Leaves or Grapes.
The young man admired the vineyard foliage. “It’s so green, so thick, it’s amazing!”
The vine-dresser smiled as she picked up the vine and began cutting.
“What are you doing?”
The old woman looked across the top of her glasses at the young man, “This wood.” she pointed.
“These leaves.” She frowned. “Are not grapes. Come here.” she motioned.
The woman dug her hands deep into the vine. Quickly her arms disappeared into the branches, struggling she forced the vines apart. As the entanglement parted she revealed to the young man the reality of the vineyard; bunches of unripened grapes hungry for sunlight.
“Left to it’s own device this vine would be nothing more than leaves, wood and shoots.”
“But isn’t this a grape vine?” The young man asked.
Chuckling she smiled. “It is, but this vine produces more growth and less grapes every year without pruning.”
“That’s why I cut away the deadwood, I get rid of all the unnecessary shoots, anything that competes for sunlight or nutrients has got to go for the crop to be abundant.”
“You cut these off?”
“Yes” And I also cut off these” She said picking up an entangled mess of branches. “They are blocking sunlight. And I cut off these.” She added as she held up a vine that spread across the entire row without a single grape visable.
Leaves or Grapes?