They came to say good-bye to them. The soldiers liked this couple, the owners of a little restaurant on the edge of the little town. They were husband and wife, and they were old.

The soldiers’ unit was in the town during the summer. Now they were ordered to pack and move to a different part of the world.

During the summer, they were regularly coming to the little restaurant. They liked the food and the owners. They were very friendly and they talked about many things with them. They were like a family.

The owner had had a son, but he had been killed in war. Now they were alone and so they liked the company of these two young soldiers. They reminded them of their own son. And the two soldiers liked these old people, too.

They had promised to come for the last visit in the evening, but they didn’t come. They had been very tired after a busy day, so they went to bed.

Now they came to say good-bye. They only had about half an hour, so they couldn’t stay long.

‘Mother,’ said the old owner to his wife, ‘bring some wine for our friends. We will give them a bottle or two. They will drink it in the evening.’

bottle of wine - jan vrabec - sparrow's english reader - level 3 English for learners - easy English
a bottle of wine / blog: L-3: Three Bottles of Wine

The soldiers liked the old man’s wine. He made it himself and it was really good.

‘There is no more,’ said the old woman. ‘There were three bottles yesterday evening. He brought them for you,’ she said and pointed at her husband. ‘But when you did not come, he drank them all. He drank all three bottles by himself.’

‘There is no more wine!’ the old man repeated surprised. I thought we had more bottles!’

‘We had only three. And you drank them all yesterday,’ she told him angrily.

The soldiers smiled, ‘Don’t worry about it. It’s OK. We had a lot of your good wine during the summer.’

But the old man didn’t listen. He sat down on the chair, put his elbows on the table and covered his face with his hands. He was very unhappy.

‘Yes, he drank all three bottles yesterday. That’s why we have no wine for you. It was a present for you, and he drank it yesterday. All three bottles.’

The old man was sitting there with his face in his hands. He wasn’t saying anything. He wasn’t moving.

‘Don’t worry about it. Really. It’s nothing,’ said one of the young soldiers. ‘We had enough of your good wine. Really.’

‘Are you coming back next year?’ asked the woman.

‘No, we aren’t. We might come in two years, but it’s not certain.’

‘You drank all three bottles!’ said the woman to his unhappy husband.

‘We need to go now,’ said the soldier. ‘We only wanted to say good-bye. We are very sorry that we couldn’t come yesterday.’

They went out. When they got into their car, the two old people were standing in front of their little restaurant. The soldiers waved them. The old woman waved them back. The old man was looking at the ground. Then he went inside the house. He was very unhappy.

The soldier at the wheel started the car and they left.

company /ˈkʌmpəni/ – (spoločnosť) – the fact of being with somebody else and not alone

remind sb of sb /rɪˈmaɪnd/ – (pripomínať niekomu niekoho) – if somebody/something reminds you of somebody/something else, they make you remember or think about the other person, place, thing, etc. because they are similar in some way