Grape Gatherers

You have all eaten grapes and have no doubt gathered them from the vines. And what prettier sight is there than to go into a vineyard on a still sunny autumn day and see the luscious clusters of juicy grapes, purple and pink peeping from under the green leaves.  Then perhaps some of you have been to the woods to gather wild grapes, and bareheaded and barefooted, have climbed the trees where the vines ran in and out among the branches.  You probably did not carry home many, but you had the fun, and under the waving old trees, heartily enjoyed the lunch which mother was thoughtful enough to give you in the morning.  A few years ago, when garden grapes where not so plenty as now, the country children use to think they must go every fall and gather grapes in this way.

Although very nice grapes are now raised in our country, still choicer ones are raised across the sea.  

     In France, Portugal, Spain, and other countries of southern Europe, they have very large vineyards and great quantities of grapes are raised.  Many boys and girls as well as men and women are employed in these vineyards, caring for the vines and gathering the ripened fruit, much of which is made into wine and shipped to all parts of the world. The choicest, sweetest grapes are carefully dried on the stems, and thus we get our raisins. The grapes in this country are not sweet enough to make raisins; and so when you eat your nice bunches of raisins, you can think how they, were perhaps gathered by some poor little peasant child far over the seas.

In our picture we have some grape gatherers; but either the men are very small or the bunch of grapes is very large, for it seems to take two of them to carry one bunch of grapes. Do you think this is a scene in our country? It can hardly be, for do you not 

see how strangely the men are dressed? 

And the trees too do not seem like those that grow in our country. Well, many years ago, in a great wilderness, far across the ocean, a large army of people were traveling. They had come from a country called Egypt, and were on their way to a land, which the Lord had promised them, a very fruitful land, "flowing with wine, milk, and honey." They had been in the wilderness about two years; they had camped at one place for about a year, and there they had made them a kind of tent, or tabernacle, in which to worship God. But now they had come up to the borders of the "promised land," and the Lord, by the mouth of his servant Moses, who was their leader, had told them to send men to search the land whither they were going, and see what kind of land it was, whether it were good or bad. So they chose twelve men, and told them to be of good courage, and Go up and search the land, and to bring back some of its fruit.

These men did as they were bidden; and after forty days they returned, bringing with them a bunch of grapes which they had cut down by the brook Eschol, in the valley of Eschol, where for so many, many years ago Hebron has stood; a bunch so large that they had a bunch so large that they had to carry it upon a staff between two men: And they brought also pomegranates and figs, and other fruits of the land that those who had sent them might see what a  goodly land it was. The rest Of the story what the people said. and did when they heard this report, and so on--, we have not time to tell; but you will find it by; reading the13th and 14th Chapters: of Numbers 5.and then if not now, you will guess who these men in the picture are, where" they have been, and where they are going.