|The Astro Smurf|
|Original title||Le Cosmoschtroumpf|
|Story||Peyo, Yvan Delporte, Gos|
Random House (English)
|Year of publication||1970|
- For other uses, see Astro Smurf (disambiguation)
One of the Smurfs has a desire to travel to the stars and see other strange worlds. He goes to Papa Smurf to seek his help on how he could accomplish that, but after hearing from the village leader's reading of a magic book on the particular subject of how hard such a thing might be, that Smurf goes off into the forest to meditate. As he does, he sees a spinning seedling drop down from a tree. Then inspiration hits him: he will create a spaceship that will enable him to travel to the stars. Borrowing as many things as he can from Handy's workshop, the Smurf builds a fence around his workplace and prevents any Smurf from getting a peek at what he is working on until he is ready to show them.
Some days later, the Smurfs all gather around for the unveiling and the launching of Astro Smurf's spaceship, including Papa Smurf. Astro explains how it works: he simply moves the pedals in the cockpit, which makes the propellers on the bottom of the ship spin, and it will launch him into outer space. Papa Smurf simply wishes him well, and the other Smurfs say goodbye as Astro enters the cockpit, starts the countdown, and then starts pedaling. He pedals and pedals and pedals with all his might, but the other Smurfs simply see that the spaceship simply isn't lifting off the ground. After a while, Astro Smurf comes out of the ship and drags himself home, frustrated. Papa Smurf sees that Astro won't be happy until he accomplishes the very thing he sought to do -- which inspires him to come up with a plan.
|Smurfing there alone, the ship is waiting...|
|Smurf below us, drifting, falling, smurfing weightless, smurfing, smurfing home...|
|The Swoofs do a tribal dance around the fire.|
First, he tells Astro that Handy found out what was wrong with his spaceship and that he had fixed it, which makes Astro ready to go. However, before Astro re-enters his spaceship, Papa Smurf has him drink a glass of raspberry juice that secretly contained a sleeping potion. When Astro pedals away inside the cockpit of his spaceship, the other Smurfs rock the ship and cause smoke to rise up to the cockpit's windows, making Astro believe that his spaceship really was flying. Soon the sleeping potion has its effect on Astro, causing him to fall asleep. When the spaceship's propellers stopped turning, Papa Smurf has Astro taken out of the spaceship before it is dismantled, and then later that night Papa Smurf works on a secret potion that he will later use to fulfill Astro's desire.
The next day, Papa Smurf has his little Smurfs carting Astro and his dismantled spaceship over hill and dale, keeping him asleep by having him ingest more of the raspberry potion. Soon they stop as Papa Smurf directs them to the inside of an extinct volcano, where they reassemble Astro's spaceship and place him back inside it. Afterward, Papa Smurf uses his secret potion to change himself and all his little Smurfs into orange caveman-like aliens called Swoofs.
Sometime later, when Astro awakes inside his spaceship, he finds out that he landed on what appeared to be another planet. As he explores the area, he encounters a single Swoof who then takes him to his village, where he talks with Grandpa Swoof about how he came to their planet. Grandpa Swoof has a private talk with his little Swoofs before he extends the hand of friendship to Astro, inviting him to stay for a party held in his honor. However, the reception Astro receives from the Swoofs was so favorable, it makes him want to stay with them instead of returning back home -- which makes the Smurfs who really were the Swoofs come up with a plan to get Astro to desire returning home instead.
The following day, Grandpa Swoof makes Astro go through a gauntlet of tests that will determine whether he would be worthy to become a Swoof like them. The first test was to hit a bullseye with a spear while blindfolded and spun around. Astro then throws the spear in the wrong direction, but then the cave walls deflect the misdirected spear, redirecting it to hit the bullseye. The next test was to climb up a pole, which was supposed to be a greased pole, except that some Swoof forgot to grease it. The third test was to fight one of the Swoofs, and Grandpa Swoof chose one whom he thought was Hefty Smurf to be Astro's opponent, only it turned out to be Vanity! The fourth test was to swim across a lake and back carrying a rock with him, which Grandpa Swoof hoped would end Astro's visit. However, as Grandpa Swoof finds out, the only rocks that were around inside the volcano were pumice stone, which naturally floated on water. The fifth test was to fetch an edelweiss flower that grew on the peak of the highest mountain before sundown, and that seems to nearly defeat Astro -- until he manages to hitch a ride on a stork to get it!
Then comes the final test -- having to live the life of a Swoof. After hearing what this final test would entail, Astro realizes at that point that he would be better off going home, and so he goes back into his spaceship where he again falls asleep. When that happened, the Swoofs change back into Smurfs and bring Astro and his spaceship back to the village. When Astro awakes inside his spaceship again, he goes outside and finds himself back in the Smurf Village, greeted by his fellow Smurfs, congratulating him for his journey. Papa Smurf asks if Astro had any plans to travel to the stars again, and Astro says that while the desire to do so was very tempting, he feels that no other place was better than home. However, sometime later, when a Smurf decides to try doing his own method of traveling to the stars, a few of his fellow Smurfs adamantly shout to him that they're not going through that again!
"To infinity and smurf!"
- - Astro Smurf in the Papercutz reprint, referencing a line from Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story.
- In the original French version of the story, the Swoofs were called Schlips.
- Smurfette, who was part of the cartoon show adaptation of this story, was not present in the original version.
- Harmony Smurf is referred to as Rocker Smurf in the original Random House English version.
- Though in the original comic book version the Smurfs tell another Smurf (not Astro Smurf) that they don't intend to go through the same thing of becoming Swoofs again when he wanted to come up with his own method for traveling through the stars, the cartoon show adaptation of this story had a sequel called "Dreamy's Pen Pals" where the Smurfs go through becoming Swoofs again when Dreamy wanted to revisit the Swoofs.
- The recent reprint of the comic book story by Papercutz changes the Swoofs from orange to green, to match their appearance in the cartoon show, although Grandpa Swoof still retains his black hair. Also Grandpa Swoof is renamed Papa Swoof.
- Though the book was published by Dupuis in 1970, there was an older version which was published in 1967 and was sponsored by BN biscuits. Dupuis was not involved in the publishment.