Chapter 8 Dance at Grandmother & Grandfather's House
Part 9: The Syrup is Ready
Grandmother came to the door between the kitchen and the big room and said:
"The maple syrup is ready. Come and help yourselves."
Then everybody began to talk and laugh again. They all hurried to the kitchen for plates and outdoors to fill the plates with snow. The kitchen door was open and the cold air came in.
Outdoors the stars were frosty in the sky and the air felt cold on Laura's cheeks and nose. Her breath was like smoke.
She and the other Laura, and all the other children, scooped up clean snow with their plates. Then they went back into the crowded kitchen.
Grandmother stood by the brass kettle, with the big wooden spoon she poured hot syrup on each plate of snow. It cooled into soft candy and as fast as it cooled they ate it.
They could eat all they wanted, for maple syrup never hurt anybody (I wonder if a modern dentist or doctor would agree; but at that time there was very little sugar in what they normally ate.) There was plenty of syrup in the kettle and plenty of snow outdoors. As soon as they ate one plateful, they filled their plates with snow again and Grandmother poured more syrup on it.
When they had eaten the soft maple candy until they could eat no more of it, then they helped themselves from the long table loaded with pumpkin pies, dried berry pies, cookies and cakes. There was bread, too, cold boiled pork and pickles. Oo, how sour the pickles were!
They ate all until they could hold no more and then they began to dance again. But Grandmother watched the syrup in the kettle. Many times she took a little of it out into a saucer and stirred it round and round. Then she shook her head and poured the syrup back into the kettle.
The other room was loud and merry with the music of the fiddle and the noise of the dancing.
Little House in the Big Woods
Chapter 1 - Part 1: Introduction
Chapter 1 - Part 2: Wolves in the Night
Chapter 1 - Part 4: Smoked Meat
Chapter 1 - Part 5: Food for Winter
Chapter 1 - Part 6: Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 7: After Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 9: Winter Night
Chapter 1 - Part 10: About the Author & Where to Find the Book
Chapter 2 - Part 1: Winter Days and Winter Nights
Chapter 2 - Part 2: Jack Frost
Chapter 2 - Part 3: Laura and Mary Helped Mother with the Housework
Chapter 2 - Part 4: Churn on Thursday
Chapter 2 - Part 5: The Best Time of All
Chapter 2 - Part 6: Her Father Began to Play his Fiddle and Sing
Chapter 2 - Part 7: Father Told Stories
Chapter 2 - Part 8 - The Story of Grandfather and the Panther
Chapter 3 - Part 1: Introduction (The Long Rifle)
Chapter 3 - Part 2: Making Bullets
Chapter 3 - Part 3: Cleaning the Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 4: Loading the Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 5: Where and Why to Keep a Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 6: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 1
Chapter 3 - Part 7: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 2
Chapter 4 - Part 1: Christmas in the Forest
Chapter 4 - Part 2: Making a Gift for his Wife
Chapter 4 - Part 3: Christmas is Coming
Chapter 4 - Part 4: Children Make Pictures in the Snow
Chapter 4 - Part 5: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 1 of 3)
Chapter 4 - Part 6: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 2 of 3)
Chapter 4 - Part 7: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 3 of 3)
Chapter 4 - Part 8: Christmas Morning
Chapter 4 - Part 9: Santa Claus Only Gives Presents to Children
Chapter 5 - Part 2: The Weekly Bath
Chapter 5 - Part 3: Being Quiet
Chapter 5 - Part 4: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 1 of 4)
Chapter 5 - Part 5: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 2 of 4)
Chapter 5 - Part 6: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 3 of 4)
Chapter 5 - Part 7: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 4 of 4)
Chapter 5 - Part 8: Sunday Music
Chapter 5 - Part 9: Birthday Spanking
Chapter 6 - Part 1 - Introduction (Two Big Bears)
Chapter 6 - Part 2 - Getting Ready to Go
Chapter 6 - Part 3 - Milking Sukey the Cow (1 of 2)
Chapter 6 - Part 4a - Milking Sukey the Cow (2 of 2)
Chapter 6 - Part 4b - Review Questions: Milking Sukey
Chapter 6 - Part 4c - Answers for Review Questions
Chapter 6 - Part 5 - Her Father Has Not Come Home
Chapter 6 - Part 6 - The Story Of Her Father And The Bear In The Way (1 of 2)
Chapter 6 Part 7a - The Story of Her Father and the Bear in the Way (2 of 2)
Chapter 6 Part 7b - Review Questions: The Bear in the Way
Chapter 6 Part 7c - Answers for Review Questions
Chapter 6 Part 8 - Evening with Father
Chapter 6 Part 9 - When idiots see a bear: Hey let's feed the real live teddy bear!
Chapter 7 Part 1 Introduction - Maple Syrup
Chapter 7 Part 2 - The snow is melting
Chapter 7 Part 4 - Grandfather prepares to make maple syrup
Chapter 7 Part 5 - Grandfather harvests maple syrup
Chapter 7 Part 6 - Why is it called a sugar snow?
Chapter 7 Part 7 - Delaine Dress
Chapter 8 Part 1 - Going to Grandmother and Grandfather's House
Chapter 8 Part 2 - Grandmother and Grandfather's House
Chapter 8 Part 3 - The Wildman
Chapter 8 Part 4a: Made themselves pretty – Hair
Chapter 8 Part 4b: Made themselves pretty - Corsets
Chapter 8 Part 5: Made themselves pretty – Dresses
Chapter 8 Part 6: Competition - The Babies on the Bed
Chapter 8 Part 8: Grandmother is the Best Dancer
by John Larrysson
A native English speaker who has been teaching practical English in Hong Kong for over two decades.
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