There are kids who are picky eaters but Olive took the cake; or rather . . . she didn’t. Most kids love cookies, candy and peanut butter sandwiches. Well, Olive hated those things. One thing she did love though was broccoli. Olive craved cabbage, kale and celery. She adored asparagus, avocado and apples (but only if they were the green kind). Olive gobbled green pears, green grapes, green beans, you name it! She would only eat green foods. In fact she loved her greens so much that her skin turned green as a brussel-sprout, which was another of her favorite foods incidentally. Her parents worried about her. Her father insisted that Olive needed to toughen up, “She doesn’t want to eat? Well, I’ll open her mouth and we’ll shove it in.” He never did actually try that though. Her mother took her to the doctor, who told her to introduce new foods. After a week of watching the dog eating very well, and seeing Olive’s plate mysteriously emtied; she took Olive to a dietary specialist. The doc wanted to run all sorts of tests. Olive passed out when the doctor brought out a gigantic needle. Eventually Olive’s mother would say to herself, “Ashley Adams down the street won’t eat anything her mom makes her, you know. She has to make peanut butter sandwiches when they go out to eat.” Then she nodded to herself, and felt better.
Aside from being obstinately health conscious; all those vegetables made Olive very smart. She transformed her backyard tree-house into a rocket. It took her three months to find all the parts in Mr. Futz’ garbage. Their neighbor Mr. Futz, was an appliance repairman and had all sorts of wonderful tubes, dials and motors in his trash. It took another month for Olive to put everything together just right. She tinkered and fiddled, adjusting nobs and connecting wires. The sun was going down one summer afternoon and Olive had hit a roadblock. She just couldn’t get power. One evening as she looked out of the tree-house she saw the last pink glimmers of the sunset fading on the horizon. Turning her head to the east she waited for the first faint stars to appear. How she wished to fly among them. She pounded her head on the control panel. Ouch! A funny thing happened then; lights flashed, and her count-down timer roared to life. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, OOOBBBBBWWWAAAAAAAR! She was off on a journey through the galaxy! !
Out of one window she could see the stars shifting as she blasted through the atmosphere; Out of the other the earth seemed to shrink behind her. She climbed into her spacesuit and secured the helmet, making sure there were no leaks. She stopped at the moon and ate green cheese with the man who lived there. Then she continued her journey. She passed Mars, a depressing red planet. She cruised around the milky-way for a while, her mouth-watering for a spinach-chip cookie the entire time. She passed the giants; Jupiter and Saturn, the rings made her dizzy. Olive hovered in Neptune’s atmosphere, and had tea and crumpets with King Triton. Noting her avocado tinged complexion the king commented,” I didn’t know earthlings were green.” Olive just shrugged and finished her sea-scone. She wasn’t much of a talker. Then she was off again.
Gazing at the stars she wondered at their brilliance, they looked so much different from this angle. Olive felt her ship jolt terribly and looked out of her window to see Canis Major nudging a huge bone belonging to Draco. She pushed a button and a mechanical arm extended from the ships belly. The arm threw the bone straight into the seven sisters, who seemed very disgruntled at the disturbance. Olive had slowed their escape from the shameful Orion, who had been chasing them for ages. Thirsty from the game Olive sipped sparkling water from the big dipper and felt her stomach growl.
It was almost dinnertime, It was broccoli soup night! She turned her rocket around. Ursa Major roared as she zoomed by. Cruising toward earth, Olive’s instrument panel must have malfunctioned. For upon landing, she discovered herself not in her own backyard at all. She was in the middle of a city park. Reporters flocked around her, “What is your home planet like?” “Can you tell us what you eat?” “Where are you from?” They pounded her with question after question, all thinking she was an alien. Famous astronomers from around the world came to see her. One from France commented, “I beelieeve she eez from Maws.” With a knowing expression he said, “Do you see how she has a seemeelar body to our own? Zat suggests an environment vith a comp’rable atmospheeeeric pressure.” The president came to meet her, “It’s wonderful to have you here. May I be the first to extend the hand of friendship from our people to yours? Would you like to tour the White House, I’ve made some spectacular improvements?” he asked. Olive was a little puzzled at all the attention; no one seemed to see the truth, which was that she was simply a veggie-loving earthling. Olive’s tummy growled, she hated all this attention. Finally she couldn’t stand it any longer, and said . . .” If I don’t get home soon, someone will be in big trouble.” The shocked media immediately sent her back to her rocket-ship with all sorts of colorful favors, buttons, and informational pamphlets. “Now, you’re going home.” said the President nervously, “Can I have your promise that the American people are safe?” Puzzled, Olive just shrugged. The door closed behind her. Her space ship lifted off and hovered in the air while she corrected the coordinates in her computer. Without further incident she crash landed in her own yard. Her mother called from the kitchen, “Olive, what was that?” Olive looked at her mother out of her tree-house window; she smelled the delicious broccoli soup in the kitchen . . . and just shrugged.