The snow is still a foot or more deep in the woods, and the ox-sled is got out to make a road to the sugar camp. The boy is every-where present, superintending every thing, asking questions, and filled with a desire to help the excitement.
It is a great day when the cart is loaded with the buckets, and the procession starts into the woods. The sun shines brightly; the snow is soft and beginning to sink down; the snow-birds are twittering about, and the noise of shouting and of the blows of the axe echoes far and wide.
In the first place the men go about and tap the trees, drive in the spouts, and hang the buckets under. The boy watches all these operations with the greatest interest.
He wishes that some time when a hole is bored into a tree that the sap would spout out in a stream, as it does when a cider-barrel is tapped.
But it never does, it only drops, sometimes almost in a stream, but on the whole slowly, and the boy learns that the sweet things of the world have to be patiently waited for, and do not usually come otherwise than drop by drop.
Then the camp is to be cleared of snow. The shanty is re-covered with boughs. In front of it two enormous logs are rolled nearly together, and a fire is built between them.
Forked sticks are set at each end, and a long pole is laid on them, and on this are hung the great iron kettles. The huge hogsheads are turned right side up, and cleaned out to receive the sap that is gathered.
The great fire that is kindled is never allowed to go out, night or day, so long as the season lasts. Somebody is always cutting wood to feed it; somebody is busy most of the time gathering in the sap.
Somebody is required to watch the kettles that they do not boil over, and to fill them. It is not the boy, however; he is too busy with things in general to be of any use in details.
He has his own little sap-yoke and small pails, with which he gathers the sweet liquid. He has a little boiling-place of his own, with small logs and a tiny kettle.
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Directions for Reading.—In the second line of the lesson, after the word more, a pause should be made for the purpose of giving special effect to the words which follow. This is called a rhetorical pause.
In the third and fourth lines, point out the rhetorical pauses.
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Language Lesson.—Let some pupil explain the meaning of the third paragraph of the lesson.
Change the verbs in the last paragraph so as to indicate future time.
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re al i za’tion, the act of coming true.
in vent’ed, found out; contrived.
per mit’ted, allowed.