"Papa's New Look" is a mini-story that is part of the EMPATH: The Luckiest Smurf story series.

The Story

It was a day about ten years after Empath had left Psychelia for good. Papa Smurf had left Empath in charge of the Smurf Village for a time while he went to Barber's shop for private business concerning his appearance. Empath sensed what Papa Smurf was doing, but said nothing as he accepted his assignment and allowed Papa Smurf to do his own thing.

As Empath was overseeing the village, Smurfette came up to him. "You wouldn't happen to know what Papa Smurf is doing right now, do you, Empath?" she asked.

"Papa Smurf is currently indisposed with a private appointment with Barber, Smurfette," Empath answered.

"A private appointment? What would Papa Smurf need Barber for other than to trim his beard as usual?" Smurfette asked.

"This smurf is not at liberty to say, if this smurf did know, Smurfette," Empath answered.

"Well, Papa Smurf sure smurfed a fine time to cancel one of my lessons in alchemy to attend to his own personal business, Empath," Brainy said as he approached Empath. "This was supposed to be a very important lesson, and one that I have studied real hard for, but 'sorry, Brainy, we'll have to smurf this lesson for some other time, because I have an appointment with Barber Smurf,'" Brainy said, sounding really disappointed.

"This smurf empathizes with your current situation, Brainy, but all the same, this smurf cannot let you see Papa Smurf until his business with Barber is finished," Empath said.

"I really wish I had your abilities so that I would know what's smurfing on in Papa Smurf's head at this moment, Empath," Brainy said. "I mean, what could he possibly need to smurf Barber for except for his usual beard-trimming sessions?"

"That's Papa Smurf's business to know about, Brainy," Empath said. "This smurf must keep such confidential information about other Smurfs from being discussed among this smurf's fellow Smurfs, whether they happen to be important village decisions or just personal information."

Just then, Papa Smurf stepped out of Barber's shop with a noticeable change of appearance. He approached Empath, Smurfette, and Brainy as they were talking with each other. "Hello, my little Smurfs," he greeted, sounding a bit happy. "How are things smurfing in the village?"

"Things are continuing to go along smoothly without any problems that this smurf can detect, Papa Smurf," Empath replied.

"Ooh, Papa Smurf, what's happened to your beard?" Smurfette asked.

"I would ask the same question myself," Brainy said. "I mean, the only thing left on Papa Smurf's face is a mustache."

"Oh, that," Papa Smurf said. "Well, I figured that now would be a good day for me to smurf with a new look among my little Smurfs. What do you think of it?"

"Gee, Papa Smurf, it makes you smurf a bit more handsome," Smurfette said.

"Not to mention a bit younger," Brainy added. "In fact, I wouldn't expect you to smurf so young after all those years of smurfing a beard on your face."

"I didn't expect that myself either, Brainy," Papa Smurf said. "But I guess that I can't complain that Mother Nature has smurfed her blessing of youth upon me at my 557 years of age."

At that point, Tapper and Duncan McSmurf were passing by when they noticed Papa Smurf standing with the other three Smurfs with his new face. "Michty me, laddie, is that Papa Smurf?" Duncan asked.

"Great Smurfiny Crickets, my fellow Duncan, I didn't expect Papa Smurf to suddenly have this kind of appearance after all those years of smurfing a beard," Tapper said.

"Hey, that can't be Papa Smurf!" Snappy said as he and the Smurflings were passing by.

"Yeah, he smurfs a bit too young to be him," Slouchy said as they stopped to get a closer look.

"Wailing walruses, Pappy, is that you?" Sassette asked.

"Of course it is, my little Sassette," Papa Smurf answered. "I just had my beard smurfed off, that's all."

"Well, you sure look different, Papa Smurf," Nat said.

Eventually the Smurfs stopped by to get a good look at the new appearance of Papa Smurf, noticing how different he looked with just the mustache on his face. After a while of everybody just stopping and looking at him, Papa Smurf said, "All right, my little Smurfs, I think it's time we all smurfed back to our duties."

"Yes, Papa Smurf," every Smurf said as they departed from the scene, leaving Papa Smurf standing with Empath, Brainy, and Smurfette.

"So, Papa Smurf, about that lesson that you're going to smurf me...," Brainy started to say.

"Yes, Brainy, we should get smurfing on it right now," Papa Smurf said, as he and Brainy started walking away.

"So Empath, what do you think about Papa Smurf and how he smurfs now?" Smurfette asked.

"This smurf is just curious to know how long this new look of his is going to last, Smurfette," Empath said. "Something tells this smurf that this may be nothing more than temporary."

"Do you think you might smurf like that when you get to be Papa Smurf's age?" Smurfette asked.

"This smurf only hopes to live to be as old as Papa Smurf, Smurfette," Empath said. "It doesn't matter much to this smurf if this smurf still retains my youthful appearance by that point."

"I personally think it matters, Empath," Smurfette said as she looked at Empath. "I want the Smurf that I marry to be just as handsome in his old age as in the day that I marry him."

Empath smiled. "This smurf just can't wait for the day that you will marry that Smurf, Smurfette."

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