"Interesting that Jokey would use a fake epidemic in order to make Dabbler feel that his newly-acquired skills as a practitioner of medicine would be useful," Polaris said while rubbing his chin in thought.
"I honestly didn't know that was what Jokey was smurfing, Polaris," Smurfette said. "I was just trying to offer my own services as a caresmurfer when Jokey and those who were smurfed with the pink spots showed up at Dabbler's door that day."
Then Polaris saw that at the same time in that day, Dabbler was already busy treating an injury that Smurfette had received. "I'm so glad that you're my first patient, Smurfette," Dabbler said, sounding delighted as he was wrapping up Smurfette's right foot in a bandage. "Not that I'm glad that you smurfed your toe, of course. but..."
"Are you sure all these bandages are necessary?" Smurfette asked as she saw her foot completely covered in them.
"You can't be too careful, Smurfette," Dabbler said. "Now I want you to smurf two tablets of smurfenol and..."
"Doc...oh, Doc, you've got to help us!" the two of them heard Jokey moan. They looked and saw that Jokey and several other Smurfs were covered with pink spots all over their bodies, and they didn't look all that well.
"Oh my gosh...it's a smurfedemic!" Dabbler gasped. "Smurfette, I need your help to smurf them all to the infirmary. I can treat them much better in a place that isn't so crowded."
"Yes, Doctor...I mean, Dabbler, right away," Smurfette said. "Follow me this way, please."
The Smurflings watched as Dabbler and Smurfette helped bring the pink-spotted Smurfs to the infirmary. "Walloping weasels, what's smurfing on here?" Sassette asked.
"Beats me, Sassette," Snappy said. "Looks like the grown-up Smurfs are smurfing down with something."
"We might as well smurf our distance from them, Smurflings...it may be contagious," Nat said.
"They don't seem too ill to me," Slouchy said with a shrug. "Oh, well, might as well let them smurf their rest."
Inside the infirmary, Smurfette tended to the pink-spotted Smurfs to make them comfortable as they were lying on the hospital beds, while Dabbler consulted the Physician's Reference Manual to find out what it was that those Smurfs had come down with.
"Smurf it to me straight, Doc...I can take the news," Jokey said, sounding really desperate. "How bad is it?"
Dabbler found something in the manual that gave him a bit of pause, but he realized that he had to tell Jokey and the others for their good. "Well...according to the manual, you have what it calls the Spotty Pink Plague," he responded. "As for the symptoms, it smurfs that after the spots appear, the victim will become irritable..."
"I hate irritable," Grouchy said.
"And exhausted...," Dabbler continued.
"Well, I have been tired lately," Lazy said as he let out a yawn before settling himself to sleep.
"And then smurfs blurry vision...," Dabbler continued.
"That's me all right," Brainy said as he adjusted his glasses.
"And severe itchiness...," Dabbler continued.
Jokey sat up in his bed and started scratching himself. "Oh, yeah. Hey, you Smurfs, do any of you feel itchy?"
"Oh...as a matter of fact, I do," Vanity said, as he and he fellow Smurfs also sat up and started scratching themselves.
"And the symptoms will smurf worse until the victim finally...," Dabbler read on until he came to the part that made him gasp in fear.
"Finally what, Doctor?" Jokey asked.
"You don't want to know, but I can smurf you that it isn't good," Dabbler said as he closed up the manual.
The bedridden Smurfs groaned in fear as they continued scratching, not sure that they would want to know their final fate. "That does sound really serious," Hefty said, feeling a lump forming in his throat.
"Gosh, it smurfs like it's going to be the end for us," Clumsy said.
"I hate the end," Grouchy said.
"But hang on, my fellow Smurfs, because the manual says there is a cure, and I'll be back with it as fast as I can," Dabbler said resolutely before he left the infirmary.
"There, there, you Smurfs, it's going to be all right," Smurfette said as she went to press a cool wet cloth on a Smurf's forehead to make him feel better. And then she saw that the pink spots were now on the cloth. "Huh? What's this?" she wondered.
"Uh-oh, now the Spotty Pink Plague is spreading," Clumsy said in fear as he saw the pink spots on the cloth.
Smurfette dabbed her finger on one of the spots and realized what it actually was. "Why, it's nothing but paint!"
"Paint?!?" the bedridden Smurfs said together, shocked at the revelation.
Suddenly Jokey burst out laughing. Smurfette hobbled over to his bed and gave him a mean stare. "Jokey Smurf, how could you smurf this!" she demanded.
"Hey, I was only trying to help make Dabbler feel useful," Jokey explained while still laughing. "I was smurfing various Smurfs at night when they were smurfing in their beds...I was so quiet that they didn't even know I was there...and then I simply smurfed the spots on their faces. By morning I also smurfed myself the spots and simply pretended that I was sick. Oh, you should have smurfed the look on every Smurf's face when they got up and smurfed at themselves."
"Well, what are we going to do when Dabbler smurfs back?" Smurfette asked, not liking what she heard.
"I don't know...probably take his cure and have a miraculous recovery, I guess," Jokey said before he laughed again.
"M'sieu Jokey, you can stop scratching yourself now...the joke is over," Painter said, sounding upset at finding out.
At that moment, Tapper and Duncan McSmurf had entered the infirmary. "Jokey Smurf, I should have known you would be smurfing up to your old smurfs again," Tapper said indignantly.
"You smurfed a can of pink paint on the ground outside a house," Duncan McSmurf added. "That was very sloppy of you."
"Come on, you Smurfs, it was just a harmless joke," Jokey said as he was surrounded by a group of Smurfs all staring daggers at him. "I just wanted to help Dabbler out, that's all."
"Harmless?" Hefty said, sounding riled up. "I'd like to smurf you outside right now and show you something 'harmless'!"
"Uh, yeah, Jokey Smurf...a real shame on you," Clumsy said in agreement.
"Oh no!" Brainy said as he was busy reading through the manual. "I've just found the cure for the Spotty Pink Plague. It says that we must smurf swamproot from a place called Brackish Bog."
"Brackish Bog? Oh no, that's where the Bog Goblin lives!" Smurfette cried out.
"It's so dangerous that even Dabbler wouldn't be foolish enough to go there...or would he?" Jokey said as he continued to scratch himself.
"Great Smurfiny Crickets, we need to smurf after him before the Bog Goblin gets him," Tapper said.
Meanwhile, at Brackish Bog, Dabbler was standing on a rock in the middle of a murky pond, trying to pull out a blade of swamproot until it came loose. "There...that wasn't so bad," he said as he put the root inside his pouch. "I've got several smurfs of it for the Smurfs I need to cure. Now I just need one more."
He then hopped onto what appeared to be another rock and tried to pull the blade of swamproot sticking out near the rock, but he found that this blade was harder to pull out than the others. What he didn't see was a pair of eyes on the "rock" that suddenly opened.
Tapper, Duncan, Smurfette, Brainy, Hefty, and Jokey entered the bog and made their way safely through until they reached the murky pond. "That laddie's got to be around here somewhere that the swamproot is," Duncan said as he looked around.
"There...I see him! Look!" Smurfette cried out, pointing to Dabbler out in the middle of the pond.
"Great Smurfiny Crickets, I have a feeling that our fellow Smurf is in terrible danger," Tapper said.
"Dabbler, look out!" Hefty and the other Smurfs yelled, trying to get his attention.
Dabbler heard the voices and turned around to see who it was calling out to him. "Hey, you spotted Smurfs are supposed to be in bed," he admonished them.
Then suddenly the "rock" rose up and revealed itself to the Bog Goblin, all fearsome and ready to capture its prey. Dabbler quickly jumped off the head of the creature and landed on another rock, but the Bog Goblin soon chased after the Smurf as he hopped from rock to rock to avoid capture.
"Oh no, he'll never make it," Smurfette said fearfully.
"Come on, laddie, you're faster and smarter than him," Duncan called out.
Soon Dabbler ran out of rocks to hop on and instead hopped onto a vine, climbing as high as he could to escape. The Bog Goblin stopped to look where its prey went and then saw him climbing the vine overhead. It leaped up to snap its jaws at the Smurf, but missed as it wasn't high enough. It leaped again, and this time bit off a good deal of the vine, but barely missed the Smurf.
"Uh...I can't hold on much longer," Dabbler said, as he saw the Bog Goblin try a third time to leap up at him. This time, though, a bit of light reflected off the examiner's headband blinded the creature, making it impossible for it to see his prey.
"Now's your chance, Dabbler, while you got him dazzled," Hefty called out.
Dabbler leaped down from the vine and jumped off the Bog Goblin and onto the rocks for safety. He landed in the water near the six other Smurfs, with Duncan reaching down to grab him and pull him to safety.
"Come on, my fellow Smurfs...we'll be safe once we smurf past those rocks," Tapper said as he led the Smurfs in that direction.
The Bog Goblin soon got over its disorientation and chased after the Smurfs. It landed close enough to where they were that he sent a large spray of brackish water to wash over them as they passed through the narrow gap between the rocks. The water carried them safely over to the other side.
"Aaaaah, we've made it through to safety, laddies," Duncan said as he and his fellow Smurfs picked themselves up from the ground.
"Praise the Almighty for His guiding hand on our escape," Tapper said. "That is one circumstance that I don't want to find myself smurfing in again."
"And I did it...I've found the cure," Dabbler said as he picked up a swamproot fruit that he was looking for. Then he looked at his fellow Smurfs and noticed that Brainy, Hefty, and Jokey were losing their spots. "Hey...your spots...they're coming off!"
"Yeah, well, it must have been something in the swampwater, Dabbler...yeah, that's it," Jokey said, trying to sound convincing while still scratching himself.
Dabbler dabbed a finger on one of Jokey's spots and realized what it was. "Smurfs more like it was paint to me."
"Jokey was smurfing a prank on you because he cared about you, Dabbler," Smurfette said. "He was only trying to make you feel useful."
"All his prank did was show me how useless I really am," Dabbler said, sounding upset. He took off his stethoscope and examiner's headband and threw them both on the ground. "Thanks a lot, Jokey," he said before he walked off in shame.
"You should be feeling very badly about this, Jokey Smurf," Smurfette scolded.
"Well, actually, Smurfette, I have felt better," Jokey said, clutching both his head and his stomach as he seemed to act like he was becoming ill.
"Enough of acting like you're sick, Jokey," Tapper said, not sounding like he's convinced. "We all know how much of a performer you are when it smurfs to playing us all for fools."
"I don't think this is a performance, laddie," Duncan said, noticing something. "Smurf at what's appearing on his back."
"Great Smurfness," Brainy said, also seeing it for himself. "Hey, Jokey, I think you may be smurfing down with the Spotty Pink Plague yourself...and for real this time!"
"I am?" Jokey said, and then he looked at himself and noticed that pink spots were appearing all over his body. "Oh no!"
Dabbler had reached the village, and was still walking around with his head slumped, feeling sorry for himself when he heard somebody calling out, "Doctor Smurf! Doctor Smurf!"
He turned to see that it was Jokey, and that he had the pink spots on him again and that he was acting sick. "Oh, you've got to help me," he said with some difficulty. "Suddenly...I don't...feel...too...smurfy..."
Dabbler caught Jokey as he collapsed in his arms. "Forget it, Jokey. I'm not falling for this again."
"I don't think he's kidding this time, Dabbler," Hefty said as he and the other four Smurfs arrived in the village.
"Those spots that he smurfs on his body are for real," Brainy added.
"It smurfs like Jokey's life is in your hands, Doctor Smurf," Smurfette said. "You've got to save him."
"Oh dear," Dabbler said as he looked at Jokey and realized how serious it was. "Quick, we've got to smurf him back to my place."
"Hang on there, laddie, you're going to be in good smurfs now," Duncan said as he picked up Jokey and carried him over his shoulder.
"I pray for the Almighty's healing hand to smurf upon him for a smurfy recovery," Tapper said as he and the Smurfs with him followed Dabbler.
Smurf to Part 4