Pancake Rebellion 2: Maple Syrup

This follows quickly upon Pancake Rebellion and was funded by [personal profile] chanter_greenie.

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chanter_greenie’s prompt:

Building on your pancake revolutionary story of earlier, I wonder… could a few others potentially be involved in the uprising? A chicken farmer or two (eggs, scrambled or otherwise), a chocolatier (chocolate chip pancakes), the people who tap the maple trees…

“Maple Syrup Rebellion”
Alex Conall

Aideen sat at an empty table in a room with two chairs and one mirrored wall. She stared at the mirror, hoping she was defiantly meeting the eyes of whoever stood on the far side of the window to watch her.

A man entered through the one door: white, middle-aged, beginning to bald, much like Aideen’s father. “Aideen Marlow,” said the man. “You’ve caused us quite a bit of trouble.”

“I’m exercising my right to remain silent,” Aideen said. Because it wouldn’t matter—the law hardly cared about the Fifth Amendment anymore—she added, “Momentarily. First, let me tell you a story.”

The man sat down in the other chair, laying his notebook and pen on the table. “I’m listening,” he said.

“You’re a Vermonter,” Aideen said, trying to imagine she was talking to her father: stern but kindly. “You own a stand of sugar maple trees; every fall your spirit is nurtured by the red and gold leaves, and every spring you tap the trees for sap to boil into syrup. You love the trees and you love the land that has been your family’s for three hundred years.”

Aideen paused, watching the man’s face, and continued. “But one day, because you do not sell enough maple syrup to fund your operations for a whole year round, and because your wife does not earn enough to support your family and your farm, and because someone has offered you a great deal of money to take over your farming operations…”

She trailed off. The man’s eyebrows lifted a touch, and he nodded a little.

“So to save your wife and your child and yourself,” Aideen continued, “you give the trees into the keeping of another man. And the next time you see your land, they are building housing where your beloved trees once were.”

Courtney and Jinxiang had given permission to tell this story. Aideen wouldn’t so much as think the name of their child, for the young one’s safety. The names of the dead maple nymphs, she had never known.

“Do you still think,” Aideen asked softly, for her father would understand, “that Melipona has no rhyme nor reason to what we do?”

And she said no more.

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