By Esther S. Zander
“Come boys, get the auger and spouts,”
Hear their happy-go-lucky shouts;
Into the woods, away they go
Over the ice and melting snow.
Washed are the buckets, free from grime
“Hurry, boys, it is tappin’ time.
The sun is high; tonight ’twill freeze,
Hang those buckets on the trees.”
At sappin’ time it is such fun
Up and down hillsides on the run
From tree to tree like squirrels they leap
Carrying pails; some on the jeep.
Hear that tinkling drip, drip, drip,
Ah, for a cool, refreshing sip,
Crystal clear it runs from a tap,
That spring-time tonic, maple sap.
“The pails are full,” we hear them say
At the end of the busy day;
With gathering tank on the rack
The tractor brings a full one back.
From tank to tank the clear sap flows
To evaporators it goes;
It bubbles, boils, makes clouds of steam,
Fills the cabin from floor to beam.
A roaring fire, temperature high,
Stacks of wood in the shed near by,
Gathered many months before
To have it handy at the door.
Seems strange that maple trees should know
Just when it’s time for sap to flow.
And when a storm is passing by
They feel the east wind in the sky.
They know when it will rain or snow,
And when the cold northeast winds blow;
No sap flows then, for maple trees
Need balmy weather — warmer breeze.
The vendor’s cry is not our lot,
The amber fluid’s been canned hot
In clear glass jars where all can see
How tempting maple syrup can be.
On ice cream, waffles, pancakes, too,
No other syrup quite will do
For breakfast, dinner, and at night
To pep a waning appetite.
“Come, boys,” with busy weeks ahead,
Long, pleasant hours, few spent in bed.
With sunny days, nights freezing clime,
We know its maple sappin’ time