smurf you a sleigh that we can smurf for tonight, Papa Smurf," Handy said.
"And I can smurf up some reindeer costumes for the eight Smurfs to smurf," Tailor added. "It may be a rush job, but I'll smurf the best that I can under the smurfumstances. Of course, I'm going to need to smurf some small branches for antlers."
"This smurf and the Smurflings can help you out with that, Tailor," Empath offered.
"But who's going to smurf the sleigh up into the sky like Nicholas with his reindeer?" one Smurf asked.
"Oh, please, that's such a silly question to ask," Brainy answered in his normal self-important manner. "It doesn't smurf a genius to see that Empath is more than capable of smurfing such a task. Of course, I would probably smurf the same with Papa Smurf's magic books if neither of them were here to smurf that, because I'm just as capable of smurfing up magic spells and formulas as Papa Smurf is, being his assistant and all, and Papa Smurf would want such a capable Smurf to smurf that because..."
At that point, Brainy got booted out of the village. "So much for smurfing the holiday spirit!" he groaned.
"So, who among you would also like to smurf gifts to our friends in this manner?" Papa Smurf asked.
"I do, Papa Smurf," Vanity said. "I can't wait to smurf my beautiful scented smurf packs to all my friends."
"And I would like to smurf my beautiful music," Harmony said, playing a bit of his horn.
"And I would love to smurf all my creative works," Poet said.
"Mon ami, I have some masteurpiesas that I would be happy to smurf as gifts," Painter said.
In fact, most of the village seemed eager to get the ball rolling on Papa Smurf's plan for Christmas Eve.
"Well, I guess that settles it," Papa Smurf said, pleased with the results. "Empath, you smurf the Smurflings out into the forest to smurf up small branches for the reindeer costumes. I'll be in Tailor's workshop in case any Smurf needs me."
"This is going to be the smurfiest Christmas Eve yet, Papa Smurf," Smurfette said, all excited.
As Empath and the Smurflings were out in the forest gathering small branches, he was listening to them talking about all the presents they got in previous years' Christmases, saying which one was their favorite toy to get.
"Empath, what was your favorite toy that you smurfed for Christmas?" Nat asked.
Empath thought about that for a moment. "The only toy this smurf thought was my favorite was this pink rabbit that this smurf received from Vanity Smurf on the first Winter Solstice that this smurf had celebrated. This smurf had called him Smoogle."
"Smoogle? That's a really weird name for a toy rabbit!" Slouchy commented.
"Admittedly, the gift was rather embarrassing to this smurf," Empath said. "But Smoogle ended up being the toy that this smurf played with a lot, as this smurf practiced using his minds-eye animating the toy so that it behaved like a real rabbit. Hefty didn't like seeing this smurf with Smoogle, so he decided to be cruel and tear the toy rabbit apart, hoping it would stop this smurf from playing with it. But this smurf had sewn and patched up Smoogle and left it with Papa Smurf when this smurf had to return to Psychelia."
"What happened to Smoogle, Empath?" Sassette asked.
"The toy rabbit got worn out from so much playing around with him, so this smurf gave it to Sloppy, who loved collecting old worn-out toys," Empath answered. "He probably still has it in his collection."
Just then something shiny caught the attention of Snappy Smurfling. "Hey, did you Smurfs smurf that?"
The other Smurfs turned to look in the direction of where Snappy saw the something shiny. "Oh, look," Nat said, "It's a reindeer smurfing out here in the forest."
"Smurf at that nose," Sassette said. "It's so red and shiny! What's he doing smurfing out here in the forest?"
"He probably had smurfed out here all alone in the forest because of that nose, Sassette," Nat answered.
"Well, shiny nose or not, I'm going to smurf him a big welcome!" Snappy said, heading in the direction.
"Snappy, dont!" Slouchy warned, knowing what his "big welcome" really was.
But Snappy didn't heed the warning. Instead, he appeared in front of the reindeer as he was eating things from the ground. "Hey, reindeer, is that your nose or were you smurfed with a firebug on your face!" Snappy said in a taunting manner.
The reindeer was startled by Snappy's appearance and ran off into the forest.
"Oh, nice smurfing there, Snappy," Sassette said, displeased.
"Yeah, you smurf fun of a reindeer just because he's smurfed with a red nose," Nat added, also not pleased.
"Well, what do you expect me to smurf?" Snappy said. "He's different from all the reindeer that we smurf in the forest."
"Empath is different from all the Smurfs in the village just because he smurfs a yellow star on his foresmurf, Snappy," Sassette said. "Are you going to smurf fun of him just because he smurfs so different from them?"
"Snappy's appearance alone may have been enough to startle the reindeer," Empath suggested. "Nonetheless, Snappy, your behavior and commentary were unneccessary and inappropriate. We're going to find the reindeer, and when we do, you're going to apologize to him for how you acted towards him."
Snappy sighed as he trailed behind Empath and the other Smurflings in their search for the reindeer. Soon they had found him grazing near another tree.
"Now you Smurflings stay put while this smurf communicates alone with the reindeer," Empath instructed. They stood a good distance away from the reindeer while Empath cautiously and quietly approached the reindeer.
"Salutations, fellow reindeer," Empath greeted. The reindeer looked at the Smurf appearing to be startled. "Please do not run off. We mean you no harm, and this smurf apologizes for the action of my fellow Smurf."
The reindeer looked at Empath curiously and sniffed him. He then relaxed, seeing that Empath was not a threat. Nat saw this and took it as a sign for him and the other Smurfs to come closer.
"This smurf understands that you are alone and are different from the other reindeer," Empath said to the reindeer. "Your red nose no doubt has caused you to be shunned from the others. This smurf is also born with a glowing mark on this smurf's forehead and is also different from the other Smurfs in this smurf's village. And this smurf has also lived apart from the other Smurfs because of that."
"We can smurf you back to the Smurf Village where we will smurf care of you until we can smurf you a home," Nat said to the reindeer.
"You don't have to smurf out here all alone," Sassette said.
"Maybe we can smurf him to Nicholas," Slouchy suggested. "He would be able to smurf him a home."
"What? Are you smurfy?" Snappy said. "He's already different enough that other reindeer don't want to smurf around him."
"This smurf doesn't think that just leaving the reindeer to fend for himself out in the forest would be a good idea," Empath said. "He needs to be around others who will care for him, no matter how different he is from the other reindeer, and the Smurf Village is a good enough place for him to go. We might as well bring him along with us so Papa Smurf will know what we can do with him."
"Empath, the other Smurfs are going to smurf fun of him as well," Snappy said. "Smurf how different he is!"
"Being born different isn't anybody's fault, Snappy," Empath said. "However he got the shiny red nose, this reindeer deserves to be loved and cared for no matter what. And we're going to provide the care because that's part of what being a Smurf is. This smurf will not leave him in the forest just because he isn't like all the other reindeer."
"Neither will I, Empath," Nat agreed. "Come along, reindeer, we'll smurf you the way to our village!"
Snappy again sighed as he followed Empath and the other Smurflings taking the reindeer with them.
Meanwhile, in a cottage somewhere outside the Smurf Forest, an old bearded man by the name of Nicholas was going through his list of boys and girls to see if they have been good or bad all year long. He was now going through the list of the Smurfs and checking off each name to see if they deserve a nice present or a small lump of coal.
"Here's a name that I haven't seen on the list for quite a while...Empath Smurf," Nicholas said as he got to that Smurf's name. "From what I've seen of him, he's mostly been a good Smurf, though I do have a problem with his always being in Psychelia, a place where nobody there celebrates any holidays." He sighed as he thought of the many times he saw how the Psyche Master treated the Psyches through his magic snow globe. "Neither does that evil witch Chlorhydris, which makes me wonder why she wants to destroy Christmas so much."
One of his reindeer stuck his face through the window next to the desk where Nicholas was sitting at.
"Oh, yes, I haven't forgotten you and your brethren, Dasher," Nicholas said as he got up from his seat and went outside to feed the reindeer that are in the stables. "You know, I have a feeling that tonight is going to be a special night for delivering presents to the children," he told the reindeer. "I don't know why, though...it's just something that I have been feeling. Perhaps someone out there needs to have love and a family that will care for them more than they need presents. Alas, my snow globe doesn't seem to have the answer."
Another reindeer responded by giving Nicholas a friendly lick, which made him chuckle. "You're very welcome, Blitzen," Nicholas said. "I do take very good care of you, since you are very special reindeer indeed."
Nicholas looked toward the forest as his mind was contemplating on the delivery job that was waiting for him tonight. "Oh, spirits of time and nature, what awaits me on this night before Christmas that I should take heed to?" he asked. "I pray that I shall know the answer soon, before I am left with only doubts in my mind."
Smurf To Part 3