THE NORTHERN COUNTRIES OF NORTH AMERICA 231. The great size of Canada.—To the north of the United States lies the Domin ion of Canada. It is more than three thousand miles from the corner of Canada on the Atlantic Ocean, next to Maine, across to the other corner on the Pacific Ocean, by the State of Washington.
The Canadians have built a railroad from Halifax, on the Atlantic, to 'Van couver, on Puget Sound. But they have built no railroad from their southern boundary to their northern boundary, which is the Arctic Ocean. Why is this? You will learn the reason if you read again pages 1 to 11, that tell about the Eskimos and the Indians. Northern Canada is a part of the Eskimo country, and central Canada (Fig. 60) is the Indian country, where we find only a few white men at'the trading posts buying furs.
232. Small is only in southern Canada that the white man has settled and made his home. In all Canada there are fewer people than in the state of New York, although Canada is larger than the whole United States. As the white man lives close to the railroads, the railroad map, Fig. 133, shows well where most of the white men live.
Parts of Canada are much like the parts of the United States that they touch. There are many places where a man would not know by looking at the country whether he was in Canada or in the States. In Section 47 you learned about the boundary between the two countries. You remember that the level wheat lands of Minnesota and Dakota (Sec. 78) extend into Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The wild, high Rocky Mountains become wilder, wider, and more rocky as we pass out of Montana and follow them northward into British Columbia. The rough forest country that we find south of Lakes Superior and Huron (Sec. 91) is found again to the north of these lakes. The rough and rocky coun try that makes up New England also extends into Quebec and New Brunswick. In all the eastern half of Canada, it is only in the St.' Lawrence Valley that any large section of farming country can be found. Now you see that there are several good reasons why Canada, with her great size, has so few people.
Eastern Canada is like New England in having many waterfalls, which the people use to drive their mills. Thus the cities and towns of the eastern provinces have many factories, though not nearly so many as New England. The greatest of Cana dian manufactures are lumber and paper made of wood, for forests cover much of the territory. Between Lake Superior or Lake Huron and the coast of Hudson Bay or Labrador, a man might walk for days and weeks and see little but the silent evergreen forest, with the lakes, swamps, and streams of clear cold water.
233. Farm life.—Most of the people in Canada are farmers. Scott McDonald is a farmer's son, and where he lives, in New Brunswick, east of Maine, snow lies on the ground nearly half the year—that is, from November until March. The children at Scott's school have plenty of winter sports, coasting, skating, and skiing all winter long.
While he is going to school during the fall and winter, Scott makes some extra money by trapping.. In a single season he often catches twenty-five muskrats along the stream that runs through his father's farm. Sometimes he finds a skunk or even a mink in his trap. Then he is indeed lucky, for their pelts, or skins, are worth several dollars each.
234. The maple sugar three weeks in March, Scott is very busy doing something besides trapping or going to school. All day long and sometimes at night, too, he helps with the maple sugar harvest, in his father's sugar maple grove. The Indian taught the white man how to make maple sugar out of the sap of the sugar maple tree. Before the snow is gone in the early spring, sap begins to pass from the roots to the top of the tree. When the sap begins to run, Scott bores holes in the trunks of the trees. He sticks little pipes into the holes, and the sap runs out through the pipes into buckets. Then along comes his father with a tank on a sled, drawn by a horse. At each tree he empties the bucket of sap into the tank. When the tank is full, away he goes with it to the sugar house.