Handy apparently took Empath's faith in his abilities to heart. About five years before Empath returned to the village for good, he and the other Smurfs were involved with trying to make Dreamy's wish of traveling to the stars come true. Though Dreamy's hand-built spaceship, which rivaled anything Handy could dream up on his drawing board, was unable to actually lift off from the ground, Handy was still impressed enough by it that he decided to design something based on the same principle that actually could fly. After the Smurfs had returned home from masquerading as Swoofs from another planet to welcome home Dreamy from his star travels, Handy took the dismantled parts of Dreamy's spaceship and began work on his own flying machine.
It was several days later when Harmony summoned every Smurf to the north end of the village for a demonstration of Handy's new completed invention. They all gathered and watched as Handy and Hefty together pushed a red vehicle with wings on it onto the field. They had no idea what this invention was supposed to be.
"Welcome to the new age of flight, my fellow Smurfs," Handy greeted. "This is the invention that will change how we fly around the forest forever. It is called the smurfplane."
They all gasped as they saw this invention, trying to imagine it being what Handy said it could do. "Looks very weird," one Smurf commented.
"How is this thing supposed to work, Handy?" Tapper asked as he and Duncan McSmurf examined the machine up close.
"I've smurfed a wind-up motor inside the smurfplane, Tapper, which smurfs the propeller, which will smurf me the propulsion that I need to smurf it up to the speed that I need to smurf it off the ground," Handy explained. "And then I just smurf the stick to make it climb, dive, and bank to the left or right."
"Hmmm...I would think that this whole thing is a bit too complicated for me to smurf," Duncan said while stroking his chin in thought.
"Well, I don't see how this ridiculous thing is going to smurf off the ground, if you ask me," Brainy observed. "I mean, what's the point? We already have storks to smurf us in the air and smurf us anywhere we want to. As Papa Smurf once smurfed us, if Smurfs were meant to fly, we'd be given wings,…"
At that, Brainy found himself in brief flight to the outskirts of the village, landing on his head as usual.
"…or we'd be born as Empath," Brainy added, feeling his ego and his head slightly bruised.
Meanwhile, back at the north end of the village, Hefty was finished turning the key that would wind up the engine inside Handy's smurfplane. "Boy, smurfing up his engine sure is hard work," Hefty grunted as he wiped the sweat from his brow.
"Stand back, every Smurf," Handy warned as he jumped inside his smurfplane and started up the motor. "I'm ready to smurf this for a test flight."
"I hate test flights," Grouchy mumbled.
Every Smurf stood back as Handy brought the smurfplane up to speed and headed down the field. For a thing that was supposed to fly, it sure moved fast.
Smurfette was busy watering flowers in a nearby community bed when Handy's smurfplane approached her. She ducked out of the way as the plane passed right by her before it lifted itself off the ground. Smurfette briefly looked up at the passing plane and then saw that the plane's tires had ran over the flowers, flattening them. "Oh, my flowers," she gasped, dropping her watering can.
Every Smurf watched as Handy zoomed around overhead in his smurfplane, diving down toward the ground and then climbing back up, darting around the tops of houses with such skill that they had only seen before when Empath flew around with nothing more than his own abilities. This invention of Handy's was really impressive.
Handy saw Smurfette down below near her house. "Hello down there, Smurfette," he called to her as he passed by overhead.
Smurfette watched in horror as the wing of Handy's smurfplane brushed her chimney top, knocking down the bricks. "My chimney," she gasped again.
Then Handy circled around and came zooming down low behind Smurfette's house before pulling back up again. The smurfplane missed colliding with a low branch from a nearby tree, but it ripped through Smurfette's clothesline, shredding the dresses that she had hanging there to dry as Handy pulled up. "My laundry," she cried out, getting more than a little annoyed by Handy's reckless flying around.
Finally Handy brought the smurfplane down to land. "So what do you Smurfs think of my new invention?" he asked after he had landed.
"Why, this is just amazing, my fellow Handy," Tapper said.
"Aye, who would think that a mechanical bird like this would actually fly?" Duncan said.
"I certainly would like to smurf my hand at flying your wonderful invention, Handy," Dreamy said.
But Handy noticed Smurfette approaching him, and she was less than impressed over his invention. More to the point, she was exasperated.
"I sure hope you smurfed your fun trying out that invention of yours, Handy," she fumed. "You just smurfed over my flowers, knocked over my chimney, shredded my laundry…!"
"Smurf it easy, Smurfette!" Handy responded defensively. "I'll get your flowerbed, your chimney, and your clothesline fixed up. It's just that it's my first time smurfing a test flight with my new smurfplane. It could be the very thing that changes how Smurfs look at their world! I can smurf you for a spin in this to show you."
"Personally, I think this smurfplane is a bit silly," Smurfette commented. "And now I have to go into the forest and smurf some more plants to put in the flowerbed you just smurfed over. In the meantime, why don't you smurf your flying thing to good use and fix up my chimney that you smurfed down?"
With that, Smurfette walked out into the forest with her basket, hoping to collect her thoughts. Handy watched her, feeling like a total idiot for doing that test flight in such a reckless manner.
"I really smurfed a mess of things," he finally said, mostly to himself than to anyone.
"Oh, don't let what Smurfette said get to you, Handy," another Smurf told him. "Your invention is still the greatest thing that happened since smurfed bread!"
"Yeah," Handy muttered, "but then, so was Smurfette!"
Smurfette was all by herself in the forest, finding a nice patch of flowers to gather her new blossoms from. She was whistling the smurfsong so loudly, she didn't even hear Gargamel with a net in hand and Azrael sneaking up behind her.
Smurfette stopped whistling when she had felt a sense of danger, but before she could react in time, a net fell on her and scooped her up from the ground. She finally saw who it was that captured her.
"Don't you know by now the forest isn't a safe place for maiden Smurfs to go walking off alone in?" Gargamel asked in such a mocking tone, laughing all the while.
"Gargamel!" Smurfette exclaimed fearfully. "What are you going to smurf with me?"
"Like it isn't so obvious to you, my dear Smurfette," Gargamel answered. "You're going to help me capture your fellow Smurfs whether you're willing to do so or not!"
"In your dreams, Gargamel!" Smurfette shot back defiantly. "They will come for me and they won't smurf you anything!"
"We'll see who will be doing the dreaming when I bring you home with me," Gargamel hissed as he and Azrael started walking away with his catch of the day. "It is quite fortunate for me that the annual convention of wizards is taking place now. Soon, when I finally have the whole lot of you, every great magician and philosopher at the convention will know that the Smurfs actually exist in this dreadful forest of yours. And the name Gargamel will forever join those of the legendary masters when I show them the proof."
Papa Smurf was talking to Handy, who was explaining about his new smurfplane invention. The village leader had seen it in action when he had stepped outside to see what all his little Smurfs were up to and what the buzzing sound in the village was.
"Well, I'll be smurfed!" Papa Smurf said, sounding very impressed. "I never thought I'd live to smurf the day when another Smurf besides Empath could make flying look easy to smurf. You have really outsmurfed yourself when it comes to making useful inventions, Handy — as long as others do not smurf what you build to use against us in some way, I don't smurf why—!"
"Papa Smurf! Papa Smurf!" another Smurf cried out as he approached with a scroll tied around an arrow. "I smurfed this on a tree near the edge of the forest that smurfed from nowhere. It was addressed to us!"
Papa Smurf took the arrow and unwrapped the scroll the see what it was. "It's a message from Gargamel!" he exclaimed as he started to read it out loud: "'Dear Smurfs, I have your beloved Smurfette in my grasp. Give yourselves up before sundown or else! Signed, Gargamel.'"
"Great Smurfiny Crickets, what a terrible thing to happen to Smurfette!" Tapper exclaimed.
"Oh, no!" Handy gasped. "I saw Smurfette walking off into the forest by hersmurf earlier when she complained to me about the smurfplane! I'd better take the plane up again and smurf after her before Gargamel does anything to her!"
"Wait!" Papa Smurf called out. "Gargamel is too dangerous for any Smurf to take on alone like that! We'd better smurf off after her as a group!"
"I can fly rings around Gargamel and smurf her from his grasp before he even knew what smurfed him, Papa Smurf," Handy stated. "Please, I beg you, let me smurf that my invention actually has a purpose before I dismantle it!"
Papa Smurf sighed. "All right then. But be very careful!"
"I will, Papa Smurf," Handy answered back as he raced toward his smurfplane to rev up its motor. The other Smurfs watched as it took to the air again and headed into the forest.
"Go smurf 'em, laddie," Duncan said as he watched Handy take off.
Gargamel and Azrael were halfway home with his prize catch of the day when he heard a buzzing sound coming from behind that begun to get louder. He stopped to look back and see what it was that was making the sound.
"That's funny," he muttered. "I don't recall passing by a bee's nest on my journey!"
Then all of a sudden, a red motorized thing with wings came heading straight for Gargamel. He dodged the thing as it passed by him, missing him by an inch or two.
"Well, whatever it was, Azrael, it was certainly fast and dangerous," Gargamel remarked, wiping the sweat from his brow. "A good thing it didn't sting me or anything!"
Then the winged thing came back toward Gargamel from the opposite direction, only this time it circled around Gargamel, making him swat wildly at it. "Shoo…go away, you pest!" he shouted. "Can't you see I'm bringing home something important?"
But as Gargamel kept swatting and missing the flying thing, he dropped the net that Smurfette was in. She found herself falling when the flying thing zoomed around and scooped her up in it, grabbing her by the arm.
It took a second for Smurfette to realize what it was that attacked Gargamel, and what also rescued her from him. It was Handy's smurfplane.
"I hope you don't mind smurfing your first flight back to the Smurf Village in my latest invention, Smurfette," Handy commented.
"Well, thank smurfness you came just in time!" Smurfette replied, giving Handy a hug from behind, making him feel very happy. "You are definitely my hero!"
Then they saw Gargamel coming right after them, with his net poised to swoop down on them. Apparently, it took him a second or two to realize his captured Smurfette was gone and that the flying thing that rescued Smurfette had a Smurf in it controlling its flight. Needless to say, he wasn't very happy about that, nor was he about how the smurfplane easily evaded the swoop of the net as it missed his prey.
"We've got to smurf him away from us, Handy!" Smurfette reminded him.
"Let's see how well he can follow a flying Smurf through the forest," Handy said.
"Wherever you go, you flying pests, you won't be able to outrun me," Gargamel shouted as he and Azrael followed the smurfplane on foot with the net in his hands.
With such incredible swiftness, Handy led Gargamel all around the forest, leading him into places that are likely to slow a human down. He flew over a narrow patch of prickly bushes, and Gargamel felt each thorny branch pierce through his robe as he trudged his way through it. He winded his way through a passage of low trees that caused Gargamel to run into the limbs of those trees smacking him in the face. He zoomed high over some slippery rocks near the river, which Gargamel had tripped over or briefly lost his footing on. But still the wizard and his cat were determined to stay right on their tail, ready to swoop his net down on them at the first chance.
"We need to smurf some altitude to keep Gargamel from smurfing his net on us, Handy," Smurfette suggested.
"That smurfs the two of us, Smurfette," Handy replied, steering the smurfplane higher toward the tops of the trees as soon as they reached a clearing. But then they could hear the buzzing of the propeller sounding a bit choppy, as if it were about to stop turning at any moment.
"What's happening, Handy?" Smurfette asked fearfully. "Why are we not smurfing any higher?"
"The wind-up motor on the smurfplane is smurfing down," Handy answered, sounding very concerned. "If we don't get it wound up again, we're going to smurf like a stone and smurf the ground very hard!"
Soon the propeller stopped turning altogether, and the plane briefly floated until it started falling downward.
"Oh no, I think we're in trouble now," Smurfette gasped.
"Quick, Smurfette, take the control stick and try to smurf us where we can land safely," Handy instructed. "I'm going to try smurfing up the motor." He pulled out the wind-up motor key and leaned himself over the body of the smurfplane from the back of the cockpit while Smurfette took his place at the controls.
Gargamel now saw the smurfplane falling out of sky and laughed maniacally. "Those Smurfs are falling to their doom, and pretty soon they will be mine," he said to Azrael as they watched in glee.
Smurfette did the best she could from what little she knew about flying Handy's smurfplane, but the plane was going too fast for her to control its descent. "Hurry up, Handy, we're going to crash!" she cried out as she saw the ground coming very close.
"Almost smurfed it," Handy replied, grunting and groaning at the awkward position he was in while he was turning the wind-up key around. Soon, they could both hear the propeller spinning again at full speed.
"Pull her up to your right, Smurfette," Handy yelled out over the propeller's noise.
Smurfette pulled the control stick back and angled it to the right. The smurfplane nearly brushed the ground as it climbed back into the sky, narrowly missing a tree that they would have crashed into had Smurfette not turned the plane to the right.
"You did it, Smurfette," Handy cheered as he climbed back into the cockpit with the wind-up key. "You're not a bad pilot. Maybe you can smurf some lessons sometime."
Smurfette let out a sigh of relief. "Thanks, Handy, but you're the one who smurfed this thing. You should smurf the honor of getting us away from Gargamel. Besides, I'd rather stick to smurfing a crane than a plane."
Handy nodded, knowing that Smurfette meant well. He took over the controls of the smurfplane and headed back to the village. Smurfette gave Handy a kiss on the cheek as she settled back in her seat behind Handy.
Gargamel snarled as he soon saw the smurfplane suddenly veer away from the ground and head back into the sky, obviously on its way back to the Smurf Village.
"Darn those wretched Smurfs, Azrael," he cursed. "They are getting away. But if they think they have the upper hand on me because of some incredible invention of theirs, I can certainly come up with something better and even more dangerous. Thank the forces of darkness that tonight is the night of the full moon, and then the Great Book of Spells can give me what I need to fly over their village and capture every single Smurf in it. Then I can finally impress those dotard dabblers who ever thought Gargamel was the biggest failure that ever delved into the craft of magic."
Smurf to Part 6