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A native legend says that maple syrup was discovered by Nokomis the Earth, grandmother of Manabush, a hero of numerous First Nations stories. It was Nokomis who first made a hole in the trunk of the maple tree and gathered its sap. Manabush, noticing that this sap was already sweet enough to be consumed, sought out Nokomis and told her:
Grandmother, its not good that the trees produce syrup so readily. If man can collect sap so easily, hell become lazy in no time. He must be made to work. Before man can enjoy this delicious syrup, he should be made to cut wood and spend nights watching as the sap cooks.
Manabush said no more, but fearing that Nokomis would ignore his concerns and do nothing to prevent man from becoming lazy, he climbed high into a maple tree with a bucketful of water and poured it right into the trunk, thus diluting the sugar that was in the tree.