It was the morning after Polaris had first became a member of the Smurf Village. He had stayed in Empath's house for the night since there was no other house in the village that was vacant for him to stay in, and besides Polaris wasn't used to sleeping without a roommate.
Smurfette greeted Empath and Polaris as they joined the other Smurfs in line waiting for their breakfast. "Good morning, Empath and Polaris. How was your friend's first night smurfing in the village?"
"This one's resting period was...peaceful, fellow Smurfette," Polaris answered.
"Actually, he was keeping this smurf up all night, Smurfette," Empath said. "This smurf didn't think he would ever get to sleep."
"Oh, really, Empath?" Smurfette said. "I didn't think your friend would be smurfing you so much trouble in your own home."
"This smurf was only kidding, Smurfette," Empath said. "Polaris would never do anything that would disturb anyone's resting period."
"Indeed this one would not," Polaris said with a raised eyebrow while glancing sideways at Empath.
"Oh, I can't wait to smurf what we're having for breakfast today," Smurfette said. "What will you be eating, Polaris?"
"This one is waiting to receive his daily meal of nutrient paste, Smurfette," Polaris answered.
"Nutrient paste?" Smurfette asked.
"It's a delicacy in Psychelia that resembles porridge, Smurfette," Empath said. "It's pretty much the only thing that the Psyches have to eat."
"The only thing? Are you serious, Empath?" Smurfette asked.
"Unfortunately this smurf is being serious, Smurfette," Empath said. "The Psyche Master is very particular about the kind of diet he wants the Psyches to adhere to, that it's not supposed to have any kind of flavors in it."
"No flavors?" Smurfette said, frowning at the thought. "Then how are they supposed to enjoy what they eat?"
"Psyches do not nourish themselves in that manner for the sake of enjoyment, Smurfette," Polaris answered. "We are simply to maintain our health and vitality through our daily supplement of nutrients."
"Believe this smurf when this smurf tells you that you don't want to find out what nutrient paste even tastes like," Empath said.
"It's really that bad?" Smurfette asked.
"It really has no flavor to it at all, Smurfette," Empath said. "This smurf grew up eating that stuff, and frankly, this smurf prefers the variety of flavors that Smurf cuisine provides."
Smurfette sighed. "Well, I hope that your friend enjoys smurfing his breakfast with his fellow Smurfs today, Empath. I just don't want him to feel like he's missing out on something smurfy."
"This one appreciates your concern, Smurfette, but this one should be able to manage having his daily supplement with no problems," Polaris said.
Then came Empath's and Polaris' turn to receive their breakfast. "Morning, Empath," Greedy greeted. "Ready to smurf your day with a nice serving of Schtroumpf toast?"
"Only you know how to make it the way this smurf likes it, Greedy," Empath said as he received his plate of Schtroumpf toast with mushroom sausages and home fries. "You've got Polaris' meal ready for him?"
"I tried following the recipe that you smurfed me for the nutrient paste, Empath, and let me smurf you, it wasn't easy trying to smurf those grains together and boil them in the right amount," Greedy said as he produced a bowl of the nutrient paste. "This stuff is so thick, I could hardly stir it up, let alone try to smurf it out of the pot and into a bowl."
"This smurf knows that you're only doing your best, Greedy," Empath said. "Polaris will understand it if things about the nutrient paste are not perfect."
"If Polaris gets too fussy about it, Empath, he's free to smurf up his own bowl of nutrient paste," Greedy said. "I'm not really crazy about smurfing up food that doesn't even have a taste to it."
"This one appreciates your efforts, fellow Greedy," Polaris said as he received his bowl of nutrient paste.
After Empath got his glass of grapefruit juice and his silverware while Polaris got his glass of water and a spoon, they both sat together at one of the long tables in the dining commons. "Ready to enjoy your first meal in the Smurf Village?" Empath asked as he reached for the syrup and butter on the table.
"We should first call upon a blessing for this meal before we proceed to our nourishment, Empath," Polaris said.
"You think the Great Ancestors are going to bless your meal, even though you and this smurf are no longer part of the Psychelian community?" Empath asked.
"This one does not know what else to do, Empath, since it has always been part of this one's custom," Polaris answered.
"Well, if that will help you, Polaris, then you have this smurf's permission," Empath said.
Both Empath and Polaris closed their eyes as Polaris prayed. "Great Ancestors of Psychelia who watch over all who desire to be among you in our day of ascension, grant us the blessing of this meal which has been provided for us, and may it nourish our bodies so that we may seek to please those whom we serve."
"And so let it be," Empath responded. He and Polaris opened their eyes after the prayer ended. "You know, Tapper has the habit of saying grace right before he starts eating his meals."
"'Saying grace'?" Polaris asked. "You mean that he also prays for a blessing upon the meal that he eats?"
"That is correct, Polaris, except that he prays to this deity that he calls the Almighty," Empath said. "Most Smurfs think he's crazy to pray for a blessing for his meal, but Papa Smurf seems to respect it since the Smurfs are always relying on Mother Nature to provide us with a bounty of food for us to eat."
"For what seems to be a savage race, your people have a tendency to exhibit a veneration for beings greater than yourselves," Polaris commented.
"There's more to being a Smurf than what meets the minds-eye, Polaris," Empath said. "You might as well dig in and try to enjoy what Smurf life has to offer."
As Empath and Polaris started to eat, Hefty came over to look at the both of them. "Well, well, well, look at what we smurf here...the star-faced showoff and his friend smurfing a breakfast together," he crowed.
"Hefty, don't you have better things to do than to bother other people about their eating habits?" Empath asked.
"I'm just curious to see what your friend is eating, Empath," Hefty said. He looked at the nutrient paste that Polaris was eating and made a face. "Don't tell me that he likes smurfing his food from Handy's bag of cement."
"It isn't cement, Hefty...it's called nutrient paste," Empath said. "Maybe you should give it a try since you like eating healthy food."
"Oh no...that stuff smurfs like it's for Baby Smurf," Hefty said. "I guess that he just couldn't stomach smurfing real food like a true Smurf."
"This one wouldn't be able to digest what you would call 'real food' if this one were to try consuming it, fellow Hefty," Polaris said.
"Let's smurf this one thing straight, pale-face...you and I are not fellows!" Hefty said. "You're only here because Papa Smurf allowed you to smurf here out of the smurfness of his heart, but make no mistake, I'm going to smurf my eye on you to make sure you don't smurf anything funny in this village. You got that?"
"This one understands your concern and will comply to your wishes, Hefty," Polaris said.
"I'm going back to smurf on my own breakfast now," Hefty said. "Don't smurf anything with each other that I wouldn't smurf!" He let out a snicker at the end of the last thing he said as he headed away from where Empath and Polaris were sitting.
"This one does not appreciate whatever it is that Hefty was implying with that statement, Empath," Polaris said.
"It's just part of Hefty's personality, Polaris," Empath said. "He believes that he feels so secure of his own masculinity that he thinks that he needs to scorn and impugn another male Smurf's masculinity to make all sorts of spiteful insinuations."
"That doesn't seem like a very constructive way to live, Empath," Polaris said.
"Hefty still cares for his fellow Smurfs, even if he has an odd way of showing it," Empath said. "You'll get used to his personality over time when he has to live with you being here every day."
"This one would also assume that he would be accustomed to this one's way of living over the same time period as well, Empath," Polaris said.
"There's always hope that you and him will work peacefully together, even if you don't become friends with him," Empath said.
Just then Tapper came over to visit Empath and Polaris. "Smurf o' the morning to you, my fellows," he greeted. "How are you enjoying your first meal in the Smurf Village, Polaris?"
"This one reports that the meal is...adequately prepared and consumable, fellow Tapper," Polaris said.
"Empath tells me that's all you and the other Psyches have to eat in Psychelia," Tapper said. "I can only feel sorrow for you that it's the only thing that you smurf in your daily diet. But rest assured, you're not the only one who had to smurf up with such a limited diet."
"You mean that there are others whose daily diet of nourishment is also limited, Tapper?" Polaris said out of curiosity.
"When the Almighty smurfed the children of Israel out of Egypt and smurfed them into the desert, all they had to smurf on was just bread from heaven and water," Tapper said. "This was what the Lord provided them even as they had to smurf 40 years in the desert when they refused to smurf into the Promised Land to take it over from the Canaanites."
"This smurf would get sick of just eating bread and water if that was all this smurf had to live on for that many years, Tapper," Empath said.
"The ones in the generation that left Egypt got sick of smurfing it and asked for meat, which the Lord provided but at the cost of smurfing dead those who desired it, Empath," Tapper said. "But the ones who were smurfed into the world in the desert did not seem to have that same problem, as they became used to smurfing food from heaven's kitchens on a daily basis. By the time they smurfed over the River Jordan to finally enter the Promised Land, they were able to celebrate their first Passover meal full of meat and all the smurfness that the land provided."
"You're assuming through this story that this one would someday be able to digest food other than this one's daily requirements, Tapper?" Polaris asked.
"I'm just saying that it will someday happen for you, my fellow Polaris," Tapper said. "I do not wish to belittle the situation you'll have to face every day of your life here as you see your fellow Smurfs smurfing things that you couldn't."
"That may be difficult, if not entirely impossible, for this one to suddenly become able to digest more than nutrient paste and water, Tapper," Polaris said.
"With God all things are possible," Tapper said. "All you need to believe is a grain of faith the size of a mustard seed, and you can smurf mountains."
"This smurf can't wait for the day that you'll be able to enjoy a full meal, Polaris," Empath said.
"Should that day ever happen, Empath, then this one would be honored to appreciate the experience of sharing such a meal with you," Polaris said.
Just then Jokey approached the two of them. "Say, Polaris, what's that stuff you're smurfing for breakfast?" he asked out of curiosity.
"The substance is called nutrient paste, fellow Jokey, and it's not a breakfast item as it is a meal intended to sustain a Psyche for the course of a day," Polaris answered.
"Just one meal a day?" Jokey said. "Boy, I hate to smurf your life. Mind if I try a sample of it just to see what it smurfs like?"
"This one will caution you that it's completely flavorless, and that you will need your own spoon to try a sample of the substance," Polaris said.
"Here, Jokey, this smurf isn't using the spoon for anything," Empath said as he handed Jokey his spoon.
Jokey took the spoon and scooped out a small portion of Polaris' nutrient paste to try out. No sooner after Jokey tasted the nutrient paste did Empath and Polaris notice his eyes suddenly grew wide as if something terrible has happened. "Jokey, are you all right?" Empath asked out of concern.
Jokey turned his head and acted like he going to throw up. Empath and Polaris noticed that his face was turning a slight shade of green as he covered his mouth and looked around for a place where he could expel what was in his mouth. He also made a lot of noises that sounded like an eruption was going to happen any minute and that nobody is going to like the sight of it.
"This one had no idea that nutrient paste would instill a violent reaction in one of your fellow Smurfs who is not used to ingesting it on a regular basis," Polaris said, sounding concerned.
Tapper snorted. "I'd say that should smurf him a lesson about smurfing around with things that he knows nothing about."
"Nice performance, Jokey," Empath said. "However, this smurf doubts that nutrient paste is that disgusting to eat."
Jokey's complexion returned to normal. "Okay, I know this stuff isn't going to kill me. But smurf, this stuff is so bland, I can't even see how you and Polaris can smurf to eat it every single day."
"Maybe this smurf should have Greedy serve you the same thing every day just to get you off your fellow Smurfs' backs about what they eat, Jokey," Empath said.
"Uh, maybe some other time, Empath," Jokey said. "I don't think I'm that hungry."
Empath and Polaris watched as Jokey headed away. "What was the point of Jokey trying to deceive this one into thinking that his ingesting nutrient paste was incompatible with his digestive system?" Polaris asked.
"He's just trying to humor you and this smurf, Polaris," Empath said. "Like every Smurf here, he's not interested in a daily diet of food that just doesn't have any flavor to it."
"That just seems a very dishonest way of expressing his opinion about food that he is not accustomed to ingesting," Polaris said.
"You'll get used to it, Polaris," Empath said.