During Empath's first visit to the Smurf Village, Tapper noticed that one day Empath seemed to be staring into space, not saying anything to anyone, his face a frozen expression of no emotion whatsoever.
"Great Smurfiny Crickets, my fellow Empath, what's wrong?" Tapper asked. "Why are you staring off into the distance like that?"
But Empath didn't respond.
Duncan came by and saw Empath's frozen expression. "Michty me, laddie, what's smurfed into the boy?" he asked.
"I have nary a clue, my good Duncan," Tapper said. "But I do think Papa Smurf needs to smurf a look at him to find out."
"Just hang on there, Empath, we're going to smurf you some help," Duncan said as he and Tapper brought Empath to Papa Smurf.
"Everything is in nice bright colors around here," Empath said rather quietly.
"Nice bright colors?" Duncan said. "Tapper, you don't think that..."
"I don't like the smurf of this, Duncan, what this might imply," Tapper said.
They soon reached Papa Smurf in his laboratory. "Papa Smurf, me and Duncan have noticed Empath in this rather unresponsive state where he was just smurfing off into the distance," Tapper said.
"And now he's muttering about smurfing nice bright colors," Duncan added. "I think he may be affected by something that he smurfed."
"Why do the clouds have those smiling faces on them?" Empath asked. "And why is there a fat man that has wings on his hat and the tail of a raccoon?"
"I think I know what's affected Empath, my little Smurfs," Papa Smurf said. "There's nothing for you to worry about right now. I will smurf care of this problem."
"Aye, Papa Smurf, if you say so," Tapper said, and so he and Duncan left their friend in the care of Papa Smurf.
After a little while, Empath's eyes blinked before he started to look around and notice that everything around him was back to normal. "Papa Smurf?" he said as soon as he noticed him.
"Empath, how are you feeling right now?" Papa Smurf asked.
"This smurf is functioning normally right now, Papa Smurf, though this smurf isn't sure of what happened between the time this smurf was with Lazy and Nabby and right at this moment," Empath said.
"You were saying that you were smurfing things in nice bright colors, Empath," Papa Smurf said.
"That is exactly what this smurf was experiencing, Papa Smurf," Empath said. "And besides that, this smurf could remember seeing unusual things such as mushrooms with eyes that move, turtles with wings, and creatures that spit eggs from their mouths. They looked so real that this smurf thought they actually existed."
"What you were most likely experiencing was hallucinations, caused by something that you have smurfed," Papa Smurf said. "Do you remember what you were smurfing with Lazy and Nabby when this happened?"
Empath thought for a moment and then said, "This smurf remembers that we were sitting by the river's edge talking about some things, and then Lazy and Nabby were inhaling something and blowing the smoke that they produced with a plant substance that this smurf wasn't made aware of. They said that this will make this smurf fly, whatever they mean by that, and so this smurf inhaled the substance, and from that point on, after a few inhales, things became rather...weird."
"Things became rather weird when you were inhaling the smoke?" Papa Smurf said. "Empath, I have to tell you that what you were smurfing in is a substance called smurfnip."
"Smurfnip?" Empath asked, sounding curious. "Is this a plant that causes hallucinations?"
"Yes, and while it also produces a feeling of being high, the hallucinations can be rather unsettling, even downright scary," Papa Smurf said. "I should know because I have experimented with smurfnip in my younger years as a Smurf."
"But this smurf does not understand why Smurfs would inhale this kind of substance, even knowing what kind of effects it produces," Empath said.
"It's because Smurfs want to experience things that would help them escape reality, Empath," Papa Smurf said. "Using stuff like smurfnip may seem like a smurfy thing to do, but in the end it can produce more harm to your mind than you can possibly handle."
"Then you believe that no Smurf should ever be inhaling this kind of substance, Papa Smurf," Empath said. "Judging from the effects that came from this smurf's experimentation with smurfnip, it would seem best for this smurf to refrain from further experimentations."
"That is a very wise thing to do, Empath," Papa Smurf said. "Unfortunately, it may not be easy for your fellow Smurfs to give up habits like this because the effects of the high can be so powerful that they can smurf into an addiction."