Today, Verum hopped out of bed and rushed into the day with excitement. She had to make pancakes for her friends!

Humming a song as she mixed the batter, Verum skipped and twirled all over the room. The pancakes were ready and stacked beautifully. Verum reached into a cupboard for maple syrup. To her surprise, the bottle didn’t contain a single drop of the delicious sugary syrup. Maple syrup is a thick and sweet syrup made from the sap of maple trees.

She called out, “Orak, Orak! Could you summon some maple syrup from Canada? We’ll need it for the pancakes.”

Orak stretched out his hand and tried to summon it, but no maple syrup appeared. He said, “I don’t understand. What happened to all the maple syrup?”

“We must head to Canada and check what happened,” said Felix.

“We should first go to Quebec, the French-speaking state in Canada, as it produces three-quarters of the world’s maple syrup,” said Scorch as she climbed into the tempus machine with the others.

Within no time, the tempus machine landed in Quebec. Disguised as human children, Verum and Orak made themselves visible. They entered a shop and asked, “Excuse me, could I please get some maple syrup?”

“Of course!” said the shopkeeper, “You’re lucky. If you would have come earlier, it would have been more difficult to get your hands on some maple syrup. We had a shortage.”

“A shortage?” said Verum.

“You got that right. In the past year, people have spent more time at home due to the pandemic. That’s why the demand for maple syrup shot up,” explained the shopkeeper.

Another shopper chimed in, “And you kids know that maple syrup is created from the sap of a maple tree. But this sap can only be collected in a specific weather condition – the temperature has to be above freezing during the day and below freezing at night.

But Canada experienced a shorter and warmer sap-tapping season. That’s why the quantity of syrup produced was lower than usual.”

“Where did all this maple syrup come from?” said Orak, pointing at hundreds of bottles and jars in the shop.

“The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) store maple syrup for emergency use. Fearing the maple syrup shortage, they brought out nearly 22 million kilograms of maple syrup from their reserves,” replied the shopkeeper, “After all, a maple syrup shortage is an emergency!”

The Mysticals thanked the shopkeeper and headed back to their dorm room. The stack of pancakes was waiting for them.