and Isabella went with their mama to town for the annual Olive Festival.
Each year hundreds of olive farmers came to town to sell their olives.
They held contests for the villagers, including one where people compete
to see how many olives they can eat. They even had a King and Queen
Olive, where the most beautiful people in the town were elected to reign
for a year. Booths selling sweet pastries and cakes lined the street. No
cars were allowed in town that day, so children could run freely.
led the children through the streets. “Mama, can Mario and I go and find
go ahead, but come back right here to this spot at noon,” Mama said.
and Isabella nodded and ran off. They passed by a huge vat, filled to
the top with olives and water. The green fruits bobbed up and down.
“Look, Isabella. There must be a million olives in there.”
grabbed onto the side of the vat and pulled herself up to look over.
“These must be for the olive eating contest.” She stuck her hand in the
water. “Should I take an olive for us?”
looked around. Nobody was watching. “Yes, I'd love one.”
grabbed two olives and then they ran off. “Maybe we should enter the
olive eating contest, Mario. What do you think?”
could never eat that many, but I would enjoy watching it. Should we go
and see what is entering the contest?” Mario wiped his mouth.
Isabella ran down the street, with Mario right behind her.
stopped at a large table. Nine men and one woman sat in chairs with
bowls of olives in front of them.
is it, Mario. I don't think the woman will win. Look how big some of the
men are. There's Lorenzo and Vincenzo too. They can eat a hundred olives
with no problem,” Isabella said.
contest began. It only took a few moments for them to finish off the
first bowl. Mario and Isabella watched as a man put another bowl down in
front of each of them. This went on for ten minutes. One of the men
couldn't eat any more. He fell out of the chair and had to be helped
away. One by one the men quit. It got down to only two people left,
Vincenzo and Carlotta.
Carlotta wins,” Isabella said.
Vincenzo wins,” Mario said.
bowls of olives later, Vincenzo raised his hand. “I've had enough. I
can't eat any more.”
Carlotta won the olive eating contest. Isabella clapped her hands and
jumped up and down. “Hoorah. Carlotta won!”
a stupid contest anyway,” Mario said. “Let's go and see who will be
crowned King and Queen Olive.”
ran down the street, stopping to buy a pastry before going to the
are the contestants,” Isabella said. “They are beautiful women and
which ones will win,” Mario boasted.
How do you know? You picked the wrong person to win the olive eating
contest,” Isabella snipped.
it will be Maria and Nicolo,” Mario said.
watched the contestants parading around, their dark olive skin radiated
in the sunlight. “Maria does have pretty hair,” Isabella said. “She
might win. You may be right on this one, but never Nicolo. He's not even
were ready to announce the winners. Mario and Isabella held hands. “Our
new Olive King for this coming year is Nicolo.”
stuck his tongue out at his sister. “I told you so.”
new Olive Queen for this year is Maria.”
it. I was right, Isabella. You were wrong,” Mario ran about jumping in
the air and laughing.
right on the olive eating contest, so we were both right. Let's go and
find Mama. I'm hungry and thirsty too.” Isabella ran off.
you are. You've missed all the fun,” Mama said.
didn't, Mama. We had lots of fun,” Isabella said.
you find your friends?” Mama straightened Mario's hat.
forgot about our friends,” Isabella giggled.
took them for lunch. They ate pasta and hot bread and salad. After lunch
they drank a tall glass of lemonade and then they went home.
always remember this day, Mama. It was fun,” Mario said.
it was,” Isabella said and they headed down the path.