Chapter 8 Dance at Grandmother & Grandfather's House
Part 10: Maple Sugar
At last, as Grandmother stirred, the syrup in the saucer turned into little grains like sand and Grandmother called:
"Quick, girls! It's turning into maple sugar!"
Aunt Ruby and Aunt Docia and her mother left the dance and came running. They set out pans, big pans and little pans. As fast as Grandmother filled them with the syrup they set out more. They set the filled ones away, to cool into maple sugar.
There was a patty-pan, or at least a broken cup or a saucer, for every little girl and boy. They all watched anxiously while Grandmother ladled out the syrup. Perhaps there would not be enough. Then somebody would have to be unselfish and polite.
There was just enough syrup to go round. The last scrapings of the brass kettle exactly filled the very last patty-pan. Nobody was left out.
The fiddling and the dancing went on and on. Laura and the other Laura stood around and watched the dancers. Then they sat down on the floor in a corner and watched. The dancing was so pretty and the music so happy that Laura knew she could never get tired of it.
All the beautiful skirts went swinging by and the boots went stamping. The fiddle kept on making music.
Then Laura woke up and she was lying across the foot of Grandmother's bed. It was morning. Her mother and Grandmother and Baby Carrie were in the bed. Her father and grandfather were sleeping rolled up in blankets on the floor by the fireplace. Mary was nowhere in sight; she was sleeping with Aunt Docia and Aunt Ruby in their room.
Soon everybody was getting up. There were pancakes and maple syrup for breakfast. Then her father brought the horses and the sledge to the door.
He helped her mother and Carrie in, while Grandfather picked up Mary and Uncle George picked up Laura and they lifted them over the edge of the sledge into the straw. Her father tucked (placed) in the robes around them. Grandfather, Grandmother and Uncle George stood calling, "Good-by! Good-by!" as they rode away into the big forest, going home.
The sun was warm and the horses threw up bits of muddy snow with their hoofs. Behind the sledge Laura could see their footprints and every footprint had gone through the thin snow into the mud.
"Before night," Her father said, "we'll see the last of the sugar snow."