36o The Book of Woodcraft cannot put a wire through cotton, therefore use no cotton in a bird to be mounted; use tow instead. Plug the eyes, wrap the legs and wings as before, but with tow. If it is a dry skin that is to be mounted remove the cotton body and replace it with a lump of cotton soaked with water. Wrap damp cloth or cotton around the outside of each leg, and on the bend of each wing. Shut this up in a tin box for twenty-four hours and it will be soft and can be treated like a fresh skin. Cut a wire (of stovepipe size) about a foot long. File a sharp point at one end and bend the other end into a hook (Fig. 8). Take tow in long strips and lash it tight over, around and through the hook — stitching it tight and binding it on with plenty of packthread — until you have a body the size and shape of the one you took out of the robin, with a neck on it also, Hke the bird's own neck (Figs. 9 and 10). Of course the real body should be at hand to give the measurements. Keep the neck lower than it appears, because the real neck is supple and drops low between the shoulders in a way not possible for the substitute. This body should be hard enough to hold a pin or needle driven into it; indeed some taxi- dermists use bodies carved out of cork. Put the point of the wire up the neck, and out through the top of the skull between the eyes (N. W. Fig. 11). Gently work the neck up to the back of the skull and the body into its place. Now make two other sharpened wires. Work one up through each foot under the skin of the leg, under the wrapping, and on straight through the hard body — which it enters about the middle of the side (X in Fig. 9). When this is far enough through clinch it and drive it back firmly into the body; taking care to avoid tearing the skin, by easing up the leg on the wire, as it is drawn back.
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