The temperature's up, the temperature's down But this makes for a time to drill And tap the trees out in our bush. For Richard, this has all been a thrill! You can tell when the season is coming The sunrises are glor'us once more And the days are so much longer We can be out in the woods after 4! The first step is to mark the maples And while all plastic puts me in a FUNK, We already had this roll of yellow- So Richard tied bows 'round the trunk. He found about 15 good maples in all And drilling holes was the next stage (He broke my Makita, so we used his big thing, Which naturally put ME in a rage!) Next step is to put in the spile (Again, plastic was NOT what I'd choose. But since that's all they had, Richard taps With a hammer, then POOF! In for a snooze!) Yup, that's a big morning, he figures. 15 holes drilled - what a lark! But after lunch and a nap, what's he find? The sap's running down the tree bark! So he hurries and fits in his hose (MORE plastic, "oh NO!" Julie raves!) But at least the 'buckets' are recycled From the milk jugs - a year's worth of saves! There's still so much snow that just walking Is impossible in the deep white So Richard and I ski or snow-shoe While Smitty prances on top, he's so light! And that toboggan is handy for tools (Yes, the damn thing is PLASTIC again!) But on days when my knee is too sore Richard 'mushes' me down the back lane!
We collect sap for two days, in fridge In many more jugs that we've kept Then Richard takes over the kitchen All newly pet-free and floor-swept. ('Cause we have to do enough straining First with coffee filters, then in the pot With a tiny sieve or cheesecloth So we DON'T want hairs in that lot!)
Richard waits for a roiling boil Then boils for at least half a day Keeping an eye on the temperature As well as straining what joins in the fray! He calls himself a middle-class-billy So one not-QUITE-from-the-'hills' But "geek" springs to mind as I watch him And wait to mop up any spills!
The windows are fogged up with moisture And the paint will be peeling from walls Next year we'll have to cook outside Out where all of Nature enthralls! On the first day, the smoke alarm sounded (We'd left a pot boiling an hour That we went to woods to collect more And the burner was too high a power!) So now Joy comes down to monitor And put in her two-cents worth, al-so Richard LOVES to create drama, so I Hide down where seeds start to grow! R.'s back and forth to the woods Running quite a nice little crop But a pause is made to throw balls- That snow-dust's the dog's sliding stop!
After hours and hours on the boil The sap starts to thicken up well Richard loves this high drama the best As the bubbles go white and up-swell! Ready or not, we pour in cool bowls Then transfer syrup to jar But leave a bit out for candy The taffy's the show-stopping star!
Now Richard makes ME run outside And grab fresh pee-free snow And he pours the taffy on top For a treat about which he'll CROW! And a little further along on the boil We get the hard-candy-works Pour in a cake pan, stick in the freezer And now - it's the greatest of perks: The licking of sweets from utensils That have stacked up in my kitchen again There's pots and pans- mess all over! But R's intent on his Purpose Main. That is, to lap up enough treats Before I notice his hill-billy teeth Will need more dental work than money we've got- What that guy eats is beyond belief! Now we take out the quick-cooled panned candy, And smash the pan down with a bang. It all breaks into jig-saw pieces. All set for R.'s broken old fang. For no sooner have I put it away, Then he's caught with his hand reaching in For that hardened gold treat he wants badly- And I've got to pretend it's a sin!
Chipped teeth when you haven't a 'plan' Are not going to help us live In a self-sufficient manner So it's back to the pot and the sieve, While I take a turn at collecting... But I can't find the toboggan at all! And there's that hard-working nut-bar Setting himself for a great fall. And later still, cleaning the kitchen I wonder why it's gone so quiet. I check the pantry candy To see if he's gone off his 'diet'. But no, all the candy's still there... Why on earth can't I hear a wee peep? So I look in the bedroom, and there on the bed Is the Maple Chief - quite fast asleep!