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Empath And The Red-Nosed Reindeer/Part 3

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Back in the Smurf Village, the Smurfs are busy preparing for their first Christmas Eve flight over the Smurf forest. Handy was in his workshop building a sleigh with the help of Carpenter Smurf, with Timber Smurf providing the wood and Carpenter Smurf providing the paint. Tailor was in his workshop taking measurements for the Smurfs that Papa Smurf has chosen to be his reindeer team: Hefty, Lazy, Clumsy, Grouchy, Vanity, Scaredy, and Jokey. Papa Smurf was also measured for his Santa Smurf suit, and he didn't like having to hear Tailor's comments about Papa Smurf's stomach getting bigger. The other Smurfs were busy putting together their gifts that would be put into the sack for Papa Smurf and the Smurf reindeer team to carry on that night: Vanity's scented gift packs and perfumes, Smurfette's jewelry, Poet's poems, Harmony's music sheets, Painter's masterpieces, and, with the help of Printer Smurf, copies of the latest edition of Quotations Of Brainy Smurf.

Handy With Scarf

Tanner Smurf arrived in Handy's workshop with the leather harnesses he had made for the sleigh and the reindeer team. He had already showed them to Tailor and Papa Smurf, who approved of their design before he brought them over to Handy.

"These will smurf perfect," Handy said after he had inspected them. "We'll attach them to the sleigh when we're finished."

"This surely is a lot of work for a smurf-of-the moment idea Dreamy had," Carpenter said.

"I know, but since what Papa Smurf wanted me to smurf based on what Homnibus smurfed in his hovel is going to smurf some time with build, and since that's also going to require Miner smurfing me the right materials for it, I can't just smurf back and smurf nothing," Handy said. "It just makes me all smurfed up when there's nothing for me to smurf besides the usual repair jobs."

"Say, did it just smurf brighter in here?" Carpenter asked when he noticed a red glow in Handy's workshop.

Handy noticed it too. "Yeah, it seems to be smurfing from outside."

Just then, every Smurf noticed the bright red glow from outside their houses. They went out to see where that glow is coming from. And sure enough, they saw that it came from the nose of a reindeer that Empath and the Smurflings had brought back into the village.

"Sacre bleu...or should I say, sacre rouge!" Painter exclaimed. "Qu'est-ce au nom de la Schtroumpf est-ce?"

"Golly, where did that red-smurfed reindeer smurf from?" Clumsy asked.

"I don't know, but it sure smurfs funny with the red glowing nose," Jokey commented, laughing.

Every Smurf had gathered around the reindeer, wondering and commenting about the reindeer, when Papa Smurf approached Empath. "Great Smurfs Of Fire, where did you smurf this reindeer?" he asked.

"We had found him out in the forest looking for food while we were gathering branches for the antlers, Papa Smurf," Empath answered.

"Empath said that the reindeer was smurfed with this nose at birth and was smurfed away by the other reindeer because of it," Nat said.

"I see," Papa Smurf said, stroking his beard. "He must have been smurfing out in the forest all by himself since then."

"So can we keep him, Pappy Smurf, at least until we can smurf a home for him?" Sassette asked.

"I don't smurf where we have much choice, Sassette," Papa Smurf answered. "We obviously can't smurf him back out into the wild. I will leave you Smurflings in charge of caring for the reindeer, and we can smurf him something to eat, while I'll smurf if we can have Nicholas the toymaker smurf him a home among his reindeer."

"Papa Smurf, if that reindeer was smurfed away by the other reindeer because of that nose, wouldn't Nicholas' reindeer smurf him away as well?" Brainy asked.

"It's a chance we're going to have to take, Brainy," Papa Smurf said. "The reindeer needs to smurf among others of his kind, and Nicholas is the best human who could take care of reindeer regardless of how different he or she is."

"Oh, don't worry, poor reindeer," Smurfette said, feeling her heart going out to the creature. "We'll smurf good care of you even if we don't smurf a home for you."

"This smurf will help the Smurflings with taking care of the reindeer while he is staying with us," Empath announced.

"Empath, you need to be smurfed for your reindeer costume," Tailor called out.

"Don't worry, Empath, we'll smurf care of things from here," Papa Smurf said as Empath went off into Tailor's workshop.

"Papa Smurf, how did this reindeer get smurfed with a shiny red nose?" Smurfette asked.

"I honestly don't know, Smurfette," Papa Smurf answered. "It's probably one of those questions that only Mother Nature can answer, since this is usually what she smurfs. Maybe this is like Empath's smurfmark, that it has a purpose that has yet to be revealed."

"But to smurf out in the forest all by himself just because of that, with the other reindeer smurfing him away?" Smurfette said. "It just seems so unfair for him."

"I know, Smurfette, but sadly life is never fair," Papa Smurf said with a sigh. "We all have to make smurf with what we're smurfed in this life and smurf for the best regardless."

Soon a few Smurfs have carried out a bowl of food that they knew that reindeer would eat and set it out before the creature. He eat the food heartily and seemed pleased that there were others who would care for him.

"That food certainly smurfed you such a glow," Smurfette said, pleased for the reindeer. "If you'll pardon the expression."


Chlorhydris&#039; Castle Winter

In her observatory, Chlorhydris watched through her magic telescope and observed all the activity going on in the surrounding villages. She had nobody but a pet macaw in her residence to keep her company as she continued to look on, displeased.

"Christmas," she said, "that wretched holiday that brings joy and cheer to every heart around the world, including the children to whom Nicholas brings presents every year around this time. All it brings to me is a sad reminder of how my beloved, who promised that he would marry me, had left me at the altar on my wedding night. And since then my world has grown cold, and I will not rest until the whole world feels just as cold as I do, when there's nothing to look forward to except black and endless misery on a cold winter night."

As she continued to look on at all the activity going on in the world, she found herself singing this song:

I'll have a Blue Christmas without you
I'll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won't be the same dear, if you're not here with me

And when those blue snowflakes start falling
That's when those blue memories start calling
You'll be doin' all right, with your Christmas of white
But I'll have a blue, blue blue blue Christmas

She left her magic telescope when she had enough of watching the world preparing for a celebration and headed downstairs into her laboratory, where she was brewing something in her cauldron.

"Well, this Christmas season will be the beginning of a dark season for all. Thanks to my grandmother's recipe for Split Pea Soup Fog, I will cover the entire world with such a thick fog that nobody will be able to travel through it...not even Nicholas and his flying reindeer. And when he won't be able to deliver his presents to the children at midnight, they will be so heartbroken that they will feel just like me. And when nobody can celebrate a holiday with the weather being like that, they will know just how cold winter really is when there is an everlasting winter in their hearts! All I need now are a few more ingredients, and the formula for Split Pea Soup Fog will be complete."

She and her macaw laughed at the thought of a miserable Christmas.


Tapper Winter

Back in the village, as the Smurfs were putting the finishing touches to their Christmas Eve project, Brainy decided to pay Tapper a visit. Actually, the other Smurfs didn't like Brainy constantly offering his advice when it really wasn't needed and suggested that he would take his advice elsewhere. Realizing that nobody wanted to hear him, Brainy went to the only place and to the only other person besides Empath who was willing to listen to him.

Inside Tapper's Tavern, Brainy noticed that the village bartender was doing something with the model of a barn structure. "Greetings, my fellow Brainy, what may I smurf you for?" Tapper said.

"Aren't you a little old to still be smurfing with toys, Tapper?" Brainy asked.

"This isn't a toy, my good Brainy...this is a manger set," Tapper answered, showing him the barn structure and all the figures in it. "Sculptor had smurfed me this some time ago. This is the depiction of the first Christmas day, when our sweet Savior Jesus Christ was born. Those figures are His parents, Mary and Joseph...well, actually, Mary is the mother of Jesus, while Joseph was simply the man who smurfed Him like a father. Years ago, in the land of Judea, Mary had consmurfed Jesus through the Holy Spirit, and nine months later she and her husband Joseph had smurfed to Bethlehem, where they had to smurf in a stable because there was no room for them in the inn. It was in that stable that Mary smurfed birth to Jesus, and around that same time, angels smurfed to shepherds in the fields to announce the birth of the Son of God, who came to smurf the miracle and then tell all the people about it."

"But that's just a story about a human savior, Tapper," Brainy said. "What does that have to smurf with us?"

"The reason for the holiday is the smurfing of that Savior, Brainy," Tapper answered. "The Almighty had smurfed this world to be perfect, which includes everything it it, even us. Unfortunately, mankind had sinned and that affected everything in God's creation. But God had loved the world enough to smurf us His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever-smurfing life. He smurfed us the greatest form of love in that His Son was smurfed on the cross to pay for our sins and to smurf from the dead the third day. And He promises that someday He will smurf again to judge the living and the dead, and there will smurf a kingdom where there's no more pain, suffering, or death."

"Well, that's still just an interesting story, Tapper," Brainy said. "I just can't believe in this Savior of yours without proof!"

"Even if you smurfed all the proof in the world, Brainy, would it be enough for you to believe?" Tapper asked. "Believing in the Almighty is smurfing your faith in what you can't see, but like Smurfette's horse friend Blue Eyes, just because you can't see the Almighty doesn't mean that he's not there. There's no magic power in the world that will help you see the truth for yoursmurf. It all smurfs down to having faith, for without faith it's impossible to please the Almighty."

"You sound convinced that I need to be saved by this Savior of yours," Brainy said. "Well, I am happy smurfing the way that I am, and there's nothing you or this Almighty can smurf to change that!"

Tapper sighed. "I won't stop praying for your soul, Brainy. I love you too much to ever want to smurf you perish. And so does the Almighty, whether you believe in Him or not."


Snow-Covered Village

By early evening, the sleigh and all the reindeer costumes were ready. Tailor had made an additional costume for Nat since he wanted to be part of the reindeer team, but Brainy kept saying no, because the team was already selected, and they weren't going to have anyone but adult Smurfs in it.

Greedy and Tapper had come out with their gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate. "What's this? You're going to smurf this before Christmas Day?" Smurfette asked.

"Well, given all the hard work the Smurfs are putting into Dreamy's Christmas Eve project, they might as well deserve to have an early treat, courtesy of us," Greedy explained.

Every Smurf was eager to gather around the two Smurfs serving the treats. The cookies were so delicious that Greedy's plates were empty in seconds.

"I...uh, love gingerbread Smurf cookies," Grouchy said as he ate his share.

Then Papa Smurf came out with a sack full of gifts to put into the sleigh. He was dressed up in his Santa Smurf costume, and looking rather pleased about it. "Oooh, you look smurfy in that outfit, Papa Smurf," Smurfette commented as she pinned a sprig of holly in his hat and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"Why, thank you, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said, smiling back. "I see that you're also smurfed up for the occasion!"

"I was going to smurf the rest of the village in smurfing Christmas carols while you and Empath were smurfing through the air delivering the presents, Papa Smurf," Smurfette said, showing off her festive dress. "Also Baby Smurf wants to smurf with you tonight!"

"I don't smurf why not, Smurfette," Papa Smurf said as she handed Baby Smurf to him after he got into the sleigh. "We'll certainly smurf a lot of fun playing Santa Smurf, won't we?"

Baby Smurf gurgled out a happy answer in agreement.

Snappy showed up at the sleigh, looking rather guilty. "Snappy, why do you smurf so gloomy?" Papa Smurf asked, concerned for him. "It's Christmas Eve; you should be enjoying the night like every Smurf is smurfing."

Snappy sighed. "I smurfed something stupid to the reindeer we found in the forest today, and I feel so ashamed, Papa Smurf, that I don't know what to say to him."

"I'm sure he won't be offended if you apologized to him, Snappy," Papa Smurf told him. "It's not like you meant to be cruel to him, is it?"

"He's just so different from all the reindeer, Papa Smurf, that I can't smurf over it," Snappy said. "How you do smurf with the fact that Empath is so different from all the other Smurfs?"

"We smurf with it because when it smurfs down to it, Snappy, we're all different from each other," Papa Smurf answered. "Every Smurf is so unique in their own special way that it makes them so necessary in the lives of every Smurf in the village. I'm sure it would smurf the same for reindeer as well."

Snappy watched as Empath and the other Smurflings were having fun playing with the reindeer. He surely looked happy with the other four keeping him company.

He went over to where his fellow Smurflings were. "Uh...look, you know what I smurfed to you out there in the forest?" Snappy meekly said to the reindeer. "I...was fearful for you, that you were so different from the other reindeer, that I just smurfed advantage of it and smurfed fun of you. It was stupid of me to ever smurf that, and I just wanted to tell you I'm sorry for it. Not that I think that you smurf bad with the red nose that glows and all. My best friend smurfs a yellow star on his foresmurf that glows, too. He can smurf high above the village and smurf all kinds of things with his yellow star, and it makes me feel jealous that I wasn't smurfed with a yellow star. Anyway, I just wish you weren't smurfed different from all the other reindeer, and I wish the other reindeer never smurfed you away just because you were so different from them."

The reindeer looked at Snappy, noticing how honest he sounded when he said all that.

"So can we still be friends, even on a night like this?" Snappy asked the reindeer.

The reindeer leaned his face toward Snappy and gave him a friendly nuzzle that made Snappy giggle, as did the other Smurflings who were watching.

Empath smiled, seeing Snappy and the reindeer become friends with each other.

Smurf To Part 4

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