address the driver, "where did my father get this heirloom, David?"
"Law, Mr. Bob, this ain't your father's," David drawled. "He ain't got anything but wheeled vehicles in the barn, and not one of 'em will be a mite of use till April. I borrowed this turnout of the McMasters', who live a piece down the road; the foreman, you know. It was either this or a straight sledge, and we happened to be using the sledges collecting sap."
"Are you sugaring off already?" questioned Bob with evident disappointment. "I understood Father to say we'd get here in time to be in on that."
"Bless your soul, Mr. Bob, you'll see all you want of it," was David's quick answer. "There's gallons of sap that hasn't been boiled down yet. It's a great year for maple-sugar, a great year."
"Are some years better than others?" Van inquired.
"Yes, indeed. What you want to make the sap run is a good cold snap, followed by a thaw. That's just what we've been having. It's a prime combination."
He jerked the reins impatiently.<
Boarding-school roommates Bob and Van discover that, coincidentally, both of their fathers are in the sugar business. On respective visits home, they learn all about how trees are tapped and sap boiled for maple syrup and sugar, how sugar cane and beets are turned into white crystals and how candy is made.
The story ends rather abruptly, but otherwise the author does a good job of sugar-coating the lessons with a sweet topping of fiction. And, although the manufacturing processes may be somewhat more mechanized today, not much about the basics has changed.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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