Friday, March 9, 2018

Sugar Maples by Nancy Dingman Walsh & Illus by Erik Blegvad

Sugar Maples

The snow in the sugar bush is up to my knees
But Peter says I can help tap the trees
 So we harness up the horses and hitch up the sled
And shout Giddy-up! to big Tom and Ned. 
When we reach the icy brook Peter lets the horses drink
 But then we hurry over so the sled won't sink. 

We're deep in the sugar bush and Peter hollers Whoa!
 And the horses stand still in the quiet, in the snow 
Their nostrils blow steam and their coats foam white
And the birds stop to listen in the shafts of morning light.

Peter drills the holes and I stick in the spouts 
And we hush and watch the first sweet sap drip out. 
I kneel beneath the spout and the sweet drips on my tongue 
And then we tramp from tree to tree to get the buckets hung. 

At noon we build a fire and eat a big lunch
 And listen to the jaybirds scold and hear the horses munch 
It's a long day's work, the big horses sweat 
My mittens freeze stiff and my feet slosh wet 
I'd really like to quit but I can't till we're through--
Peter wants to finish, and so do I too. 

The sun is sliding down the sky--Let's head home! Peter shouts
 The horses speed, the sled is light without the pails and spouts... 
The kitchen's warm and through the door there drifts amidst the clutter
The lovely smell of homemade bread and newly churned butter. 

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