It was a few days after Papa Smurf had officially announced that he would be the one and only Papa Smurf to 97 young Smurflings that didn't know what their future was going to be like without their parents. It was on that day that a young Duncan McSmurf visited Tapper, who was off by himself near the outskirts of the village, still in tears.
"You're still mourning for the loss of your Papa and Mama Smurf, my dear boy?" Duncan asked, trying not to sound offending.
"I am not just weeping for them, Duncan," Tapper said. "I am also weeping for a village who now has to rely on a single adult Smurf as their Papa Smurf...and how we are supposed to live now that we don't have any other adults to smurf us how to smurf things because of that terrible plague."
"You should smurf yourself lucky that the plague only smurfed away our parents and not us as well, Tapper," Duncan said. "We may be without our parents, but we're not without Smurfs who know what they're smurfing and can help keep this village smurfing without our parents to help us along."
"I feel that luck has smurfed against us, Duncan," Tapper said. "Uncle Cully barely even knows how to lead a village, and he's counting on a few Smurfs to help him maintain some semblance of order? A lot of good that will smurf us when most of our fellow Smurfs aren't going to smurf things just as well as our parents."
"Well, this is our time to prove ourselves to be just as good as our parents, Tapper," Duncan said. "Your Papa Smurf trained you to be a good brewer and bartender. Surely you can see how your talents will someday smurf to good use when we're all grown up and in need of someone like you to help us relax after a hard day's smurf."
"A brewer and a bartender at a young Smurfling's age," Tapper scoffed. "At least Barber may have some work to smurf with Uncle Cully, but there's nothing that I can do as a young Smurfling that can help smurf this village together."
"Just remember that I will be smurfing out for you, Tapper, just like my Papa Smurf and your Papa Smurf would have wanted," Duncan said, putting his hand on Tapper's shoulder to show his empathy toward his fellow Smurf.
Tapper looked briefly at Duncan and then just looked away, his mood not changing.
Sometime later, Papa Smurf and his little Smurfs were enjoying a lunch put together by Greedy and his kitchen staff when he noticed that one of his little Smurfs was missing. "Has any of you smurfed Tapper today?" he asked.
"Last time I smurfed of him, Papa Smurf, he was at the outsmurfs of our village, still mourning for his parents," Duncan reported.
"He should get over it and get himself smurfing like the other Smurfs here, if he wants to make himself useful," Hefty said.
"I don't understand how you could be so crass about other Smurfs' suffering when the loss of our parents is still fresh on our minds," Duncan said.
"Yeah, Hefty...we just lost our parents not long ago," Handy added.
"I hate losing our parents...well, maybe not mine, but you know what I mean," Grouchy said.
And several other voices joined in to refute Hefty's comment until Papa Smurf silenced them.
"I know that we still feel sorrow for our loss, my little Smurfs, but there comes a time that we must smurf over that feeling and start smurfing for the future, however difficult it may be for us," Papa Smurf said. "Nevertheless, if Tapper had run away because dealing with the loss has become so difficult for him to smurf, then we must smurf together and go find him before something dangerous happens to him."
"But where would a Smurf like him run off to, Papa Smurf?" Brainy asked.
"I honestly don't know, Brainy," Papa Smurf said. "The forest is a very big place and it's very easy for little Smurflings like him to get lost in. I will smurf a group into the forest to go see where Tapper could have smurfed off to if he had smurfed anywhere."
"I would want to join your group, Papa Smurf, since Tapper is like a brother to me," Duncan said.
"And you can count me in, Papa Smurf," Sweepy said.
"And me also," Barber said.
"Gosh, I feel so terrible for Tapper just running away like that, because we don't have our parents anymore," Clumsy said.
"We are going to find him, Clumsy, trust me," Brainy said.
"I only hope so, Brainy," Clumsy said. "I still miss my Papa and Mama Smurf, and so does my brother Dimwitty."
Meanwhile, Tapper sat at the edge of a cliff looking down over the raging river below, contemplating what he was going to do next. "I'm sorry that you smurfed such high hopes for me, Papa and Mama, and that you'd never get a chance to see them smurf to pass because of that plague," Tapper said as he looked down to the river. "Uncle Cully is left with such a heavy burden that most of us are not able to help him bear, and even I don't know what to smurf. It seems that the village is much better off without me and my skills that won't be useful for another 50 years."
As Tapper was busy talking to himself, he didn't notice that there was a wolf sneaking up behind him, ready to devour his prey until Tapper looked away from the river to see what he heard sneaking up behind him. He screamed as he tried to get up and run away, but the ground gave out from underneath him and he found himself falling into the river below.
"Help! Papa Smurf! Any Smurf! Save me!" Tapper cried out as he was being carried downstream by the rough waters of the river.
As Tapper saw that he was headed for the waterfalls, he feared that the worst was going to happen, that he was going to perish at the bottom of the falls. And then suddenly he was lifted from the waters and placed on dry land, coughing up the water that was in his lungs, but nonetheless thankful to still be alive.
"You appear to be in low spirits, my little friend, and in need of answers," a female voice spoke to him.
Tapper looked and saw a female form dressed in white with bird wings attached to her. "Blessed Smurfs of Eire...who are you?" he asked.
"I am called Aignéis in the tongue that your people speak, but you may call me Agnes," the female being said. "I am an angel of the Lord God Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth. You do not know me, but I have been with you ever since you were born and given the name Naomhan, a name that you will discover its meaning for yourself. I have been sent by the Almighty to deliver you something that will help you realize what your role will be in the years to come, a future that you have yet to realize for yourself. And you will not perish before this task is done."
And then suddenly the angel vanished, and left in the spot that she was standing was a white book with gold trim and a gold cross embossed on it. Tapper went over and picked up the book. It said HOLY SCRIPTURES on the spine. "Holy Scriptures?" he asked.
Tapper opened the book and read the first page called Genesis. "'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void, with darkness on the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, Let there be light! And there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided between the light and darkness. God called the light, Day; and the darkness He called, Night. Thus, the evening and the morning: Day One.'"
Tapper was so engrossed in reading the book, so eager to find out who the Almighty is that it was referring to, that he didn't notice how much time has passed, or that his fellow Smurfs were looking for him until he heard Papa Smurf call out, "Tapper! Tapper Smurf!"
"There he is, Papa Smurf, and he's reading from a strange book," Brainy said.
Papa Smurf and the Smurfs that were with him came over to where Tapper was sitting. "Tapper Smurf, where have you been?" Papa Smurf said, sounding a bit angry and concerned. "You had us smurfing through the whole forest looking for you."
Tapper closed the book and looked at Papa Smurf. "I'm so sorry that I made you worry about me, Papa Smurf," Tapper said. "I didn't think that I would ever be useful in the village anymore because I don't have the skills of Hefty, Handy, and Greedy."
"Just because you don't have those skills doesn't mean that you still can't be useful, Tapper," Papa Smurf said. "Come, let us return to the village."
Later on near the end of the day, Tapper was sitting by himself near the house that was his sleeping quarters, still reading from the book that the angel had left him when Duncan came up to him. "What's gotten you interested in reading from that book there, Tapper?" Duncan asked.
"I want to find out who this Almighty is that the angel said I have a destiny with, Duncan," Tapper said. "I thought this book might smurf me the answers, but it just smurfs me more questions."
"More questions about what?" Duncan asked.
"About why the Almighty smurfs what he smurfs, Duncan," Tapper said. "He smurfed mankind a beautiful garden that He smurfed away from them because of a talking snake that deceived them into disobeying the Almighty. He smurfed man to build a giant boat to save all kinds of animals because the Almighty was going to drown the earth in a flood. He saved one man from a city that He was going to destroy because it fell into such wickedness that I can't even imagine the Smurf Village ever smurfing. I don't know why this Almighty wants me to know all this from this book."
"I can't say that I would be much help answering those questions for you, Tapper," Duncan said. "But if this Almighty says you have a destiny with him, then maybe you should listen to Him a bit more to find out for yourself."
"Maybe there is something in this book that will help me smurf faith in somebody that's been smurfed charge of a hundred beings like us," Tapper said.
"Maybe that book will keep you from ever running away from us...who knows," Duncan said. "Anyway, I'll still be here for you if you need a Smurf to talk to."
Tapper smiled as he looked toward Duncan. "My Papa Smurf and yours couldn't have picked a better Smurf to watch over me like a brother."