THE BOYS' EXCURSION 237
of my syringe. I introduced the end of the syringe into the incision I had made in the skin, and worked the instrument. By little and little the skin of the animal became inflated, and soon it was but a shapeless mass.
' To work, to work!' cried I to the astonished boys ; ' beat this blown-up skin with your sticks, and you will soon have it off.'
And really, after having made an incision the length of the stomach, the skin peeled off easily.
I explained to them that the skins of some animals are only fastened to the flesh by a tissue of extremely tender and delicate fibres. By means of the syringe I had injected between the flesh and the skin a certain amount of air, which, distending the skin, broke loose the small fibres, and thus rendered the skinning of the animal a very easy operation.
They were much interested, and, I could see, looked upon me almost as a magician for having thought of such a thing.
The next large operation that claimed our attention was to gather in and thresh the corn we had sown, which had now sprung up to a good harvest.
We prepared a hard, dry floor of trodden earth, and threw upon it the heads of the corn, which we