Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DELICIOUS (02/04/16)
- TITLE: Sabotage At The County Fair
By Leola Ogle
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The color of vegetables was a long-standing division in the town of Savory. The Owdens grew and ate red vegetables, the Joneses yellow, the Caroltens orange, and the Abernathys green.
The matriarchs of each family entered their vegetables in the County Fair every year. Entries consisted of a display of raw vegetables and an edible dish. Judging was done on taste and appearance. To keep peace, and since all vegetables looked great and tasted fine, the judges wisely rotated the blue ribbon winner each year.
So how did red, yellow, and orange vegetables get mixed in with Mabel’s green? True, her tossed salad was colorful, but everyone knew she didn’t do it. Pride would never let her add other colors to her salad. “Anything made with green vegetables will outshine all others. Everyone knows green vegetables have the most and best varieties,” Mabel always swore.
Edna Owden said numerous times, “You can’t trust people who love yellow vegetables. Yellow is suspicious. Deceitful. So cowardly.”
Every year at the County Fair, Linda Carolten voiced, “How can anyone eat red vegetables? Red is violent. It makes me think of war and anger and hatred. I’m afraid of red vegetable eaters. I avoid them at all costs.”
Viola Jones confidently boasted, “Orange vegetables are in the minority, but there’s no doubt they are the best of all vegetables. Carrots should rule over vegetables of any other color.”
All four families stubbornly clung to their prejudices, even though the Reverend Amity preached against it. “We are not to judge because of color. How do we know we dislike something if we never try it? Open your hearts, and palates, to try that which you’ve never experienced before. It would please our Lord.”
“Humph,” was the response of all four families as they exited church after such sermons.
So who sabotaged the County Fair? Although it was Mabel who fainted, hers wasn’t the only entry with an array of colors. All the entries had been tampered with. The cacophony of outrage from Linda, Edna, Viola, and their families was deafening.
Imagine everyone’s surprise when Bobby Owden, Sammy Jones, Jenny Carolten, and Denise Abernathy confessed. What was more shocking than their confession to the sabotage was that the four had secretly been friends since kindergarten.
“It’s ridiculous that we couldn’t be friends because of colors,” the four younsters said. “We like each other. And we’ve been mixing our vegetables for a long time. We love how it tastes. We sneaked in last night and mixed your vegetables to prove how ridiculous your prejudices are.”
“What? You were forbidden to associate with anyone eating vegetables of another color.” Viola shook her finger at Sammy.
“How could you, Jenny? Not only did you mix vegetables that should never go together, you have tainted yourself by your friendship with these hooligans.” Linda clutched her chest like she was having a heart attack.
“Of all the nerve, Bobby.” Edna rolled her eyes and stomped her foot.
Mabel groaned and struggled to raise her large girth from the floor.
In the midst of the chaotic scene, Linda was the first to notice all four entries had blue ribbons. How could that be? Not only that, but the judges were still eating the dishes of mixed vegetables, soups, and salads. Words were being uttered. “Delicious.” “Delectable.” “Scrumptious.” “Best taste ever.”
Could it be that mixing the unthinkable together could actually be delicious? Edna was the first to try it, taking a bite from each dish. “Yum,” she mumbled.
“Come on, Mom. Just try it,” Denise encouraged her mother as she helped her off the floor.
Mabel later said it was because she was still woozy that she took her daughter’s suggestion to try the mixed salad. When she declared it to be, “Absolutely delicious,” Linda and Viola weren’t going to be left out.
Murmurs of delight floated in the air as the women agreed how delicious the food was. Soon they were hugging and laughing as they acknowledged how ignorance and intolerance had allowed the color of vegetables to keep them from friendship.
It was the beginning of the end to color prejudice in Savory.
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