• Member Since 1st Nov, 2012
  • offline last seen 34 minutes ago

Admiral Biscuit


Axe Body Spray: Confounding ponies since 1983.

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Spring is coming to Snow Hill, and that means that it's time for the family to go into their maple grove and collect sap. Maple Leaf thinks he's old enough to help in the saphouse, but Red isn't sure. Still, they need all the hooves they can get working; Sugar Bush is pregnant and Winter Berry isn't big enough to pull the sap sledge.


For Scribblefest 2018

Chapters (6)
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Comments ( 55 )

Sweet!

great stuff now finish the other one you Midwestern wrench monkey!!
and i mean that in the highest regard.

That was really sweet! I like how you used the prompt literally. 'Twas a great way to introduce some fun OCs. Nice job! :twilightsmile:

So did you make your own maple syrup to research for this story?

Yes! More worldbuilding.

You know, any time there's a pregnant character, they'll deliver by the end of the story.

Went with 'hearth room' I see.

Heh. Two years ago I started tapping the trees on my property, and boiling down the syrup in my kitchen. (It's not much.. Maybe a gallon each year.) This year looks like it would be great for sap, but I just don't have the time to spend on it. And now here you are, writing a story about making maple syrup...

And reminding me just how much damned WORK it is! :rainbowwild:

That was a cute story :twilightsmile:

8774603
I did. Didn't find anything useful in Little House on the Prairie except for puncheon floors, and there wasn't a good spot to slide that in.

8773815
He brought up the possibility a week or few back, and I egged him on encouraged the experimental pursuit of empirical knowledge. No word yet on whether he actually tried it or how well it went.

8774351
I must admit, that was a concern I had when I first went through the story – it may be a justified cliché, but that doesn't make it any less overdone. Ultimately, I decided not to worry about it for a few reasons:

1. It's going to show up sooner or later, so that may as well be in a story where it is justified. Since a story about syrup-making has to take place around the same time as birthing season, it's easier for the reader to accept than simple coincidence.
2. I think the ending is the right kind of sappy to make it work.
3. It provides a more obvious tie-in to the contest prompt than the literal take on "family trees", which would be helpful if any of the judges miss the less-conventional interpretation and adds potential Fridge Brilliance fuel for readers who spot connections between the two.

And of course:

4. Given the contest deadline, compounding the time crunch by rewriting another whole section would probably have been less than prudent.

8773736

great stuff now finish the other one you Midwestern wrench monkey!!

Thanks!
Which other one, A Gift from Celestia or OPP?

and i mean that in the highest regard.

:heart:

8773753

That was really sweet! I like how you used the prompt literally. 'Twas a great way to introduce some fun OCs. Nice job!:twilightsmile:

Thanks!
Fun fact, I actually had this story partially written last year, and it just happened to fit the plot quite nicely.

8773815

So did you make your own maple syrup to research for this story?

I did not, unfortunately. Just didn't have enough time.

8774351

You know, any time there's a pregnant character, they'll deliver by the end of the story.

Well, yeah, that's pretty much a given.

Now I have to figure out how to turn that on its head for a comedy. :rainbowlaugh:

8774826

Heh. Two years ago I started tapping the trees on my property, and boiling down the syrup in my kitchen. (It's not much.. Maybe a gallon each year.) This year looks like it would be great for sap, but I just don't have thetimeto spend on it. And now here you are, writing a story about making maple syrup...

I think it's being a good year in Michigan. Actually, yesterday, I went to a baby shower, and the church was right next to a sugar bush.

Got me to thinking that if I had one, and I was tapping trees that were right next to the road, I'd tap a telephone pole, too, just to confuse people.

And reminding me just how much damned WORK it is!:rainbowwild:

A lot of work to get not very much sap, it's true. Even with Earth Pony Magic (TM), the family's still got to work hard to get a good harvest.

8774840

That was a cute story:twilightsmile:

Thanks!

8775132

He brought up the possibility a week or few back, and Iegged him onencouraged the experimental pursuit of empirical knowledge. No word yet on whether he actually tried it or how well it went.

I did not. Didn't have time, and with my gardening skills, I'd probably have tapped the only maple tree in Michigan that has poison sap. I did dilute some maple sugar in water to get an idea how much sweetness there'd be, though.

1. It's going to show up sooner or later, so that may as well be in a story where itisjustified. Since a story about syrup-makinghasto take place around the same time as birthing season, it's easier for the reader to accept than simple coincidence.

Yeah, it's a little bit early in the year for horses, but not much. Being in artificial light a lot messes up horses' cycles, which would be the reason I'd give if anybody complained.

2. I think the ending is the right kind of sappy to make it work.

:rainbowwild:

4. Given the contest deadline, compounding the time crunch by rewritinganotherwhole section would probably have been less than prudent.

Even if you'd suggested it, I wouldn't have made that change. That's been in the story for nearly a year.

8775232
OPP or i drive out there and hide all the 10mm sockets:pinkiecrazy:
in a respectful manner:trollestia:

Another one for my favorite list Biscuit. :twilightsmile:

8775232
A Gift From Celestia, of course! I'm going to need to refresher-reread the entire set of Pony Planet stories before helping with the next chapter of Onto The Pony Planet, and no matter how appealing that sounds, trying to make time for it in the next few weeks might be a bit of a challenge. Fitting in the much shorter story that's been languishing way longer sounds a lot more doable.

By the way, do you have any tips on avoiding angry torch-and-pitchfork mobs? I'm asking for a friend.

8775245

Got me to thinking that if I had one, and I was tapping trees that were right next to the road, I'd tap a telephone pole, too, just to confuse people.

I think, most people wouldn't even notice (staring at their mobile), but those who do, would be like ":pinkiegasp::derpyderp1: WTF???????" :rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh:

8775262

OPP or i drive out there and hide all the 10mm sockets:pinkiecrazy:
in a respectful manner:trollestia:

:rainbowlaugh:

8775421

Another one for my favorite list Biscuit.:twilightsmile:

Thanks! Glad you liked it. :heart:

8776074

A Gift From Celestia, of course! I'm going to need to refresher-reread the entire set of Pony Planet stories before helping with the next chapter of Onto The Pony Planet, and no matter how appealing that sounds, trying to make time for it in the next few weeks might be a bit of a challenge. Fitting in the much shorter story that's been languishing way longer sounds a lot more doable.

Unfortunately, I've got the next chapter of OPP partially finished. (well, not unfortunately for everyone . . . )

By the way, do you have any tips on avoiding angry torch-and-pitchfork mobs? I'm asking for a friend.

Ooh, running fast and/or hiding are the best options, really. The good news is that torch mobs usually only happen at night, so when you see the flickering torchlight and maybe hear a bit of angry shouting, you've got a bit of time to run.

8776092

I think, most people wouldn't even notice (staring at their mobile), but those who do, would be like ":pinkiegasp::derpyderp1:WTF???????"

Yeah, I think a lot of people wouldn't see it at all, but for those who did, it would be totally worth the effort of doing it.

8777808
It would be funny to watch the passerbys. How many would do a closer inspection? :pinkiehappy:

The foalbirth scene was though to read, I was always forced to take a pause to try to understand who was speaking.

What nice story, reminds me of frontier families in the 1840s for some reason.

8778529
Probably not all that many, to be honest. Lots of people are oblivious. . . .

8781644
My headcanon puts ponies at mostly late 1860s tech, so you're not far off the mark. :heart:

8779076
Hmm. I tried to be sparse with the dialogue tags, just 'cause I didn't want to spoil the flow, but maybe I was too sparse with them.

8779040
Yes, indeed! Tis the season!

Plus, the contest wanted family trees, and this has got those and actual trees.

8784265 Now I kind of wish Silver had had a chance to read Laura Ingalls Wilder.

A fascinating blend of family cuteness; fascinating historical syrup refining, and a bit of wholesome, character-building mild childhood trauma for Winter Berry. :raritywink: Thank you for a story that was sweet, but ironically not syrupy so.

8784871

Now I kind of wish Silver had had a chance to read Laura Ingalls Wilder.

A lot of it would have been just like home for her, I think.

8785544

A fascinating blend of family cuteness; fascinating historical syrup refining, and a bit of wholesome, character-building mild childhood trauma for Winter Berry.

Poor Winter Berry. Still, now she's got a cute little sister to play with.

Thank you for a story that was sweet, but ironically not syrupy so.

You're welcome!

The day in the life of

This was.. what the word... damn it. Your stories evoke this feeling and I cant find the way to express it.
Lovely little piece.

8792321

This was.. what the word... damn it. Your stories evoke this feeling and I cant find the way to express it.

Slice of life-y-ness? There probably is a word, but I don't know what it is, either.

Lovely little piece.

:heart:

congrats on your scribblefest win

Congratulations on your EverfreeNW victory! It was well earned!
This was a very cute little story that I really enjoyed. It took me back to my young childhood when my mom would read the Little House in the Big Wood books to my siblings and I. It especially reminded me of the story in which Laura Ingalls's grandfather makes maple syrup.
I really appreciate all the research you did for it, too. It really paid off into a coherent, cute story! :twilightsmile:

8887695
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it, and that it brought you back memories of childhood. :heart:

I really appreciate all the research you did for it, too. It really paid off into a coherent, cute story!

I actually really enjoy researching and learning new things for stories. It's a lot of fun, and then I get to pass that knowledge on to my readers. With ponies. :twilightsmile:

I once tried making syrup out of silver maple sap. It took 5 gallons to get a pint of the stuff. And it tasted like chewing on a green maple twig someone had dumped sugar over.

But, boiling it further down and letting it sit for a month in the fridge let the sugar slowly crystallize and push out the woody flavor. So I ended up with several tablespoons of large, very pure sugar crystals.

So, success I guess. But it was hardly worth the hours of sap collection and boiling.

This story was sweet, but just a touch sappy!

:trollestia:

Never heard of "samp cakes" before. Always an education to read your little slice-of-life stories, Admiral.

This was much like I remember making maple syrup at my uncle's "sugar house" (local name for the building you boil and bottle in) - I think you got all the details right, so far as my memory can recall. I've also visited various sugar houses most years since then, and many still do it the traditional way, with wood. Some have switched fuels to natural gas, and many now have a reverse-osmosis set up as the first stage of concentration, but other than that, the process is largely unchanged.

All that boiling takes a lot of heat, and time, and that's what makes real maple syrup expensive - but oh so worth it.

There is nothing like maple syrup on snow at the sugar house. For those that want to replicate it:
1) Gather a small pot with a handle, some unused popsicle sticks, a flat shallow pan, fresh clean snow, and some real maple syrup (can't do this with the fake stuff).
2) Pack the snow into the shallow pan until the pan has a firm layer of snow in it, at least 1 inch deep.
3) Warm the syrup in a small pot with a handle until it will pour readily - until it will dribble off a spoon dipped into it and held up above the pot.
4) Holding the pot above the packed snow, slowly pour out the syrup while moving the pot across the length or width of the pan - ideally making a 1/2 inch to 1 inch-wide path upon the snow.
5) Quickly press the end of a popsicle stick into the end of the cooling syrup, and then start rolling the stick down the length, collecting the cooled syrup into a ball, or just twirl the stick to wad up the cooling syrup
6) Lick and enjoy much like a lollipop!

Birth is a very messy process, no matter which mammalian species. Horses have it a bit better than most, and presumably Equestrian ponies, too. I've long been of the opinion that families should be present as much as possible at births. It's educational in so many ways, to watch the process.

Excellent story, a pleasure to read. Thank you!

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